01 November 2010


Pen review. Platinum Glamour (PGM-3400).

Jumbo pens were a very Japanese product popular in the thirties and forties. The point of their oversized dimensions was to make them comfortable for older people with problems to grab thin –or regular sized— pens. After the war, these pens lost the favor of the market, although they remained on production in small quantities, sometimes intended as souvenirs.

Today’s pen appeared in the Platinum catalog sometime in the seventies. The argument, the company said, was “ergonomically designed for extended writing periods”. Dating the pen precisely, however, does not seem that easy: the nib has a small engraving with the figure 1262, which means December of Showa year 62, i. e. December 1987.

Looking at this pen, we cannot help thinking of the already reviewed Tombow Zoom 828 (the “Egg”). These two pens, though, are not real jumbo pens—they are not overly big but just thick.

1. Appearance and design. (7.0/10)
This Platinum Glamour looks indeed original—short and thick, and with a rugged body. In black plastic and golden rings, this pen seemed to be bounded to become a classic Montblanc-like torpedo, but the rugged surface gives the pen an original appearance.

Now, whether this design appeals to your personal taste is a different matter. I, for one, am not very fond of its looks.

2. Construction and quality. (9.0/10)
The plastic seems of good quality and despite the age of this pen, it does not show much wear. Cap and body fit well both capped and posted.

3. Weight and dimensions. (7.5/10)
This is a short and thick pen. Too short to use it comfortably if unposted. The thickness provides a very comfortable grip.

Diameter: 19 mm
Length capped: 100 mm
Length uncapped: 87 mm
Length posted: 126 mm
Weight: 27 g

Despite its weight, this pen is very nicely balanced when posted, and this configuration seems the only one apt for writing given its dimensions.

A major disadvantage of this pen is also given by its generous girth—this makes it uncomfortable to carry in any shirt pocket.

4. Nib and performance. (8.0/10)
This pen existed both with gold-plated steel and with solid gold nibs. This one in particular has a 14 K gold medium nib. Interestingly enough, this Platinum nib has the point indication in alphabetic characters, contrary to the usual policy of the company, save for music nibs.

This nib is very smooth and quite wet. At the same time, it is a hard nail with no hint of flex or line variation.

5. Filling system. Maintenance. (8.0/10)
This Platinum pen uses, interestingly enough, short international cartridges instead of those made by the company. Re converters, only those short aerometric ones might fit inside this short barrel.

The barrel is made entirely in plastic, molded in one single piece and with no metal part in touch with the ink. Therefore, there seem to be no problem in transforming this pen into an eyedropper of very generous ink capacity.

Nib and feed can easily be extracted by yanking them out of the section. Therefore, maintenance and cleaning of this pen are very easy.

6. Cost and value. (6.0/10)
This pen is becoming expensive in the second hand market. It is indeed a very nice writer, reliable and dependable. But I wonder how much we are actually paying for the unusual looks. A bit too much, I think.

7. Conclusion. (45.5/60 = 76/100)
As already stated, this is a nice writer in an unusual outfit. Comfortable and well balanced in its main task—writing. The negative elements are the stiff nib, even if pleasant, and the price.

(Platinum Glamour – Waterman Havana)

Bruno Taut
(Tokyo, October 25th, 2010)
[labels: Platinum, Japón]

1 comment:

anele said...

La verdad es que el concepto es sumamente práctico aunque estéticamente no destaque en absoluto, pero precisamente son estas rarezas las que más suelen gustar a los coleccionistas.

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