For both pens it was love at first sight. It was only when I had both in hand that I could really understand the nuanced differences between them. The gold vs. rhodium trim is an obvious difference...
Aside from trim color, though, the plastic on the Sailor is a little bit darker and a little bit yellower which helps it work better with the gold trim. The Platinum is more of a pure green-blue so it matches well with rhodium.
Both pens have a certain level of hue and color saturation that no camera can capture. Many photos of these pens are a bit exaggerated in attempt to capture their essence, but this is an unedited iPhone photo that shows pretty close to what they actually look like in a normal-to-dim room. If you bring them into the sunlight they get brighter, of course.
Another obvious difference is the twirl in the 3776. You definitely feel it in your hand, and it feels great. The Sailor feels like any other 1911L which is good. Just very smooth.
What you see on the cap is a reflection -- not microscratches. Here's a nib shot and quick writing sample of the Sailor M nib. Sailor's nibs are absolutely beautiful, but I must say I'm partial to the two-tone nibs found on the Pro Gears. I don't understand why Sailor doesn't include the two-tone nib on the 1911 Large.
As far as out-of-the-box nib quality goes... Sailor pens have an outstanding writing feel. Some describe it as "pencil like feedback" but that doesn't do it justice. To use that comparison - it's closer to writing with a wet watercolor pencil. There's a soft smoothness while still feeling the surface of the paper.
At the moment I own four Sailors. Two EFs, one F, and one M. Interestingly -- all four pens wrote with the same width out of the box! My EFs were unusally wet. My F was what I would expect, and the M was too dry. I adjusted them to all write with the same width...
But I must say the M was particularly interesting out of the box. The way Sailor's M nib is ground - if it's tuned to write a bit dry then you can get a full range of widths based on how hard you press into the paper. From EF to M. And I don't mean flexing the nib.
I tuned the pen to be about the same width as a Platinum M. Just slightly wider than my Sailor and Platinum F nibs. It's great... and my Sailors handle Noodler's Black better than most of my Pilots... which is important as I'll show below:
Here's the first drawing I did with my new pen. (Name/address blurred for client's privacy.) This was drawn with Noodlers Black, a waterproof fountain pen ink. Noodlers Black is made with cellulose reactive dyes, meaning it isn't permanent on plastic but becomes waterproof once bonded with cellulose (paper fibers, etc.)
I hesitate to recommend Noodlers Black to others. Out of the bottle it's VERY black but I have dry time issues. I watered it down by 20% and it still takes 24 hours before I can use it with an eraser or watercolor. I may water it down further...
Nathan Tardif from Noodlers, its maker, says he doesn't use "cheap detergents as wetting agents, like some ink companies do." Consequently this ink doesn't bleed much. It has flow challenges in some pens, too. But I love it. It's incredibly waterproof and super affordable. (I go through TONS of ink.)
The most similar ink I've found is De Atramentis Document Ink Black... but it's very expensive, and it runs much much wetter. That means no flow problems but a wider line on many papers.
Anyhow, these are great pens and I really enjoy writing and drawing with them.
Junkyard Sam is a Seattle area artist, illustrator, and designer.