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Platinum Ascending Dragon

Gold is on the rise!

A friend in Japan was able to get me a few new pens last week and one of them is this beauty. The Platinum Kanazawa-Haku Momi Chirashi (Gold Leaf) Ascending Dragon. The design was inspired by a folding screen painted by Sotatsu Tawaraya in the 17th Century (Edo Period). The Maki-e (蒔絵) technique is slightly different from western gold leaf as the gold is torn into tiny bits and sprinkled on with a special Kebo brush. The pen uses Platinum’s 3776 Century nib with the slip and seal cap – designed to keep the ink from drying out when used only once or twice a year.

NibThe pen I got came with the broad #3776 14k gold nib and it’s perfect – nice and wet yet still delivering crisp edges and that trademark Platinum “feedback”. It does not have much flex (writing sample below), but I wanted a good base to get an italic or architect grind and this is perfect. The nib is similar to other 14k Century models with “#3776” the Platinum “P” 14k and B (Broad) all engraved on the nib, with the breather hole stamped out in a heart shape.

IMG_3293The base of the pen body is resin with the layers of gold leaf applied over it. This layering is not uniform and creates a nice texture to the body. Light plays off the flat gold texture, transitioning from dark spots to light ones across the pen. The Dragon is painted over the gold in layered black, silver, green and brown. The cap features the traditional gold colored 3776 clip which is subtle yet very functional and fits the overall design quite nicely.

IMG_3292The grip has a slight transition right before the nib, giving you a solid grip on the pen. It is a screw cap that is push to post, but the Century has a long cap so the pen feels best un-posted. Overall weight is 18.8g with the body and inked convertor at 10g. Length is 139.5mm or 5.5″ capped and 159mm or 6.25″ posted. Honestly I would be a bit nervous posting this – constantly worrying about hurting the finish.

PackageThe packaging is a balsa type wooden box with burgundy colored felt liner. It comes in an outer box designed to look like Un-Ryu paper. The pen also comes with Platinum’s gold convertor and a standard Platinum cartridge.

I have a love of Asian art, especially dragons and so this one is a real beauty in my opinion. It’s currently loaded up with some Diamine Sargasso Sea and waiting for a decision on which grind to get – what would you go with? Or would you leave it as-is?







4 thoughts to “Platinum Ascending Dragon”

  1. Now that’s a fine review!

    Congratulations on your new pen. I have been eying this pen for a while. I hope you do not mind answering my questions 😉

    Is the pen urushi-coated? Do the finish feels fragile?
    Did the pen have enough tipping material for a proper re-grind? A sharp italic would definitely be my choice!
    What’s your experience so far?

    Your input will be much appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Hi Alice – Yea this is one of my favorites for sure.

      The pen does not have a glossy Urushi coating over the gold leaf work so there is a lot of texture to the pen surface but it does not feel fragile or like it would peel or flake off. That said I don’t post this pen due to fear I will hurt the texture – better to be safe than sorry I guess. I looked at the tip with my loupe and on the broad it does have a good bit of tipping material but I guess it depends on how wide you want your italic – Japanese nibs tend to run smaller than european and even the broad on this pen fails to compare to the bigger B-BBB offerings on brands like Pelikan. So far this has been a great pen to write with (as are the other 2 3776’s I own – love the japanese nobs in general with just a little feedback) and the design is fantastic (huge fan of Japanese dragons and Japanese art in general).

      1. Thank you, Calligraphy Nut!

        Japanese pens are very nice indeed. In fact, I have never really been a fan of the aesthetic of western pens or their nibs, which I find lacking in character.

        I expect the nib to become a 0.7-0.9 mm italic; this width fits my handwriting best. I have had some italics ground from Pilots and Sailors, and they are my favorite. However, I am afraid that the Platinum would not have enough tipping. I guess I’ll find out when it arrives – this will be my first Platinum pen!

        As for the pen, would you say it has any coating at all? I do not intend, by any means, to mistreat it, but accidents happen and I would hate myself for damaging the finish.

        I have always adhered to the idea of getting the nib that would result in a frequent usage of the pen -that would be an italic-, but I like nibs too. What do you think about yours?

        Thanks again 😀

  2. Sorry for the double post. I just noticed that I formatted the text to be bold. I had no idea about html 😛 – I just wanted to state nib widths (“B”, “M”).

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