(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
Lately I have been on a turquoise fountain-pen-buying binge. One of my purchases was the Platinum 3776 Kumpoo fountain pen with a soft medium nib.
The pen comes in a turquoise outer cardboard box and white, clamshell inner box. Included are a Platinum pamphlet, a warranty card, a blotting card with a description of the pen, and one cartridge.
“Kumpoo” is a Japanese word that means “balmy breeze.” The Platinum 3776 Kumpoo fountain pen is designed to evoke the breezes that blow around Mt. Fuji in Japan. Thus, the pen’s surface is carved with waves that represent those balmy breezes and the color of the pen reflects the beautiful skies surrounding Mt. Fuji.
Even the metal piece in the finial is a tribute to Mt. Fuji.
Each pen cap is engraved with a limited edition number. Mine is 1551 out of 2500.
The cap has a smooth silver clip and a ring engraved with “Platinum 3776 Century Made in Japan.”
The pen is medium-sized at 5.5 inches/139.7mm capped, 4.7 inches/119.8mm uncapped, and 6 inches/152.4 posted. It weighs only 24.3 grams.
The pen fills via cartridge or the included converter. Platinum converters only hold 0.5ml of ink, so expect to refill it often if you write lengthy tomes. One thing I like about Platinum converters is, if the converter gets sticky over time, you can disassemble it and use silicone grease to get it working properly again.
I chose a medium-soft 14k nib. Platinum nibs are much more narrow than Western nibs, so a medium is really like a Western fine. I have several Platinum 3776 pens, and my favorite size nib is the medium. The soft-medium is especially nice. It gives the nib some spring while you write, but it is not meant to be a flex nib, so there’s little line variation.
Writing with the Kumpoo is a pleasure. The nib is smooth and bouncy, and the pen itself is comfortable in the hand. Since Platinum nibs and Nakaya nibs are made by the same manufacturer, you can enjoy the experience of a Nakaya in a much less expensive pen.
I really love my Platinum Kumpoo. It’s a beautiful pen, especially with the added texture, which picks up light and makes it stand out from standard Platinum fountain pens. I owned an Omas Ogiva in turquoise with an extra flessibile nib. I wanted to love that pen because I paid an awful lot for it; plus it was a piston filler. But, the Omas was frustrating from the beginning--ink kept leaking into the grip section and the pen would dry out quickly. The Kumpoo is just as beautiful as the Omas, and even though it isn’t a piston-filler, the Platinum “slip and seal” mechanism in the cap means that the pen does not dry out. The soft-medium nib might not have flex, but it offers one of the best writing experiences.
Unfortunately, finding a Platinum Kumpoo may be pretty difficult now. All the dealers I checked (Goldspot, Goulet, JetPens, nibs.com, Pen Chalet, and Vanness) were out of stock. That said, Platinum is apparently producing several pens in the Fuji Shunkei series (the first was the Shungyo and the second is the Kumpoo). So, even if you can’t get this particular limited edition, hopefully new editions will be added to the series.
- In my opinion this is one of the most beautiful iterations of the Platinum 3776 series because of the textured surface and the color.
- I love all the symbolism the creators included in the pen.
- The pen is a good size for most users and is very light.
- The soft-medium nib is my favorite nib. It is smooth and bouncy and writes perfectly.
- Writers who prefer pens with heft will probably think the Platinum is too light and plasticky.
- The converter only holds 0.5ml of ink (though cartridges hold 1.5ml).
- Unfortunately, the Kumpoo seems to be sold out or nearly sold out, so if you want one, you’ll need to keep your eye on sales at pen forums or eBay.
(I purchased my Platinum Kumpoo from Vanness Pens at a discount.)
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