As someone who loves pens, writing, and all things stationery, I'm a bit embarrassed that I haven't given the Platinum pens more attention. I've never disliked them; it's more of a combined time/attention/money problem. This year, I decided to start wading into the Platinum fountain pens and nib assortments. To start this journey, I chose a fairly affordable Platinum Procyon.
Prior to this pen, my only other Platinum pen experience are a handful of different Preppy models, and trying out different Platinums at the Atlanta Pen Show. As you can see, I only have experience with disparate ends of Platinum's fountain pen offerings. The Procyon hits a rare price point — $53 as of this writing — that always interests me. It's not crazy expensive when comparing against the complete market of fountain pens, but it's also not a highly-affordable plastic disposable pen, either. If manufacturers can nail this price point with a pen that performs well and is a joy to use, they've won.
The Procyon borrows its name from a star — the brightest star in the Canis Minor constellation — and is intended to "brighten" the writing experience. While this is cheesy marketing, it's still a pretty cool name. But does it brighten the writing experience? The simple answer is yes.
The exterior of the pen is a classy aluminum with either a high polish finish or a matte texture depending on the color option. In the case of my unit, the porcelain white finish is shiny without being flashy. It's a great finish, and I've really enjoyed the color, even though the orange one is really calling my name.
The clip is very sleek and also quite strong. The pen is very secure when attached to something, and I haven't any issues with it coming loose in my bag or pants pocket when on the move. The top of the cap and the bottom of the pen body both feature a convex shape that adds a bit of depth to the pen and borrows from other popular models in a higher price range. Throughout these pens, the accents are all chrome.
To open the pen, simply unscrew the cap. Unlike a lot of screw caps, this one only needs a half turn to open or close. It's a very smooth motion, and after getting used to it, I kind of wish all my pens only required half a turn to open and close. The threads are smooth and it feels like a much more expensive pen when handling the cap system.
Another incredibly nice feature of this cap is what Platinum call the "Slip and Seal" system. Basically, you can leave this pen capped and unused for weeks (maybe even months?) and it will write like a champ when you decide to pick it back up. No skipping, hard starts, stuttering — just smooth ink comes out after weeks of no use. I tried this myself, and I was impressed. If you're like me and tend to have too many pens inked up at a time, this is a great feature.
Once the pen is uncapped and it's time to write, you notice the translucent dark gray grip section. It's plastic and looks significantly cheaper than the rest of the pen. But, it feels great in the hand. The small ridge at the base of the grip is a perfect tactile bump for your fingers when writing, and the plastic is smooth but still grippy. And the translucency also cuts down on visible finger prints.
The one area that this pen obviously cut costs is the aesthetics of the nib. It's a great writer, but it looks like the same nib that comes on the Preppy, which are just a few bucks. The shape is very simple, there's no scroll work or decorative touch, leaving it plain and uninspiring. That being said, it does have a small Platinum "P" logo and a the nib size information, but these are just the basics when it comes to nibs. I understand that this price point is difficult to hit, but it would have been great to add something to this nib to differentiate it from the $5 Preppy nibs.
So maybe it doesn't look fancy, but how does it write? The good news is, it writes exceptionally well. The model I have features a fine nib, and it's not a disappointment. The nib is stiff and steadfast while remaining smooth and consistent. I've done zero modifications to the nib simply because it wrote perfectly out of the box. For a pen in this price range, I wish I could say this is the normal experience, but it just isn't. This is a great writer, and I couldn't be happier with it. There's almost no flex in this nib, but that's not to be expected in a Japanese fine unless otherwise mentioned in the product description. If you like a nib that's firm as a nail while also being smooth and consistent, you can't go wrong here.
I've really enjoyed writing with the Platinum Procyon over the last several months. I wasn't sure what I'd think of it based on the price and description, but it has surprised me and earned its place on my desk.
The Platinum Procyon is available in Porcelain White (featured here), Deep Sea, Persimmon Orange, Citron Yellow, and Turquoise Blue. The Deep Sea color-way also has an option of Fine or Medium nibs, but the rest of the colors are only available with a Fine nib.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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