This Platinum 3776 Century UEF or Ultra Extra Fine Nib (via Goulet Pens) looks like a pretty unassuming fountain pen at first glance. Thankfully the good folks over at Goulet Pens were kind enough to send this review sample over free of charge for this review and to take a closer look at that Ultra Extra Fine nib, which sounds amazing to me since I love my micro tipped gel ink pens such as the Uniball DX or UM-151.
The black on gold color scheme of this Platinum 3776 Century UEF is a pretty classic look, but I was surprised to see that the converter also carried the same color scheme which although is not my favorite is still a nice touch on a part of the pen that is usually never seen. The pen can be filled with ink using either the included converter, or a proprietary Platinum brand ink cartridge. The clip on the Platinum 3776 Century UEF is surprisingly strong and stiff which definitely gives an impression of a good quality build as compared to some flimsy feeling clips I’ve felt in the past. The pen measures six inches long with the cap closed and approximately 5.5 inches with the cap posted.
As I mentioned, the Platinum 3776 Century UEF takes a proprietary cartridge or converter, which is part of why I tried to show the picture of the inside of the grip section above. Looking into the section you can see that the feed that the cartridge or converter is pushed onto is quite long and leaves a nice deep seat for the cartridge or converter to settle down onto. I personally like this because it never leaves you feeling as if maybe you didn’t insert it fully or completely into the section.
I don’t think this picture does it justice, but the nib of the Platinum 3776 Century UEF is quite long and skinny. The band on the cap is adorned with the Pltinum and 3776 name as well as a subtle reminder that the pen was made in Japan. Having said that, I’m also reminded that this might be a good time to describe the seemingly random “3776” name of the pen. 3776 is actually a reference to the height of one of Japan’s most famous landmarks, Mt. Fuji which is 3776 meters in height, and I’m guessing that the peaked design on the nib is also an homage to the silhouette of the mountain as well.
The inside of the cap of the Platinum 3776 Century UEF has their special “Slip and Seal” sleeve that helps to seal the pen in an air tight environment that actually lets you leave the pen inked up for 24 months without the ink in the pen drying out and potentially ruining your pen. Although the above picture shows the nib covered in ink, I assure ou that in my time writing with the Platinum 3776 Century UEF there was literally no nib creep at all.
Writing Sample for the Platinum 3776 Century UEF with some Comparisons:
Writing with the Platinum 3776 Century UEF was definitely a unique experience that I’m willing to say I was initially a bit apprehensive about. I first filled the pen up with some Pelikan Edelstein Aventurine ink because I’ve always had great experience with the Pelikan Edelstein line of inks so I figured I would go with what has consistently shown good results in what I was assuming might be a challenging pen to write with due to the Ultra Extra Fine nib. Once loaded up with ink I went straight for the awesome Rhodia paper in my Levenger notebook so I’d have a known fountain pen friendly paper to work on. My first few strokes with the pen were indeed a bit scratchy even with my favorite ink and some amazing paper, so I was worried that this might not work out well. It seems like after about a full page of writing, my writing experience with the Platinum 3776 Century with the UEF nib took a big turn for the better. After this brief bit of writing, the nib really seemed to smooth out a bit and didn’t require the pen to be held at precise angles to avoid any seriously toothy feelings when writing. I was also able to write at what I’d consider a normal pace and never felt like I had to slow it down for this rather fine nib to pass enough ink through the feed and tines to leave the consistent and unbroken line that it seems so great a leaving behind.
You might wonder how the Platinum 3776 Century UEF compares to some other well known Japanese fountain pens with Fine or Extra Fine nibs, so I’ve included some comparisons above against my Sailor Professional Gear with a Fine nib which has been a great writer for me as of late. You can also see that I’ve compared it with a .38mm Uniball Signo gel ink pen just to give it a good benchmark that people might be more familiar with. I found that the Platinum 3776 Century UEF definitely laid down a line slightly thinner than that of the Sailor Professional Gear Fine Nib. It also did it while cruising around the paper in pretty smooth feeling way. There was definitely the occasional sharp or toothy feeling as the nib ran across the paper at certain angles, but overall it was surprising smooth to write with considering its size. The Platinum definitely has a stiffer nib and doesn’t provide for a much thicker line when you apply pressure as you write as compared to the flex found in the nib of the Sailor Professional Gear.
The body and grip section of the pen are pretty generic but do a solid job of rounding out a great overall writing experience. It has a comfortable grip with a mostly good balance, although when writing with the cap posed there is an incredibly slight feeling of being a tiny bit top heavy, but I didn’t find it to be an overly distracting feeling. Overall I never would have expected such smooth performance from an Ultra Extra Fine nib like this so I was pleasantly surprised. Do however keep a few things in mind if you are considering this pen. First and most important, if you don’t like really fine nibs, this will never feel smooth to you, its a matter of preference and tolerance that probably wouldn’t be ideal for a person that likes Medium or Broad nibs. Second you need to remember that using good ink and high quality paper like the Rhodia 90g paper found in a Rhodia Webnotebook is going to make a big difference with a pen like this. Using sub par paper or ink with this pen would be like putting some generic Pep Boys tires on your brand new Lamborghini and expecting it to take corners at 80 mph and go from 0-60 in 2 seconds, its just not going to happen. With that said, if you have some money left over from that Lamborghini that you just bought, the Platinum 3776 Century UEF is a fountain pen that you should definitely give a go if your preference leans towards a very fine nib on your fountain pens.
Thanks again to the good folks at Goulet Pens for providing this review sample free of charge so we could share our review with you.