Goulet Q&A Episode 36, Platinum Fountain Pens and Ink

Hey everyone, it’s Episode 36 of Goulet Q&A today, and I have a very special guest joining me. My lovely wife, Rachel! I know it’s always a special treat when she’s able to join me in some videos, so it was great that she was able to wiggle some room in her busy schedule to join me in showcasing Platinum pens and ink. Platinum as a brand is somewhat underrepresented, so we’re really excited to be able to shine a little light on this really interesting line of products. In fact, we actually did such a comprehensive overview of the Platinum line in question 1 that we’re working on breaking that out into its own video to make it easier to share and reference. Enjoy! 

Here are this week’s questions:

1) @ShreddyEddy- Twitter (3:58):I’m considering picking up a Platinum FP in the near future. Would you be able to quickly go over their lineup? Awesome vids!

  • Pretty big range!
  • $4 for Preppy on up to many thousands of $ for Urushi/Maki-e
  • Preppy
  • Plaisir
  • Desk Pen
  • Brush pens
  • Cool/Balance
  • 3776
  • Modern Maki-e/Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e
  • Celluloid/Urushi/Maki-e
  • President
  • other LE Maki-e and Sterling pens

2) J OC- Ink Nouveau (21:50):
I’m thinking about getting a Platinum 3776 as my first nice FP. (I use Safari and Metro now.) Two questions: What nib size would be closest to a Metropolitan F? How smoothly does the 3776 write — is this going to feel like a big enough step up to justify the cost? FWIW, I mostly take notes intermittently, rather than write full paragraphs or pages.

  • The extra-fine would be closest to a Metro F
  • check out Nib Nook
  • Not super-smooth
  • Platinum’s pens aren’t the smoothest, even the really, really expensive stuff
  • They’re not scratchy, just toothy
  • It’s by design, the nibs are toothy and stiff, that’s just how they do them

3) Bryan- email (25:58):

What is the best way to clean the Platinum highlighter and marker tips? Soaking them in water sometimes seems to ruin them. 

  • soaking is pretty much the way to clean them
  • not sure what exactly you mean by ruined, and how it’s the soaking that’s doing it
  • these tips don’t last forever and don’t clean out that well, which is why they sell replacements

4) Charlie V- email (27:12):
I saw in your newsletter that the ultra-extra-fine nibs are now available in the Chartres Blue and Bourgogne pens, what about the music nibs? Are they coming anytime in these pens? 

  • Music nibs should be coming in these pens later this summer/fall
  • No official dates yet, but we know they’re working on it

5) John D- email (28:18):
I can’t stand all the junk on the Platinum Preppy pen barrel. I’ve gotten some of what appear to be Preppies in my Noodler’s 4.5oz ink bottles, but they don’t have any logo of any kind. Can I get these, or can I remove the logo from my Preppy to look like this?

  • not sure how Noodler’s gets these, must be before they have logos put on
  • removing the logo isn’t easy
  • sanding/polishing
  • rubbing alcohol (danger of damaging pen)

6) Arsenil C.- Facebook (30:54):
Hi Brian! I have a 3776 Century with a Fine nib. And sometimes (rarely) it skips on upward motion and straight horizontal lines. This happenes with Platinum Blue-Black ink, Diamine Damson and Diamine Twilight. Only with Diamine Ancient Copper there was no skipping at all, but it is a pretty lubricated ink as it seems. Is this nib supposed to be so dry? My Lamy Safari extra-fine seems 2-3 times wetter. But i like a thin line that my Century puts on paper. Any recommendations?

  • The pen might be writing a little drier
  • It’s hard to say if your rare amount of skipping is normal or not, sounds like it might be
  • paper could come into play here, too
  • Lamy nibs definitely are wetter
  • stick to inks that don’t skip, unless the skipping is seldom enough it doesn’t bother you
  • Could try diluting inks slightly, though test in small batch first 

7) Richard F.- Facebook (34:56):
I got my 3776 with a Music nib. Do you know if they plan on offering separate nib units so that if you also want to write in fine, for example you don’t need to buy a whole new 3776?

  • haven’t heard of any plans of Platinum doing this
  • hasn’t been feasible in previous models, needed special tools to pull the nibs
  • the Century is easier to swap nibs, friction fit

8) Gordon C.- Facebook (36:19):
Hi Brian, I’ve been wondering since purchasing my first Platinum Preppy pen: are their cartridge inks also available as bottled inks? If so, do you carry that range of inks? More specifically, is there a bottled version of their purple ink? I love Noodler’s Purple Heart, but it’s a more muted hue, and I also really enjoy the vibrancy of my purple Preppy. [Alternatively, is there a bottled ink from another brand that would work as a close match? PR Plum looks close-ish, based on your Ink Swabs…). Thanks in advance – really enjoying your Q&As!

  • Only bottles inks are Black, Blue-Black, and Red
  • No bottled purple
  • Purple Heart definitely is more muted, by design (to match the Badge of Military Merit from George Washington)
  • Can’t honestly say what the best ink match is, use the Swab Shop which you’ve already done! 

9) Mate F.- Facebook (39:31):
How does the 3776 compare to the Pelikan M200 and Pilot custom 74?

  • Similar price ranges
  • Pelikan m200
    • piston-fill
    • smaller steel nib, but writes well
    • smaller pen overall
  • Custom 74
    • similar in size to 3776
    • smoother nib
    • softer nib
    • larger ink capacity with Con-70 converter
    • fewer nib sizes though, F, M, B only
  • 3776
    • gold nib, but stiff
    • not scratchy, but intentionally toothy nib
    • many nib options, ultra-extra fine, extra fine, fine, soft fine (on black), medium, broad, music (stub) on some
    • slip-n-seal cap (on Century models), won’t dry out
    • exotic materials like celluloid, urushi lacquer, maki-e, 

10) 林理谙– Facebook (42:35):
Can I buy 10-20 preppies at a discount? I guess I’m about the only person to want 10-20 preppies, so it’d probably not sell well, though.

  • Preppy Rainbow Package Set– one of each 7 color, $24.95 instead of $27.65
  • not typical to have quantity discounts on pens
  • email info@gouletpens.com for special requests, we’ll talk it out

11) Eli C.- email (43:53):
Is it normal to see ink in the part where I’m holding my Platinum Preppy? Why is this there?

  • yes, this is normal! 
  • fins in the feed help regulate ink flow with changing writing speeds
  • same as every other pen, you just usually don’t see it! 

12) Kevin L.- Facebook (46:30):
I received a sample of Platinum Ink in Earth Brown recently thanks to the efforts of Caitlin and Katy of Goulet Pens{ they are first cabin all the way!}. What does the no mix designation mean as far as the ink properties go? It writes great in my X450 and has a great color on paper Keep up the great work!!

  • “Mix Free” doesn’t mean “don’t mix”, it means “feel free to mix me”

13) Rebekah H.- email (48:42):
What is so special about Platinum Mix Free

  • 9 colors all designed with identical properties for mixing together for custom colors
  • also has dilution liquid (clear ink) for lightening a given color 

14) Matthew B.- Facebook (50:03):
How does Platinum Carbon Black compare to something like Isaac Newton from organic studio?

  • both pigmented inks
  • PCB is the go-to ink for artists doing any watercolor/ink washing
  • Isaac Newton doesn’t seem to be quite up to par, though we haven’t tested in thoroughly ourselves

15) Ray G.- email (52:13):
I’ve seen something called the Platinum cartridge adapter. What the heck is this? 

  • it allows standard international cartridges to fit on Platinum pens
  • pretty simple and kind of expensive for what it is, but it works and is only available in this specific product

16) Dennis B- email (55:50):
Do you know when (or if) the remaining two lakes of Mt Fuji will be given their own Platinum #3776 Century special editions, like the Motosu, Shoji, and Sai? 

  • It’s been coming out each summer so far
  • just yesterday, Platinum Japan’s website said that this year’s pen will be announced July 20
    • will not be part of the 5, but a new concept
  • not sure what this means for the 4th and 5th, maybe they’ll pick it back up next year

Thanks to everyone who asked such great questions this week, keep them coming! Next week will be an Open Forum again, so go ahead and ask whatever you want in the comments below. Be sure to check out previous Goulet Q&A’s if you’ve missed any of them. Have a great week!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

2017-10-11T14:04:38+00:00 June 20th, 2014|Goulet Q&A|16 Comments
  • lindsay

    #8 Monteverde purple!

  • Giovanni’s Roomba

    #13 Platinum Mix Free inks are SO MUCH FUN. I bought the sampler set from Goulet (all nine colours, ten empty vials with labels, and a syringe) and had days of enjoyment making my own inks, which I use all the time. Keep a notebook of swabs for future reference! (One part Smoke Black with two parts of Cyclamen Pink makes a terrific blackberry-jam purple.)

  • Mark

    I like Rachel being in these videos, but where's the green goober dropper desk toy that's always there?

  • Soo Lee

    I've missed having Rachel around! Watching the two of you interact reminds me of the good old days of Write Time.

    A question for next year's open forum, for both Brian and other watchers of Q&A: any thoughts on using "expensive" fountain pens in daily life, particularly outside home? Most of my best pens are used as desk pens, and I find myself reluctant to use them when I'm out and about. (This might be even worse because I generally work from home.) Of course, expensive is a relative term, because I'm sure lots of non-fp people think paying $15 for a pen is ridiculous.


  • Craig W

    I also have a question for next week. I know how much you love your pilot custom 74 and pilot do a ton of pens/nibs that don't make it outside of Japan. If you were going to Japan what would make it onto your wish list; brands, pens, nibs, ink or paper?

  • John

    I have removed the labeling on two Preppies with nail polish remover and a little elbow grease. Works perfectly. I did the same a while back with a Bic disposable fountain pen, with the same excellent result.

  • Giovanni’s Roomba

    I used very fine sandpaper to take the writing off a couple of Preppys. It left them with a nice matte ground-glass finish, but in the end I decided it wasn't worth the effort and left the rest of them (I have about a dozen) as they were.

  • Tom Johnson

    I love seeing Rachel join you on the video. She's great and you both are great together. But, if you have a lot of questions to cover, it does take longer with two than one. I'm retired so longer videos are not a problem with me. Write on! Great Q&A session, Platinum has a super range of pens to choose from.

  • Gordon

    I have found that non-acetone-based nail polish remover works really well – much less effort than isopropyl alcohol and leaves the barrel nice and shiny, no cloudiness at all. Only downside was the lingering aroma (it was lilac scented)… But the smell washed off ok!

  • Meg

    Here's a question for next week: I'm pretty new to the fountain pen world and now that I've got some "cheaper" pens in my arsenal I'll be ready soon to add a more expensive pen to my repertoire. I know I want a gold nib, and I'm looking at the Lamy 2000, the Pilot Vanishing Point, and the Pilot Custom 74 but I am having a hard time deciding between the three. I really love my Pilot Metropolitan so am leaning towards one of the Pilots so far, but the timeless design of the 2000 really draws me as well. I have a Safari and do like it though I find it a bit big. Any suggestions to help my choice?

  • TJ

    Meg, I have the Lamy 2000 and the Vanishing Point. Love them both, but the Vanishing Point is somewhat heavy and big. The 2000 goes with me everywhere, the VP sits in my pen case and gets used at home (used to sit on my desk at work). Both great writers. 2000 holds more ink, VP cartridge holds a lot for a cartridge (I refill the cartridge). I want to see what Brian says comparing them to the Custom 74 when he answers your question.

  • Ranger Smith

    Here's a question for this week's open forum: I am a National Park Ranger stationed at Crater Lake National Park and am looking for an ink to match the stunning blue waters of the lake. Do you have any suggestions? Also, thank you for all the great work that you and your team do!

  • Adrian Castillo

    I like the synergy between you two– each of you have different approaches. I think you actually have options. Brian alone, Rachel alone, and then some forums with both of you. And even though you did talk over one another, I think that will decrease the more episodes y'all do together.

    And, it was Brian's fault. (The long video). Lol.

  • Morames

    I talked to someone who has seen the shipping form of the Neponset and what I was told is this, it'll be out in the next week or two, made of ebonite, and only have one nib style. More than that I do not know, but some people have been waiting 2 years for this pen to be released. Oh, MRSP $75.00.

  • Morames

    I have a question for this week's Q&A. Brian, I know you love your Pilot Custom 74, I want to hear more about why you like the Custom 74 vs the Heritage 92 and the Custom 823. I know they have different fill systems, but what is it that you are most attracted to? I'm trying to figure out what pen to save up for and I love my metropolitan fine nib.

    I love watching Brian's videos, but when Brian and Rachel get together, it's a whole new level of fun and banter. I think rabbit trails can take us to interesting topics and stories. Please keep the dynamic duo going on the Q&A's.

  • Drew Walker

    A question for next weeks open forum:

    My TWSBI 580 is frequently collecting lots of ugly ink drops in the cap with Private Reserve Tropical Blue especially, but also most other inks. Is this a problem that can be mitigated? Or am I just gonna have to deal with it?

    Also, what kind of television shows do you two like to watch at home?