First and foremost, I want to thank Azizah over at Gourmet Pens for linking me up. That was very kind of you and I am grateful for the referrals! Thank you, too, to all of the kind people that left comments. I love reading them! If you would like to subscribe, either via email or RSS feed, there are links on the right sidebar for that.
Fountain pen prices run from very inexpensive to seriously out of my price range. So far, I just have a couple of the very inexpensive variety, but I will admit to a slight bit of drooling over some at the other end of the pricing spectrum. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she? Price doesn’t always dictate quality, at least not in this case.
Up for review are the Platinum Preppy, purchased from Goulet Pens, and a Cross fountain pen that I found at Staples around Christmastime. One thing that drew me to the Platinum Preppy (other than the $3.95 price tag) was the ability to turn it into an eyedropper pen. For those of you who may not understand what an eyedropper pen is (and don’t feel bad, I didn’t know either until recently), this is the definition I found on the Goulet Pens website:
Eyedropper Conversion - The process of adapting a fountain pen that has an existing filling mechanism (such as cartridge/converter, piston, or aerometric) so that the entire body of the pen can be used as an ink reservoir.
I bought 2 of them (one is never enough) from Goulet Pens and they offer to convert the pen for an additional $2.00. Not a bad deal at all, don’t you think? The color on the cap is the color of the cartridge they come with. The nibs are also color coordinated. I chose to have the blue one converted to an eyedropper pen and it did come with a blue cartridge, I just removed it for this photo. They list for $3.95 at Goulet Pens – quite affordable.
The conversion consists of a rubber 0-ring and some silicone grease on the threads to prevent ink leakage. You can see the 0-ring here and if you enlarge the photo you may be able to see the silicone grease as well. It’s there, trust me.
I also ordered ink samples, a syringe, more o-rings, and some silicone grease so I can do my own conversions in the future, or maybe even convert the purple one. With the syringe I can refill empty cartridges with different inks, too, if I don’t want to actually convert the pen.
Goulet Pens has hundreds…HUNDREDS…of ink colors, and it’s so hard to choose. I thought I’d start with these 5 and see how it goes. The inks have quite a wide price range as well. Their sample bottles start at $1.25 for a 2ml sample.
The conversion supplies are not expensive, either. All of this was less than $10.
So, after saying all of that, I must confess that I haven’t actually filled up the blue pen yet. The main reason is because I can’t decide which ink color to start with! Help me out here – what do you think I should start with?
I clicked the purple cartridge into the other pen right away and it didn’t take long for the ink to flow to the tip. It writes very smoothly, I am quite impressed! Since the pen is made from plastic, it is very lightweight and I can write for hours with it – and I have lately. The cap posts securely and that’s the way I use it. The only drawback for me is that the labels are printed on the barrel and can’t be removed, as opposed to being peel off labels. But I’ll get used to it, it’s not a deal breaker at all.
The Cross pen is a beautiful deep purple (I saw them in concert once!), which is why I found it hard to resist. When I saw the price tag of $20, resistance was futile, I caved. It came in a lovely silver box (which has apparently been recycled) with extra black cartridges. That’s another reason I bought the syringe, so I can refill these cartridges. The Cross cartridges are only available in blue and black! What?
It’s a little heavy with the cap posted, which tired out my hand pretty quickly, so I usually leave it off. It snaps on securely, though, and that’s a plus for those of you who prefer to post the cap. It is a fairly substantial pen, well made, and very pretty. I haven’t seen them in the store since then, so I guess it was just a holiday promotional item. Staples carries other Cross fountain pens, but they are more expensive.
Here is a close up of the nib. Oh, look, there’s an “M” on it – I guess it is a medium, after all. I never noticed that before, you can barely see it, but look at the bottom edge of the nib. Anyway, I like the way it writes, it’s not scratchy and it doesn’t skip at all. I may have to drain one of the cartridges and try one of those pretty ink samples in it soon. Black ink just doesn’t do anything for me.
If you would like to see a little more about the Platinum Preppy fountain pen, there is another review over at The Well Appointed Desk blog today. She also reviews the Pilot Petit 1 – and yes, I have a couple of those, too. I totally agree with her opinion on them, they are lovely little pens. Hmmm…I wonder if they can be converted to an eyedropper pen. As soon as I decide which ink to use, I will be sure to post a bit about the process and how it all turned out.