We live in a world where you would be hard pressed to find a material that has not been used to create part or all of a fountain pen and design is only limited by the imagination. And over forty years ago the imagination of Haruo Umeda (aka Mr Fountain Pen) created the Platinum 3776 Gathered and since its creation it has stood out as a truly unique fountain pen; if it wasn’t most of us would probably never have heard of it.
I have quite a few Platinum pens from their ranges but the ones I have most of are the 3776’s; including a Chartres Blue, a couple of deep red Bourgogne’s and a few others. So, you would think that someone with a nice range of 3776’s would not be on the lookout for another, and you would be right.
However, not looking for something new to add to the collection is usually when you stumble upon something you immediately decide you can’t live without, and so it was with me and the 3776 Gathered. I saw it and thought “how odd” and as it was out of stock locally I emailed a friend in Japan to see if he could get one for me; he could, I sent the pennies and waited for the Japanese Post Office to work its magic. About a week later a package arrived for me and inside it was the 3776 Gathered.
Having told you the story of how I ended up with, probably, the most unusual of the Platinum 3776 range let me take you on a tour of the pen itself.
To start with the box is protected by a black card sleeve with a window that allows you to see Platinum branding on the actual box. Then there is the box which is also black and very substantial; and when you open it you find the pen tucked up on a suede effect pillow and around it are the usual documents, a cartridge and a boxed converter; I later found another converter already in the pen!
*Box & sleeve / Box open.
The pen is an unusual design and is definitely one of a kind amongst its 3776 brethren; firstly, it is not the normal cigar shape because the top of the cap is flat and secondly it is a snap cap as oppose to the normal screw caps on the 3776’s.
Most notably it has partially ribbed barrel and cap. It is not really clear what the ribbing is for, although one suggestion is that it acts like a radiator and dissipates the heat from the hand holding the pen so that it does not affect the ink.
*Ribbing on barrel.
Admittedly having a ribbed surface creates a larger overall surface area which may disperse heat but personally I think it is a matter of design rather than anything else.
So, starting with the barrel, roughly the bottom third is smooth polished resin and between there and where the barrel joins the section it is ribbed except for one wide and one narrow gold band. The threads that attached the section to the barrel are cut so well that when the section is fully screwed into place the fit is so good that it is hard to see where the two parts of the pen meet.
The section is polished resin tapering from the barrel towards the nib and flaring slightly at the nib end to give you somewhere to rest your finger so it doesn’t slide off the section and straight on to the nib.
As with the other parts of the pen the cap is made of polished black resin; at the bottom end are two gold bands that match the ones on the barrel; the wider of the two bearing the inscription ‘Platinum 3776’ and above this is a small amount of ribbing.
The clip and finial are both gold plated to match the rest of the trim and the clip is firm without being difficult and set into the finial is a polished black resin ‘jewel’. The 3776’s snap cap clicks firmly in place ensuring the nib is encased in the slip and seal inner cap to prevent it from drying out.
Lastly and by no means least, the nib. The nib is a standard Platinum 14k gold nib teamed with a plastic feed and as with all Platinum gold nibs it is a delight to use. I opted for the Broad nib, which is definitely a western Medium and I loaded the pen with Diamine Red Dragon and took it out for a spin. Writing was smooth thanks to a consistent ink flow which I would describe as generous enough to prevent any skipping or hard starts but not so much that you need to stop and wait every few words for the ink to dry, all in all just right.
*Nib & feed.
I tested it on a number of different papers and on each of them I got good results; the sample image below was written in a standard Muji notebook.
*Writing sample on Muji notebook paper using Diamine Red Dragon Ink.
In use the pen is very comfortable to hold, either posted or unposted, and whilst you can feel the ribbing it does not detract, in any way, from how comfortable the pen is to hold and use.
Overall this pen is a masterpiece of design and if you are a fan of Platinum fountain pens or you are looking for something different to add to your collection then I can whole heartedly recommend this pen to you.
The average price seems to be around $160.00USD (but shop around you can get it for less) and for a pen with a gold nib this is excellent value especially when you consider that a JoWo 14k replacement nib can cost the same.
So, for $160USD, do I think this pen is worth your pennies?
Yes, I do.
Not only will it stand out as something different but it is also a lovely pen to use and as Christmas is just around the corner and shipping is a little slower these days now is the time to treat yourself and maybe a bottle of Red Dragon as well.
Disclaimer: The fountain pen and ink were purchased with my own funds at retail price. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.