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View Full Version : Platinum #3776 Century -- Bourgogne



set2374
October 6th, 2014, 12:09 PM
Hi guys! This is my first official fountain pen review, so go easy on me. :) I am a novice to the hobby, but I have been casually collecting fountain pens for about 2 years. I tend to be drawn to Italian pens, with a couple of German and French pens thrown in for good measure. As much as I love my Italian beauties, everyone of them has had an issue (my Montegrappas never seem to write well OTB and my Visconti, while a great writer, was not assembled well even though the quality of the components is good overall). What good is a gorgeous pen if you can't write with it? After doing some research, I decided it was time to try a pen from the land of the rising sun. The styles are a little dull (Nakaya excepted), the QC and nib performance on the big three Japanese makers seem to be universally praised. So, I decided to give the Platinum 3776 Century in Bourgogne red a shot:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-pv_QuWh4Ins/VDLNsh4Ge8I/AAAAAAAAtl8/plWaGT1gdSw/w667-h889-no/IMG_20141006_131248.jpg

I bought it from a eBay seller at a nice discount and I have had the pen for a couple of weeks so far.

Nib Performance:

In addition to being my first Japanese pen, this is also my first fountain pen with a fine nib. I almost always buy medium nibs, but most of my European mediums aren't really great for editing text on crappy copy paper (which I do all the time). The 14K gold fine nib on the Century is fabulous. The ink flows beautifully. The pen has never skipped on me. While there is some feedback, it is nothing close to the feedback I have felt on European fine I have ever used so far. While pen doesn't make my hand writing look neat and attractive like some of the other pens in my collection, this is a perfect nib for getting down clear print in the margins and between the lines. It's perfect on cheap copy paper, legal pads etc. This is not a nib for someone interested in calligraphy--not much in the way of line variation or flex--but for taking notes and for use in a professional environment, it's perfect. That said, my next Japanese pen will have a medium nib. :)

Build Quality:

This is a tough area for me to rate. I am really accustomed to using heavier resin hand turned (or CNC lathed) resin bodies (often with brass sleeves) and brass pens with lacquer finishes. This Century is described as having a PMMA resin and it is probably injection molded. As such, it feels very light, but also a little cheap. That said, the body gas no rough edges and it appears to be very well finished. Unlike some cheaper acrylic pens I have had in the past, you can't find a visible injection molding line in the body or cap. The section is another story--- the line is clearly visible, which is a bit of a let down. Nevertheless, the threads are finished perfectly and the cap twists like butter--and posts securely as well. For a pen that I paid less than $120 for, I really can't complain at all.

Feed/Converter

Although I do wish Platinum used a standard international converter, the proprietary converter is really top notch. It can be a little tough to turn the job on the converter at first, but after inking it up with some Noodler's Black Eel (lubricating ink), this is no longer an issue. The converter definitely feels like it's better quality than any of the German converters I have.

Overall:

While the Platinum Century isn't the perfect pen, for the $110.00 (shipped) I paid for a BNIB pen shipped from Japan, it's a hard pen to fault. My complaints are nits at best. I definitely recommend the pen, but expect that when you're paying $110 for a new pen with a 14k nib, the manufacture is going to have cut corners somewhere. Platinum put the money in the nib instead of the presentation box and body materials. I can't fault the company for this choice. I am now curious to try a President or Sailure 1911L to see if the extra $60-70 spent buys a better pen overall.

KBeezie
October 6th, 2014, 03:51 PM
You can get that one for about $90 USD Shipped ($77 ish before shipping). http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/bunkidou-shop/item/pnb-10000-71/

I have one of those, except it cost me $72 shipped from Japan (bonus points from my previous purchase).

And the Platinum PTL-5000 is also one with a 14K nib you can get for about $52-56 (+ ~12$ shipping) from Japan, but I like the Century 3776 better, it's on par with the Platinum PTL-10000 I have with an 18K Medium Nib (which can be had for around the same price).

The 1911M I had which is pretty similar to the Century 3776's size/shape and such was about the same, not really better or worse. The Century 3776 retails for around $176 outside of Japan which puts it as more expensive than the 1911M typically is, and about the same price as the 1911L when it comes to a 14K nib (as opposed to a 21K).

Laura N
October 6th, 2014, 07:13 PM
That's a nice looking pen.

Sammyo
October 20th, 2014, 09:33 PM
I love my Platinum 3776 Century in Bourgogne. I like the way it feels in my hand and I like the slight feedback you get from the nib (mine is also a fine nib for very similar reasons!).

Thank you for this review, I actually got mine while I was in Japan. I tested a few pens alongside the 3776 Century, but that colour sold me. My niece said she like it because it looked like a vampires pen :D

I am glad you like it too, enjoy your writing and keep having fun :)

jacksterp
November 7th, 2014, 09:30 PM
Very nice review. I've been interested in this pen for sometime. Maybe someday...

Enjoy your new pen.

ProfMS
November 10th, 2014, 07:58 AM
I bought a Platinum #3776 Century in Chartres Blue with a medium nib. It's an excellent pen and in the same class as a Pilot or Sailor at a similar or even higher price. Since on the whole I prefer EF or F nibs, I wasn't satisfied with the medium nib. I sent the pen to Michael Masuyama from Warsaw to Los Angeles and asked him to ground the nib it to an italic. He did a great job. Now I am very happy with a medium italic nib and appreciate my Platinum. I wouldn't change it for any other pen.

Lady Onogaro
November 10th, 2014, 10:28 AM
I bought a Platinum #3776 Century in Chartres Blue with a medium nib. It's an excellent pen and in the same class as a Pilot or Sailor at a similar or even higher price. Since on the whole I prefer EF or F nibs, I wasn't satisfied with the medium nib. I sent the pen to Michael Masuyama from Warsaw to Los Angeles and asked him to ground the nib it to an italic. He did a great job. Now I am very happy with a medium italic nib and appreciate my Platinum. I wouldn't change it for any other pen.

I did not like the Medium nib on mine, either. I sent mine off to Pendleton Brown for his signature stub, and now I am much happier with it. I like the blue color, but I have to say that that Bourgogne color is really lovely, too. It's been tempting me to get one in that color.

Jon Szanto
November 10th, 2014, 11:04 AM
Nice review, nice pen. I purchased a 3776 "Nice" with a B nib, which was then ground to italic by Mike Masuyama. It is an absolute, go-to, everyday user pen. I love it. Writes like a dream, never dries out, comfortable size. Good stuff!

set2374
November 12th, 2014, 04:03 PM
Hi guys,

I just wanted to give an updated on my experience with the Century. I have had the pen for about three months now and it's really grown on me. I think I was unduly harsh in my criticism of the build quality. It's a light pen, but the finish and materials quality is actually very good. :) I was experimenting with a MB 146 last week and, while the 146 is a wonderful pen, I didn't feel the build quality was actually any better---although the piston filler certainly is. In fact, my experience with the MB 146 inspired me to buy a Sailor Pro Gear Realo--but I'll leave that for another story/post/review. Back the Century. . . . Even though my Bourgogne has a fine nib, it has smoothed itself out with use of the past couple of months. It still gives me some feedback, but it's not scratchy at all. It's just enough feel to let you know you're writing with a very fine nib on cheap paper (I am not one to use expensive paper for a journal. My pens are worker bees and live in a real world office environement). The fine nib on the Century is a true precision instrument. If I am going to crunch some numbers or edit in the margin of a page, the Century Fine nib is my "go to" pen!! I have yet to have a hard start or skip with it. It's just a super reliable, no-fuss kind of pen---the same as I have come to expect with good japanese cars. In fact, I like the pen so much, I bought it in black with a medium nib last month. It's been a stellar performer too. It is smoother than the fine, but a platinum medium as absolutely a fine by western standards. To demonstrate this point, please see the picture below. Where I compare the line width of my Faber Castell E-Motion (fine) against the Platinum Century with both a Fine and Medium nib:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-o_G6RTZwxjc/VGPjmBiM3hI/AAAAAAAAuAI/gww8lPwOTrs/s800/IMG_20141112_174628.jpg

IMO, the Platinum Medium writes very much like the Faber Castell Fine. The Platinum fine is probably a "extra fine" by most people's standards. I wouldn't use a Platinum fine as an every day note taker, but for number crunching, editing, billing etc., it's ideal!!! Based on these experience, I just ordered a third Century, this time in Chartres Blue with a medium nib--just because I love the color. I also bought my cousin a Century in black with a medium nib for his birthday. I found them on Engeika.com for $84.00 including the converter. At that price, this is by far the best value in fountain pens!!

Chi Town
November 13th, 2014, 01:39 AM
I have this same pen in a Broad nib and just love it as a matter of fact, one of these days I will cut the nib just have not decided what I am going to cut it to? Maybe a Left Hand Oblique??

Potter
November 13th, 2014, 08:04 AM
Just arrived from Japan today, my very new Platinum #3776 in burgundy, I've filled it with Diamine Oxblood and now I'm enjoying the soft fine nib, gives the tiniest bit of line variation. Brought direct from Japan cost 54.00 :-), UK customs cost 24.00 :-( ! Total cost 78.00, not such a bargain, but still cheaper than Cult, who want 109.00 for it.

14913

tandaina
November 13th, 2014, 09:45 AM
Customs was *half* the price of the pen? Oh my gosh I thought we had it bad in the US, I've never been hit for more than like 10% of the value of the item. Ouch, beautiful pen though! :)

set2374
November 13th, 2014, 09:55 AM
It is my understanding that, in the United States, there are no tariffs or duties on any consumer purchases less than $2,000 not intended for resale. I have imported lots of items, including jewelry, leather goods, pens (some considerably high end), and have never paid a customs duty. I have never had any issues at all, even with items of questionable legality (grey market goods and some items that turned out to be counterfeit). Our customs officials are overworked and understaffed. They are far more concerned with bombs and weapons than ascertaining the msrp of a pen to levy a duty. Obviously, other countries have different policies. So, we get to buy consumer goods, cars etc. for considerably less than most other countries, but we don't get free universal health care. :)

Btw, that diamine oxblood is really nice color. Damn you!!! Now I need to add another ink to the list. :)

tandaina
November 13th, 2014, 10:05 AM
It is my understanding that, in the United States, there are no tariffs or duties on any consumer purchases less than $2,000 not intended for resale. I have imported lots of items, including jewelry, leather goods, pens (some considerably high end), and have never paid a customs duty. I have never had any issues at all, even with items of questionable legality (grey market goods and some items that turned out to be counterfeit). Our customs officials are overworked and understaffed. They are far more concerned with bombs and weapons than ascertaining the msrp of a pen to levy a duty. Obviously, other countries have different policies. So, we get to buy consumer goods, cars etc. for considerably less than most other countries, but we don't get free universal health care. :)

Btw, that diamine oxblood is really nice color. Damn you!!! Now I need to add another ink to the list. :)

In theory? Perhaps. But everyone now and then I get hit with a "customs fee." Almost always on items over $200, but I've never ordered anything over 2k. ;-) ANd it is all personal stuff. So you *can* still see a customs bill. Usually this happens when the seller ships with a private carrier, not the postal service, never had a customs fee when using the postal service, but DHL, UPS, yup.

KBeezie
November 13th, 2014, 10:14 AM
It is my understanding that, in the United States, there are no tariffs or duties on any consumer purchases less than $2,000 not intended for resale. I have imported lots of items, including jewelry, leather goods, pens (some considerably high end), and have never paid a customs duty. I have never had any issues at all, even with items of questionable legality (grey market goods and some items that turned out to be counterfeit). Our customs officials are overworked and understaffed. They are far more concerned with bombs and weapons than ascertaining the msrp of a pen to levy a duty. Obviously, other countries have different policies. So, we get to buy consumer goods, cars etc. for considerably less than most other countries, but we don't get free universal health care. :)

Btw, that diamine oxblood is really nice color. Damn you!!! Now I need to add another ink to the list. :)

That would be correct. If under $200 it usually just passes right thru. If it's over 200-250 it *may* be subject to inspection depending on it's content, and over $2,000 almost always gets held, especially if it may be used for resell.

Essentially I've never once been charged a customs duties on imports. Britain and somewhat Canada seems to have it worse.

TMac
November 13th, 2014, 03:49 PM
Thanks for the review. I just ordered this pen in a soft fine nib and cant wait for it to arrive. Think I will fill it with Diamine Oxblood or Noodlers Red Black when it arrives.

set2374
November 14th, 2014, 12:30 PM
Another follow up. I happened visited Fountain Pen Hospital in NYC yesterday, which is a wonderful store (and the only fine pen store in reasonably close proximity to me). I test drove a few pens, including a Sailor 1911S and 1911L. I also brought both of my Platinum Centuries with me. I quite honestly blown away by the Sailor. From my perspective, the medium nib on the 1911L was as close to perfect as I have experienced. The pen is beautifully made and it really is a genuine step up from the Platinum. BTW, that's not to take anything away from the Platinum. For $100 shipped, the platinum century is a steal and still a fantastic pen. It's a true, dependable work horse. The platinum nibs provide more feedback than the sailor, but that sailor 1911L really felt like a true luxury pen. It does feel a little better made and the nibs are just gorgeous. Side-by-side with an MB 146, I have to say I preferred the experience with the sailor.

So, I am now super-excited about my incoming Sailor Pro Gear Realo. :) I was so impressed with the 1911 that I decided to cancel my order for a third Platinum Century (chartres blue) and am getting a Sailor 1911S with a medium 21k nib instead (this will be Christmas present for my wife--her first fountain pen). I am also going a little fountain pen crazy because I also bought an MB 146 on eBay yesterday. That was sort of a crazy decision. I saw one on ebay that looked nice, but the pictures were a little fuzzy and the description was lacking. The owner wasn't a pen person (describing the pen as a 149 at one point and a 146 at another and it had a "tip" that was in good condition). Most of people (myself included would pass on an add like that), but even with the fuzzy pictures, the ink window was perfectly clear, I saw no wear on the gold trip and the nib (which was the only macro), had a little dry ink, but looked good otherwise. I got the sense that this was a seller that got the pen as a gift, used it once or twice and then left it at the top of the closet for the next 10 years. The seller priced it pretty low and gave a "best offer" option, so I put in what I thought was a low ball offer (less than I paid for my Realo from Japan) and, low and behold, it was accepted. We'll call it the mystery MB, because it will either be a steal of the century of a total disaster. I am not sure I need both a sailor realo and an MB 146, so this should get interesting. I see a comparative review in my future.