Platinum #3776 Yamanaka Fountain Pen Review5 December 2016
Here’s another example of my favourite fountain pen range, Platinum’s #3776 series. This one is a limited edition from Platinum’s five lakes series. I have one other from that series, the Sai. The remaining three are Kawaguchi, Shoji and Motosu.
I was able to get this pen at a discount thanks to Cult Pens’ support of the site. These are my own honest opinions.
Nib options: rhodium plated 14k gold in fine, medium or broad
Barrel options: just this clear acrylic
Filling system: proprietary cartridge/converter
Lake Yamanaka is one of five major lakes surrounding Mount Fuji and is the highest and shallowest of these. The Yamanaka’s body has an etched pattern that is meant to evoke the ripples on the lake’s surface. It’s a nice effect, particularly with a bright ink inside the barrel.
I’ve written about several #3776’s before so here is a summary of what I like about them. They look like proper fountain pens, which speaks to the traditionalist in me. While the black barrelled pens maintain that conservative look, others in the range, such as this one, also manage to look fresh and modern. Traditional yet modern tends to work, for me. Some of the pens look beautiful: this one, the Sai and the Chartres Blue, for example. But mostly, as someone who writes a lot with his pens, it’s the Platinum nib that does it for me. They have some feedback, which not everyone enjoys, but I like to feel the nib moving across the paper. They have good flow and they are stiff, with just a touch of give. Platinum nibs aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but they are most definitely mine.
The caps feature an inner cap which stops the ink drying in the nib. This not only means they can be left filled up for long periods of time but you can use pigmented ink such as Platinum’s Carbon Black. The clip is strong and functional. It screws closed and pushes on to post, securely.
The more I use Platinum’s converters the less I like them. They routinely get ink above the piston, so it’s fortunate they’re easy to disassemble and clean. They can be quite stiff to turn, too. They look nice but almost everyone else’s converters are easier to use.
The Yamanaka is a limited edition pen and I think is probably only available in the second-hand market now. However, you can’t go wrong with any of the many versions of the #3776 currently available.
Can use pigmented ink
You’re absolutely right about the converter. I find I need to disassemble the wretched things remarkably often as they become too stiff to use. A bit of silicon grease helps, but even so, they’re a hassle. By comparison I have a Waterman Laureat I must have been using for nearly thirty years, and never once had a problem with its converter – just flush it out when I change inks.
I love the 3776 so much that I now have three — but not this beauty! Wow! Re: the converter: I have taken to simply reusing cartridges by syringe-filling. Much easier then that silly converter, and it holds more ink, too.
I love the Platinum 3776 series, too. I have two of them (so far!): the Bourgogne and the Blue Chartres. The Bourgogne is inked with J. Herbin Rouge Bourgogne, which is a perfect match, both for the name and the color. And the Blue Chartres is loaded with Edelstein Topaz, a lovely blue. I like the feedback I get from the nibs; it’s just enough to let me know I’m writing on paper, but the nibs are still very smooth. I’d have to say these are two of my best-writing pens. I am planning to get the rose gold Nice version sometime in the next few months. That one is clear with rose gold trim, and it is gorgeous.