Backward compatibility.

Who knew it mattered for pens? We like it in our tech, version 2.0 absolving the sins of 0.9, bringing the past into the future with fonts smoothened and engines rewritten.

Platinum has a line of inexpensive fountain pens branded “Preppy.” They have steel nibs and see-through plastic bodies. Preppy ink cartridges come in violet, yellow-orange, green, and other colors marketing-approved for youth appeal. When a Preppy cartridge I bought a couple of months ago fit precisely into a Platinum long-short pen that last saw manufacture in the 1960s, I felt a pinch of wonder. That’s forty years of bore and lathe and plastic extruders machined to the same specifications. In a world where clothes, cellphones and relationships are disposable, this is either the ultimate metaphor for steadfastness, or  bullheadedness. Take your pick.