Platinum #3776 Sai fountain pen review3 March 2014
The Platinum #3776 Sai is by far the most expensive pen I own (even though I got it on special offer from Cult Pens). It is also, without doubt, the most beautiful. I have other demonstrators and some look lovely but they don’t sparkle like the Platinum #3776 Sai sparkles.
This series is named after Mount Fuji, which is 3776 metres high. The Sai is named after Lake Sai (or Saiko) famed for its clear waters. This adds to the allure of this pen and means only a clear blue ink is allowed in it.
I’ve seen some reports of Platinum #3776 nibs being a little scratchy and this one certainly was out of the box. That scratchiness went away after an hour or two of use and it’s now incredibly smooth. It’s firm, unusually so for a gold nib (it’s rhodium-plated 14kt gold). There’s no flex. This is the fine nib and it’s definitely a Japanese fine: it’s one of the finest nibs I have and much finer than any of my German extra-fine nibs.
The rhodium-plated trim is lovely and it’s tasteful. The clip is firm. The proprietary Platinum converter looks great inside the clear resin barrel. I’ve noticed some staining in the converter though. (I’ve mostly used Pelikan Edelstein Topaz which I’ve not noticed staining anything else.) No doubt this would clean up with some decent cleaning fluid but it’s not something I’ve seen happen much before. No part of the pen itself has stained.
The barrel is subtly faceted so that when you twirl it (which is something I find myself doing often) the light reflects off it and shows off the converter and ink inside in absolutely gorgeous ways. It is impossible to write more than a few words without stopping to twirl the pen around a little. The pen as a whole is light (but not so it feels flimsy), warm to the touch, well balanced and a good comfortable size. It’s a pen made to use as well as admire.
The cap: it posts if that’s your thing, and doesn’t throw the balance off if you do. It has Platinum’s ‘Slip and Seal’ system which uses a spring to press the inner cap firmly onto the section. This means the pen doesn’t dry out and makes it safe to use Platinum’s carbon ink. Personally I feel it’s a crime to put black ink into this pen but you can get other colours in the carbon range. I like how the spring mechanism looks but I don’t like the inner cap/seal at all. It spoils the sparkly clear look of the pen. That, however, is the only fault I can find with the Platinum #3776 Sai.
There are five lakes around Mount Fuji and so far Platinum have released three: Sai, Motosu and Shoji. All are limited edition and some are very hard to find now. However the #3776 range itself includes several models that are widely available. If you want a classic and beautiful looking pen that is made to actually write with, too, then I doubt you can go wrong with any of them.