Jon is in the shop a bit more these days, and sometimes I go in with the baby and play around with some of the pens. There happened to be a Platinum Cool that had just been dipped, and I picked it up to try it out. To my astonishment, I discovered it is actually just my type of pen!
The Platinum Cool seems like a pen that I would be very much into because it has a slightly softer steel nib that offers a bit of line variation, but I only recently added it to my collection, despite having carried it for quite some time. I’m a big fan of Platinum pens, from the Preppy and the Plaisir up to the 3776. The 3776 with a Music Nib is a post for another day, but it’s coming (it’s one of my favourite pens!). I’m not a glassy-glassy-smooth type of nib person, I like just a hint of that feedback so I can feel my pens writing, and for me, Platinum nibs are smooth with just that slightest bit of tactile.
My surprise comes from the fact that long ago, Jon had a dipped Platinum Cool and I tried it out for fun. It wrote terribly and I thought it was just the worst pen ever. It turns out that terrible Platinum Cool had been a bit too enthusiastically tested in store (I guess the Cool’s reputation at having a bit of a “softer” nib preceded the testing), and the tines were warped in a crazy way. Of course Jon eventually had to ditch this unsalvageable Cool, and he’s long since had new ones in the shop.
Since then, Jon has been trying to convince me that I would really like the nib on the Cool because it has a bit of give to it, and also because it really does write smoothly, I just tested out the damaged lemon. I always shrugged Jon off – I mean, so many pens, so little time! Jon has been telling me for a while now that the Platinum Cool is actually a pretty popular pen, and that people really like its nib. I do most of the ordering, so I see that we are selling the Platinum Cool, and I keep ordering them, but I never gave it a second thought. Until I tried the new one…
This is a great middle of the line, all purpose workhorse kind of pen. It’s kind of a cross between the Pilot Metropolitan (in shape) and the Lamy Vista (clear), except that its nib is just a bit softer. I don’t think there’s a pen in this range (or even quite a bit higher, until you hit the gold nibs) that offers as consistent and as soft a nib. We have it available in the translucent blue or the clear.
It includes a cartridge and a converter, which is a real plus at this price range, especially because Platinum takes a proprietary converter/cartridge only.
It’s a clean, smooth shape, with good weight – not too heavy, not too light. Snap cap (not twist).
The only complaint is that the inner cap is white. Actually, I’m a bit undecided as to whether or not this is a real complaint. When there is ink in the cap, it’s of course going to be more obvious in the clear cap, although I don’t know if this is the real reason the inner cap is white.
It has a clear grip section, so you can see the ink in the feed. The feed is also translucent, and looks like a translucent white before you ink it up. If you’re using a dark ink, or even a semi-dark ink like Noodler’s Turquoise, it darkens up, although you can still see a hint of the ink.
But what makes this pen worth it is the nib. It’s smooth and has good flow without any pressure at all, making it a solid everyday writer, but you can also put a bit of pressure on it and get some thicker lines as a surprise.
It’s a steel nib that offers a bit of line variation, a tiny bit of flexing. The Noodler’s Flex pens will give you much more flex, although you’ll have to work for it (adjusting, maybe some differences in flow). This Platinum Cool offers just a hint of flex, some solid line variation, but you won’t need to worry about any problems with flow, there’s no adjustment needed (or possible).
I had Diamine Ancient Copper in it for a while, a great warm reddish copper brown ink that has killer shading, but before deciding to write about it for the blog, I happened to fill it up with Noodler’s Turquoise, another amazing shader – sometimes overshadowed by the brighter and more popular Noodler’s Navajo Turquoise which leans more to the bright blue turquoise. The standard Turquoise is one of my favourite inks though, a rich, shading green turquoise colour.
Here are some close-ups of the writing samples with the Medium Nib, and then the Fine Nib. Keep in mind that these are Japanese pens and nibs, so they will run on the fine side – the Fine Nib from Platinum will be closer to an EF in a European pen, and the Medium from Platinum will be closer to an F in a European pen, but the pen is pretty wet so it’s not going to be as huge as discrepancy, as say in Sailor fountain pens.
I am personally partial to the medium nib, which I think has to do with the fact that the fine nib doesn’t mask shaky writing so well. You can also see a bit more shading in the medium nib, even without putting any pressure to get line variation. Actually, I usually use my medium nib Cool with very little pressure – I just use it to write normally – but it’s nice to bust out when I’m addressing an envelope or something.
I wish this could be an eyedropper, but I don’t think you can convert it because there’s a bit of metal at the back of the section, which might react with the ink.
The Platinum Cool is a pen for sketching and some light calligraphy or handwriting practice, but it’s not a “flex” nib, so you can also use it for everyday journaling or in the office for writing. It’s nice and wet with or without pressure, so it writes smoothly and will help show off some shading, especially on better quality paper. The soft-ish nib is a real bonus that you can choose to use whenever you like, and the flow will keep up without you even noticing.