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Pilot Or Platinum

pilot custom 74 platinum 3776 platinum 3776 century custom 74 3776 century

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15 replies to this topic

#1 Rufio


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Posted 14 June 2015 - 11:08

I am trying to decide between getting a pilot custom 74 with a medium nib and a platinum 3776 century with a medium nib. To me, their designs are similar but I am not sure how their nibs compare and what the big differences between the two are. If anybody is able to help I would greatly appreciate it. 

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#2 BillZ


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Posted 14 June 2015 - 12:23

As a general rule Japanese nibs are one size smaller for a given size than European. That being said, The Pilot M will lay down a finer line than the 3776 M. You would have to try an F 3776 as a comparison. Just my experience with the two varieties of nibs.

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#3 Garden Man

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 12:40

I do not have a Pilot M but I do have a Platinum Soft Fine which is finer than a western extra fine, so a Platinum M will lay down a pretty fine line. That being said, both will (especially the Platinum) extremely stiff, and offer very little to no spring.

#4 Buzz_130



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Posted 14 June 2015 - 20:49

You are looking at two great fountain pens from excellent Japanese companies.  Both still make their own nibs, and each has a unique feel to them.


Platinum nibs are nails, and they offer a great feeling of feedback with the paper.  These nibs have the perfect amount of "drag" that makes writing controllable and relaxed on every type of paper I've tried.  I like the Platinum nibs, and the M and soft fine are my favorites.


Pilot nibs have a softer feel, although we only have VPs and Preras in the house.  I like the M on my VP, and this nib lays down a very fine line.


You can't go wrong with either pen.



#5 jameswatts



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Posted 14 June 2015 - 21:02

I've no experience with the Pilot model you mention, but i can enthusiastically endorse the Platinum 3776.  One of the best pens I own.

#6 BillPorter


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Posted 14 June 2015 - 21:57

I don't have a Pilot Custom 74, but I do have a Platinum 3776 with a medium nib. One feature of the 3776 you might want to consider is the "slip and seal" cap. The inner cap on the pen is supposed to keep the nib from drying out, even over extended periods of time. I can't say that it quite lives up to the hype, but I do believe that the pen is better than most I own when it comes to starting right up after being stored nib up for a day or two.

#7 GordonOZ


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Posted 14 June 2015 - 22:05

Hmmmm if I had the money I would buy both lol, but that is just me, and alas now I don't the money... That said I have tried the Platinum 3776 with a medium nib and the Pilot Custom 74 with a fine nib and I preferred the Platinum 3776. Both are great pens...

Nature is the one song of praise that never stops singing. - Richard Rohr

Poets don't draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently. - Jean Cocteau

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#8 UDog


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Posted 15 June 2015 - 02:55

The nib on the Platinum is quite large and can be awkward for some writers.

Walk in shadow / Walk in dread / Loosefish walk / As Like one dead

#9 Blackhorse



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Posted 15 June 2015 - 05:04

I recently got both of the pens you're comparing...the totally drop dead gorgeous Platinum Century 3776 Bourgogne (M) and the more sedate Pilot Custom 74 (M) in a great very dark green. So, like others, here's my spin...

Platinum. Goes for extended periods without drying when inked due to the cap design. Has a smaller ink capacity. The (M) nib on mine is slightly thinner and more crisp than the Pilot and you can feel the paper surface while writing or drawing to a greater degree. For me this is a benefit as I use it for sketching often. Good feel. My wine colored barrel allows a subtle view of the inside, but nothing like a demonstrator. To me the look and color are among the prettiest I've ever encountered. I paid about $80 to have it shipped EMS to my door and shipping took an incredible 4 days from Japan. I live in Portland, Oregon...so that likely played a role there.

Pilot. About the same size. Both are screw caps and post nicely. The Pilot takes the big Con 70 plunger converter for about 1.5 ml of ink capacity...a plus. The nib is designed to feel more smooth and very slightly soft when writing...a very excellent feel BTW...but to me it comes across as just being more smooth. My (M) writes slightly more wide than the Platinum. The flow on both pens is excellent. One big benefit, if you stay with black pens here is the wide choice of nib styles...but if you're going for medium like I did that's not a benefit.

Know that you won't make a mistake either way. For me it boils down to the jewel like beauty of the Platinum, its cap that prevents drying and the excellent feedback I get when sketching. On the other side is the larger ink capacity of the Pilot and its smoother writing experience. Also, I like inks that shade well and with the slightly wider line the Pilot will show that off given equal flow. The cost of this one was the same as the above...they came shipped in the same box.

And remember, you buy the converters as most Japanese vendors either don't include it or give you the Con 50 for the Pilot. AND...the Platinum converter can be had with either gold or chrome metal trim...so you can match it to which pen you pick.

Which one? Depends on your needs. FOR ME I would likely opt for the Platinum.

Good luck...let us see you final pick!

#10 Keyless Works

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 06:59

You can't go wrong with either. The Platinum has a bigger nib and is better proportioned to my eye but if you like a softer nib you will prefer the Pilot. M Pilots put down a wider line than M Platinums in my experience.

#11 Pen_Noob



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Posted 15 June 2015 - 07:19

Platinum looks nicer due to translucent feel of the resin. Also the big nib looks nicer. Regarding the ink capacity, only the CON-70 from Pilot is bigger than Platinum's converter, CON-20 and CON-50 have smaller capacity.

Personally I would go for Platinum.

#12 fly_us



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Posted 15 June 2015 - 11:29

Have both, so i think my thoughts are valid :D.


Both are fantastic writer, i lean toward the Platinum because of its color, the 3776 Century bourgogne (B nib) while my 74 is a dead black one. The nib of the 3776 is absolute fabulous in both view and feel. The only con i could think about my 3776 is the smaller converter in comparison with the Pilot Con-70 in my 74. But i do not write much with the 3776 but prefer to sign with it. The nib is big, not the line, but the shape of the nib and i think it is more suitable for a signature pen.


I got my 74 first when i start to try Japanese pen. At that time, i looked for a solid pen and 74 is one of the pen i like out of the box. I got the 3776 later and at that time i start to get bore with black pen. That is the main reason i prefer the 3776 over the 74.


At the end, i gave away both of them to my brother. Not because i don't like them, but he prefers pens with cartridge inks than my other pens, which are piston filler. 

Edited by fly_us, 15 June 2015 - 11:31.

#13 TMK


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Posted 15 June 2015 - 19:13

I'd go for the Platinum. Pilots are ureliable from my experience.

#14 bbycrts


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Posted 15 June 2015 - 21:18

I have both, as well as the Sailor 1911.  All are black, all have M nibs.  In order of preference, here's my experience: 


1) Platinum Century 3776. The proportions of this pen are the most pleasing to my eye. I have found there to be a bit of spring in the nib when I write - more than the other two. The nib is "flatter" and I think that allows it more flex. At any rate, it writes beautifully and I have found that the slip and seal cap really works to keep the pen ready to write.  I have had the Pilot gunk up on me after a period of no use - has never happened with the Platinum. 


2) Pilot Custom 74.  The proportions on this pen are a little bit longer and more cylindrical, which in comparison to the Platinum makes it seem a bit long and ungainly (it is the longest of the 3).  I have a CON-70 converter in it and LOVE it.  Definitely the capacity champion. The writing experience is nearly up to that of the Platinum, but the nib feels a bit stiffer.  I also don't really care for the ball-end clip.  The main thing that edges the Platinum over this one, though, is that slip and seal cap on the Platinum - it really works.


3) Sailor 1911 (regular).  Aesthetically, this one is TOO tapered.  Ink capacity is on a par with the Platinum. There is much more feedback on the nib - not a bad thing, not rough, but I feel it drag on the paper more than the other two.  The main downgrade on the Sailor for me is the build quality - it doesn't feel quite up to that of Sailor or Pilot. Most noticeable is the clip - it isn't exactly loose, but I can feel it rock side to side a bit when I unscrew the cap. I have to say, though - if I didn't have the other two this would be my favorite pen, so my complaints are nit-picks and the pen excels in the face of most others I own - just not the Platinum or the Pilot.


As you can tell from all the reviews there is a good deal of personal subjective evaluation here.  I find the Platinum's nib to the the softest of the three - others find it to be a nail and put their vote out for Pilot.  Go figure.  I'm sure we hold our pens and write with them differently from each other.  If you have any chance to try them out live, that's your best bet.  Otherwise I don't think you can go wrong...even though you'll probably always wonder....

#15 frogbaby


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Posted 16 June 2015 - 01:48

the 74 is longer if you write un-posted and heavier than the 3776 which is a short and very light pen (14 vs 10 grams)


i have an 823 fine not a 74 and a 3776 medium - both have very nice nibs that start every time and lay down a nice wet line

#16 owend


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Posted 17 June 2015 - 19:01

Like some others, I don't have the Pilot for comparison. However, the Platinum 3776 is a really good pen, it feels right for balance (I use it posted), the nib looks gorgeous and I find it fairly soft - I wouldn't describe it as a nail at all. It starts first time even after being left for a few days, with the slip-and-seal, and it lays a constant, slightly wet, and effortless, line. I have a Medium nib, which is about a European Fine.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: pilot custom 74, platinum 3776, platinum 3776 century, custom 74, 3776 century

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