There are some pens within the fountain pen community that seem to come up time and time again as recommendations for a great pen. For an 'entry level' gold nibbled fountain pen the Platinum #3776 is one of those pens, so how does this pen stack up?
The #3776 I am reviewing is the 'standard' version made of their black acrylic with gold accents and a soft fine nib. It is a small pen with very classic looks, it is the kind of pen that you could use and most people would ignore but equally wouldn't look out of place in any environment. I think it looks great, reminding me of the Montblanc aesthetic, but I would have rather had the platinum trimmed version of the same pen as I think it looks even better. This pen will still look good in 20 years, it certainly isn't a fashion item.
The clip is a simple affair, looking elegant with a fair amount of useful spring. Around the cap there is a band with '#3776 Platinum MADE IN JAPAN' engraved and the finish of the cap is superb. The black plastic is polished nicely and has no obvious defects.
Uncapped the pen is rather small and for my hands pretty much unusable, but it posts securely and when you do so is perfectly balanced in the hand. I didn't get any hand fatigue in use and the lightness makes it suitable for extended writing sessions. There is a step from the barrel to the grip section and this is my biggest gripe with the pen, the step is rather sharp and leads straight to some screwthreads which are also on the pointy side. If you grip higher on the pen this could be a problem. The section itself is nice in hand, on my pen I could see the mold lines along the grip and this was the worst finish on the pen taking it down a notch in quality.
I fancied trying a soft nib with this pen as the soft-fine nib is rather well reviewed by others. I have many a nib with a nice soft bounce and this one fitted well within the performance window of my experience. It wrote nicely, if a little dry, but I found that I needed to put more pressure than I normally do to get a reasonable result. It wrote with a very fine line up to almost a Japanese medium, so line variation was possible. Overall I just didn't get along with this specific nib, I may have gotten a duff one, as it gave too much feedback and writing with it was harder work than I want from my writing instruments.
The nib is made with 14k gold, is rather simple and elegant, in keeping with the rest of the pen aesthetic, but with a heart shaped breather hole that is a nice detail and looks excellent.
Overall this pen is a bit of a mixed bag for me. The barrel to grip section step was sharper than I like and this specific nib didn't suit my style but it looked amazing and if you post the pen and grip it closer to the nib it was excellent in hand. Then there is the cost, for £99 you get a pretty well made gold nibbled pen that has a good range of nibs available as standard. This is much better value than Pilot pens in the UK. Since penning this review I have swapped this pen for a Pelikan and find myself missing the aesthetic of this pen but not the writing performance. I will probably look to add a new one into my collection with a standard fine nib at some point but it isn't high on my list.
Where to Buy:
I received a generous discount on this pen by Cult Pens who supported this blog. Their service is superb, prices keen and offers pretty great and I recommend using them for all your pen, paper and accessory needs. They do a wide range of #3776 models and nibs so check them out. My opinion of this pen would be the same even with Cult Pens support.