The Platinum #3776 Century is a popular, entry-level 14K gold nib fountain pen. It’s the primary competitor to the (also popular) Pilot Custom 74 and Sailor 1911.
The #3776 Century is sold in a huge range of colors including: Nice Lavande, Nice Pur, Black, Oshino, Chartres Blue with Rhodium Trim, Nice, Chartres Blue, Bourgogne, Black, Nice Lilas, and Black with Rhodium Trim. That’s a lot. Pictures above you can see the Chartres Blue, which is easy to find and very attractive. Some of the other colors will mean a rare pen or a higher prices, especially if you want the rhodium trim.
The #3776 tends to write on the fine side, which is often the case with Japanese fountain pens. Because of this you will want to buy a size up if you want to get the European equivalent. For example the broad featured in the video writes like a nice Euro medium. The nib range includes: Ultra Extra Fine, Extra Fine, Fine (Soft Fine), Fine, Flex, Medium, Broad, Coarse.
The #3776 Century is known for its excellent 14K nib, excellent build quality of its resin (plastic) body, nice fit and finish, and reasonable price. The people who prefer the 3776 over other pens in this class love it for its high feedback nib.
Platinum 3776 Review
The Platinum #3776 Century we tested was purchased from Amazon for well under $100 (real-time price: $71.10). It was bought in broad, which was said to write like a European medium with a nice, wet line without losing the feedback at the 3776 is known for.
The Century arrived under two weeks later, in a gift box with instructions, informational material, and a ink cartridge. When buying from Amazon through an international seller (even if they are in Japan) you are generally missing out on the warranty coverage and your pen will arrive without a converter. That said, you’ll spend about half the price of buying from an official retailer and the pen will be of the same quality. The Century arrived in perfect working condition.
The 3776 Century is a cartridge converter fountain pen with a proprietary cartridge. Platinum’s converter is proprietary as well and will sell for under $10 (real-time price: $7.98). Platinum’s cartridges are easy to find and affordable, but not as popular as those from Pilot. Their ink is actually quite nice, with the stock blue ink cartridges being the ideal way to get started with this pen.
Curious about the name? Fun fact: Japan’s Mt. Fuji is 3776 meters tall. This national treasure’s height inspired the name of this pen.
#3776 Century Cap and Clip
The Platinum 3776 Century has a screw-on cap and a metal clip. It says “Platinum #3776 Century Made in Japan” around the band, with the Platinum logo in the middle. The Century, generally has gold-plated hardware, but is available in rose gold and silver in some models.The silver color won’t be silver, but actually a rhodium-plated trim.
The cap might look plain but it has one of best features in the pen: the Slip & Seal technology. The Slip & Seal design basically seals the interior of the cap so that the nib will not dry up even if the pen is not used for up to a year. More realistically, you can leave the pen capped and inked for a number of months and then go back to writing immediately after picking the pen up. It’s a great feature if you tend to use your pens sporadically but like to leave them inked. This is one technology that actually works as well as it says it does — that said we’ve never left the pen capped and inked for more than a month, but we are confident that Platinum is as good as its word.
The cap is 67 mm long and 15.5 mm wide at the band. It’s 17.4 mm wide at the clip.
The clip is metal and on the tight side. It’s functional but has as rather blunt face which means pushing it onto a thicker fabric or paper can be an issue. It works well with a shirt pocket but struggles to work with jean pockets. The clip is quite good looking with a inset lines that wraps around the inside of the face and a look of thickness and solidness, despite it simply being made of stamped and folded steel. It’s an excellent example of an affordable process being very well done.
#3776 Century Body
The body of the pen is a high-quality plastic resin. The model we purchased is in Chartres Blue, which is a translucent blue that’s quite handsome. There are many other colors, but Chartres Blue and Bourgogne Red are the most popular. Which is a welcome change from most pens, where an opaque black and opaque navy are almost always the most popular options.
The 3776 uses a traditional torpedo-shaped body with rounded ends. The pen has no finial or any kind of embellishment at the end of the cap. Because the pen is a cartridge converter, the body is very simple: it’s simply a plastic shell that goes around the cartridge or converter. Platinum has made some piston-filling pens in the past but no longer does.
The 3776 Century, like Platinum’s other fountain pens, uses a proprietary fitting so you will need to use Platinum’s own cartridges and/or converter. The good news is that Platinum’s ink is very good and quite well suited to writing with the 14K nib. If you want to bring your own ink, the Platinum converter is fine. It looks nice and its reliable, but the fit and finish as not quite up to the level of Pilot’s and the only options are gold or silver. The converter only comes in a screw-type mechanism, so options are limited to simply machine the gold or silver hardware of your pen.
The 3776 is a surprising nice size. Unlike the Sailor 1911 in which the “standard” size is quite small, the 3776 doesn’t have a small or large size, so the normal size had to be right for everyone… and it does a great job at this!
The 3776 Century is:
- 139.6 mm long when capped
- 120 mm long uncapped
- 154 mm long posted lightly
- 15.5 mm wide at the cap band
- 13.4 mm wide at the widest point of the body
- 97.9 mm from the start of the grip section to the end of the body
The section of the 3776 Century:
- is 17.2 mm long
- starts at 10.16 mm at the bottom and goes to 10.98 mm at the top
- has threading that is 11.93 mm wide, meaning they are about 1 mm raised off the top of the grip section.
Conclusion: Unsharpen.com Top Choice
Having tried almost all the entry-level gold nib fountain pens sold today (as well as any number of vintage ones) the Platinum #3776 Century is a top pick in its category. The pen looks great, writes well, and can be had for well under $100 if you shop around. It can be purchases, new with warranty and converter, for under $150, which is still a very good deal. So, for our money, the 3776 is an excellent buy.
Who should buy this pen? Basically anyone who wants a good 14K nib pen, but more specifically it those people who want feedback from their nib, instead of maximum smoothness. If all you care about is smoothness, you will be happier with a Pilot Custom 74. That pens looks similar to the 3776, has similar specifications and can be purchases quite cheaply from eBay and other marketplaces, especially if you are open to a used one. The C74 is as smooth a writer as you can get in this category, but you’ll have almost no nib feedback.
The 3776 give you a deep appreciation of your ink and, especially, your paper because the nib doesn’t hold back: you feel everything coming through. Maybe this is exactly what you are looking for, maybe it’s not. (NB: if you want a nice middle ground between the Platinum and Pilot, the Sailor 1911 is the way to go.)
More reading: 2019 Platinum Fountain Pen Buying Guide
Platinum 3776 Century Fountain Pen Information
|Street Price||Check Price|
|Pen Type||Fountain Pen | Cartridge/Converter|
|Barrel Color||Purple, Black, Dark Blue, Clear, Burgundy, Black, Dark Blue, Clear, Burgundy, Pink, Dark Blue|
|Body Diameter||15.4 mm|
|Grip Color||Purple, Black, Dark Blue, Clear, Burgundy, Black, Dark Blue, Clear, Burgundy, Pink, Dark Blue|
|Grip Diameter||10.3 mm|
|Country of Origin||Japan|
|Capped? Retractable?||Capped - Screw On|
|Length Capped / Retracted (cm)||14.0 cm|
|Weight (g)||20 grams|
|Ink Color Shipped||Blue Black|
|Nib Material||14k Gold|
|Nib Color||Silver, Gold|
|Nib Sizes||Ultra Extra Fine, Extra Fine, Fine (Soft Fine), Fine, Flex, Medium, Broad, Coarse|