Platinum is one of the “big three” Japanese fountain pen manufacturers, established in 1919 by Syunchi Nakata. The 3776 model, was launched in 1978 and is named “3776” after the height of Mount Fuji (Fuji-san) in metres. Platinum is also the “little sister” to the Nakaya (which is actually the original name of the Platinum Pen company before it changed its name to Platinum in 1928).
History lesson over, the Platinum 3776 Bourgogne features a dark red transparent body, trimmed in gold. The key feature of this series is Platinum’s slip and seal mechanism, which prevents ink from drying out in the pen for up to 24 months. This airtight cap makes it perfect (in my mind) for plane travel – according to my logic, airtightness makes it leak-proof, although I’m not sure if that is fact or just an assumption on my part.
The Platinum 3776 sports a nib very similar to that found in the much higher end Nakaya fountain pens, albeit with less decoration. I find the Platinum nibs to have a little more feedback, especially the medium, compared to that in Nakaya, but having said most of the Nakayas I own were purchased through nibs.com (Classic Fountain pens) who tune their nibs before shipping out, so it may be due to the tune. Despite that, the writing experience is extremely similar to that found in Nakaya, so for those of you who don’t want to shell out for a Nakaya, this makes for an extremely cost effective alternative.
The Platinum 3776 is available in 8 nib options, from your standard F, M, B up to a music nib and with options for a soft nib as well, so there’s really something for everyone. I originally purchased this in a Broad, but loved it so much I wanted a finer addition, hence the purchase of this in Medium. If you don’t fancy a red pen, the 3776 style comes in demonstrator, white, green, black and blue – just to name a few options. Every few months or so, a limited edition is also produced and additionally, there are a few more pricey urushi/maki-e styles available as well.
The only (marginal) downside with this pen is the quality of the converter, which is not brilliant – usually with a stiff piston and feels a little flimsy. The ink capacity is quite small on this converter which may bother some, although I’m not too fussed as I enjoy changing my inks quite regularly.
I’ve talked before about how much I enjoy using this pen on trips, but I enjoy it generally, as well. It’s a good looking pen that is reasonably priced and well balanced. The nibs are enjoyable and reliable to use. I think this is a good entry level to the more expensive Japanese pen market, that can easily go up to 1000’s of dollars.
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