Platinum #3776 Century Oshino Fountain Pen
F nib, 14k gold
$172.80USD ($192 + 10% discount) – PenChalet
Currently Inked: Blue Black proprietary cartridge
I found it! I am pretty sure I was not actually looking for a considerable upgrade to my pilot penmanship twins, but I have found it anyway. While I have been limiting myself with pen obsessions over the past few months, I still maintained a ‘want’ list and occasionally look back on it in temptation. A month-ish ago, I gave in. I bought this pen because the exchange rate seemed favourable and I also had a discount code at Pen Chalet. I still have my sights on the rose gold Nice version to complete my dream twin upgrade of the penmanships, but have to really contemplate trying to sell some of my current pens to fund that.
This is a super pen, and quite possibly my newest favourite pen. It’s so favourite that I may actually say I would be perfectly happy with a twin of these and no other new fancy pens. That being said, I have been very aware of how unmanageable a stationary addiction can get. And the result is usually that pens get put on the shelf (or pencil case and drawer), and rarely see the light of day (or paper) again. I think I’m much more a user than a collector now, so even having some of the best but not having the time or opportunity to make use of them makes me feel like it’s a waste, and they’re much better off being in someone else’s pencil case. Hence the idea of getting over the hassle, and putting a bunch of them up for sale/giveaway.
Which pens could I sell though? The ones I use the least are generally so cheap that any price I sell them for would not even balance the shipping cost and hassle. I would be happy to sell them or give some away for free if they could find a good home where they’ll be used tho! We’ll see. Perhaps a post on all the pens I don’t use anymore to come, and I can gather some interest to actually take them off my hands.
Time to talk about the star of the show though. This one was a joy.
Does this pen look super awesome? You bet.
First of all, of course I love the look of the pen, it’s a demonstrator after all! Aside from that though, the pen actually looks like a classy demonstrator, at least compared to the ones I have owned in the past (see penmanship, nemosine). I know saying a pen “looks classy” is very subjective, so maybe I will break down why I think as such.
To me, the pen is a mix between a thin cigar and torpedo shape, so it has qualities of both – an overall rounded barrel and top, as well as a semi-tapered profile towards the bottom. While a majority of the pen is clear, there are rhodium accents throughout the length of the pen that end up adding that ‘classy’ feel to it. Up top of the cap is a tiny ‘mountain’ meant to look like mount Fuji. The clip is actually what I would say is the least classy about the pen. It doesn’t detract or distract from the overall look of the pen, but it is the more plain of all the elements to look at.
There’s a little spring right below the Fuji, and then at the base of the cap is a really intricately detailed rhodium engraved “Platinum #3776 Century” and “Made in Japan”. Excellently crafted. There is a little bit of accent within the barrel where the cartridge or converter inserts, and then one more tiny ring of rhodium trim near the bottom. I use the term rhodium, because it doesn’t look quite as cheap as Chrome or plastic chrome, which tends to scratch a lot easier.
The nib, which is visible through the clear barrel, is sharp and sleek with the signature Platinum ❤ breather hole. I’ll admit, I wanted one of these in my collection just cause it has a heart in it. Is that the romantic in me, or the me that just likes cute things. Maybe a bit of both. Of course, I’ve also read plenty about how nice these nibs are, so there’s that going for it too. The nib doesn’t have any fancy scrolling engraved on it, but the simple engraving of a mountain peak, the logo and the “14k” are fanciful enough to me. More on the nib later.
The packaging is quite substantial. I am one of those who doesn’t enjoy overly excessive packaging because the box and papers just end up sitting in my cabinet. I did, however, pick up one of the first editions of the Oshino, and I have number 0592/3000. Neat. The box is rectangular shaped, and comes with the pen, a proprietary cartridge, a converter as well as a bunch of papers describing the company, the pen history, and warranty details.
The pen is about 14cm in length (5.5″) capped, 12cm (4.75″) uncapped and 15cm (6″) posted. I’m quite happy with this pen size. Check it out compared to a few of my other choice demonstrators:
The best pens combine both the quality look and superb functional quality as well. This pen would fall under that category for me. I feel a little bad now when I think back on all the pens that I raved about in the past. But truly and very honestly, this is definitely the best pen I’ve reviewed so far. For so many different reasons, a lot that also cater to my preferences and what I like in a drawing instrument.
Let’s start from the beginning, twisting the cap open to use. I’ve complained in the past about pens that have too many rotations and it being a hindrance to my increasing need to be efficient. This pen takes about just over two twists of my fingers to get open. For some reason this doesn’t bother me too much. It could be that the cap twists open very smoothly and just makes sense in my head for how many rotations are needed for this pen’s sealing ‘technology’ to work. Otherwise, if I really had to complain, then maybe the twist has one half rotation too much. Aside from that though, the cap is designed with the spring, so that the last half rotation when capping the pen actually has a bit of resistance as the spring is being activated. From a fidgeting point of view, that last moment of resistance is very satisfying. I don’t know exactly how this mechanism works, but it’s supposed to keep the pen from drying up for at least a year. I’ve only owned this one for about a month, so it’s hard to really say. We’ll see!
Next comes the comfort of holding the pen. The gripping portion of the pen is probably not even 2cm in length before the threads start. But the pen is designed in such a way, with the proportion of the nib length to the grip, that result in a perfectly comfortable pen hold for my hands. I can grip this pen however I want; pinch, fist, etc. and I feel like I have complete control and ability to use the pen in any way I want to. It might sound like that’s a strange thing to fuss over, but proportion of the drawing point to where you hold the pen makes a really big difference. Something I’ve only come to understand more now that I’ve tried so many different pens and pencils. Fountain pens are tricky because the grip has to come after the length of the nib, and that proportion is not always well thought out.
For example, take the Pilot VP. Awesome pen as I’ve touted before. But just as with anyone else, the grip and the fact that the clip actually gets in the way of the grip ends up being a hindrance to many users. It’s not incredibly comfortable, and takes some getting used to. It’s still an excellent pen, but the trade-off for the capless feature is comfort. With that being said, if I had to pick a workhorse, despite the mild inconvenience of having to untwist a cap, I would pick the Oshino. And I say that having used both the VP and Oshino now at work for several weeks at a time.
Balance wise, both posted and unposted, the pen is very comfortable. The pen cap does not weigh down the back, as many pens tend to do when posted. The plastic is obviously way lighter than a metal pen, and Platinum has definitely nailed the weight balance feature for me. I tend to keep the pen unposted out of habit from other pen experiences, and also because I’m afraid of scratching the barrel from sliding the cap on and off too much. Of course, the more I use a pen for its workhorse capabilities, I’ll tend to forgo the high price tag I’ll have paid for it purely because I’ll be getting my moneys worth by using it non-stop. Another bonus is that the pen doesn’t dry up very quickly when left uncapped, so I can keep the pen posted and not have to worry about constantly recapping and twisting those many rotations every time I want to use the pen.
Finally, it’s nib feels time! I got myself an F, which was the thinnest one available. I mentioned in the beginning that I’ve been considering an upgrade for my penmanships. I use the heck out of those two because of their EF nib, smoothness, and I’m not afraid to abuse them because they were so cheap. I was definitely hoping the Oshino F could rival the EF of the pilot penmanship, and I think I wasn’t disappointed. It’s not QUITE as thin as the EF of course, but it’s pretty darn close. Which means — success! The nib is excellent. Is there a higher grade than excellent? In Japanese video games, they use the term “S” class, which is above A. This nib is S class. Here are my reasons why —
The ink flow is incredibly consistent, whether I write right after uncapping, after a few minutes of uncapping, reverse nib facing the paper, etc. In any of my writing and drawing styles, the nib is consistent. It is also sturdy and feels nice on paper. It’s not one of those buttery smooth ones, especially since it’s an F nib, but the minimal feedback I get when writing on toothy or smooth paper is very satisfying. There’s very minimal flex in the nib, which I like when I’m drawing finer linework things.
One last gripe with the pen clip. On top of it being relatively plain, which I said was forgivable, it’s actually a little tough to easily slip and clip onto things. Particularly my pencil case. I have to use two hands versus one to clip it in place.
It is usually a struggle at this point for me to evaluate expensive pens. Obviously if you’re going to pay this much for a pen, it better darn well be amazing — both looks and writing quality. And the fear is always that a really expensive pen ends up not being up your alley and it never gets used. This is a 200 level pen. And thankfully I have not had such an issue with this price range of pens. But I have 100 level pens that I am now making second thoughts about because 100 isn’t a small amount of money, yet I don’t absolutely love those pens anymore. What’s up with that! I also feel that the more higher-tier level pens I pick up, the distribution of value really gets skewed as I upgrade. That isn’t to say the positive comments I had about previous pens were not genuine.
But that’s a story for another time. Right now, if I had to give a value rating for the Oshino based on all the factors plus how much I paid for it, I would say this one was worth it. It is mostly because it serves as both an excellent quality pen functionally but also has the aesthetic qualities I like in a pen. I am quite happy with my purchase and I daresay I would be happy to start shleping off old un-used pens and never buy a new pen again. It’s not going to happen, but I will be honest in saying the purchases will be slowing down. I do have my eyes set on one more Platinum 3776 to complete the twin set upgrade, but otherwise my wishlist is rather tiny right now.
In the market for a high end, quality and classy pen? Here’s your winner in my book.
- Excellent writer
- Looks classy but not flashy
- Consistent ink flow and line weight
- Proportions work extremely well for me
- Quality demonstrator plastic and rhodium accents — check if accents are actually rhodium, otherwise need to update
- Clip is a little hard to attach to things without some difficulty
The ink I used was the proprietary Blue Black ink cartridge that came in the box. Rare for me to use the cartridge but I didn’t have my bottles handy at time of opening and I REALLY wanted to test the pen out. Ha. Ha. I’m ready to ink it up in classic black for all my future doodles though. The ink is great though, smooth and consistent. I have since finished that cartridge and have started using a different ink, and it’s noticeably not as smooth writing as it was before. Did I clean it wrong or is it the ink? Unknown
So there we have it. My new favouritest pen, and might possibly stay that way for a good while, since I don’t plan to get anything new anytime soon. In fact, I am more excited to find better homes for my current collection. I still have some more reviews cooked up, but again it will come out a little on the slower side as these take up more time than I initially plan. Let’s go for quality over quantity right? >:]
Thanks for reading and sorry for the massive delay between posts! It has been extremely busy, and as with the nature of my profession, we are big ambitiously hungry folk who can’t resist taking on more. I have taken on much, and so while it will take me longer to get the reviews on the back of my mind out and may post some shorter things from now on, I will be still be around and kicking.