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Demonstrator – Writer's Bloc Blog

Platinum Cool Fountain Pen Review

Platinum Cool Fountain Pens
Platinum Cool Fountain Pens

The Cool Fountain Pen is an attractive, affordable and enjoyable daily writing instrument from Platinum Pens of Japan. It is a demonstrator fountain pen, which means it has a clear barrel that allows you to see the inner structure of the pen, to monitor your ink levels and to admire the color of the ink inside the pen. Even the part of the ink feed that the nib is attached to is translucent as you can see in the photo below:

Platinum Cool Fountain Pen Crystal Rose - Behind the Nib
Platinum Cool Fountain Pen Crystal Rose – Behind the Nib

The plastic resin body is smooth on the outside and has a faceted interior that reflects the light as you turn the pen. The quality and weight of the plastic barrel and cap as well as the well-fitted polished chrome trim makes you feel as if you are writing with a much more expensive pen. Inside the snap-on cap is a white plastic insert that has a special job to do: it prevents ink from drying out in the nib of your pen. This means the pen can sit unused for many days, but when you take the cap off to write it works right away without a struggle.

Platinum Cool Fountain Pen - Crystal Clear, Nib & Cap Closeup
Platinum Cool Fountain Pen – Crystal Clear, Nib & Cap Closeup

The stainless steel nib on this pen has an interesting feature. According to the Platinum Pens Japan website “the nib is moderately flexible because of its shape, that the nib becomes thicker toward the tip.” When I applied pressure to the nib against the paper I could see that it would flex a little bit. The amount of pressure required to get this flex means that you probably won’t notice the flex much as you write. Maybe because I’m left-handed and have to push the nib along the page rather than pull it as someone right-handed does, this feature is kind of lost on me. It could be a “cool” nib to draw with. The nib is very sleek and modern looking with minimal engraving – only a “P” for Platinum and a tiny character indicating whether the nib is a fine or a medium. My own personal Cool fountain pen has a medium nib, which writes very smoothly, even for a lefty like myself. The Cool fine nib is quite fine – probably comparable to the extra-fine nibs of some other brands.

Left: no pressure on the nib. Right: slight nib flex when pressed against the paper.
Left: no pressure on the nib. Right: slight nib flex when pressed against the paper.

The Platinum Cool fountain pen has a cartridge/converter filling system, and is compatible with Platinum ink cartridges and the Platinum ink converter. The pen comes with an ink cartridge and the ink converter (for bottled ink) is sold separately. The Platinum ink converter has a couple of shiny gold or silver colored metal pieces on it that can be seen through the pen.

Platinum Cool Fountain Pen - Crystal Blue with Converter
Platinum Cool Fountain Pen – Crystal Blue with Converter

The Platinum Cool fountain pen weighs about 0.63 oz, it is approximately 5.5″ when it is capped, and 6″ when it is posted. Currently, this fountain pen is available in the following colors and nib choices:

Have you had the opportunity to try out a Platinum Cool Fountain Pen? What do you think of the writing experience?

Platinum Cool Fountain Pen - Group Photos

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Clearly, Demonstrator Fountain Pens are Cool!

Modern demonstrator fountain pens are clear, or partially clear writing instruments that allow you to see the inner workings of the pen. Originally, the purpose of these pens was for pen manufacturers or pen sellers to show-off the desirable mechanisms of the pen that were not normally visible from the outside. They were not meant to be sold to the public. Some old demonstrator pens were non-functioning and even had holes cut into the barrel. Eventually, clear plastics came to be used to create very limited numbers of these pens and they became sought after by collectors. Their popularity grew, and now they are commonly used by many as daily writing instruments.

There are many reasons writers are attracted to demonstrator fountain pens. It’s easy to monitor the level of your ink so you’ll know when you need to refill. If you like to use bright, colorful inks a demonstrator pen with a clear, colorless barrel really shows off your ink color. Mechanically minded engineer types like to see how all of the parts that make up the fountain pen function and it’s easier to diagnose pen problems and repair them. Others say that the transparency of these pens reminds them of a crystal.

(Aurora Optima Demonstrator with Red Auroloide Trim)

Some demonstrator fountain pens are very luxurious and are only produced as limited editions. One example is the Aurora Optima demonstrator fountain pen that is available as a limited edition of only 1936 pens, corresponding to the year in which the Optima was first introduced. Because this Optima is a clear demonstrator pen, if you look closely you might be able to spot Aurora’s hidden ink reservoir system that allows an extra page of writing when your normal ink supply runs out.

(Pilot Prera Demonstrator with Orange Trim)

If you like the handsome appearance of the Aurora Optima demonstrator but you aren’t able to splurge on such a pen, an attractive and more affordable alternative is the Pilot Prera demonstrator fountain pen. It also has a clear, colorless body with a colorful contrasting trim on the end of both the cap and the barrel. In addition to red, you can get the Prera with a variety of trim colors, and the Japanese stainless steel fine nib is great especially if you like to write with a very fine line.

(LAMY Vista Demonstrator Fountain Pen)

Since demonstrator fountain pens are clear, when they have a cartridge or converter filling system, the appearance of the converter matters. When we use the LAMY Vista, which is the demonstrator version of the popular Safari fountain pen, we like to think of the red top of its converter as the “heart” inside the pen.

(Platinum President Demonstrator with Gold Trim)

Platinum Pens thoughtfully designed the converter inside this President demonstrator fountain pen to match the color of the gold-plated trim.

(Pilot Custom 74 Demonstrator in Violet)

In addition to clear, colorless barrels, many demonstrator fountain pens are made with clear, colorful barrels and caps. I really like the pale violet color of this Pilot Custom 74 demonstrator fountain pen. It has an easy-to-use piston converter that fills with ink using just a few clicks of a button.

(TWSBI Vac 700 in Sapphire Blue)

The fact that the TWSBI Vac 700 is transparent allows you to see its cool vintage-style vac filling system in action! I love both the amber orange and sapphire blue versions of this demonstrator pen and it also comes in a mysterious smoke black.

(Platinum Preppy Fountain Pens)

Demonstrator fountain pens don’t have to be expensive. At the time of writing this post, the Platinum Preppy fountain pen allows you to give one a try for only $3.00! Other demonstrator pens that can currently be purchased for $25.00 or less include the Kaweco Sport Ice, Kaweco Sport Classic, Noodler’s Ink Ahab flex-nib pen and the Pilot Plumix student calligraphy pen.

We’ve only mentioned just a handful of the large variety of demonstrator fountain pens that are available today. What’s your favorite demonstrator fountain pen and why do you like to use it? Share your favorites with us!

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