Review: Platinum 3776 Ribbed Fountain Pen

photo of the Platinum 3776 RibbedI have several Platinum fountain pens and have always enjoyed their nibs, including the inexpensive Plaisir and Preppy. The Platinum 3776 Ribbed is my latest addition although it wasn’t the pen design that I targeted, rather, I wanted the ultra extra fine nib and this was the pen I picked for the nib.

Why I Bought It

nib on the Platinum 3776 RibbedAs I mentioned, I mainly bought the nib and the pen was attached. I already have a couple regular Platinum 3776 pens so I wanted a little variation. The black w/gold trim version was readily available but I prefer something other than gold trim so I looked around a bit. I also found mention of a red version but it was at least $50 more and from unknown sellers. Plus it still had gold trim. So I opted for black w/gold trim and ordered it from nibs.com (Classic Fountain Pens) so that UEF nib would be tuned before it was sent to me. When collecting links for this post I noticed that the pen is no longer available from nibs.com and appears to be discontinued by Platinum but may still be around from other retailers and eBay.

What I Got

The pen is basic black with gold trim. The ribbed design adds some character. In theory, the ribs help dissipate the heat from the hand so it doesn’t warm the ink. Assuming the gold bands are separators they separate the ribs into a “3776″ pattern. Three on the cap above the band, then 14 (7 + 7) between the two bands, then six after the second band. My fingers never touch the bands so they don’t impact my grip although they provide a nice tactile feel when uncapping the pen. The ribs started out just being different but I’ve grown to actually like the look of the pen.

It’s a click on cap yet for some reason, even after several months of use, I still want to unscrew the cap. The 14k gold nib is solid gold in color which complements the trim color.

The pen is made of plastic and although it doesn’t feel cheap and there’s no visible seams. But it does feel like plastic. This has the benefit of making the pen nice and light.

The pen uses Platinum’s proprietary cartridges and converter. (A converter and one black cartridge were included.) There is a platinum to international adapter available although I’ve never used it.

The Numbers

  • Length Capped:  5.6015″  (142.28 mm)
  • Length Uncapped:  4.99″  (126.74 mm)
  • Length Posted:  6.5″  (165.1 mm)
  • Section Length:  0.8710″  (22.12 mm)
  • Section Diameter (near nib):  0.3865″  (9.82 mm)
  • Section Diameter (below first rib):  0.4650″  (11.81 mm)
  • Section Diameter (mid-section):  0.4025″  (10.22 mm)
  • Cap Diameter:  0.5645″  (14.34 mm)
  • Barrel Diameter (at gold band):  0.5130″  (13.02 mm)
  • Weight:  .8 oz  (22 g)
  • Weight (body only):  .5 oz  (14 g)

Using the Pen

At 5″ in length the pen fits comfortably in my hand unposted and is so light that fatigue seems nearly impossible. The pen does post securely and the cap is light so the pen is still well balanced when posted, but I prefer to not post my pens.

The first ink for this pen was the included Platinum black ink cartridge. It took about 20 minutes for the ink to reach the nib, without any added help other than keeping the nib pointing down. But that was the only time I had to wait for ink. When I replaced the cartridges there was still water in the feed so I suspect that helped the new ink reach the nib faster. The Platinum cartridges have a metal ball inside to help the ink flow. This can cause some noise as the pen moves, which can be distracting at times.

As the name implies, the ultra extra fine nib puts down a nice thin line. A light touch is all that’s needed since the ink flows well. The 14K gold nib is a bit of a contradiction. It has some spring (not flex) under pressure, but when I write normally it feels like a nail. But I like my thin nibs to imitate nails as they put down a consistent line, so I’m very happy with the nib. For such a thin nib it’s extremely smooth. I couldn’t say it’s this way out of the box or because it was tuned by John Mottishaw.

Ink flow using the converter was also very good and problem free. The large opening allows plenty of ink to reach the feed. Leaving the pen to sit unused for over a week did result in a dry nib when it was uncapped but the ink did reach the nib quickly without needing to be forced.

Due to the thin line I plan on sticking with darker inks with this pen. I have a small cache of Platinum Black and Platinum Carbon black ink cartridges so those will probably be the ink of choice for this pen in the foreseeable future.

Below is a recent writing sample comparing it to two fine nibs.

writing sample comparison

Cleaning the Pen

There’s not much to say here. The pen cleans easily. Just a couple flushes with the bulb syringe and it’s clean.

Inks Used

I used both the Platinum Black cartridge included with the pen and a Platinum Carbon Black cartridge that I already had. Both inks put down a consistently thin, dark line. The Carbon Black is a pigment based ink and didn’t have a problem with the thin nib.

I also used Rohrer & Klingner Salix in the converter. Like the other inks it was also problem free.

Wrapping Up

I’m extremely pleased with the nib and I’m glad it’s part of my accumulation. The pen has been inked since I got it in January and used regularly. It’s never failed to please me. There hasn’t been any skipping and the only hard start was after it sat unused for about 10 days. The hard start was quickly resolved as the ink reached the nib on its own. The ribbed design gives the pen some character which I like. I’d prefer silver trim but the gold is growing on me. Bottom line, this pen is a keeper.

Addtional Reading

The Pen Addict reviews the UEF nib on the regular 3776 pen.

Video at Goulet Pens reviews several Platinum nibs.

Gallery

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Favorite 5: Modern Pens

It’s been a little over six months since I first picked my Favorite 5 modern fountain pens, vintage fountain pens, and inks. In looking over those lists I find that only the Modern Pens list has significant changes, with four pens bumped off the list. In my defense, all 4 replacements are new since I published the first list. The Vintage pens and ink lists are holding up so there’s no need to update those lists.

1. Pilot Custom 823

Pilot Custom 823 not posted

The Pilot Custom 823 has the classic cigar shape that I love. The large 14K gold nib has enough spring to add to my writing enjoyment without making me feel like its talents are completely wasted on me. It’s a large pen but light and seems custom designed for my hand. Add its large ink capacity and it defines a perfect pen for me. Here’s my review.

2. Franklin-Christoph Model 66

Franklin-Christoph Model 66

The F-C Model 66 is the only holdover from my first Fav 5 list. As I said then: The design is simple, but it fits my hand perfectly and it’s a great writer. Rohrer & Klingner Blau-Schwarz is my ink of choice for this pen which I converted to an eyedropper filler. The pen wrote consistently well for over a year without needing a cleaning. I just kept topping off the ink supply. It was a strong contender for the top position but didn’t quit make it. My review is here

3. Pelikan M101N “Lizard” SE

photo of the uncapped Pelikan M101N Lizard uncappedA new acquisition that seems like it should be too small for me to appreciate. It’s one of the few pens I regularly use posted, which should also be a strike against it. Despite these two strikes I love this pen, I writes great. Here’s my review.

4. Pilot Vanishing Point Maplewood

photo of the Pilot Vanishing Point Maplewood Limited EditionThe Vanishing Points almost made the list the last time, but I wasn’t using them enough. While practical, the metal bodies weren’t all that comfortable during extended writing sessions. That all changed with the Maplewood Edition. No review yet.

5. Kaweco AL Sport Raw Aluminum

Kaweco AL Sport Raw Aluminim postedThis pen made the list simply because it’s used so much. It gets carried every day and used nearly every day, even if only for short notes. The raw aluminum has been banged up a bit since it’s a pocket carry but that gives the pen character. There’s a converter available but I’ve stuck to cartridges since they hold more ink. It’s reviewed here.

 

Wrapping Up

I’m pretty fickle when it comes to fountain pens. The ones I like the most tend to be the ones I’m using or used most recently. So I’m sure this list will be different in six months, but for now these are solidly in the top five.

 

Sunday Notes & Links

photo of the box and botle

My favorite pen/ink combination of the past week.

It was a quiet week for posts but still a busy week on FP Quest. The week ended on a high note when I listened to the latest Pen Addict podcast. I was a winner in their 100th podcast giveaway. So giveaway package #1 will be heading my way. Thanks Myke and Brad! And thanks to Anderson Pens for supplying the Taccia Staccato. And then later in the podcast I heard that FPQuest.com was Brad’s blog of the week. Thanks Again!

Speaking of 100th podcast giveaways, Anderson Pens will be having their 100th podcast on Tuesday which will include some giveaway. You’ll need to be listening so be sure to check their blog for the show time (usually Tuesday at 8PM central time). You’ll need to have sent them an entry so if you haven’t done so already you’ll have to get lucky with speedy mail delivery.

I’ve got two weeks worth of links and I’m still behind in my reading. So some of these may be a bit old but still worth reading if you missed them…

The Atlanta Pen Show was last weekend and there seems to be a lot of Pen Bloggers on that area. Brad “The Pen Addict” Dowdy wrote about the Pen Show Experience. Pen Paper Ink Letter put out a podcast about the show.

SBRE Brown has a great video about Iridium Point Germany Good or Bad.

There was also a pen show in England and A Fool With A Pen writes about his first pen show.

A Colibri Pen (Model = Mystery!) at Inkdependence

Vintage Pen Review: Conway Stewart 14 at The Pen Habit

Monteverde Poquito Fountain Pen Review at Pen Paper Ink Letter.

The Parker 51 is at That One Pen

Visconti Rembrandt Fountain Pen Review at Write To Me Often

Review: 1901FC Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic Smoke & Ice – Broad at Gourmet Pens

Travelling pens at Palimpsest

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen – Bluegreen 2014 Special Edition – Black B nib at No Pen Intended

Kaweco Allrounder Fountain Pen Quick Review at The Unroyal Warrant

Ink Reviews

Rohrer & Klingner Salix at Edjelley.com

Sailor Jentle Epinard at Pens! Paper! Pencils!

Rohrer & Klingner Verdura at The Five Cat PENagerie

Prussian Blue – Diamine Ink Review at Ink of Me Fondly

 

Ink Notes: Montblanc Jonathan Swift Seaweed Green

photo of the box and botleMontblanc is one of my favorite ink brands as it makes up three of my five favorite inks. Montblanc Jonathan Swift Seaweed Green is a limited edition ink which means it sells at a premium price. Prices vary considerably since availability is limited but I found mine for $17 for a 35 ml bottle. At 49 cents per ml this puts it solidly in the luxury ink category and about twice the proce as the standard Montblanc inks.

The ink color immediately reminded me of Montblanc Racing Green, #3 on my favorite inks list. When swabbed the ink is a little lighter than Racing Green, but when used from a fountain pen it’s a fairly close color, just a little less saturated.

Seaweed Green is not a wet, free-flowing ink. But like other Montblanc inks it’s consistent and puts down a nice line. The ink has enough water resistance so that it can still be read after having water spilled on it. Dry time was very good. I didn’t experience any feathering or bleed-through.

The color does vary quit a bit depending on the nib and paper. In my thin wet nibs the ink was noticeably darker. With drier nibs or nibs where the ink spread out more, like my broad stub the ink had more of a khaki color. I like the variety in the way the ink performs.

There was some nice line variation with both the stub nibs. There was some nice shading with the wetter nibs, when there was enough ink put down to actually shade.

Pens Used

I tested this ink a bit differently this time, skipping the TWSBI Vac 700 opting to use four different pens.

Sheaffer PFM I with a fine nib – the ink was at it’s best in this pen. While it’s a fine nib it’s the wettest nib of the bunch that I used. The ink when onto the paper with a nice dark color. Because of this the ink took as long to dry when using this pen as it did when I used the broad nib. No signs of feathering. I liked this pen/ink combo so much that it’s been my daily writer.

Esterbrook J with 1 #2442 Fine Stub – a nice consistent flow without any skipping or other problems. The ink was drier with this nob but still problem free. Drying time was less than 5 seconds.

Caran d’ Ache Geneve with a medium nib – this was the only convertor fill pen of the bunch and was a problem pen. It’s been a long time since I used the pen but it’s always been a good writer. I had flow problems mainly from the ink clinging to the convertor, but it was inconsistent from the beginning. I’ve yet to try another ink in the pen, but this was so unlike the other pens I used I’m blaming the pen. You’ll see some smudges on the Rhodia sample. This was when I had just forced ink into the feed because it was stuck in the convertor.

Pelikan M620 Shanghai with a custom broad stub – while the widest nib used, it was ground and tuned by Mike Masuyama to write on the dry side. So dry times were comparable to the PFM I fine nib.

Wrapping Up

It’s a well behaved ink with a color I like. Is it worth the premium? I bought mine at the low end of prices I’ve seen. It’s a well behaved ink with a fast drying time and pretty good water resistance so I don’t regret buying the bottle. I also like that the color varies depending on the nib used.

Additional Reading

Review on FPN

FPGeeks Inkcyclopedia

Reviewed at Inked Up and Happy

At Glenn’s Pens

Gallery

 

 

Nib Notes: Esterbrook #2442 Fine Stub

Esterbrook #2442 nib

I first wrote about the Esterbrook #2442 Fine Stub nib back in July 2013 when it was one of seven Esterbrook nibs inked up at the time. Things have changed a bit since then but it’s still an enjoyable nib. If anything, it’s become more enjoyable to use.

I previously had issues getting the writing angle just right. Maybe I’m more used to stub nibs now but I haven’t had any problems. Yes, if I get careless I can encounter skips but that usually when I’m reaching around a computer or cup of coffee to jot a quick note. Contrary to my earlier experience, the nib wrote on all the papers I used without any skipping or hard starts. It’s become common for me to empty the pen once I’m done experimenting with the nib and I’ve written the nib notes. In this case I’ll kept the ink in the pen and will write it dry.

I’d also previously thought that the term “falcon” referred to the type of stub. After more research I’ve concluded the term falcon refers to the overall nib design which is based on the older Esterbrook dip pens and not the grind of the nib. (Although there’s plenty of contradictory info in the internet.) The #2442 is also listed as “backhand writing” which means for lefties. The #2442 nib is a left oblique stub cut at an angle similar to the toes on a left foot. Like other 2xxx series nibs, it’s a steel nib without any tipping material. To get the most variation the nib has to be rotated a bit due to this angle, at least us righties need to rotate it.

The nib is currently in stock at Anderson Pens for $25 and available from several eBay sellers with BIN prices starting at $18.

side view of the Esterbrook 2442 fine stubThis nib is one of my favorite Esterbrooks, make that favorite of any nib. Despite my earlier problems, this time around the nib has been smooth and reliable. The 2314-F is still my preference as it puts down a slightly thinner line, at least with the nibs I have.

Some additional information from the Fountain Pens of Esterbrook book by Paul Hoban.

  • The 2442 nib is based upon the earlier 442 steel pen nib with was called a “Jackson Stub”. The book calls the 2442 a Falcon Stub.
  • It was one of 12 nib styles available for the Dollar pen in 1935 and cost 25 cents.
  • Based on my nib’s feed and the references in the book my particular nib was made in 1950, or later.

Additional Reading

The Well-Appointed Desk

Gallery