Posts Tagged ‘Platinum #3776 Century flex nib’

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Sunday Reads: Fountain Pens, Paper, and One Very Lucky Dog

08/27/2017

Gobsmacked by the first link. Mother Nature is a very confused lady…

Japanese Flex Nibs

From left to right, Platinum #3776 Century Fine Flex (FF), Pilot Custom 742 Falcon (FA), and the Namiki Falcon Soft Fine (SF). None of the nibs are damaged but they do have little touches of ink here and there.

 

 

 

 

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Platinum Nibs, Diamine And Leuchtturm1917

02/07/2016

Last night two Platinum Century pens shouted for attention following weeks of being on the back bench. How could I refuse?

The good news is that the nibs wrote beautifully from the first stroke despite a lack of recent exercise. The Century certainly can go a long time without attention. Both are smooth, but there is a slight difference between the medium and the soft medium. The latter has a cushioned feel to it which reduces feedback. The line width of the soft medium might be a tad more narrow, but that could be attributed to the ink. Both nibs are in the workhorse category. Use them for anything.

Next to Noodler’s and J. Herbin, Diamine is the brand of ink that got the most time in my pens last year. Wild Strawberry and Merlot were gifts from Beth Treadway and have proven good additions to my regular rotation. Merlot dries more slowly, but for the saturated color, I can be patient.

The Leuchtturm1917 remains one of my favorite journals though it could be better. If you look closely, the inks found threads to follow and produced more bleed-through than I would like. The previous night I used a Platinum #3776 music nib with J. Herbin Cafe des Iles that produced neither feathering nor bleeding. Pelikan Violet, Waterman Florida Blue, and Noodler’s Apache Sunset performed better on the paper than any ink except Noodler’s Black.

Does this mean Diamine inks have a problem or is the Leuchtturm paper inconsistent? Either way it’s a reminder that testing ink is valuable. The last page in a notebook is a convenient place to write the names of pens and inks for future reference. My sample page produced mixed results, but I now know which duos would be best to grab for a long day of note taking.

The Platinum Century M and SM are delightful to use and I love the soft Leuchtturm paper even with its imperfections so I want to pair the paper with inks that will not feather or bleed. Noodler’s Black and Lexington Gray might just do the trick. Not colorful, but oh so reliable. Sometimes that’s all you need.

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Platinum #3776 Century Fountain Pens

02/22/2013

The Platinum #3776 Century fountain pen has more going for it than just a pretty face. It comes in different colors, has terrific nibs, and is a very comfortable size. Given its build quality and the new design features, this is a pen suited to extensive use and lifelong companionship. Heh. Make of that what you will.

Platinum #3776 Century Chartres Blue Fountain Pen

Platinum #3776 Century Chartres Blue Fountain Pen

The pen is made of resin, has gold plated trim, and weighs a mere 20.5g. Posting isn’t required to get a good balance in the hand. The combination of smooth nib and minimal weight on quality paper is perfect for lengthy sessions. Even the maximum diameter of 15.4mm is in my best range so I can see at least one more Century in my future but next time with a medium nib. Will it be as smooth as the broad nib? That could make it a workhorse for any writer and a pen likes to be useful, yes?

Platinum #3776 Century Fountain Pen Black In Black

Platinum #3776 Century Fountain Pen Black In Black

Not a company to let tradition stand in the way of progress, Platinum has advanced the Century with its new Slip & Seal cap. The cap, nib, and feed have been redesigned to regulate flow and prevent ink from drying in the nib when the pen is closed. Pigment ink works in it as does carbon ink. I found it unusually tolerant of pauses between thoughts though some of that might have been aided by a cooperative ink. Diamine Royal Blue was particularly good at this.

When it comes to pen size, the Century fits me just like that pair of shoes right out of the box that make you want to dance. It isn’t the first pen to do so but it’s been a long time since a pen I’ve never used before has done so. If the Levenger True Writer, Sailor 1911, Pilot Custom 742, Waterman Carene, or Retro 51 Scriptmaster, fit your hand, the Century should, too.

Platinum #3776 Century B Writing Sample

Platinum #3776 Century B Writing Sample

Platinum #3776 Century FF Writing Sample

Platinum #3776 Century FF Writing Sample

So far I’ve used the broad (B) and the fine-flex/soft fine (FF) nibs but Platinum also offers ultra extra fine, extra fine, fine, medium and double broad 14k nibs. For general writing purposes, the B is sweet. The nib writes a somewhat narrow line for its grade with a soft, rounded look. This is a true broad nib without pretense of being a stub. The flow keeps up without a hitch so no speed limits on this one and no hesitation on start up. The fine-flex nib is very narrow and suitable for small lettering but can flex enough to produce wider lines. Not huge swells but subtle ones that are in keeping with modern writing and a memorable signature. With use, it will expand even further so keep using it if you want a wider line.

On my desk for comparison are a Pilot Custom 742 and a full-sized Sailor 1911. The Century weighs the least of the three. The resin of the 1911 might be slightly denser but that’s an opinion – not a measurement. The barrel material isn’t identical among these Japanese pens but it is thinner than the Western pens on my desk. Comparing closed pens, the 742 is longer that the other two. Uncapped, the Century is the shortest. The Century has a more pronounced step between the section (grip area) and the barrel than the other Japanese pens but it also has more threads to keep the cap secure.

I like different things about each of them, the rhodium trim on the 1911 and the slightly wider section on the 742 in particular. But I prefer the nib on the Century and that’s a deal maker. Pens are about writing and that nib just gets me every time I use it.

Until Dick Egolf at Luxury Brands USA sent these Platinum pens for review, my experience with the brand was limited. Now that I know the #3776 Century is such an excellent writer, I am ruined for many of my other pens. Time to refocus my collection…again.

More about my Platinum pens:

A Blue Screen And The Platinum Century Chartres Blue Pen
Are Modern Japanese Flex Nibs Created Equal?
Can A Platinum Pen Satisfy A Chunky Nib Fan?
Lots Of Goodies In My Review Queue
Want the Platinum Chartres Blue Fountain Pen? Here’s The Deal!
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Are Modern Japanese Flex Nibs Created Equal?

02/17/2013

Japanese pens are known not only for extra-fine nibs but also for variety. There aren’t many flexible nibs manufactured in the west so if flex sounds interesting, here are a few options.

The pen most often mentioned at online communities is the Namiki Falcon made by Pilot. It comes in three nib sizes, soft fine (SF), soft medium (SM), and soft broad (SB) and is readily available in the U.S. The Pilot Custom 742 Falcon (FA) is more flexible but can have an erratic flow resulting in inconsistent flex writing. The Platinum #3776 Century comes in several nib sizes including a fine flexible (FF) model that is easily the most narrow nib of the lot.

Three Japanese Flex Nibs

Three Japanese Flex Nibs

The flex nib pens in my collection have had enough use to be all they can be except the Platinum Century. It will need more time in my hand to reach its full potential. With a light touch it shouldn’t change dramatically through it should get a little softer. With a heavier hand, the nib would flex a bit more. Since I have the other pens, I’m inclined to let the Century remain the pen with less flex and a finer line.

Japanese Flexible Nibs Writing Sample

Japanese Flexible Nibs Writing Sample

The inks are Iroshizuku fuyu-syogun, Diamine China Blue, Diamine Violet, and Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses. None of the colors are particularly accurate but the relative line widths are portrayed well except the Century. That one can make even finer lines than depicted but that takes a bit of practice and control.

Each of the nibs has its positive attributes. Though the line widths appear quite similar, there are some differences. The degree of softness or flexibility dictates the amount of pressure needed to achieve the widest line. The Century requires the most effort and the 742FA the least. For those who prefer extra-fine to fine nibs, the Century is more than capable of filling that niche. The Namiki falls somewhere between the two. It will never be as soft as the 742FA and it is quite rigid when new. Give it time and it will soften producing nice variation.

Again, I will attach a caveat to the Pilot Custom 742FA. While the build quality is very good and the nib well-suited to flex writing, the flow cannot keep up. I doubt this is an issue with other 742 nib models but the Falcon nib needs a more consistent flow. Even after a professional adjustment, my 742 requires slow writing to avoid unfilled spaces. The problem might be the converter. It needs frequent priming as in twisting the knob to push the ink closer to the feed. The nib deposits so much ink when asked to fully flex, that priming must be done all too often. Pilot makes two other converter models, but in my tests these produced no improvement in performance.

Leigh Reyes thinks Pilot should offer the 742FA as an eyedropper so there would be no flow restriction. Another benefit is that it would maximize the amount of ink per fill. That might be the best solution though my Waterman 54 Pink Nib, one of the best flex nibs ever made, is a lever-filler without flow problems. Converters are convenient but not suited to all situations.

Using flex nibs requires some adjustment to achieve good results. Writing slowly and applying more or less pressure correctly is key. Upstroke = no pressure. Downstroke = more pressure. Practice up-down strokes with /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\. Many pens that aren’t flex will produce a bit of flair with that sort of exercise. Try it with your signature once you’ve gotten the way of it.

Should you become totally enamored with flex writing, vintage fountain pens will become a necessity. There just is no modern nib that compares unless you get it modified by a nibmeister. Oh, and there are many dip nibs that flex beautifully but that’s another subject entirely.

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