Review: Platinum #3776 Century Bourgogne

Platinum #3776 Century BourgnoneI’ve had the Platinum #3776 Century Bourgogne since December. It’s had a Platinum Brown ink cartridge in it since then but it’s gotten very little use. This has been a good test of the “slip & seal” cap that prevents ink evaporating from the nib. I can’t say it meets the claim of preventing evaporation for a year, but it was untouched for a full month and wrote immediately when it touched the paper. Since then it’s only been used every week or two when I write the samples and it’s worked first time, every time. Until now that is. I’ve been using it as my primary writer for the past few days.

This is the Burgundy (which is bourgogne in French) version with a Fine nib. The pen is listed as made of resin which sounds better than plastic. Plastic is a resin so the plastic feel of the pen isn’t surprising. It does feel like a better quality plastic than the Sailor Clear Candy I reviewed recently and the color is gorgeous with a depth to it.

I really like the burgundy color which has a nice translucence that adds some depth to the color. The gold trim also works well with the dark burgundy in my opinion. It’s a simple, but classic design which I like.

The pen has a 14K gold nib that’s a smooth writer. There’s no hint of feedback and flow is consistent and smooth. It put down a fairly wet, but thin line. It’s not a gusher, but there’s never a even a hint that the pen can’t keep up.

The pen takes a proprietary cartridge or converter so there’s no swapping with other brands. That is a bit of a downside although if it helps provide better ink flow it’s worth it. The cartridges contain a little metal ball which moves around in the cartridge to mix the ink. I can sometimes hear the metal ball moving inside the pen. I don’t find it annoying and it’s really soft, but it might annoy some people. The converter wouldn’t have this issue of course.

The pen should clean easily with one caveat (so far I’ve only done an initial flush before inking it up for the first time). The cartridge/converter sits fairly deep inside a metal collar when it’s inserted onto the feed. This makes it tough to force water through. My existing bulb syringes don’t form a good seal over the feed. Once I have an empty cartridge I’ll cut the top off and will be able to use it for cleaning. That collar is metal so using the pen as an eye dropper fill isn’t an option.

As for price, they’re currently selling for about $176. When you consider gold nibs typically command a $90-125 premium over a steel nib on the same pen it’s not such a bad price. While the pen is plastic resin, it does feel like a quality pen. Add a great writing nib to that and I think it’s worth the price. If you insist on a gold nib then it’s a great price. I do have steel nib pens that are smooth writers so from that point of view the price is competitive.

The pen feels comfortable while writing. It’s a nice light pen. The ink flows easily from the nib so no pressure is needed. Long writing sessions aren’t tiring at all. They cap can be posted and the pen is still light and well balance. But that’s from someone who doesn’t post pens.

Overall, a nice pen that I’m glad to have in my accumulation.

Gallery

These Just In: A Couple Platinum 3776 Century Pens

Among my year end pen arrivals were two Platinum 3776 Century pens. I’ve been curious about Platinum pens since I learned they still make their own nibs. I also like the style of the pens. So I pulled the trigger when prices seemed to drop a bit at the end of the year. At least they were lower than the last time I checked.

I got the Platinum 3776 Century Bourgogne (Burgundy) with a fine 14kt gold nib and the Platinum 3776 Blue Chartres with a extra fine 14kt gold nib.

Why I Bought the Pens

Mainly to try the Platinum nibs but I also like the translucent nature of the colors and the traditional cigar shape of the pens.

First Impressions

The look of the pens varies depending on the light, especially with the blue pen. Sometime the Chartres Blue appears black, while the Bourgogne has less of a color range. There’s metal inside the barrel so use as an eye dropper is out. These aren’t really see through so the convertor or cartridge doesn’t look bad. But it might be cool to see the translucence with a half full barrel of ink sloshing around in there.

The pen is light, especially since I write without posting the cap. It can be posted although the cap would just be held on by friction and I’d always be concerned about marring the finish.

The Bourgogne didn’t include a convertor, just a black ink cartridge. I did order a convertor, but from a different vendor and it didn’t arrive with the pen.

The Chartres Blue was chock full of goodies, a picture of them is in the gallery. There was a convertor and pigment blue ink cartridge. There was also a card telling me I got pen #74 out of the first 2000. This isn’t a limited edition, but apparently the first 2000 get these serial number cards. There was also a rubber stamp that says “Written Using Platinum Pigment Ink” and a instruction sheet.

First Ink

The Bourgogne arrived first and I used a Platinum Brown ink cartridge that I already had rather than the included back cartridge. There’s a nice wide opening where the catridge meets the feed

The nib is a smooth writer, although I’ve pretty much stuck to Rhodia and other fountain pen friendly paper so far. As expected it’s a very thin fine line. There’s a picture in the gallery that has a writing sample for these two pens plus my latest Edison fine nib.

The Blue Chartres has the extra fine nib. I like thin nibs, but I was afraid this Japanese extra fine would be too thin. I first inked it up with the included pigment blue cartridge. This was a complicated experience. I’m not a fan of blue inks so there is some bias here. I flushed out the pen before using it to get rid of any manufacturing residue. The blue was very thin and very light. At first I thought I had left some water behind but time and more writing didn’t help. Flow was also a bit uneven, no real skipping but the writing was really light at times. Shading? Anyway, since this wasn’t a pleasing experience I popped out the cartridge  flushed the pen again, and put Aurora Black in the convertor.

Things were much better with the dark black of Aurora black. The flow is good despite the thin nib. The line seems as thin as my Pilot VP Needlepoint nib (aka XXXF).

Gallery

Click any thumbnail to open it in the gallery.