Thursday, March 30, 2017

Review: Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury

Such a pretty pen, and a model I am a fan of. Combined? The Celluloid Koi!
Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 11

ABOUT

Body material: Celluloid
Trim: Gold plated
Cap: Screw on
Posts: Yes, friction
Nib material: 14kt yellow gold
Filling system: Platinum proprietary cartridge/converter
Length (capped): 136.9 mm/5.39″
Length (uncapped): 118.1 mm/4.65″
Length (posted): 150.0 mm/5.90″
Diameter (barrel): 9.5 – 11.8 mm/0.37″ – 0.46″
Diameter (section): 9.8 – 10.7 mm/0.38″ – 0.42″
Weight (all): 24 g
Weight (cap): 10 g
Weight (body): 14 g
Price: $360.00 USD
Where to buy: Anderson Pens
Anderson Pens Banner

PACKAGING

The #3776 was packaged in a simple box. The outer sleeve is white with the Platinum logo on it. The hard blue clam shell case slides out, and it has no markings on it. It's on the flatter side, so it looks and feels less bulky than other clam shell cases. Just a clamshell, nothing thrilling.
Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 1
It also comes with an information card about Celluloid, which can be a delicate material, as well as instruction manuals and warranty information.

APPEARANCE

Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 14
The Platinum 3776 Celluloid collection is based on the 3776 Century model, but the pen is made of celluloid instead of resin. Anderson Pen's page on the Koi says,
Celluloid is a traditional material for pen making, one that offers unparalleled depth, feel, and color. Celluloid is a very difficult material to use, requiring an exacting process to create, followed by an extended curing process to ensure the stability of the material. The Platinum celluloid is prepared to exacting specifications and carefully cured to ensure a perfect material for the pens.
The Koi is on the smaller side, with a smooth, round cap and barrel, tapering slightly towards the rounded off back end. The top of the cap is also rounded, and the finial is a solid, rounded dome of "koi" celluloid. There is a thin gold band around the top of the cap, and the clip is attached through a very snug, clean cut out through the cap. The center band on this pen is slightly different to that on the resin pens - it is one wide, raised gold band, engraved with "Platinum, Japan, #3776". The section is small, smooth, and round, framed by two thin gold bands. It is straight towards the nib and ends in a small gold banded lip.
Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 3
Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 7
The cap, section, and barrel are made of a flecked celluloid in colors that most certainly evoke the image of koi! There are vibrant reds, pinks, creamy, chatoyant whites and pearls, all mixed up. It is mostly solid, but a few parts are semi-translucent enough to see inside. The celluloid is a lovely material, but since this is not turned from a solid rod, the seam of the mould is visible as a straight line down the pen. Regardless of that seam, this Celluloid Koi is a beautiful, intense, vibrant pen with captivating colors.
Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 8

NIB & PERFORMANCE

The broad nib is a 14kt yellow gold nib. It has a single slit and a heart shaped breather hole. It is engraved with: #3776, Platinum's 'P', 14K, 585, and the nib size (B). The nib looks more like a medium to me, but of course, it is a Japanese nib, which tends to run on the finer side. It is not scratchy, but it has some feedback while writing. It was surprisingly wet, with longer drying times. It performed well: no skips or hard starts, kept up with long and fasting writing sessions, passed the free weight test, and overall, was just a solid writer.
Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 9
Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 10
It's a firm nib so with normal writing, it feels firmer on the paper - there's no softness or bounce to it. If you apply some pressure, you can squeeze out a little bit of line variation but don't expect much (or look for Platinum's soft nibs instead).
Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 19
This nib offers just a bit more feedback that I like or was expecting, but I imagine someone else might like that. Again, it wasn't scratchy, it's just that I could feel it. It's a toothier, firm nib - probably ideal as a daily writer for many, just not me. It's reliable and performs well, and the whole not drying out thing is pretty great.

IN HAND

The 3776 clips are the same across the board - I like how they look and feel. It's snug and springy and can easily slide on and off papers, pouches, and pockets.
Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 18
The section is short, and the threads and ridge to the barrel are just a little sharp. The section gets the job done. I don't find it uncomfortable because it's a light pen and is well-balanced.
Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 4
Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 5
Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 6
Unposted, the pen is relatively small, but not too thin. It's pretty close to being perfectly balanced, so it's comfortable. The cap can be posted by friction. It seats deeply and securely, so there's no risk of it just falling off or wiggling around. Not only does it look really good when it's posted, the cap adds some length and weight to the pen. As such, I can grip right in the middle of the section, which I find more comfortable than my lower grip when it's unposted. It's easy to use this way for longer writing sessions.
Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 13
Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 12
Celluloid feels really nice in hand. The resin 3776 pens are comfortable but the celluloid is so smooth and polished, and it warms up in your grip, not to mention the inside of the cap smells delicious (like camphor). It's almost slick but without being slippery.

PROS & CONS

Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 20

OVERALL

I already think the #3776 series is a great pen - they are solid, reliable, super comfortable pens that perform well as daily users. The Celluloid Koi is gorgeous, if you want to take the 3776 Century up a notch. The downside is the price - it's high.
Review Platinum 3776 Celluloid Koi Fountain Pen @AndersonPens @CarolLuxury 15




I received this pen on loan for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. The pen has since been returned to the company.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

March 29. 2017 - Wordless Wednesday 2
March 29. 2017 - Wordless Wednesday 1

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ink Shot Review: Bookbinders Eastern Brown @AndersonPens

Thank you to Anderson Pens for this ink for review!
Ink Shot Review Bookbinders Eastern Brown @AndersonPens 5
Ink Shot Review Bookbinders Eastern Brown @AndersonPens 6

ABOUT


Ink Shot Review Bookbinders Eastern Brown @AndersonPens 3
Color: Brown
Bottle: 1 oz/30 ml
Price: $12.50 USD
Where to buy: Anderson Pens
Anderson Pens Banner
Ink Shot Review Bookbinders Eastern Brown @AndersonPens 1
Ink Shot Review Bookbinders Eastern Brown @AndersonPens 2
Cannot find backside of page ANYWHERE.
Ink Shot Review Bookbinders Eastern Brown @AndersonPens 4

PROS


  • Not a bad brown - somewhat golden tones to it.
  • Shows nice shading in wet calligraphy nibs.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Adorable packaging (see Emerald Boa review for packaging).
  • Affordable.
  • Great color for water washes and art, or calligraphy.

CONS


  • Not water resistant.
  • Bottle is hard to fill fountain pens from when it gets around half empty, especially if you have larger fountain pens. 
  • Narrow bottle opening.

OVERALL


Brown inks are not really my thing, unless they have yellow, golden, or red tones to them. I'm not wild about this one.

Use the new side-by-side Ink Comparison Tool over at Anderson Pens to compare up to five inks at a time, including discontinued/vintage inks. The database is ever growing, with over 800 inks. WOW.

I received this item free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Reads: March 26. 2017

Sunday Reads


Stuff I Looked At Elsewhere
Stuff I Apparently Did This Week

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Whiskers & Paws: March 2017 Edition

Whiskers & Paws March 2017 Edition 7
Whiskers & Paws March 2017 Edition 6
Whiskers & Paws March 2017 Edition 5
Whiskers & Paws March 2017 Edition 4
Whiskers & Paws March 2017 Edition 3
Whiskers & Paws March 2017 Edition 2
Whiskers & Paws March 2017 Edition 1

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Review: Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet

My experience with Pilot pens has been pretty positive thus far. How about the Custom Heritage 92 piston-filler? Let's take a look!
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 16

ABOUT

Body material: Acrylic
Trim: Metal
Cap: Screw on
Posts: Yes, friction
Filling system: Piston
Ink capacity: 1.2 ml
Nib material: 14kt gold, rhodium-plated
Length (capped): 136.4 mm/5.37"
Length (uncapped): 122.2 mm/4.81"
Length (posted): 150.1 mm/5.91"
Length (section): 18.2 mm/0.71"
Diameter (barrel): 11.4 - 11.6 mm/0.44" - 0.45"
Diameter (section): 9.9 - 10.9 mm/0.39" - 0.43"
Weight (all): 20 g
Weight (cap): 8 g
Weight (body): 12 g
Price: $220.00USD
Where to buy: Pen Chalet
Pen Chalet
10% off with discount code: gourmetpens

PACKAGING

The Pilot Custom Heritage 92 is presented in a solid black gift box with a clear window in the top. The pen sits on a felt-lined plastic bed. It can be removed easily and underneath is a Pilot/Namiki use and care guide. The box slips inside a plain black cardboard sleeve. It's simple and doesn't feel excessive.
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 6

APPEARANCE

The CH 92 is a pretty pen if you like clear pens. If you don't like clear pens, you probably won't like this one! It's not a massive pen, like most other Pilots I have used (74, Kaküno, Metropolitan, 78G, CH 912). It is a flat top with a round cap and barrel. The finial is a clear grey acrylic top. The clip is attached just below the grey top through a snug cut out in the cap. It's a simple clip - no markings on it. 
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 7
The center band is near the end of the cap with a small piece of thin acrylic after it - I worried this little bit could crack but so far, even with posting the cap, it's intact. The center band is raised with "Pilot Japan CUSTOM HERITAGE 92" engraved on it. The last bit of trim is a silver colored band to mark the piston turning knob. Uncapped, there is also a metal band between the cap threads and the section. 
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 13
The whole pen is clear, though some parts are more clear than others. The cap is clear but there is a clear grey inner sleeve that covers the nib in there as well, so it throws off that really clean and crystal clear look. I never have been a fan of these darker inner sleeves companies put in their clear pen caps. The barrel is also clear, so the plastic piston mechanism inside is visible. The piston-turning knob is grey, matching the finial. The section is clear, round, and tapers slightly towards the nib. There is a small flare before the nib, which is not very obvious.
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 17
Personally, I think clear pens are fun and I find them appealing. I enjoy seeing ink inside the barrels, especially if it's a piston-filler instead of a converter. It can be a pain if you are concerned about maintaining a pristine barrel. Ink can get trapped in funny places and that can be an aesthetic issue. Most of the time, any stains can be cleaned out or hidden once re-inked, so none of these are deal breakers for me. As such, I like the CH 92. It's a good looking pen overall, although a little "busy" with all the added details - lots of plastic parts, metal bits, and striations. I actually prefer the look of the TWSBI Diamond 580 Clear pens over this one because the facets make it practically glitter, so it seems less busy to my eye.

NIB & PERFORMANCE

I ordered a broad nib, expecting it to write like a medium. The 14kt gold nib has rhodium-plating to match the trim. The nib is a Pilot #5: it has a single slit, a round breather hole, and is engraved with Pilot 14K 585 5 B, and has a flourished border. I find it a very busy looking nib, like other Pilot nibs, and it's not my favorite nib design. I wouldn't not buy a pen based on the nib design though. If it works well and I really like the performance, I can pretty easily look past the design.
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 11
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 12
However, that doesn't affect the performance of the nib! This is a delightful writer - smooth, not scratchy, a touch of feedback. JetPens recommends this nib/pen to those who write with a heavier hand. With light pressure (ie. free weight test), I did find the nib on the dry side. It didn't skip or hard start, but I prefer a wet ink flow. With a touch of pressure, the nib is wet and has a bit of spring. It's pleasant for me, and offers the kind of writing experience I like. This is my kind of nib - smooth, broad, wet, and just a little soft. 
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 2
The piston-filling mechanism worked smoothly, but the knob is so small to handle. That only becomes bothersome if you have large fingers, have trouble gripping small items, or if you have to crank that knob over and over cleaning out a stubborn ink.

IN HAND

The clip is stiff but can be slid on and off pockets, pouches, and papers. It is snug and holds the pen in place securely. 

The section is comfortable and the cap threads at the back of the section are pretty smooth. It picked up oils and felt a little slippery, but only if my hands were already greasy (like from hand cream). It's a small section so even with my grip, I could feel the threads. Fortunately, they are not sharp, but I was still aware of them. if you have large hands or grip high, you'll feel the threads and if you hate feeling threads, beware.
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 8
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 9
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 10
Unposted, the pen is a comfortable size, and is well balanced. It does not feel too short, nor too heavy. I prefer using it posted as the cap can be posted securely and snugly by friction. It added a little length that made it feel just right in hand. Great balance, not heavy, comfortable.
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 15
Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 14

PROS & CONS

Review Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fountain Pen - Broad @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet 3

OVERALL

Performed well, attractive, pleasant nib that performed reliably. The pen is luxurious in terms of price and writing experience. The main issue for me is Pilot's weird pricing. Companies that import this pen from Japan offer it almost $100USD less than companies that use Pilot USA distributors. It's frustrating for the consumer and for those distributors who have to retail the pen so much higher than other places. Is it worth $220? That's steep. $150, totally. What do you think?

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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