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3 Japanese Cigar Pens- Opinion


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#1 WLSpec

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 00:31

I have two of the following pens, but I was wondering about the third and curious about people's favorites. I've heard before that the three "biggest" Japanese fountain pen brands are Sailor, Pilot, and Platinum, and I noticed that each makes a gold nib cigar pen that are very alike: 1911, 3776, and Custom 74 or 823. I have the first two, but have not treated myself to any of the Pilot custom series (a problem that needs to be fixed  :D ). What are people's favorites out of these three pens, and why? Which nib is your favorite, and why? I have heard great things about all three, and I know of people loyal to each one of these pens, so I was curious what the FPN community thinks. Thanks!

 

As for my favorite out of the two that I own... I would have to go with the Sailor, but barely. I love my 3776 as well. 

 

Edit: As Driften mentioned, the Custom 74 may be a more fair comparison to the other two pens.


Edited by WLSpec, 12 February 2019 - 00:42.

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#2 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 00:37

I only have the 3776 at present. That may or may not change in the future. I do like it though and it is almost always inked.

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#3 Driften

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 00:38

My opinion is the 823 is the best of them, but it's also the most expensive of them. A more fair comparison would be the Custom 74. Also note the 1911 comes in more than one size. The 1911 Standard is the smallest of the three pens and I think the 1911 Large is bigger than the 3776 and 74. The 1911L was the same size as my Montblanc 146 which is a little bigger then my 3776. I no longer have the 1911 standard or long. I do have Sailor Pro gear and Pro Gear Slim and enjoy them, but my 823 is a better pen.



#4 WLSpec

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 00:41

My opinion is the 823 is the best of them, but it's also the most expensive of them. A more fair comparison would be the Custom 74. Also note the 1911 comes in more than one size. The 1911 Standard is the smallest of the three pens and I think the 1911 Large is bigger than the 3776 and 74. The 1911L was the same size as my Montblanc 146 which is a little bigger then my 3776. I no longer have the 1911 standard or long. I do have Sailor Pro gear and Pro Gear Slim and enjoy them, but my 823 is a better pen.

Thanks for the feedback! I might edit that, the 74 is a better comparison. The L does also have a 21k gold nib, which might alter opinions slightly from an experienced user... I'll think about that.


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#5 Driften

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 00:45

The 1911 Standard can also be bought with a 21k nib that is the same size as the 14k one. On the Pilot side, I no longer have my 74 or 91. I do like my 92 which is a piston filler but is a flat top model so maybe not what you are looking for.

 

You can also consider the Pilot 742 and 743. The 743 is the same size as the 823 but a C/C model. The 742 is in-between the 74 and 823 in size. All of them have 14k nibs be the nibs get bigger as you go up in number.



#6 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 00:46

A number of folks have called the 21 K nib, mushy.

I don't know....but it's something to keep in mind.

Not a nib for the Heavy Handed either.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany      Info on Bock nibs

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#7 Tseg

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 00:49

My 823 is my travel pen, it has a large resevoir, which can be locked down when flying, and my Fine nib is a workhorse, with any ink and any writing surface.  My 3776 is nice, but doesn't excite me.  I have a Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen which is easily one of my top 3 pens to use.


Edited by Tseg, 12 February 2019 - 00:49.


#8 cattar

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 04:24

I go for the nib. I like pencilly feed, and I like soft bounce.
That means...
1- I like Sailor in both steel and gold nibs.
2- I like Platinums variety of gold nibs. The steel nibs are too smooth, but they're useful.
3- I like Pilot's gold falcon nib, and the steel nibs. The other Pilot gold nibs are too smooth.



#9 tleek

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 01:25

I have a 3776 in Chartres Blue with a SF nib.

I like the pen a lot. It is beautiful and very comfortable to write with.

I really do not like the nib. It is springy, and can flex a bit, but it is too fine for my liking and feels very scratchy. It wrote incredibly dry when I first purchased it. I had to spread the tines and floss the nib slit to get it to write a little better. I am not sure if I ruined the nib or not, but I remember it being scratchy from the get go. If I could go back I'd get a medium nib.



#10 A Smug Dill

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 04:03

Given that the Platinum #3776 and Sailor 1911 product series both cover so many different models – with different materials, trim and finishings for the pen bodies, as well as sometimes the design of the cap – I think perhaps you should be more specific about which models you want to compare; for example:

all being full-sized models in plain black resin with gold trim, and with the broadest selection of gold nibs in various nib widths and types. Otherwise, there is really no contest and I'd say the Platinum #3776 wins hands down; I have eight (not counting my fiancée's) pens in that series and would happily buy more, just for the beauty of the different pen bodies.
 
Firstly, I don't like the Pilot FKKN-12SR-B-* (of which I have two, both with nibs I don't enjoy using, as it turns out). It has the longest but thinnest bodies (capped) of the three, and I don't like the knob at the end of the clip. I don't have a Pilot 14K gold #5 Fine nib on either of those, or my Pilot Custom Heritage 91 for that matter, to compare against other 'Japanese Fine' nibs, but after being a big fan of Pilot in general and having spent thousands on other Pilot fountain pens, I find the Custom 74 completely underwhelming. As a product line, it also has the most boring colour options.

 

Then, the Sailor 1911 Large in black with gold trim. Its shape and girth are more to my liking than the Pilot Custom 74, but I still find the pen body boring as hell. A (1.)plain, opaque black finish on a (2.)lightweight resin body in (3.)cigar shape with (4.)gold trim all at once is a formula to turn me off, even though the individual aspects can work in other combinations. I put up with my black-GT 1911L because it is married to a (yellow) gold Naginata Concord nib, and I don't want to buy another 1911L in a different colour with gold trim just to swap the nib or section across. (I did buy a black-GT Sailor Profit REALO, which is still sitting sealed inside a plastic sleeve untouched since it left the factory, originally with the intent of swapping the nib or section across.) It is the only model of the three to offer a Zoom nib as a standard option.

 

Lastly, the Platinum #3776 Century 'Black in Black'. It has almost exactly the same form factor and shape as the Sailor 1911L, has a Slip and Seal mechanism in the cap as a major selling point (in its marketing, at least, regardless of whether the Sailor and Pilot pens actually dry out more quickly without such a feature), and the resin is ever-so-slightly translucent, even though it is the cheapest of the three in terms of street price. It is also the only model of the three to offer an Ultra Extra Fine nib as a standard option.

 

So, to me, Pilot Custom 74 is the clear 'loser', and the Platinum #3776 Century has just that much of an edge over the Sailor 1911 Large – before taking into account nib differences, and notably that the 1911L comes with a 21K gold nib as standard, whereas the others come with 14K gold nibs. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy writing with the Platinum #3776 14K (yellow) gold F nibs, almost as much as much as I enjoy the ruthenium-plated 21K gold F nib on my Sailor Professional Gear Imperial Black, but the number of carats may make a difference to some people, especially if they also want to take price differences into consideration.

 

Disclaimer: I don't actually have any of the three with equivalent nibs to do a fair head-to-head comparison.

Let's ignore for now the additional nib types only available on the Pilot Custom Heritage 912 or better.


Pretending that all fountain pen collectors and/or enthusiasts here are like-minded, or at least find some merit in each others' personal preferences, is misguided to say the least. Having a shared or common interest in the acquisition and use of fountain pens does not mean one thinks that any of the following qualities is essential, ideal, superior, or preferable: wetbroadflex, vintage, piston-fill, transparent, shading, sheeny, and cheap.


#11 Keyless Works

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 05:25

This is an interesting question. All three are really good pens. Pilot in my opinion makes the best pens of the three brands. Their nibs are the most expensive to buy, that said the Custom 74 has cosmetic issues (not related to performance or quality) that make it aesthetically the least appealing. The typical black with gold trim Custom 74 has a smaller nib than the other two pens in question despite being the same size. Also the color of the gold plated trim and the gold nib do not match. I've had the 74 and all the Namiki Custom Impressions models based on the 74 and 845 (the Namiki versions have a #10 instead of #5 nib). You definitely wont be disappointed with the performance but if you want a more proportional nib you are going to have to buy a more expensive pen in the Pilot line.



#12 Honeybadgers

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 06:58

the pilot custom 74 is a great thing. I love my demonstrator model most, even though I don't usually go for solid rhodium coated gold nibs (I'm either a two tone or solid gold tone person when it comes to 14k+) a custom 74 with a soft fine nib is a lovely thing indeed. just get used to the ball clip.

 

Pilot has a leg up on sailor and platinum with me in that the CON-70 fits all their gold nib models apart from the stargazer (discontinued) vanishing point and e95s. the con-70 is a great converter. the 74 has a big nib variety too, only bested by the larger brother 743. the 74 is a nice, long pen unposted but posts deeply too, so it's nice and versatile. I find the 3776 and 1911 require posting.

 

the 823 is probably one of the best pens money can buy. You can have it with F, M, B, or if you buy from the one authorized retailer for them (tokyo pen quill shop) a FA flex nib or WA waverly. The FA also benefits from a flexible nib factory ebonite 2 slot feed. But it's pricey. If you like cigar pens, it's kind of the king in a lot of ways. it holds a monstrous amount of ink and is just made so well (a TWSBI wrench also fits it for disassembly)



#13 A Smug Dill

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 07:41

If you like cigar pens, it's kind of the king in a lot of ways.

 

 

So, not the Sailor King of Pens (Ebonite, Urushi, maki-e, whatever) models with a Naginata nib? :)


Pretending that all fountain pen collectors and/or enthusiasts here are like-minded, or at least find some merit in each others' personal preferences, is misguided to say the least. Having a shared or common interest in the acquisition and use of fountain pens does not mean one thinks that any of the following qualities is essential, ideal, superior, or preferable: wetbroadflex, vintage, piston-fill, transparent, shading, sheeny, and cheap.


#14 Uncial

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 09:22

A number of folks have called the 21 K nib, mushy.

I don't know....but it's something to keep in mind.

Not a nib for the Heavy Handed either.

 

I may be wrong, but I think that is only true of the KOP models. The special editions of the Realo and Pro Gear that came with 21K nibs were just as firm as any others. The Pro Gear KOP has a 21K nib that is slightly soft - I wouldn't call it mushy though. 



#15 A Smug Dill

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 09:35

The special editions of the Realo and Pro Gear that came with 21K nibs were just as firm as any others.


I'd say the ruthenium-plated 21K gold F nib on my Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black feels about the the same in softness stakes as the Pilot #10 14K gold F nib on my Pilot Custom Kaede. The 21k gold Naginata Concord nib on my Sailor Profit (aka 1911L) is certainly not soft, let alone mushy.

Pretending that all fountain pen collectors and/or enthusiasts here are like-minded, or at least find some merit in each others' personal preferences, is misguided to say the least. Having a shared or common interest in the acquisition and use of fountain pens does not mean one thinks that any of the following qualities is essential, ideal, superior, or preferable: wetbroadflex, vintage, piston-fill, transparent, shading, sheeny, and cheap.


#16 almoore

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 10:09

I have several Pilot pens and my favourites are the Custom 74 and the Custom 823 both are wonderful to write with, I find them better than my 3776. They tend to be smoother to writers but the 3776 is a very nice pen and the slip seal cap really does work; I uncapped mine after 14 months and it wrote first time, however, the ink had started to thicken just slightly but after 14 months not bad.

 

I'm waiting for my Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black from Japan so I might change my mind once I have that.

 

Al



#17 putteringpenman

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 12:51

I've tried all of them at some point, but the 823 is the only one I own. The Custom 823 is also my favorite as a writer. The large ink capacity is a plus and the pen looks great.


Currently inked:

- Pilot Custom 823 <M> with Pilot Blue-Black

- Pilot Cocoon <M> with Pilot Black

- Lamy Safari <F> with Pilot Iroshizuku Take-Sumi

YouTube fountain pen reviews: https://www.youtube....akktBMGg/videos


#18 penzel_washinkton

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 13:39

As great as the 823 is, it shouldn't be compared to the 3776 and 1911S/L due to the pricing gap between them.

Although I don't have the Pilot Custom 74, I have owned a Pilot CH 91 which presumably uses the same nib as the Custom 74 (CMIIW).

Note that all those pens have F nibs.

 

It depends on what makes you love like the 1911 / 3776. Out of those 3, I found Pilot to be the smoothest and Sailor to be the most feedbacky.

Form factor wise, from my experience I like Pilot the most and ink capacity wise, Pilot again has the upper hand with it's CON-70.



#19 Tasmith

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 14:34

I have two of the following pens, but I was wondering about the third and curious about people's favorites. I've heard before that the three "biggest" Japanese fountain pen brands are Sailor, Pilot, and Platinum, and I noticed that each makes a gold nib cigar pen that are very alike: 1911, 3776, and Custom 74 or 823. I have the first two, but have not treated myself to any of the Pilot custom series (a problem that needs to be fixed  :D ). What are people's favorites out of these three pens, and why? Which nib is your favorite, and why? I have heard great things about all three, and I know of people loyal to each one of these pens, so I was curious what the FPN community thinks. Thanks!

 

As for my favorite out of the two that I own... I would have to go with the Sailor, but barely. I love my 3776 as well. 

 

Edit: As Driften mentioned, the Custom 74 may be a more fair comparison to the other two pens.

I'll be taking a serious look at the Pilot Custom 823 at the upcomming Baltimore Pen Show.  What better place to compare pens?



#20 Honeybadgers

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 02:50

 

 

So, not the Sailor King of Pens (Ebonite, Urushi, maki-e, whatever) models with a Naginata nib? :)

 

I was keeping things in the "I don't need to mortgage my house or pawn my daughter" kind of price range for the comparison.

 

A Maki-e, raden or chinkin style king of pen with the cross concord emperor, king cobra emperor, or king eagle emperor is probably the lord of all fountain pens in my eyes.








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