When doing my research for great starter fountain pens, the Lamy Safari and Pilot Metropolitan was mentioned pretty often. However, one pen that also floated around some sites or that I heard on some podcasts was the Platinum Preppy. Preppies are known in the fountain pen community for having very good nibs for being the most affordable fountain pen that one can buy, however they also do not look as elegant as the Safari or Metropolitan.
First Impressions: I ordered the rainbow pack from Amazon, so the pens came in a cellophane package that is not meant for storage. They look like an inexpensive pen, sort of the style of gel pens that children would use in elementary school. Thus, it is not something that I would confidently take into a business meeting or another formal setting, however the black and blue ones have a subdued color that could fit certain formal settings.
Design/Features: The pen has a clear plastic body with color matching printing, finial, and clip. It has a snap-cap closure. The step-down from the body to the section is smoothed and rounded, so it is comfortable to hold the pen even at the step-down. The section is clear, so it is cool to see the feed and ink flow in it. Each pen comes with a long cartridge of its corresponding color. The nib is steel and is folded on the sides like a Safari nib. The pen is fully made out of plastic, so the pen can be eyedropper converted with some silicone grease on the threads and a rubber O-ring. The clip has a nice strength and springiness.
Feel in the Hand: The pen is very light, which is nice, but at times it feels a little too light for me. I have to post the pen because otherwise it is not long enough for me to hold it comfortably. For people with smaller hands, they should not have to post it. The section is smooth, but the plastic allows for some grip while writing. I like the diameter of the pen, and it feels comfortable even in longer writing sessions.
Writing: The nib is very smooth while writing on any surface, which is amazing for a pen at this price point and with a Japanese fine size. I chose to write with only the black pen since I have used mainly blank in my other reviews. However, the ink is the Platinum black ink that is provided with the pen and not my standard J. Herbin Perle Niore. On the Rhodia paper, the ink holds a nice fine line, however on the steno pad and printer paper the line widens a bit, but not to the point where I felt it was too wide to use. I had no issue with hard starts or skips. Actually, I had this pen sitting upright in my pen cup for months and it still did not hard start!
Use in clinic/hospital: As I stated above, I had no issues with hard starts or skips. I did, however, have an issue that the cartridge came loose and some of the section unscrewed, spilling some ink in my pocket. I’m not sure if I just did not push the cartridge in tight enough initially, or if it jostled loose. However, I did notice that the section does easily loosen up from the body once in awhile, which is concerning.
Price: On JetPens you can get a single pen for $3.00 or on Amazon you can get the Rainbow Pack, which includes seven pens in seven different colors for $16.80. This is probably the nicest writing, inexpensive fountain pen you can buy currently.
Overall, I really like the Preppy for what it is, an inexpensive pen that has a very good nib. It is amazing that you can keep this pen lying around with a cap on for months and it still works like it is brand new. However, the fact that the section easily comes loose, makes me not want to carry this in my white coat or pants pocket for fear of ink leakage. Thus, I would suggest this pen to anyone who wants an inexpensive fountain pen with a nice nib; perhaps a great starter fountain pen. However, I do not use it as an everyday carry on the wards or in clinic. Also, it is nice how inexpensive it is, since if you do take it to work, then you can worry less about it being lost or broken since it would be less of a loss.