Platinum #3776 Century Nice Lavande Fountain Pen Review
This is the first review by contributor Sandra Moreta. Sandra is a 26-year-old fountain pen aficionado from San Juan, PR. She spends her days training to become an architect, and loves all things design. You can check out her Instagram here for some more awesome photos! To read more by Sandra, click the little pencil icon next to the title above.
Review Ink: Diamine Imperial Purple
Review Paper: Nanami Seven Seas Crossfield Tomoe River Notebook
- Description: A translucent purple, demonstrator pen with rose gold-plated nib and accents.
- Nib: Broad, 14k gold nib, ground to an architect point by Dan Smith
- Filling Mechanism: Cartridge/Converter – Proprietary
- Weight: ~20 grams
- Measurements: 140mm closed, 159mm posted, 120mm unposted
- Color Options: Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur (translucent with rhodium trim), Platinum 3776 Century Nice (translucent with rose gold trim), Platinum 3776 Century Nice Lilas (translucent pink with rose gold trim)
Anyone familiar with the Platinum brand has probably heard of their #3776 range. Named after the height of Mount Fuji, the #3776 has become their flagship model since its launch in 1978. Since then, the company has persisted in creating the ideal contemporary fountain pen, resulting in their #3776 Century fountain pen designs and their unique “Slip & Seal” cap mechanism.
The “Lavande” is a part of Platinum’s latest #3776 Century Nice series inspired by a world-renowned resort and tourist city located in Cote d’Azur in southern France. With this series, Platinum introduces new colors with an opaque translucent finish in an effort to evoke the contrast between subdued light and shimmering water. Read on to take a closer look at this beautiful pen!
Appearance & Packaging:
When you purchase this pen, you’ll find it tucked inside an oval-shaped, off-white box that proudly sports the Platinum brand name in gilded text. You’ll also find a Platinum converter and a proprietary ink cartridge, a warranty card, a user’s manual and some extra information about the pen and the concept behind the Century Nice series. Not much more to say about the packaging, which is fine by me since most of my pen boxes end up stored away, but if you’re the sort of person who expects a little more at this price point you might be disappointed.
As for the pen, well, I bear no shame when saying this: it’s a beauty! Sure, the form factor isn’t anything we haven’t seen before, but Platinum’s added a nice twist to the classic cigar shape with some sandblasting and faceted grooves that add interest to the matte body when it catches the light at certain angles. But the color is the crowning glory of this pen. A translucent, true lavender color, it’s one of the nicest purple shades I’ve seen on a pen, offset perfectly by the rose gold nib and accents.
Nib Performance & Filling System:
This happened to be the first time I tried a custom grind on a pen, which was almost as nerve-racking as it was exciting. This particular nib was ground from a broad to an Architect grind by Dan Smith. It seems a tad smaller than your typical #6 nib and offers a slight, pencil-like feedback when writing, more so than a regular Platinum nib on account of the grind, but it is by no means unpleasant. The nib itself is pretty stiff, but this was no surprise since Platinum nibs usually are. I love the character this grind adds to my writing. Although it’s probably best suited for those of you who prefer writing in print over cursive, definitely try it if given the chance and see if it suits you.
The Lavande relies on a proprietary cartridge/converter filling system. This brings me to a minor gripe I have with the included converter. Instead of a matching rose gold, the pen came with a silver converter. I switched it out for a gold one and once it’s in, the difference isn’t that noticeable, but considering Platinum has a fair number of pens with rose gold accents at this point, it seems to me like a matching converter is a small ask.
The pen looks and feels incredibly well made, and except for where the end joins with the barrel (you can see the glue holding it together through the translucent material) I can find no other visible defects. A word or warning, though. I purchased this pen second-hand and, on its way over to me, some water managed to lodge itself between the nib housing and the outer section material. It immediately proved impossible to remove and I had to send it to the original distributor to get a replacement for the part. While I strongly suspect this was an isolated incident caused by an imperceptible defect, some caution when filling or cleaning it can’t hurt.
The step up from grip section to barrel is gentle. Although you’ll inevitably grip the threads, they’re pretty smooth and shouldn’t be a problem. I prefer posting my pens when writing, and the Lavande’s cap posts deeply enough that it still feels well-balanced, though some of you might prefer not posting altogether.
- Slip n’ Seal mechanism is great if you aren’t reaching for your fountain pens every day.
- There’s few fountain pens available in purple, and fewer still that get it right. Platinum nailed it with this lavender shade.
- Design allows for posting without compromising the balance of the pen.
- Nib feedback not for everyone.
- Mismatched converter is disappointing.
- Tad too pricey for what it is, especially in comparison to non-limited editions of this model.
I love demonstrators. Something about seeing the inner workings of my favorite writing tool and the ink within makes me really happy. But I’d never been particularly drawn to translucent pens with tinted bodies. Maybe I was just too picky and none of the colors I’d seen on other pens spoke to me. But once I came across photos of the Platinum #3776 Century Nice Lavande something clicked. When I got the opportunity to buy it second-hand, with a custom architect grind, no less, I jumped at the chance. And I’m so glad I did! My experience with it has been absolutely wonderful and it’s opened up my eyes to the wonder of custom nib grinds and semi-translucent pens. It’s an excellent performer and gorgeous to boot. As such, it has earned its place as one of the most beautiful and colorful pens in my collection.