Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 476

A double review for you today, featuring a brand-new fountain pen I showed at the last meeting, and one that I showed back in December. We were house-sitting at my in-laws' place last month, so all of the photos in this write-up were taken in their spacious backyard on a sunny March afternoon!

Let's start with the green/clear Platinum pen....

(all photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)

In 2021, Platinum came out with a line of six limited edition fountain pens for their highly-popular 'Preppy' line called the 'Preppy Wa' series. The pens all had clear caps, but six different barrel designs that were inspired by traditional Japanese patterns. They were so popular that Platinum came out with a second edition in 2022. Mine is the Platinum 'Preppy Wa' " Ichimatsu" Limited Edition from this second run. They've recently come out with a 3rd series of the 'Preppy Wa' fountain pens--a Maki-e line---which looks very attractive, but I haven't bought one yet.

This green version with small black squares is the "Ichimatsu" model, and it was named after Sanogawa Ichimatsu, a famous kabuki actor whose costumes incorporated this pattern. The pattern of the squares supposedly represents "prosperity of descendants and expansion of business".
Though it's a very inexpensive fountain pen, it features Platinum's patented "Slip and Seal" cap design that keeps the nib from drying out for a year (or longer) when not in use. It came with a 0.3mm Platinum-branded steel nib, and is a smooth and very dependable writer  --  it always starts up without any priming. It's very light (around 11 grams empty)... and light on the wallet, too -- I got mine from Buchan's Kerrisdale Stationery
for $8 CAD (a couple of hours before our March meeting :)

Next up --the small black pen...

The Aliexpress seller's listing for this compact black metal fountain pen described it as "Luxury Metal Fountain Pen Pocket Ink Pen". There is no manufacturer's name anywhere on it, but I discovered that the maker is Delike (earlier versions came with Moonman packaging), and I *think* the pen is made of brass with a black oxide coating (the seller just said it was made of "metal" lol). According to one person on FPN (The Fountain Pen Network), the manufacturer calls this model " 混元 " … and further they call the black model finish " 元氣 " and the plain brass finish " 元極 ".

Unlike some other Delike all-metal pens (e.g. the Delike 'Elements' models---which are slightly-longer Kaweco 'Liliput' clones--- or the Delike 'Alpha' pens---slightly longer Kaweco 'Sport' clones), this particular Delike pen I'm reviewing today doesn't appear to be a copy of any other maker's least none that I'm aware of. Huzzah!

I ordered mine with a "F (0.5mm)" steel nib and it cost me a total of $15.38 CAD ($13.39 + $1.99 shipping). The pen came in a simple, narrow orange cardboard box with the words "Business Gift Pen" written on it. I've seen more elaborate packaging
(Delike-branded tin boxes and wooden presentation boxes) used for this model, but as the pen wasn't purchased as a gift, the packaging doesn't really matter to me. There's also a plain, uncoated brass version of this fountain pen, but I'm waiting for the red version of my black pen to arrive from Aliexpress (if it arrives in time, I'll be taking it to our April 20th meeting for the "Clipless Fountain Pens" meeting theme ;)

The pen originally came with a generic black steel nib with "Iridium Point Germany" and some scrollwork engraved on it, as well as a black plastic feed. The nib wrote smoothly, but I switched it out for this iridescent Hongdian steel nib (photo above) from Etsy/eBay seller "esybuy', just to give the pen some colour.

The pen fills via a plastic mini ink converter which came already fitted onto the pen. I tried a couple of
standard international (short) ink cartridges, but they didn't fit. Interestingly, the ink cartridge that came with my Amazon 'Basic' fountain pen did fit. That Amazon pen also takes Jinhao cartridges/converters, so I tried a full-sized Jinhao converter in the Delike pocket pen and it does fit on it...but it's too long for the barrel (unless you cut off part of the Jinhao converter's turning stick).

The cap and barrel have a shallow engraving of a fine grid pattern; I don't know if it's technically a knurled surface, but it looks nice. The section's surface is slightly flared and lightly textured to enhance the user's grip.

The cap and barrel ends are both smooth and slightly domed. The cap screws onto the end of the barrel (though not as smoothly as the Kaweco 'Liliput', which I reviewed here last week), making the pen's posted length about 14.4 cm from nib tip to barrel end.

Uncapped, it's 9.9 cm or so, which is too short for most people to use unposted for any length of time. The capped length is 10.6 cm, which might be a bit too big for a pocket fountain pen (I guess it depends on how deep your pockets are
😛), but it only weighs 15.6 grams** with its converter, so it's very portable. It is a narrow pen, though, with a section diameter of 9 mm (in comparison, the Kaweco 'Liliput' section diameter is 8 mm).

** = I double-checked the weight of the pen on two different digital scales at home. After I posted this review, I checked out a few online reviews of it, and the pens in those reviews (also black, like mine) were much heavier (around 39 grams --more than double!). Those other reviews were done 1-3 years ago, so I don't know if mine is the exactly the same model as theirs (it looks exactly the same)...or if it's a newer, lighter version (made of a lighter metal??); I bought my pen as new in mid-November 2022. If I find out the answer to this mystery, I'll update this review.

The Delike is a sturdy, smooth-writing little knockabout pen with a cool look to it. The Platinum 'Preppy WA' is a dependable writer but, as it's made of plastic, it isn't nearly as durable. The total cost of both pens was under $25 CAD shipped, so they won't break the bank. 

I'll be posting a review of a beautiful modern handmade fountain pen on Friday, so please stay tuned....

(Blog post by Maja)

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