First off, this pen was a stress purchase — a little bit of retail therapy to self-reward after a really tough month. I’d previously been using a lot of Signo 0.28 and 0.18s, and I missed that kind of line thinness with fountain pens. Having stumbled across a few reviews, all of which sang the praises of the Ultra Extra Fine nib, I went on Engeika and bought one!
It is often recommended as a “next-level” fountain pen, and it sits at an affordable price point for a gold-nibbed pen. It looks smooth and beautiful with the transparent red resin, and doesn’t pick up microscratches that easily. Red and gold is also a really classic combination, and the wine colour definitely goes with their marketing material!
The rather large 14k gold nib is in a proprietary shape by Platinum, and has very clean minimalist lines representing Mt. Fuji. The number 3776 comes from the height in metres of said mountain. And what a tip! One could easily draw blood with it.
The only disappointment for me was that it needed some work out of the box to write smoothly, having been far too dry and scratchy when inked. The tines were too close together and hardly any ink could flow, so I gained my first nib-work experience by dismantling the pen and flossing the tines apart. But when all was fixed, the pen brought back so many memories of doing revision for mathematics exams with various colours of 0.28 uni-ball gel pens…
I had to take the next two photos by holding a 10x loupe in front of my phone camera, since I didn’t have a real macro lens!
It writes a really precise line and has no flex whatsoever, though I noticed mine seems to have a thicker cross stroke than downstroke, like a mini-architect grind. A nib is never going to be smooth when it is this fine, and thus the UEF has a somewhat pencilly feeling, even across smooth paper.
Flipping it over to do some reverse writing allows for an even finer line — somewhere between 0.03 and 0.05mm — and a favourite nerdy party trick of mine is to write on rice grains. (Merry Christmas, everyone!)
A fuller writing sample lies below, done as usual on Fabriano A5 dot paper.
It is definitely a pen to use on cheap copy paper, since the fine line prevents bleeding. I use it for note-taking (so good for margins!) and writing music, since I print my own manuscript at 18 lines to an A4 page, as below:
Top half of an A5 (!) manuscript page – a freshly-finished piano transcription of Schubert's "Lachen und Weinen" (Laughter and Tears). 18 lines of manuscript per page means each staff is under 5mm in height. Writing made possible by the UEF nib on my Platinum Century 3776, inked with a Platinum Blue-Black cartridge. #fountainpens #penandink #music #schubert #lieder #piano #arrangement #platinum #3776 #century #blueblack