Saturday, 28 March 2015

JINHAO X750 (with HERO 233 ink) = CHEAP and SOLID

In this post I will be discussing the value of a relatively inexpensive pen; the JINHAO X750.

(1) Personal Background on how I got this Pen: 

I got this pen very early on in my "fountain pen obsession". At the time, I was devouring blog posts, youtube videos and googling fanatically anything fountain pen related. I first got to know about JINHAO pens from SBREBrown (see specifically his X750 review here and also his website here).

I knew JINHAO pens in general to therefore be cheap and yet solidly built fountain pens, which were in a way knock-offs or imitations of their more expensive western counterparts (see SBREBrown's Fountain Pen Shoot-Out: Mont Blanc 149 vs JINHAO 159 here, inktronics' blogpost here and obviously just by looking at the JINHAO 599, picture below).

(JINHAO 599 - kind of looks like a Lamy Safari)

Yet, the appeal to me was that JINHAO pens were still proudly Chinese and even more proudly "made in China". I love that about JINHAO pens; their unabashedly Chinese origin and pride. As if defiantly saying: "Yes, I am cheap. Yes, I am made in China. But I still offer a certain level of class and quality that far exceeds the price you paid. I am, therefore, undeniably worth every cent!".

The circumstances of my buying it was more of a "chanced-encounter" rather than a hunting expedition as it is with most of the pens in my collection. On that fateful day, I happened to be in Changi Airport Terminal 3 and I just so happened to have a little bit of spare time and I just happened to walk into a Du Yi Bookshop (www.duyi.com.sg), which as it also happens, is (as far as I know) the only Bookshop in Singapore that carries JINHAO fountain pens.

I still remember the sense of excitement I felt when I saw it for the first time. After having read so much about it online, it literally felt like I had just bumped into some "mid-level" Asian movie star or Canto-pop singer. I was, in a sense, star struck and I just had to buy it.

(2) Review Proper:



(2.1) Price: I paid S$13.90 for the X750 (glossy black with silver trim finishes - see picture above).  Du Yi Bookshop currently only sells the glossy black version that I got, they do however carry the JINHAO 601 in the gold (S$19.90), glossy blue (S$13.90) and the black / grey marble (S$13.90) finishes as well. All of which comes with a free converter. Also, not every Du Yi Bookshop branch carries the same stock, I do however recommend visiting the Du Yi Bookshop in Chinatown Point. From personal experience, that branch seems to carry the most Fountain Pen related stuff (e.g. HERO Inks and JINHAO Cartridges) and is right next to Daiso too (where you can even pick up a S$2.00 fountain pen!).

You can definitely get the X750 cheaper online and in a lot more colour variations, such as Silver/Aluminium, Lava Red, White and Matte Black (the white version seems particularly sexy, see picture below. See also my search results for the X750 on eBay here). They typically cost about S$4.00 - S$5.00 including free international shipping (from Hong Kong).

(picture from eBay - note the free converter too)


I paid S$2.30 for the 60ml bottle of HERO 233 Ink (Blue), which is probably the cheapest ink you can find in Singapore! (see picture below)

(photo credit: penpaperinkletter.com, see his very detailed review of the HERO inks here)

(2.2) Problems I encountered using this pen: 

NEVER STORE THE PEN WITH THE NIB POINTING DOWNWARDS:

After getting the pen, I inked it up straight away (with Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black) and brought the pen to work where I had accidentally left it nib down in my pen holder. My X750 then started to leak, and progressively started to fill the cap up with several drops of ink. The next time I uncapped the X750, the ink shot out from the cap and splattered all over my desk (and my work shirt!).

LESSON LEARNT.

I started looking around online again and realised some people were having the same problem too (see Michael Heenan's comment on the Goulet Pens Blog here). My own opinion on the matter is that the JINHAO X750 has a very BIG nib and to keep up with the nib, the feed has to be very wet. Upon closer inspection of the X750 feed, I realised that the Feed Channel on the X750 was very wide and therefore allows for very aggressive capillary action (see picture below), in effect, drawing a lot of ink down from the converter and into the nib/feed. Therefore, when stored nib-pointing downwards, and with the help of gravity, it would not be surprising if the pen "dumped its converter contents into the cap" (in Michael's words).


The cap of the JINHAO X750 snaps on to the barrel with a satisfying "CLACK" when it is closed too, this gives the cap a tight seal over the nib/feed and helps to prevent it from drying out easily. However, as I've read, this tight seal can exacerbate the ink leakage because it creates a vacuum in the cap itself, and when the cap is removed (forcibly, which is normal given how tight the cap fits onto the barrel) it actually causes the ink to get sucked out from the feed and to explode everywhere.

POOR QUALITY CONTROL:

I personally did not have an issue with this and I found my pen to be well made and a joy to write with (as I had done with my Muji and Franklin Covey pens), I took out the feed and gave it a good wash and scrubbing (with an old toothbrush) to make sure that there was no dust or grease-residue on the feed or in the feed channel before I started using the X750.

But some people (see this FPN Thread) have experienced some serious quality control issues which have rendered the pen unusable (broken barrel or nib/feed sections) and/or has allowed for a terrible writing experience (misaligned tines etc).

See also PenInkcillin's review of the JINHAO X750 here, where the author experienced a dry nib which caused the pen to skip a lot.

Again, I have to reiterate that I did not encounter such problems at all. To be frank, I didn't mind paying more to purchase the pen from Du Yi Bookshop, rather than ordering it online. At least this way, I actually got to "feel" the pen before putting down any money for it. I spent some time studying the pen (writing without ink, disassembling it and re-assembling it again, and trying to look at the tines with my naked eye), and got what I believed to be the best made X750 from the lot on display that day (however, when you buy online, it all depends on your "luck of the draw").

(3) IMPRESSIONS / WRITING EXPERIENCE:

(3.1) The Aesthetics:
I generally love the feel of the pen in my hand when I write. As I've mentioned before, I've got slightly larger hands and I really like pens with a bit of "weight" and heft to it (though for some people that might be an issue). I also found the shape and finishes of the pen to be "classic" and attractive, and honestly, you can't go wrong when your pen actually tries to look like a Mont Blanc Meisterstuck (see picture below).

(Mont Blanc Meisterstuck Classique Platinum)

(JINHAO X750)

I do however take issue with the "weird-ugly-looking-tribal-tattoo-esque" engraving on the end of the cap (see picture below).

(would have been better without it)

Another thing I found quite "weird" was the "18Kgp" engraving on the nib of the JINHAO X750 (see picture below). The nib is definitely not "18 karat gold-plated", so why state so? Clearly this must be a unique brand of Chinese-humour (that only Chinese people, me included, would get) or a very poor attempt at passing-off and a poorer attempt at misrepresentation.  To give them (JINHAO) the benefit of doubt, its probably the former reason, right?

(honestly, the other engravings on the nib do look quite cool!)

(3.2) The Writing Experience:
I found the pen wrote smoothly, without any skipping whatsoever, and with the HERO 233 ink which I've got in my X750 at the moment, the overall writing experience can be summed up simply as: VERY WET. I would therefore recommend loading it with a drier ink as the HERO 233 ink tends to be very diluted (which would also explain why it is so cheap). The HERO ink also has a very strong "inky" smell (imagine the smell of black Chinese water colour paint).

In the close-up writing sample (see picture below), you can see that the ink tends to "feather" or bleed into the paper ever-so slightly (also depending on what kind of paper you use - i.e. how fibrous the paper is) and therefore giving a very broad line even for a Medium nib.


But in comparison to another Pen/Ink combination (in the picture below I used a M-nib Platinum Preppy, inked-up with Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue) you can see that the JINHAO clearly lays down a wetter line (and broader due to the feathering).

("Feathering" - is when the ink seeps and bleeds into the paper, and 
allows for a broader line than what was initially laid down in the writing 
process. See this FPN thread for more information)

(4) CONCLUSION:

I genuinely like the JINHAO X750 a lot, I think it looks great, writes well and performs up to par for the price I paid (even if it was 3 times what I could have probably got for it on eBay). However, because of the problem that I had with the leaking of the nib (when not stored upright), I honestly do not dare take the pen out of the office, much less use it as my "EDC" pen; for fear that it would explode with ink again when I next uncap it. 

So if you're looking for a "workhorse pen" that you can throw into your bag or stick into your pocket, I wouldn't recommend the JINHAO X750, as it is clearly meant for more sedentary "storage-and-use"; either when at home or in the office.

The JINHAO X750 did, however, give me the confidence to then go onto eBay and order the JINHAO 159 (which is still in the process of being shipped to me).

All-in-all, I would say, for the price you pay, you could easily go online (or to Du Yi Bookshop) and get yourself one just for the thrill of trying it out. If you like it (as I did), GREAT! If you don't, you can toss it in the bin without too much heartbreak or damage to your wallet.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Franklin Covey Lexington v Muji Aluminium Round Fountain Pen (A Comparative Analysis)


In this post, I will be comparing 2 pens that I had recently acquired. 

As the title suggests, the first is the Franklin Covey Lexington ("FC Pen") and the second is the Muji Aluminium Round Fountain Pen ("Muji Pen").

FC Pen

Muji Pen

The idea behind why I wanted to do this comparative analysis was because both Nibs are said to have "Iridium Points". To be honest, I did not know much about Iridium at the point of time when I had gotten either pen and it was only much later that I realised what that actually meant.



If you are interested in what an "Iridium" nib or point means (and what resulting significance it has for a fountain pen), there are many interesting articles on the internet. For example: this article on nibs.com (http://www.nibs.com/article5.html) talks about why "Iridium" (on a fountain pen nib) is not really "Iridium" anymore.

In a nutshell, Iridium is actually a very rare metal which is part of the platinum group of metals and is highly sought after for its durability, hardness and resistance to corrosion. In the past, tiny Iridium beads were commonly welded onto gold nibs to reinforce them (as gold is much softer and therefore more susceptible to the wear and tear associated with writing).

Given the relatively cheap prices of the FC Pen and the Muji Pen respectively, it would be safe to say that actual Iridium was not used to "tip" their nibs. Some other type of alloy was probably used to achieve the same general principle behind the idea of why Iridium is used - i.e. to give the nibs a longer lifespan. 

With that being said, let's dive into the comparative analysis of the 2 pens now (skip to the end for the summary and conclusion if you want to avoid the lengthy comparison).


(1) PRICE (and where to buy):

The FC Pen that I got is readily available from Times Bookstore (specifically, I got mine at the Tampines Mall branch) and it cost S$33.00. It came in a variety of different colours and finishes, but I opted for the Polished Chrome with Gold finishes as I felt that it had a more "classic" look about it (if I remember correctly, I also saw ballpoint and roller-gel versions too).

The Muji Pen cost S$23.00 and comes in one colour only; matte silver. There is however a compact version of the same pen available (that becomes a full-length pen when posted). Though, as the brand naturally suggests, the Muji Pen is sold at Muji stores, however when I went looking for the pen, I was sorely disappointed to find that the pen was sold-out at their Ion Orchard, Somerset, Bugis Junction and Marina Square branches (Yes, I went to all those stores!). 

I finally managed to find a good stockpile of them at JEM and was very relieved to finally find it. Learn from my mistake; call ahead to reserve one or find out if its even available before heading down to the store.

Muji has also just launched its online store here in Singapore, with a promotional 10% discount off all purchases, however I was unable to find the fountain pen on their website. 

The closest I managed to find was the same compact pen design, but with a ballpoint pen version instead (see link below). 

http://www.muji.com.sg/store/aluminum-pocket-ballpoint-pen-blk-4934761849706.html?cl=no_color_code_4934761849706.

(2) NIB/FEED:



As mentioned previously, both feature an "Iridium Point" nib (but in varying colours, i.e. gold and silver respectively).

The Muji Pen's nib states that it is an "F", whereas the FC Pen did not state what size it came in, and even after inspecting the packaging of the FC Pen more thoroughly, I was however still clueless about the size of the nib (this was a frustrating experience for me).

It was only later, after googling more about the FC Pen that I realised it was an "M" nib.

(see: http://www.amazon.com/Franklin-Lexington-Appointments-Cross-FC0016IM-3MS/dp/B003G1HIVO)

Purely on visual observation alone, both feeds appear to be different, and as the picture above shows, the Muji feed tends to be a bit "beefier", with deeper grooves and thicker fins, whereas the FC Pen's grooves/fins are shallower, thinner and more numerous.

When I bought both the pens, and had plugged in the respective cartridges that came with each pen, I found that there were ALOT of starting issues with both. They tended to skip alot, and when writing fast, both pens dried out and refused to start-up again even after giving them a vigorous shaking. I was disappointed and crestfallen. 

However, after doing a bit of research and asking around, I was advised to pull out both nibs/feeds (both are friction-fit and come off easily) and to give them both a good wash under running tap water. This was because, (as I had been told by a senior collector) new feeds are sometimes coated with grease to prevent the ebonite/plastic feeds from drying out (and becoming brittle) while in the store, and will therefore require a good washing before use.

After having done so, I was amazed at how smooth and fluid both pens began to write. Lesson learnt: wash both nibs and feeds thoroughly before using.

(3) OVERALL LOOK AND FEEL:




The Muji Pen can feel quite light and hollow at times, however the FC Pen has a good weight and balance to it when writing. 

I also found the Muji Pen to be too thin and the knurled grip to be quite uncomfortable to hold. Also, due to its thin size, I found myself gripping the pen a tad bit too hard and as a result my hand would cramp if writing fast and over an extended period of time (as I had experienced while at work). 

The Muji Pen, as others have pointed out, is also reminiscent of an X-acto Knife! See picture below:



To rectify the "thinness" of the barrel, I slipped on some Pilot G2 rubber grips that I had laying around at home (see picture below - lubricate the barrel first and the rubber grips slip on easily!). Though, the end product might not be as aesthetically appealing as the original clean-matte-silver look it came in, I now find writing with the Muji Pen to be comfortable and pleasing (the rubber also gives the Muji Pen some much needed weight and balance, and makes for a better writing experience).


(my modified Muji Pen, looks terrible, but now feels great to write with)

(4) WRITING EXPERIENCE



After having washed both the nibs/feeds, they now write very well. I did not observe any skipping or stoppage in the ink flow when writing (as I had experienced before). Both felt "stiff" and did not allow for very much "flex" when writing (i.e. practically no line variation at all). 

Surprisingly too, the "F" nib of the Muji Pen was much "wetter" than the "M" nib on the FC Pen. It may however be due to the type of paper or different inks I was using in each pen (i.e. Brilliant Black Pelikan 4001 in the Muji Pen and the standard Franklin Covey Ink per the cartridge provided). I also observed some bleeding of the ink of the Muji Pen on the paper (See the writing sample above).

I generally prefer "wetter" pens, both however appeal to me, and I have no qualms with either pens' writing performance.

(5) CONVERTER/CARTRIDGE:




Both use standard international cartridges. I had purchased a Pelikan converter (S$8.00 from Fook Hing) for the Muji Pen, and found that it fits perfectly on both pens without any problems.

(6) SUMMARY:

Here is a summary of each area, as I had covered earlier:

Price:
Muji Pen S$23 / FC Pen S$33 
(Muji clearly offering the cheaper pen, though it was a pain to find!).

Nibs: 
Tie. Both are equal in that both claim to be "Iridium Point" Nibs.
(Personally, to me, there are no observable differences when writing with either).

Look:
The FC Pen has a sleeker, more professional look, which I would proudly carry with me into any work function or meeting. The Muji Pen however looks rather surgical and drab, which may also be ideal for anybody who wants to remain low-key and unnoticeable.
(FC Pen wins with its classy and timeless look).

Feel:
As mentioned earlier, the Muji Pen felt too thin (and hollow) for my hands and caused my hand to cramp when using it for fast writing over an extended period of time. I did not have that problem with the FC Pen which has a fatter barrel and a heftier feel to it too.
(FC Pen wins again; it generally feels more solid and pleasing to hold).

Converter/Cartridge:
Tie. Both use standard international converters/cartridges.

Writing Experience:
Tie. Both are equal in terms of smoothness and both feeds can keep up with my furious writing speeds. I enjoy writing with them as both offer a good "stiff" feel when writing.

(7) CONCLUSION:

Overall, both are great pens, I use both of them interchangeably and frequently while at work (whether in the office or out at a meeting) - and I would recommend either of them to friends, albeit with a certain amount of caution and advice (i.e. washing the nib/feeds, pricing of the pens and thinness of the Muji Pen's barrel, especially for people with bigger hands). But for the sake of having an explicit victor, in my humble opinion, I think that the FC Pen is marginally better, but it is still very debatable as to whether it is worth the extra S$10.00 (if you are price conscious and have small hands - then the Muji Pen is the way to go!).

Thank you for reading!

Friday, 13 March 2015

The Paper Cracker - An advertorial for my wife





My wife and her friend have recently started an online blog shop selling high quality paper products and stationery! (I am in the process of convincing them to bring in some fountain pen brands too)

I will therefore dedicate this post, as a summary of sorts, to particularise some of the different kinds of aesthetically pleasing products (which an avid fountain pen enthusiast may be interested in, of course!) that they will be offering for sale. I have also added my thoughts and impressions of the products in blue as well, if that counts for anything. So hope you enjoy the post and find something you might like too.

They currently have a Carousell account which you can check out at: https://carousell.com/thepapercracker/

Or you could also search on the Carousell app itself for user: thepapercracker

If you are interested in any of the products or have any other queries please email them at thepapercracker@gmail.com.

ITEM 1: “Hand-Drawn Dreamscape” Printed Notebook 


Description: Hard-Card Sleeve Front Cover, with side-panel name card slot.

Measurements: 200 x 280 mm
No. of Pages: 128 Pages (Blank)

Usage: Perfect for sketching day-dreamers and hardworking note takers alike!


(Blank Pages)

My Comments and Overall Impression: It is a large-sized note book, slightly larger than A4 sized paper. I wouldn't say it is bulky, but it does feel solid in my hand when I hold it and has a bit of heft to it, and most importantly to me it has a good number of high quality pages which I can lose myself in with my sketching/journalling and note taking if need be.

ITEM 2: Vintage Metal-Hardcover Notebooks


(with my TWSBI 580 for scale)

Description: Metal-Hardcover with printed designs.
Measurements: 185 x 125 x 26 mm
Weight: 0.32 kg
Pages: 128 Pages of both High Quality Kraft Paper and Dot Grid Paper
Usage: Durable, sturdy and reliable - making it the must have everyday carry notebook.

(Kraft / Dot Grid Paper)

My Comments and Overall Impression: It is a small-sized note book, and I would say slightly larger than a post-card. It's metal cover and very nice printing (see below for more cover designs offered!) make these notebooks very attractive and unique (Nothing beats metal too in terms of durability!). The dot grid paper is reminiscent of the kind used on Rhodia notepads as well and the Kraft Paper (i.e. brown paper) is a refreshing change from drab blank white paper too! 




ITEM 3: Canvas Roll-Up Pen Wrap Pouch


Size: 190 x 245mm
Exterior: Canvas 
Inner lining: Cotton 
Usage: Great for pencils, (fountain!) pens and even make-up brushes.

 (Close-Up of each Pouch)

My Comments and Overall Impression: Great for storing your fountain pens at home, or even as an aesthetically pleasing every-day-carry ("EDC") pouch/pen case!

ITEM 4: Candy Coloured Notebooks


Description: Candy Coloured Notebooks
Measurements: 255x180mm (B5)
Weight: 160g
Pages: 36 Line Pages

Usage: Perfect for school and note taking in class!


My Comments and Overall Impression: A simple notebook that comes in pleasantly warm colours and designs. For every-day scribbling and school!

ITEM 5: “Kuu Haku” High Quality Handmade Japanese Notebook


Description: Clean-cut and minimalistic. Simplicity at its finest.
Measurements: 175 x 250 x 70 mm (B5)
Pages: 140 Pages (Blank)

My Comments and Overall Impression: Another minimalistic and simple notebook. If you're like me, I'd take this notebook in a heartbeat. I just like the feel of the paper and the cleanness of the design, nothing too complicated in an already hectic life!



That's just a sample of the kind of products that they are offering, there will be lots more to come in the future, and when they do, I will follow up with another post too!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Platinum Preppy - Eyedropper Conversion (A Slightly Different Twist)

Introduction

To sum up the Platinum Preppy in a few words: they are inexpensive (SGD 4.00), capable of becoming eyedroppers (2 - 2.5 ml of ink) and they write really well (smooth and without skipping!). What more could a beginner fountain pen enthusiast ask for?

Currently, there are a few Platinum Preppy eyedropper conversion guides floating around the internet, click the following links to see different versions of the conversion and reviews as well:

If you've seen/read the guides above, or have been googling more about the Platinum Preppy for awhile now, you'll realise that all the conversions are similar and require the same materials; O-Rings and Silicone Grease. 

In my own experience, those were things that a newbie fountain pen enthusiast like me (1) didn't have readily lying around the house and (2) might not know where to find straight away (unless at a specialist pen shop or purchasing them online - which takes days to come!). 

My guide however does not require any of those things, and I offer substitute materials that do not suffer from the 2 problems I raised earlier. For an impatient person like myself, once I bought the Platinum Preppy, I wanted to jump straight into the conversion, and my guide therefore is a result of my desperation and impatience (Though I would like to think it was as a result of my ingenuity and innovation instead!).

Art of Pens' Conversion:


 Here is a list of some of the stuff you might need, ranked according to their priority:

  • Vaseline (petroleum jelly)
  • Plumber's Tape (also known as teflon tape or thread seal tape)
  • Ink (preferably with an eyedropper or a syringe)
  • Tissues / Cotton-Buds (Q-Tips) - for cleaning purposes only
  • Penknife

STEP 1:

The Plumber's Tape basically replaces the need for an O-Ring as it thickens the threads on the Platinum Preppy's Nib/Feed section to create a tight and even seal (if you don't have it at home, it is commonly sold in Hardware shops and are very cheap).


All you have to do is wind the Plumber's Tape around the threads (as seen in the picture above), I counted at least 10 - 12 rounds around the threads until I got a nice seal. You will know you've gotten a "nice and tight seal" once you screw on the Barrel of the pen and get a little bit of resistance while doing so.

STEP 2:


Next, you'll need to dab a little bit of Vaseline on the threads you've just fattened up with the Plumber's Tape. Then use your finger (or a cotton-bud) to gently smooth the Vaseline into the grooves of the threads. 


From what I learnt watching/reading the other guides, Silicone Grease is used because it is inert and does not react with the pen ink (which can be quite corrosive). Petroleum Jelly, i.e. the Vaseline, is also an inert substance and similarly won't react with the ink as well. I've used Vaseline on my Platinum Preppy for about a month prior to writing this, and to-date had not had any adverse ink-reactions and I find it works just as well as Silicone Grease.

STEP 3:


Next, grab your eyedropper/syringe and fill the barrel of the pen up with ink. If you do not have an eyedropper/syringe handy, a trick that I used was to get a straw to draw up the ink, and thereafter (using your finger to cover the other end of the straw) transfer the ink into the barrel (by lifting your finger off the straw). As an eyedropper the Platinum Preppy can hold about 2 - 2.5 ml of ink (from my on-and-off usage of the pens over a month, I barely even got through half the ink!).

STEP 4:


Close up your pen and there you have it, a Platinum Preppy Eyedropper Fountain Pen! 

(Cleaning Tips: if you have gotten ink onto the threads, either the Nib/Feed section or the Barrel, just use your tissues or cotton-buds to wipe off the excess ink. Also, when you close up the Nib/Feed and Barrel sections, the excess Vaseline will be pushed out,  wipe off all the excess with your tissues too.)

TROUBLESHOOTING, OTHER MODIFICATIONS AND FINAL THOUGHTS:


(A) Ink doesn't flow smoothly:

Because this is an eyedropper pen (unlike a converter or piston-filler pen, where ink is drawn up through the feed), you will need to wait for the ink to flow down into the feed and wait for the feed and the reservoir to get saturated first before you will be able to write smoothly (in the picture in the previous section above, you will see that there is black ink in-between the grey plastic - this is how you can tell if the feed/reservoir is saturated). To get the feed/reservoir saturated, just leave your pen (nib facing downwards) in a penholder for a few minutes.

OR



It could also be the case that while applying the Vaseline/Silicone Grease - you managed to get some onto the end of the feed (which has happened to me before and in my defence, applying the Vaseline can be a very messy affair!), see above picture; this is where the Vaseline may have come into contact with the end of the feed.



If so, just pull out the Nib/Feed and give the end (i.e. the end without the Nib) a wipe and then stick it back into the pen and it should write smoothly thereafter!

(B) Removing the "Platinum Preppy" Decal:



This is where the penknife comes in useful. I used the blade and scraped along the barrel until I had got all the decals off (see picture above). I have read about people using thinner to rub the decals off too.

(C) Plumber's Tape Not Even Required



This is a picture of my Red Platinum Preppy which I had converted even without the Plumber's Tape (I used it without any incident for about 2 weeks - but it was mostly left in the penholder in my office). I just rubbed Vaseline onto the threads and screwed in the Barrel. You can do this without any risk of leakage because the threads of the Platinum Preppy are thin and tight enough to do so. But, I didn't like living so dangerously, so I applied Plumber's Tape to it as soon as I could.

Note: I have read online that Plumber's Tape tends to deteriorate over time, also given the corrosiveness of the ink, I would not find that to be surprising. From my experience (of about 1 month's worth of usage), I did not find too much deterioration such as to cause the pen to leak, the tape just becomes "thinner" after awhile (also natural given the "tightness" after screwing on the Barrel). But since the Vaseline is by itself good enough, I believe the deterioration of the plumber's tape shouldn't be too much of a problem.

(D) WRITING SAMPLES / SAME NIB SIZES BUT DIFFERENT LINE THICKNESS



As you can see above, there are 2 different models of the Platinum Preppy - as evidenced by the different decal designs (note however that both are "fine" or with line thickness of about 0.3 mm). The top most one was bought in Popular (Thomson Plaza) and the bottom one was bought from Tokyu Hands (Orchard Central). For the avoidance of confusion and doubt - the top one has the "powder-coated" nib, and the bottom one has the "silver polished" nib.

Pricing: The one from Popular was about SGD 4.50, while the one from Tokyu Hands was slightly cheaper at about SGD 3.70. 



The above picture shows the polished silver Nib of the Platinum Preppy I had bought from Tokyu Hands, whereas if you had noticed, the one from Popular (which I also found to be the same as the ones I got from Kinokuniya in Takashimaya subsequently) come with a powder-coated nib (in the same colour as the colour/ink of the pen). I noticed that there are slight differences in the thickness of the resultant lines produced by each though the packaging indicates the same sized line thickness.



The black sample was written with the 0.3 powder-coated nib. The red sample with the 0.3 silver polished nib. And lastly, the blue sample with the 0.5 (Medium) powder-coated nib. I therefore found the silver nib to be more of an "EF" (extra fine) and the powder-coated nib to be a regular "F" (fine) nib.

The End. Please let me know what you think in your comments below. Thanks for reading!