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[Guest Post] The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Limited Edition Fountain Pen Review

Today we have another guest post by Susan Pigott. You may know her from her own blog, Scribalishness! Her photography, handwriting, and reviewing skills are top notch. If you like what you see here, make sure to go check out more on her site! Here’s Susan’s review of the The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Limited Edition Fountain Pen. Enjoy!

Review Ink: Caran d’Ache Delicate Green and Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao

 

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Specs:

Description:  The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Limited Edition fountain pen is a frosted, translucent, faceted demonstrator pen with a rose gold plated nib and accents.

Nib:  Fine,14K, rose gold plated

Filling Mechanism:  Cartridge/Converter

Weight: .7 oz. (19.9 grams)

Measurements:  5.5 inches in length, capped; 4 and 3/4 inches uncapped; and 6 inches posted

Color Options: None

 

Handwritten Review Photos:

 

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Intro/About:

 

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I am not usually one who is interested in clear demonstrator pens. I’ve always felt they were plasticky-looking and sort of silly. Why get a clear pen (and even pay more for it) when you can get a pretty color? But when I saw pictures of the Platinum 3776 Century Nice, I loved it. Somehow the rose gold plated nib and accents on the pen won me over. So, I ordered one from Classic Pens and it arrived yesterday. My Platinum Nice is one of the first 2,000 produced, so it comes with a limited edition number etched on the cap. Mine is 121 out of 2,000.

Appearance & Packaging:

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The packaging is nothing spectacular, but it suits the pen. It comes in a cream-colored oval box with a satin-like interior. It’s understated, like the pen. One cartridge of ink and a Platinum converter are included with the pen, along with a registration form, instruction booklet, and information about the Nice.

I was surprised to discover that the pen isn’t clear. It is faceted and has a frosted appearance. I really love this look. The facets give the pen more character than a smooth-bodied pen has, and they add a wonderful elegant shimmer to what might otherwise be a dull finish. The rose gold is simply gorgeous on the pen. I’ve seen it on other pens, such as the 90th anniversary MB. Personally, I don’t like rose gold with a black pen. It just doesn’t work for me. But because the Nice is a neutral color, the rose gold really stands out.

 

Nib Performance & Filling Mechanism:

 

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Initially, I was disappointed with my new Platinum fine nib–and that’s a first for a pen bought from Classic Pens. I filled the pen with Caran d’ Ache Delicate Green ink because I knew the green color of the ink would look outstanding with the rose gold (and it did). But when I started writing with the pen, I immediately thought, “I’m going to have to return this and get it tuned again or exchange the fine nib for a medium.” The ink flow was poor, the nib felt dry, and I could barely see the green on the paper. I know Classic Pens tunes their nibs before they ship them, but I thought maybe the nib had some factory oil or something that was making it write poorly. So, I dumped the ink, rinsed the nib, used some pen wash to flush the nib, and rinsed some more. I refilled: same thing–dry, scratchy, stuttering across the paper. I was not happy. This was not at all the experience I’ve had with my other Platinum Century pen. So, I decided to change the ink. I cleaned the pen again and put Iroshizuku Asa-Gao in the Nice. What a difference this made in the performance of the nib! I know that some inks work well with certain nibs and others don’t. Apparently Caran d’ Ache Delicate Green is not good for my Platinum Nice. With Asa-Gao, it writes like a dream. Of course, since a Japanese fine is like a Western extra-fine, the nib has some scratchiness to it. But this is to be expected, and for such a fine line, it writes beautifully. Plus, one thing I love about Platinum nibs is their springiness. They aren’t nails; they don’t flex; but they offer a nice, bouncy feedback as you write.

 

The filling mechanism on Platinum pens is a cartridge/converter system. I never use cartridges (except on my Kaweco), so I knew I would be using the converter. The converter is tiny, holding only .55 ml. But it has a solid feel to it. I find it easiest to fill the converter directly with ink (rather than trying to fill it through the nib). I get my fingers pretty inky this way, but I always get a better fill. I much prefer piston fillers, but Nakaya and Platinum nibs are so wonderful that I’m willing to put up with the dinky amount of ink the converter holds. One advantage to cartridge/converter pens: they are easy to clean.

 

Feel:

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The Platinum Nice is a light pen, weighing in at only .7 ounces (19.9 grams) unfilled. I enjoy writing with both light and heavy pens, but I’ve found that my hand tends to last longer with a lighter pen. The Nice writes well unposted, which is how I use my fountain pens. Posting gives it a little more heft, but the weight is on the back of the pen, so it might feel a bit unbalanced. It’s a good length unposted and fits comfortably in my hand. I wrote four pages in my handwritten review without any fatigue at all using this pen. Plus, I have a Platinum 3776 Century in Chartres blue that I’ve been using for a couple of years as my main grading pen (I’m a professor). It’s my main grading pen for a reason: excellent nib and comfortable writing. The Nice will make a nice companion grading pen with a different color of ink. Unfortunately, I won’t be using the Caran d’ Ache as I planned. Guess I’ll just have to get another bottle of Iroshizuku in green!

Pros:

 

  • Beautiful, understated, elegant pen. The rose gold complements the frosted body of the pen perfectly.
  • Excellent nib; bouncy, fairly smooth (with the right ink), and gorgeous.
  • Light and comfortable to write with.
  • Special cap with “slip and seal” technology allows you to keep the pen inked for long periods of time.
  • This is a wonderful daily carry pen. It’s pocketable with a clip; the cap is secure and air-tight; it writes beautifully.

 

Cons:

  • The converter does not hold much ink, so if you use this pen often, as I do, plan on refilling often. In fact, I now store bottle of inks at work so I always have refills available.
  • Fairly expensive for what amounts to a frosted plastic pen (with 14K accents and nib) ($250 retail; $200 at Classic Pens). Still, this is an affordable limited edition pen, especially if you get one of the first 2,000 that are numbered.
  • Plan on getting a medium or broad if you don’t like super narrow nibs. The Platinum fine nib is pretty smooth for what amounts to a Western EF, but you do get a little scratchiness simply because that’s the nature of EF nibs.

 

Conclusion:

 

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I am thrilled with my Platinum 3776 Century Nice fountain pen. It is more beautiful in person than I expected. I love the facets and frosted look of the pen body. And the rose gold is simply lovely. The pen feels solid in my hand, not plasticky. And, once I got the ink problem figured out, it writes like a charm. I realize some might think me crazy for using expensive fountain pens as grading pens. But fountain pens make me happy, and that makes the horrible chore of grading a little less loathsome. A little.

Gallery:

 

 

 

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Tactile Turn Shoot 2

Tactile Turn “Mover” and “Shaker” New Materials Review and Kickstarter Launch

Tactile Turn
“Mover” and “Shaker”

Tactile Turn Kickstarter Pen Launch 6

  • Description: A precision machined pen with a unique lay pattern grip from the people that brought you the orginal aluminum Tactile Turn Mover and Shaker.
  • Point: Variable – The Mover takes G2 style refills, the Shaker takes Parker Style refills.
  • Materials: Brass, Bronze, Titanium and Copper
  • Refillable: Yes
  • Measurements: The Mover: 5.55″L x .46″D The Shaker: 5.05″L x .46″D
  • Mover Weights: Titanium: 42g, Bronze: 61.5g, Copper: 71.2g, Brass: 67.7g, Aluminum: 31.6g
  • Shaker Weights: Titanium: 40.9g, Bronze: 59.0g, Copper: 67.8g, Brass: 63.9g, Aluminum: 31.0g

Tactile Turn on Kickstarter
TactileTurn.com

Intro/About:

Tactile Turn Kickstarter Pen Launch 5It’s no secret that I was a huge fan of the original Tactile Turn Mover and Shaker in aluminum. I was a backer of the project, and I had three in my possession until Will got in touch and told me he was making them in new materials. Well, here they are! My favorite alternative to a fountain pen has been either the Mover or Shaker since I had got my hands on the original prototypes. I didn’t think it was possible, but they’ve gotten better. Tactile Turn is launching a new Kickstarter campaign for the new materials – brass, bronze, titanium and copper – make sure you head over and check it out if you like what you see!

Also be sure to check out my original review of the Mover and Shaker here.

Construction:

Tactile Turn Kickstarter Pen Launch 3Fit and finish are still great. I showed a brass Shaker to my coworker and he didn’t know how to take it apart. The seam in the middle of the pen is virtually invisible until you need to unscrew the barrel to change out refills. Both the Mover and Shaker feel great in hand, but I prefer the slightly longer Mover. The clips are smooth and have some nice grip without being too stiff. The custom lay pattern grip is what really makes the pen shine though. More on that in the feel section.

Feel:

Tactile Turn Kickstarter Pen Launch 2The grip is the same across all the new materials, but it really works great. It does an awesome job of keeping the pen under your control, making precise writing effortless. The new materials really complete the whole experience. While the original aluminum was great, I happen to like these new ones better. The added heft and great looks put this one over the edge. Here’s a quick breakdown of how the materials feel:

Tactile Turn Shoot 2Brass: My favorite. It looks beautiful and has a great substantial feel in hand. There’s no need to press down whatsoever to get the G2 or Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 working. It’s the second heaviest material but still feels great. The lay pattern isn’t as sharp as the titanium, but it still provides great grip.

Tactile Turn Shoot 2Copper: The heaviest of the bunch, this raw copper pen takes on a life of it’s own. After a few weeks of use, the copper will darken and patina – giving a great vintage look and feel. I happen to like how it looks, but those who always need something clean and shiny may want to check out the other materials.

Tactile Turn Shoot 2Bronze: The bronze is similar to the brass, but has a reddish undertone to it. It looks and feels similar to the brass, but it will not patina. According to the Kickstarter page, it will maintain it’s brilliance and shine for a long time without polishing. I’m excited to carry this one around and see how it compares to the aging brass.

Tactile Turn Shoot 2Titanium: Not only does it sound badass – it kind of is. People love titanium for its signature dull grey hue and amazing strength to weight ratio. The grip on this material has a bit more “bite” than the others. It’s lighter weight and looks great. I prefer the brass and bronze, but this one is by no means a dud.

Writing Performance: 

Tactile Turn Shoot 2The original prototype came with a Fisher Space Pen refill, but thanks to Mike Dudek over at ClickyPost.com, the Tactile Turn Shaker is now shipping with the buttery smooth Schmidt EasyFlow 9000. It really makes me want to keep writing with a ballpoint…it’s that good.

The Mover takes a standard Pilot G2 refill which also works quite well. I like the clean precise lines, but the 0.38 is a tad bit scratchy. There are tons of different Parker-style refills out there and others can be hacked to fit a G2. If you’re not a fan of the refills that ship with the pen, I’m sure you can find something out there you like!

Pros:

  • New materials look and feel amazing
  • Lay pattern grip is still great
  • Pricing is very reasonable

Cons:

  • Pen refills STILL confuse me – be sure to do your homework before buying refills if you don’t like the ones that are included.

Conclusion:

Tactile Turn Shoot 2I’ve been using the Tactile Turn Mover and Shaker since I received my backing, and I really do love it. There’s a really good chance I have one in my pocket at all times. These new materials only make me want more of them. Backer rewards start at $45 for the classic aluminum and have tons of options and packages for all of the other materials.

Head on over to the Tactile Turn Kickstarter to pick one up today.

Gallery:

Disclaimer: These pens were given to me by Tactile Turn for review. I also shot the photos for the Kickstarter campaign. They were used with permission on both ends. All opinions are my own!

Kokuyo Neo Critz Pen Pencil Case Review 5

Kokuyo Neo Critz Transformer Pencil Case – Review

Kokuyo Neo Critz
Transformer Pencil Case
-Review-

Kokuyo Neo Critz Pen Pencil Case Review 2

Specs: 

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Notes:

Since the Nock Co. Kickstarter reward arrived, I have had pen cases coming out of my ears. However, I’ve been eyeing the Kuretake Neo Critz for a while due to its unique ability to stand up on a desk when unzipped. It’s an awesome feature that makes all of your writing utensils easily reachable and viewable. Not only is it functional, the Neo Critz is solidly constructed from nylon with a nice premium feeling zipper. I have the case loaded with about 15 different pens / pencils and some replacement leads.

Kokuyo Neo Critz Pen Pencil Case Review 7

The case does a great job and doesn’t take up a whole lot of room. There’s no doubt that I’ll get a ton of use from this case, especially when transporting my pens back and forth from work. It’s great to be able to have them nicely displayed on my work desk, then zip it up and the end of the day and bring everything home. The case is very reasonably priced at $14.50, making it a great value.

Kokuyo Neo Critz Pen Pencil Case Review 5Thanks to my friends over at JetPens for sending the case over for review!

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Check out JetPens for tons of awesome Japanese pens and stationery. Free shipping on orders over $25, and hitting that is pretty easy with all the great stuff they have. So thanks again!

Gallery:

 

 

Rhodia ICE Notepad Review

Rhodia Ice 80th Anniversary Notepad – Review

Rhodia Ice Notepad Review

Rhodia ICE Notepad Review

 

Specs: 

  • 4″x6″
  • Silver / Grey Grid Lines
  • Bright white paper
  • Top Staple bound
  • White covers with metallic print

Rhodia ICE Notepad Review

Notes:

I’ve been a user of Rhodia paper for quite some time now. Why? Because it’s probably the best paper for use with fountain pens. The 80g paper is perfectly slick and makes any writing experience much smoother. For the 80th anniversary of the company, Rhodia released the Ice edition notebook. Typically when I think Rhodia, I think black and orange. Most of their line sports either a black or orange cover, this particular notebook breaks the mold. The pad has bright white covers, silver metallic logos and text on the back and silver/grey grid lines inside. I really like the way the notebook looks, and of course it’s great for writing on with fountain pen.

Rhodia ICE Notepad Review

I think I actually prefer the grey ruling over Rhodia’s standard violet ruling. It’s much less intrusive and really lets the color of the ink you’re using shine through without distraction. The pages are all micro-perforated for easy removal and the 4″ x 6″ notebook size is nice for throwing in a bag without taking up too much valuable room.

Rhodia ICE Notepad ReviewThe Rhodia Ice is a welcomed departure from the standard color schemes. The paper is exactly what you expect from Rhodia, and I think I’m going to be picking up a few more of these because of the grey ruling. They’re great notepads, and if you’re primarily a fountain pen user and have yet to try them, you’re really missing out! Huge thanks to my friends Sunny and Karen over at Exaclair for sending over the Rhodia Ice for review!

Gallery:

 

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

Parker IM Fountain Pen
Black with Gold Trim

- Handwritten Review -

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

Specs:

  • Description: A beginner fountain pen with classic styling and a great feel in hand
  • Nib: Steel Medium
  • Body: Lacquered Brass
  • Measurements: 5.4″ capped, 6″ posted, 0.5″ in diameter
  • Review ink: Noodler’s Cayenne
  • Color Options: Lacquered brass body (Check them all out at JetPens!)

Handwritten Review Scans:

Intro/About:
Parker IM Fountain Pen Review
 This is my 3rd Paker. The IM has joined my modern Sonnet Cisele and a vintage Parker Vacumatic Major. The IM comes with a medium nib (that writes a bit dry) and boasts a metal construction and classic styling. The pen comes in at $28.50, making it a solid entry-level fountain pen that will appeal to a lot of people. The pen has a professional look and feel without the big price tag typically associated with both of those features. Huge thanks to my friends over at JetPens for sending over the pen!

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Check out JetPens for tons of awesome Japanese pens and stationery. Free shipping on orders over $25, and hitting that is pretty easy with all the great stuff they have. So thanks again!

Appearance & Packaging:

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

The IM comes in a nice gift box. This is a nice touch, especially for a sub-$30 pen. It would definitely make a nice gift for a new fountain pen user. The pen has a classic black an gold color scheme and a modest, unassuming shape. The pen is at the upper end of the beginner fountain pen price range, but it doesn’t feel cheap at all. I particularly like the brushed metal grip and the contrast it provides against the shiny metal rings on the pen above and below the brushed section. The cap has a nice weight and is adorned with the classic Parker arrow-shaped clip. It’s a great looking pen and feels great too.

 Nib Performance & Filling System:

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

The medium nib on the Parker IM is fueled by a proprietary cartridge / converter system. I used the converter from my Sonnet, and I’m glad that I did. The Parker converter is not included and is a $9.25 add-on (!!!). You’d be much better off saving yourself the money and refilling the included cartridge with a syringe. I think the price point of the pen is great, but adding almost $10 to be able to used bottled ink is a bit crazy. The Parker converters are very high quality and are well-made, but I think they simply cost too much.

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

In my opinion, the medium nib writes more like a fine than a medium. This may be due in part to the flow being slightly on the dry side. I don’t mind the flow being a bit dry because it allows for easier use on cheaper paper. Being that this is an entry-level pen, the drier nib will help new fountain pen users cope with bleeding and feathering much more easily.

Feel:

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

The IM has a nice, premium feel to it. It’s nicely weighted and balanced, practically disappearing in hand. The black finish is smooth and without flaws. The pen is a bit shorter than I like when used unposted, but the cap posts securely onto the body. The metal grip may not take too kindly to very long writing sessions and/or death grips, but I like the overall shape and feel of it in hand. The Parker IM feels like it could be double its asking price. It’s a small detail, but I also noticed the awesome tacile “click” sound and feel when the capping the pen. It adds to the overall experience, and little things like that resonate with me enough to include them in the review. The pens clip is sturdy and should hold up to normal use.

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

Pros:

  • Solid build quality
  • Nice weight / balance
  • Smooth medium nib
  • Great value

Cons:

  • Proprietary cartridge costs way too much (in my opinion)
  • Flow may be a bit dry for some right out of the box

Conclusion:

Parker IM Fountain Pen Review

The Parker IM is definitely a solid choice in the world of under-$30 fountain pens. Great build quality, nice weight, great writing performance and a nice presentation round out a well designed beginner pen from a classic brand. The only real downside is the $9.25 converter, it adds a rather large barrier to inky freedom. Would I recommend the pen? Absolutely, definitely to those who want to try fountain pens but don’t like the looks of the Lamy Safari or Pilot Metropolitan.

Huge thanks to my pals over at JetPens for sending the pen over to review, check out their site for more info on the pen!

Gallery:

Disclaimer: This pen was provided to me as a review unit, free of charge, by JetPens. I was not compensated for this review, and this did not have any effect on my thoughts and opinions about the pen. Thank you for reading!