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  1. Notwithstanding official announcements and/or informal heads-ups from some individual retailers (much) earlier in the year about increases to retail pricing of Platinum pens in the regional markets in which they operate, … It appears Platinum in Japan has very recently taken down its product catalogues from its Japanese and English language web sites, while they update the documents to reflect the changes to (at least) pricing of ‘entry-level’ #3776 Century models with either gold or rhodium trim and plain, single-colour (i.e. black, Bourgogne, Laurel Green, Chartres Blue, and Chenonceau White) AS resin bodies. Links to the catalogues I posted not even a week ago now return HTTP error 404; and looking at the model numbers, the gold-trimmed models are now PNB-15000 instead of PNB-13000 (which implies the ex-tax price has gone up to ¥15,000 from ¥13,000), and the rhodium finish (or “silver trim”) models are not PNB-18000CR instead of PNB-15000CR. Note: The pricing is shown on the Japanese version of the product pages.
  2. Ink Shoot-Out : J.Herbin Poussière de Lune vs L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio Bourgogne Over the course of the past few years I have developed a taste for dusty, murky inks. Excellent colours for gloomy autumns and dark winter evenings... Two of the inks I love very much are J. Herbin’s Poussière de Lune and L’Artisan Pastellier Callifolio’s Bourgogne. Both are nice dusty purples that fit very well with the autumn season. A perfect time to do a detailed comparison, and find out which of these inks I like the most. Enter... the Ink Shoot-Out. A brutal fight spanning five rounds, where heavyweight inks do battle to determine who is the winner. In the left corner - the well-known J. Herbin champion – Poussière de Lune. In the right corner, also from France, the challenger from L’Artisan Pastellier – Bourgogne. Which champion will remain standing at the end of the fight ? Let's find out... Round 1 - First Impressions Both inks are wonderful murky purples. These are dark and moody inks, well suited to writing on gloomy autumn evenings. Count Vladimir Dracula would have loved them both, and so do I. There are some differences though: Poussière de Lune is much more saturated and lubricated – the pen flows over the paper and leaves a very well saturated line. Bourgogne writes drier with noticeable feedback from the paper. As a result, Bourgogne leaves a finer line with less saturation.Bourgogne is a darker purple with more grey-black undertones. This is a matter of personal taste, but I definitely prefer the darker purple of Bourgogne.Both inks appeal to me. Poussière de Lune is technically the better ink for writing, but colour-wise I really consider Bourgogne to have the edge. For this round, both champions are on par with each other. Let’s call it a draw. Round 2 - Writing Sample The writing sample was done on Rhodia N°16 Notepad with 80 gsm paper. Both inks behaved flawlessly, with no feathering and no show-through or bleed-through. J. Herbin’s Poussière de Lune wrote wonderfully, with very good ink-flow, and leaving a well saturated line. In contrast, Callifolio Bourgogne is much less lubricated, and leaves a consistenly thinner line on the paper. With normal writing, the colour difference between both inks is less apparent. Although Callifolio has more grey-black undertones, in everyday writing this is not immediately obvious. You need to look carefully to see the difference. Both inks also exhibit an aesthetically pleasing shading. Being dark inks, the shading is not very prominent – from dark to darker purple – but it is there, and gives extra character to the writing. For this round, Poussière de Lune clearly has the upper hand, and showed the best technique. A clear and definite win. Round 3 - Pen on Paper I added this round to indicate how the battling inks behave on a range of fine writing papers. From top to bottom, we have : FantasticPaper, Life Noble, Tomoe River and Original Crown Mill cotton paper. All scribbling and writing was done with a Lamy Safari M-nib. Both champions did well, with no show-through nor bleed-through. But this round is not about technicalities, it is about aesthetics and beauty. Are the fighters able to make the paper shine ? In my opinion, Callifolio Bourgogne is the more able of the champions – It’s dustier and murkier on a wider variety of paper. The only exception is with Tomoe River paper, where I like the result of Poussière de Lune better. For this round, Bourgogne gets the upper hand and gets a win on points. Round 4 - Ink Properties Both inks have drying times in the 15-20 second range on the Rhodia paper. Both inks also do fine on the smudge test, where a moist Q-tip cotton swab is drawn across the text lines. There is some smearing, but the text remains perfectly legible. For the droplet test, I dripped water onto the grid and let it sit there for 15 minutes, after which I removed the water droplets with a paper kitchen towel. Neither of the champions exhibits good water resistance – although with some patience you might be able to reconstruct the written word. Also Poussière de Lune leaves more of a purple mess on the page. The chromatography shows that both inks leave a greyish residue, with Poussière de Lune leaving more purple smearing. You can also see that Bourgogne is the darker of the two, with more grey-black undertones in the ink. Overall though – the chroma’s look very similar. In this round, both inks show more or less the same behavior, resulting in a draw. Round 5 - The Fun Factor Welcome to the final round. Here I give you a purely personal impression of both inks, where I judge which of them I like most when doing some fun stuff like doodling and drawing. Both inks do well, and the lack of water resistance allows for nice effects when using a water brush. But I must admit that I like L’Artisan Pastellier Callifolio Bourgogne a lot better than J. Herbin Poussière de Lune. Bourgogne is much nicer to draw with, and has a much more pleasing dark dusty purple colour. The dark grey in this ink is what really makes it shine. In comparison, Poussière de Lune is too purple in appearance. This is of course a personal decision, but it is the judge’s conclusion that this round is clearly won by the more artistic ink – Callifolio Bourgogne. The Verdict Both inks find a proud place in my collection, and both are suitably gloomy inks for the dark autumn season. If you are in search of some dusty dark purples – no need to look any further. But counting the points, I find that L’Artisan Pastellier Callifolio Bourgogne has a slight edge over J. Herbin Poussière de Lune. A fight needs a winner, and in this fight I grant the victory to Callifolio Bourgogne.
  3. The #3776 is a marvellous piece of writing instrument that any passionate fountain pen lover would consider absolutely essential, for building up a collection. Sometimes, it’s one of the top five must haves for people like us, available perhaps at the lowest price given the gold nib. As for me, I never sensed any urgency to get one, as there were a few similar shaped pens (Pilot Custom 74, Sailor 1911 & MB 146) with me. I liked the wide flattish nib and had decided to take a Naka-ai writer later, which would address my desires of getting an urushi lacquered pen in Tamenuri finish. With time however, a few #3776s of my friends passed through my hands and then one fine day the wine red Bourgogne seemed to be unavoidable. I didn't like few of the nibs which I had encountered previously, given their low tolerance to even moderate pressures resulting in higher feedback. The similarly sized and shaped Pilot Custom 74 albeit with a smaller nib, wrote like a dream with just the softness and responsiveness one would ideally want in a fountain pen. The pluses were many if I ended up with the right kind of nib, given a great balance, an unique colour and a air-tight sealing mechanism of the cap. Below links redirects to the same review on my blog with additional eye-candy Platinum #3776 Century in Bourgogne PRESENTATION (6/6) The pen comes in a blue faux-leather gift box, packed with one blue cartridge, a converter, a warranty card and an user manual. I like the simple, no-fuss design of the box with the right amount of protection necessary for the pen. The model number of the pen, in this case tagged to the clip in a small plastic sleeve, PNB-10000 #71, encompasses both the launch price and colour within it. The 10000 refers to JPY 10,000 as the launch price and #71 to Bourgogne, in this case. DESIGNED - CLASSICAL CIGAR (5/6) The #3776 comes with plethora of names and materials ranging from resin to wood to ebonite & celluloids. The ones most commonly purchased across #3776 Century Collection is either the Chartres Blue or the Bourgogne one. The original #3776 series was designed by Japanese playwright Haruo Umeda who was incidentally also known as Mr.Fountain Pen, along with the designers at Platinum, with the intention of creating an ideal fountain pen. The first of the #3776s were made available to general public in 1978. They sold over 150,000 pens in the first six months, gaining popular use. As you might already know, #3776 expresses the height of Mt. Fuji (3776 meters), the highest peak in Japan. This new model however represents the first full model change in over 33 years. You can find a more detailed historical interlude with an amazing review of the Chartres Blue version by Garden Man on FPN. This classical cigar starts with a rounded off finial and a gold plated clip & ring combination, syncing well with concentric cap bands and concluding with a golden dazzle at the end of the barrel. The relatively dark wine red or Bourgogne coloured resin allows light to dazzle through the entirety of the pen. Bourgogne (or Burgundy) is one of France's main wine producing areas. The region is well known for both its red and white wines, mostly made from Pinot noir and Chardonnay grapes, respectively. The pen incidentally gleams in revealing wine red and striking golden hues with ambient light and these effects proliferate with light. The converter shines within, revealing the ink-levels inside. The transparency doesn't give in to all ambience of light, and keeps pacing up with the intensity of red wine. The cap disengages in less than two turns. revealing a golden glaze of the 14k nib. The grip does reveal another knot of glitter, at start of the section here. The barrel further steps down to the section, however it did not affect my writing experience. Injection-moulding threads are somewhat visible at the threads of the barrel and grip, which could have been polished off. Compared to the President nib, the #3776 nib poses serious competition in terms of size and of course flexibility. The cap with a rounded off finial preserves a classical look. A few things etched across a thicker centre band include the symbol p for brand name of PLATINUM, model number #3776 and of course MADE IN JAPAN. An concentric narrow band above renders some differential aesthetics. The simple clip is tension-fit and has a traditional shape, with a faint western resemblance. From top, you can also observe part of spring & screw of the Slip & Seal mechanism inside the finial. This new air-tight screw on cap is supposed to completely seal off the nib tip from outside air, preventing any escaping vapours. The inner cap ‘Slip & Seal’ mechanism was originally designed for the pull-on caps on lower models. In the current design, the forward upraised edge of the section pushes up against the inner cap, the inner cap rotates independently of the outer cap till a spring at the end of the inner cap pushes back the distance, thereby removing the ambient air and achieving an air-tight seal, as seen in this video. This last bit of threads on the barrel (almost the last quarter turn) which activate the air-tight seal in the inner cap, keep the nib from drying out for more than a year, according to Platinum. Overall, the building materials (resin) and the quality of gold plating seem to have improved. The resin seems reasonably resistant to scratches compared to older models but I do see a cap mark on the end of the barrel as I consistently happen to post the pen. FILLING SYSTEM (4/6) As a cartridge converter filler, the supplied convertor is limited by a volume of 0.6 mL although platinum cartridges have an advantage with capacity of more than 1 mL. Unfortunately enough, Platinum stopped manufacturing piston-fillers long back and the last one (70th Anniversary) was released way back in 1989. The #3776 takes in proprietary converters and like all other current Platinum pens and there is an adapter available for international cartridges/converters, whose production is currently stopped. The barrel disengages from the grip section with less than three turns, exposing metallic threads of the section (thus removing the eye dropper possibility). The resin barrel carries the opposite threads inside. The proprietary converter looks cool with its golden trims matching the overall trims of the pen and you can observe the ink levels through streaming transparency of red wine. As you can see, almost the entire converter capacity(albeit limited), remains exposed to your eye. NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (5/6) The nib #3776 is made up of 14k gold alloy and it comes across in several Japanese widths - EF(Extra-Fine), F(Fine), M(Medium), B(Broad), UEF(Ultra extra-fine), SF(Soft Fine) & C(Double broad). Inscribed within the nib is the symbol of Mt. Fuji’s peak. A hearty breather hole lies above the imprint of a relatively flatly styled nib. Below the etching of #3776 and the brand symbol p, along with nib alloy (14k), width (M) and gold content(585), rest at the far end of the tail. The peaks of Mt. Fuji start parallel to the tines and achieve their summit towards the iridium tipping. These scrollwork are limited to the tines. JAPAN is engraved on one of the faceted shoulders. The nib lays a wet and smooth line and is a tad forgiving to pressure. The black plastic feed for the has spacey and stylish fins and even with the cap open for a while, it does not take an effort to lay a consistently wet line. A small feeder hole at the section end provides ink suction for the converter. This is a redesigned feeder which is wider and thicker than the 1978 one, resulting in a stronger nib alignment. The nib and feed are heat fitted and you are advised not to pull out the unit just for fun. PHYSICS OF IT – RELATIVELY SPEAKING (6/6) The cigar shape of a pen renders comfort and balance for usage. The cap weighs around 10 grams, and I prefer to post the pen to get necessary heft even for extended writing. To take notes or scribble here & there, I don't usually post the pen. The section with around 1 cm girth is another desirable element for longer writing sessions. Along with the converter, the weight and balance are what you would pretty much expect in most of the nicer pens. Length closed ~ 14 cmLength open ~ 12 cmLength posted ~ 16 cmGrip Diameter ~ 1 cmNib Leverage ~ 3.3 cmWeight (with inked converter) ~ 23-24 gWeight of cap ~ 10 g Some snaps of capped, uncapped & posted #3776 with Sailor Pro Gear, Pilot Custom 74 and Pelikan m605 go below for your reference. ECONOMIC VALUE (6/6) The pen retails at around USD 176 in the US or around Rs 10,000 in India, although you can find it significantly lower prices in Japan. I bought the pen at around the street price plus shipping which hovers around USD 80-90. The pen reached me from Pensindia Pune office next day, after placing an order. Honestly, if you are end up with the right kind of nib, this pen is the steal of a deal. It cannot get better than this, given the 14k better-sized gold nib, along with a good body in a comfortable shape. OVERALL (5.3/6) The medium nib lays a width somewhere between a western extra fine and western fine, graced with a wet and consistent flow. With free flowing inks like Waterman, Pilot Standard ones or specific Iroshizukus, the nib glides over paper with great panache. You may feel a bit of resistance, in case of more viscous/shading inks (say MBTB or even Sailors). I did feel some characteristic spring and a hint of softness with the 14k nib. It felt rigid initially, but with constant writing the nib has started to accommodate my pen-pressure with incremental reflexes. The verticals are almost as thick as the horizontals, showing an absence of any unforced line variation. With a decent buffer capacity of the plastic feed and remarkable sealing off mechanism of the cap, the nib starts like a star and glides over the paper with Iroshizuku Yama-budo ink. The ink takes around 20 seconds to dry completely on MD paper, which also points to efficiency as well as economy of Japanese manufacturing. Overall, I am glad that I have finally bought this pen for myself. Thank you for going through the review. You can find other pen and paraphernalia reviews here. REFERENCES Air-Tight Seal of Cap Platinum #3776 Century Website Platinum Izumo - President Nib Review
  4. L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio - Bourgogne L’Artisan Pastellier is a small company in southern France that specialises in natural pigments, and offers customers authentic and reliable products in beautiful colours based on mineral or vegetable pigments. In a collaboration with Loic Rainouard from Styloplume.net, the chemist Didier Boinnard from L’Artisan Pastellier created the line of Callifolio fountain pen inks. These pastel-colored inks are traditionally crafted, and can be freely mixed and matched. Overall these inks are only moderately saturated, and have low water-resistance. The inks were specifically designed to work well with all types of paper, and all types of fountain pens. Being pastel-tinted, these inks have a watercolor-like appearance, and are not only fine inks for journaling, but are also really excellent inks for doodling & drawing. I only recently discovered them, and they are already the inks I gravitate towards for personal journaling. In this review I take a closer look at Bourgogne – one of the purples of the ink collection. Bourgogne is presumably named after its namesake French wine – reflecting the colour of this delicious produce of red grapes. Capturing the wine’s colour really well, Bourgogne is a dark dusty purple, with a classic vintage feel. There is some subtle shading present. Due to the darker colour of this ink, the shading is more subdued, less obviously present, but nevertheless it’s there and it enhances the character of the ink. This is a moderately saturated ink, with good flow, and one that works well even in the finer nibs. With the broader nibs the ink shows more of its character. With fine nibs the ink’s appearance is ok, but it doesn’t have enough breathing room to show its potential. A good wine deserves a large wine glass where the liquid can breath – this ink deserves a broader nib to make it shine: use an M-nib or broader to enjoy it. Bourgogne is relatively smudge-resistant – the colour spreads, but the words remain legible. The ink is only minimally water-resistant, as is apparent from the chromatography – only a greyish-purple residue remains. With the 15 minute droplet test, what remains on the paper are illegible smudges. Don’t count on being able to reconstruct your writing. With shorter exposures - as illustrated with the 10 to 30 second exposures to running tap water - the ink is more forgiving. A greyish-purple outline of the text remains, which is still readable with some effort. On the other hand – the low water-resistance is a big plus when doodling & drawing. With a water-brush you can easily spread out the ink, and obtain some nice shading effects. I’ve tested the ink on a wide variety of paper – from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. For the Callifolio reviews, I’m using a new format to show you the ink’s appearance and behaviour on the different paper types. On every small band of paper I show you: An ink swab, made with a cotton Q-tip1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturationAn ink scribble made with an M-nib fountain penThe name of the paper used, written with a B-nibA small text sample, written with an M-nibDrying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)Bourgogne behaved perfectly on all the paper types, with no apparent feathering even on the lower quality papers in my test set. Drying times are in the 10 second range, so this is a fast-drying ink. On the Original Crown Mill cotton paper, there was noticeable feedback while writing –the ink is drawn straight down into the paper, the effect of which translates into a reduction of nib size. The text that I’ve written with an M-nib looks as though its written with an F-nib. The ink contrasts very nicely with white and off-white paper. In my opinion this purple ink is no good match for more yellowish paper – like Noble Note. I also show the back-side of the different paper types, in the same order. With the low-end Moleskine paper, there is significant show-through and bleed-through. With the other papers, Bourgogne’s behaviour is impeccable. This ink copes really well with all paper types ! Conclusion Callifolio Bourgogne is a very well-behaving ink on all types of paper, but one with only minimal water resistance. I really love the dusty vintage look of this purple ink, and the subdued shading it exhibits. In my opinion though, you need broader nibs to make this ink look at its best. With fine nibs the ink remains fully functional but looses some of its beauty. Overall I find Bourgogne to be a beautiful-looking purple that I enjoy using. If you’re looking for a purple ink, this is definitely one to consider. Technical test results on Rhodia N°16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib
  5. Hi guys! I am a student and I recently bought a Platinum #3776 Century Bourgogne in EF from a reputable eBay seller. I received the pen and I spent 4 hours trying to get it to start and put down a consistent black line. I'm using Noodler's Heart of Darkness. I tried - flushing, cleaning, reinking, cartridge and converter, spreading the tines a little and repeated the whole process many times. I managed to get it to write properly for about an hour but then it started putting down inconsistent lines again. It mostly does this on the faster strokes or on an upstroke. When it is skipping, I pull the feed and nib out and I see that the feed is very dry and almost all of the ink is sitting on the top of the nib. You can see the problem right here: http://i.imgur.com/whKOcoY.jpg http://i.imgur.com/4KPujxl.jpg It used to be much worse than this but I still don't know how to make it write properly. TLDR: - Platinum 3776 EF, inconsistent lines with Noodler's Heart of Darkness, help?

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