It is now close on a year since I joined the masses and put in my order for a Platinum Curidas in Urban Green. It should be noted I was not caught up in the initial hype but rather garnered interest over time as I started to hear feedback from friends who’d been early adopters. As with so many the feed on mine cracked around one of the nib securing wings and while Cult Pens were happy to swap it for another pen or give me a refund I decided to keep it as the crack did not affect the writing nor ownership experiences and there was no guarantees Platinum had fixed the issue with newer pens, in fact I still do not know if this design flaw is still in place.
Back last June, after a month of use, I gave this pen a favourable review, even with the cracked feed. Thing is while sitting on my desk for much of the time since, it has not seen the greatest amount of use as new pens have come in and reviews gone out. One of the selling points of the pen was prevention of ink evaporation. Whilst not matching the 2+ years of the CLICK+SEAL capped pens (3776 Century, Procyon, Plaisir, Prefounte, and Preppy) (according the the 2021 Platinum catalogue), Platinum still claimed it would retain 25% of it’s ink after being left alone for 12 months. Question is did I see evidence of this. Also over time does this pen hold up as well as the Pilot Vanishing Point/Capless and Lamy Dialog 3?
So the good news is the cracking on the feed has not got any worse and when inked the pen still writes well. Additionally it still fits the role of a quick note taker and for me the clip and inner cap trap do not get in the way.
Just two lines and alas I’m on to those areas where the pen no longer work quite as well as when new. Before I get on to an issue that also beset the Lamy in it’s early days and the Vanishing Point for years, I must cover the mechanism. Any complexity is at the front where there is an additional weaker spring which is used to keep pressure on the inner cap and thus preserve the seal. Now as a whole this always works, however not smoothly. Opening is fine, but on closing the inner cap seems to stick for a couple of seconds before audibly completing it’s closure. Watching closely with a back light it appears the nib does not retract quickly enough and this is trapping the lid momentarily (video clip near the bottom of this article). I can only think that the main spring may have lost some of it’s strength, not enough to stop opening/closing functionality, but just enough to lose a little efficiency. Thing is, if I am correct, then I do not see a way round this aside from replacing the spring. After all when little used it means the spring is under minimal pressure for longer than when the pen is in regular use. This also leads to ink splatters within the opening of the Curidas, though only cosmetic in nature and never enough to cause dripping on to the paper.
Some reviewers have commented about the pen being fiddly to re-assemble after refilling. There’s been a few times where I have found the knock to drop and become stuck in the barrel, requiring some shaking and fiddling to pop it back out again. Note when this happens, simply trying to screw the back section on to the barrel does not result in the button being pushed back out as the part is too short to reach the threads (see photo just below). From what I can tell it is the mechanism for locking the pen open or closed that is getting caught on the start of it’s guides. If these tracks were just a few mm longer the problem would not exist. I have also once put the pen back together to find it would not open. I’m not sure why this happened and removing the inner unit then reassembling the pen fixed the issue.
And now for the bad. The sealing mechanism does not work. I find the nib will dry out within just two to three days if left unused, and as for the quoted 75% ink loss over twelve months, well forget that. I’m lucky if I can leave the pen for 30-40 days without all the ink evaporating away. I’ve asked around and it seems I’m far from the only person to be in this situation. Thing is the Curidas is not the only retractable fountain pen to have this issue. The original Lamy Dialog 3 was so bad that Lamy not only withdrew the pen from sale but they completely redesigned the opening/sealing mechanism and replaced the original pens for free. Pilot, if anything, were far far worse. There are plenty of reports of people finding their Vanishing Points to hard start, having a dried out nib, and the ink to evaporate away quickly. It was as if this was a design flaw, not a rare occurrence, and while this now does seem to have been resolved, it took them about 25 years to do so.
So what we have here is a flawed pen, one which shows signs it was rushed out to satisfy senior management as most/all of the issues should be fixable. Question is will Platinum be willing to spend the effort for a low end pen. When you look at their catalogue it does not exactly stand out and I suspect the range will quietly dropped within a few years, which is a shame as I think the Curidas has the potential to be a better pen than it’s Pilot rival.
Thing is after a year am I happy or do I regret buying this pen. As some one who seems to regularly add and occasionally remove pens from his collection this Curidas suffers from the problem that it’s not a ‘must grab’ pen, but rather a nice to have, and as a result it is not often used and when it is there is normally the frustration of having to refill the pen. I think if I had just a few then it would get used a lot more. The fact that the vast majority of my comments have been negative actually give a slightly false impression of this pen. I do not regret getting it and even if the feed had not cracked it would not be on my list of pens to sell, however at the same time the issues do make it hard for me to recommend this pen to others. I should add that, while happy enough with it, if I did not already own a Curidas and knew the common issues then I doubt I would add one to my collection.
While still available in the UK for £75 (the launch price) I noticed while writing this article that Luxury Brands Of America have dropped the Curidas from their Platinum USA website.