Well, I’m sure I’m not the ONLY person that has a Platinum President, but I think my point is fairly clear...
When there is talk of the Platinum pen lineup it is generally always about the 3776 series. Why? They are great pens for a great price when compared to their competition. I have owned several and love them.
A few months back the President fountain pen came to mind and I thought, “I don’t actually know anyone that has one.” This sparked some curiosity in my mind as to why? Is it too boring? Too expensive? Is the 3776 just a way better buy?
So, what did I do? I bought one in an attempt to try and answer these questions.
In truth, going into this I had immediate thoughts questioning why anyone would actually buy the President model in the first place? The 3776 and President are both in the “mid-range” price point in the Platinum lineup, but are actually really close. Almost too close I think to make a lot of sense.
In comparing the full retail prices on the two, the 3776 pens start at $220 while the President is $275 ($325 for the rhodium model I got). See what I mean?
The President only comes in three color variations: black or burgundy with gold trim, or black with rhodium trim. In contrast the 3776 is getting new, limited edition colors all the time and has a broader selection in the standard models.
The pens themselves are relatively close in size (the President slightly longer), more of a moderate “full size”, but not large.
A key distinction between the two pens is the nib. The 3776 comes standard with a 14k while the President is 18k.
Now, in my opinion, the President nib has a lot more going for it in the aesthetics department. I find it to be a much more attractive design. It is a two-tone affair with elegant lines and the word “President” engraved and it feels more like a more “upscale” pen than the 3776 which has a very plain (boring really) nib design.
Maybe a slight rant, but the 3776 nib really is super boring and even a bit awkward against a more professional looking pen barrel. Not all brands have fancy nibs… Lamy nibs are very plain, but they are put up against more modern and “odd” designs and generally fits their style. But the 3776? Just boring.
While writing, the President is nice. The nib is a medium and puts down a fantastic line. On the page there is some feedback, but enough to where it is actually pleasant in my opinion. Lets you feel the writing on the page a bit.
Is the experience dramatically different than the 3776? Not that I could tell.
From a a quality standpoint, compared to my 3776 Nice Pur (clear with some textured stripes), the President feels a bit nicer and more substantial. Like the material is of a higher quality if that makes sense. But, holding it up against the Black Diamond 3776 which is closer in look and overall style, the quality is almost indistinguishable.
The clip is also somewhat different than the 3776. Rather than being flat, near the top it has a raised Art Deco-esque design which adds a little elegance.
Maybe it comes in a nicer box? It does not.
You would think that the filling system might be upgraded to a piston due to the price variation? Strike again. It takes the same cartridge or converter system as the 3776 models.
It may sound like I am bashing the President a little bit, but that really isn’t my intention. It is more to represent that weird space I’m in while trying to understand. Maybe I’m over thinking it…
Other brands make the lines a bit more distinct. Montblanc 146 to 149, Sailor 1911 large vs standard (vs slim)… the only one that comes a bit close is the Pilot Decimo vs Vanishing Point, but even those two vary enough in size to understand why you might choose one over the other.
As a conclusion, would I actively try to dissuade someone from buying a President over a 3776? I probably wouldn’t go that far, but I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint any major (noticeable) features that would sway the decision of the average user to buy one instead.
Regardless, it really is a nice pen and Platinum has done a fine job on it. For the price of $325 for this version, that is in striking distance of a large Sailor 1911. But, if you really like the nib design and the limited colors are suitable, I don’t expect folks to be disappointed with their purchase.
Would love to open up the comments for thoughts on it. Are there other products in the market that feel the same way?