A few days ago, just before launching their newly renovated website, Goulet Pens added the PTL-5000A; a Platinum fountain pen with a 14k nib that retails for less than half the price other gold nib pens. I was hesitant at first, since the style was not what I usually go for with fountain pens, but my curiosity got the better of me. It usually does. Lets take a look at the oddly named PTL-5000A from Platinum Pen Co.
What’s in the Box?
The PTL-5000A ships in a simple cardboard box and includes a lone cartridge of blue/black ink. Though not included, converters are available for an extra $7.50. The pen also includes a simple instruction manual illustrating where to install the cartridge or converter.
The PTL-5000A is a fairly standard looking pen without much in the way of interesting accents or unique finials. The smooth resin body, grip, and cap are all finished in glossy black with gold colored accents. The branding on the pen is minimal, but present in gold lettering around the cap; “PLATINUM” on one side and “JAPAN” on the other.
The first I took note of when picking up this pen was it’s weight. Coming in at just 0.3 ounces, this is by far the lightest fountain pen I’ve ever used. For reference, the Sakura Pigma Micron weighs in at just 0.28 ounces, and the Lamy Safari at 0.6 ounces. This is a very light pen.
In terms of overall design, the PTL-5000A is very simple; a smooth rounded barrel, cap, and grip with a very slight curve as a finger rest at the front. The pen measures up at 4.8 inches when writing (5.7 inches if posted), which is very close to the size of the Twsbi Eco and the Karas Fountain K. It feels much smaller though, due to its fairly narrow barrel measuring just 0.4 inches for the grip’s diameter.
The PTL-5000A utilizes a small 14kt gold nib, which is available in Medium, Fine, and Extra Fine tip widths. Keeping consistent with Japanese line widths the fine nib is very narrow, putting down a 0.3 to 0.5 millimeter line. The line width is very comparable to the Pilot Metropolitan’s fine nib.
One of the key reasons to use a gold nib over steel is the flexibility of the softer metal. The Platinum’s 14kt nib is by no means a “flex nib,” but it does have a noticeable amount of springiness when writing. A small amount of pressure can be applied on the page to produce some line variation, and the nib will bounce right back into place. Even when writing normally, the nib has an observable “give” on the down-stroke.
Using The Pen
In researching gold nib pens, I read that most people find Platinum nibs to be very fine and very scratchy. The PTL-5000A is no exception. There is a considerable amount of feedback with the pen on most types of paper, and this is particularly present if you write with more pressure to flex the tines. The fine point nib also digs into paper a bit when the tines split, leaving tracks and indentation on the back of thinner pages.
The feed keeps ink flowing pretty consistently under most writing conditions. I would rate this Moderate on the flow scale, as there is some shading noticeable with Kon Peki even on such fine lines. I have only had one or two instances of “railroading” where the ink flow has trouble keeping up with the line variation.
My first impressions of the PTL-5000A were a little lack-luster. The pen is light and almost fragile feeling, the smooth round grip feels a little slippery, and the overall style is a little too “executive” for my tastes. After spending some time with the pen as a daily writer and getting used to the feel of the grip and nib, I find myself reaching fore it more often than my two favorite pens: the Twsbi Eco and the Karas Pen Co. Fountain K.
Users who prefer an incredibly smooth writing experience may not want to go any smaller than the Medium nib. On every brand of paper I’ve tested, the PTL-5000A’s fine nib has a bit of a scratchy or toothy feel. Personally, I prefer a bit of tactile feedback in my writing, but there was a bit of a break-in period for me to get used to the nib and adjust my writing pressure and position for comfort. But overall, that was more of a speed bump than a roadblock.
I’ve been on the lookout for my first gold nib pen for some time now, and this one really came out of left field. I’ve been narrowing down other brands, mapping expenses, and allocating funds for a larger purchase. An investment. But then Goulet Pens started advertising a gold nib pen for less than half the price I was willing to pay and well, how was I supposed to say no to that? Granted, if you’re coming off the unique look of a Twsbi, or the vibrant colors of a Lamy, the Platinum PTL-5000A doesn’t make a very strong first impression. BUT! But. This pen has really grown on me. The ink flows smooth, the nib is responsive and comfortable, and you literally cannot beat that price at $64. And this is coming from someone who actively avoids the traditional “black pen with gold trim” look.
If you’re curious about gold nibs, Platinum pens, or you want something that writes well and looks good in meetings, check out the Platinum PTL-5000A at Goulet Pens!
Disclaimer: The product in this review was purchased by The Poor Penman for the purpose of review and to feed the addiction. All opinions stated are those of the author.