Here is the legendary Waterman 7 in red ripple hard rubber. I mistakenly called this a 55 in the writing sample because the cap lacks a color coded band. The 55s were for the most part the earlier twin of the 7 minus the color coded band. Therefore, this is likely a “PINK” 7 with a replacement 55 cap. Brassing and wear patterns are pretty uniform throughout the pen, so I assume it was an early switch. Waterman also made a late 7 without any band, and if that is the case, then the nib would be the later additional upgrade. In either case, it’s a Waterman 7 or equivalent. The hard rubber is a little faded. More so on the cap than on the barrel. The imprints are pretty worn and only partially readable. There are some decent brassing spots on the clip as well as on the cap band. The lever has some brassing on the edges and some pitting. But this pen is all about the nib. As you may know not all “PINK” nibs live up to their reputation, and some are down right disappointing. This nib however is not one of those. This PINK is the best all around vintage flex I have ever used. It is needlepoint fine, ultra soft, and phenomenally responsive. Normally, it writes as a delicate, bouncy XXF. Range of flex is superb going from XXF to BBBB (1.9mm), but you only need a tiny amounts of flex and tiny amounts of pressure to make this nib shine. There are some blemishes on the nib as you can see in the picture. There is also a very fine…I’m not sure what to call it. I hate to say crack, because it is only a surface crack around the “Made In…” imprint. It does not go through the underside of the nib, and in fact looks more shallow than the imprint. In other words, other than a blemish you can spot with a jewelers loupe it is of no real concern. If I didn’t tell you it was there, you probably would never have seen it. I know the price on this is high, and you may reasonably ask if it is worth it. And my answer is simply, I can’t part with it for less. Normally, I test run the pens for a week or so, but I’ll be test running this one until it is purchased. Maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll be test running it a very long time.
The Waterman 22 was made with a tapered cap that was meant to be posted to give the balance and feel of dipped pen. These tend to be fairly fragile due to the how thin the hard rubber is on the cap and section. This one survived quite well save for one blemish. The cap had a dreaded crack and the lip was slightly chipped. I trimmed the lip just enough to make the chip disappear and filled the crack with a glue made for bonding hard rubber. The glue is dyed black, but this pen’s hard rubber has faded some to a dark brown, so the glue does not blend in perfectly. But if it was black you would see it, and even as it is if you didn’t know it was glue you would just assume the rubber didn’t fade as much in that area. The point being that the crack is no longer a functional issue (it’s probably now the least likely spot on the cap to crack), but it is small cosmetic one. This 22 comes with two gold-filled repousse bands, which are in lovely shape. The original imprints are still mostly readable, but do have some wear. The 14kt. Waterman #2 is a fantastic wet noodle that writes normally as a wet XF. It is smooth, though it does require a soft touch. And due to that softness the tines do have a little trouble staying in line. In other words, this is best used as a dedicated flex pen than a daily writer. Range of flex is very nice going from XF to BBB (0.3mm to 1.6mm). The feed is abundantly wet, so the responsiveness can suffer a little when you first start flexing, especially if your ink is getting low. It’s one of the 22s that made it, and it’s a lovely noodle to boot.
Here is a rare pen. The barrel imprint is faded, but the size is a Waterman 12 1/2, or the thinline model of the 12. Since it has a 9kt. gold overlay, the numbering would 0512 1/2. And not just any overlay, but the coveted “Night & Day” overlay. Overall, this pen is in great condition. The overlay is free of brassing, but does have a some light surface scratching from use. The original “F.D.W. 375″ hallmarks remain (marking it a genuine Waterman with a 9kt. factory overlay), and there is a personalized inscription. There is a crack in part of the overlay near the section (see pic). The hard rubber has faded some, but still looks black unless it is in direct sunlight. The 12 1/2 is a thin pen. It measures at 4 5/8” long and is about the thinness of a #2 pencil. The definitely has the original 14kt. Waterman #2. It’s a wet writing that requires a very soft touch due to the ease with which it flexes. This is a paintbrush or near paintbrush wet noodle. The range of flex is from XF to BBB (0.3mm to 1.7mm) and comes with minimal pressure. The feed is extremely wet, so no fears of railroading, but that wetness combined with the “noodliness” of the nib does effect some of it’s responsiveness, which is common in nibs this soft. This one is for collectors and flex users alike.
This Waterman 52 red ripple looks like it was made for the European market. It has all nickel trim, uncommon in the US for a red ripple, but very common in Europe. As well as a Waterman accessory clip added post factory to a clipless 52. The red ripple hard rubber is in excellent condition showing very little fading and maintaining a fairly glossy appearance. The accommodation clip has some light scratching throughout a tiny spots of plate loss throughout, but overall still looks great. The nickel filled lever is the later tab lever (vs. the older Ideal globe lever) signaling that this was a later 52. The “Waterman” imprint which is still quite readable, is also similar to the imprints found on the celluloid Watermans of the 40s. The lip of the cap was trimmed off. This could be because it had a crack in it, but considering how good the pen looks it is also possible that this was done for aesthetic reasons (not that uncommon for Watermans in the European market). Regardless it was clearly professionally done. As to the nib, just wow. This is a long-tined beauty with ultra soft flex. Normally it writes as a fairly wet XXF. That is, wet for an XXF. It has a little feedback, as you would expect of an XXF, that is not unpleasant. The flex is near paintbrush and softly expands to BB (1.5mm) swells. This is a nib that requires extra care. Because of it’s softness one could easily spring it from over flexing. And there is no reason to over flex because with an XXF the swells don’t have to be massive. Responsiveness of this nib is good, but due to it’s noodlely softness it does loose a little of the snap back. Still, an XXF wet noodle is a hot commodity, and coming in this beautiful red ripple 52, it won’t last long.
This is a made in England Mabie Todd Swan eye dropper with an ebonite over/ under feed and comes with a “Swan” metal pocket sleeve. The pocket sleeves allowed one the ability to bring along their eye dropper without having to worry about the cap slipping off. The slip cap on this pen is for a 1500 while the body is a model 1610, so this is not the original cap. I believe it is the correct size, but I think the 1500 model does not have the double bands. An unchased cap on a chased body is normal for Swans, so it is very close to what the original cap would have looked like. In any case, the body is in great shape. It has great black color and the chasing is remarkable crisp. Imprints have a little wear on the barrel, but are still easily readable. The cap does have some fading to a dark blackish brown towards the top. The gold-filled bands look great for their hundred years of life. The feed on this is ridiculously wet. I actually had to modify the fitting of the feed to slow things down, but it is still laying down a lot of ink. Normally, the #2 Swan nib writes as a super juicy and smooth Medium (0.6mm). The flex on this isn’t at the paintbrush level, but it is still easy to flex and with such a heavy flow a little flex gets big in a hurry. Range of flex is excellent going up to BBBB (2.0mm). Surprisingly, this pen has some pretty nice responsiveness for how abundantly the ink flows. If you want a pen to maximize sheen, this will do it.
Here is a Wahl vest pen in BCHR and with the roller ball clip. The hard rubber is still very black with only a little fading. The chasing looks decent with some texture left, but obviously from the close ups you can see a lot of surface marks. To the naked eye, this just gives the pen a matte look. There is some brassing on the cap band and at the crown of the lever. Other than a little brassing on the ball, the clip looks pretty clean. There is an inscription on the side to “C.E. Brahm” the great composer, so this pen is worth a fortune. Just kidding. No idea who he is. The 14kt. Wahl #2 is a soft XF (0.3mm) that has that elegant feel a long tined nib gives you. The nib flexes with ease going up to BB (1.3mm). While that isn’t a huge range, you don’t need it because the snapback on this nib is sublime. In the far right of the writing sample, all the flex is done within a 5mm height. It would be perfect nib for drawing or calligraphy.
Here is the iconic Waterman 52 in superb, almost like new BCHR. The color on this 52 is still jet black. Chasing is beautifully crisp. The imprints pop out of the barrel. The nickel-filled trim is good condition as well. a little wear around the clip rivets. The only flaw of this pen is that the lever sticks out of the barrel just slightly. This is because the lever box is slightly raised in the middle (see pics), which likely happened when someone tried to pull the lever with a solidified ink sac in it. There are no cracks in the lever box, and of course it all looks a lot more obviously zoomed in than to the naked eye. The 14kt. Waterman #2 is delightful. It’s an XF (0.3mm), but with an italic like line variation. Just normal writing with this pen is fantastic. The flex on this nib comes easily and the responsiveness is superb. The range of flex is also superlative going from XF to BBB (1.8mm). If it weren’t for that little hump in the lever box, I’d grade this Near Mint because everything else besides is.
Here is a Waterman 5 “BROWN” in black celluloid and gold-filled trim. If you don’t know, in the late 1920s Waterman created a color code for their 5 and 7 line of pens. The 5 and 7 are essentially the replacing the 55 and 56. In the original coding “Brown” nibs were just the “Fine” nib, but around 1929 the codes changed and “Brown” became the “Fine Flex” nib. In my experience, Brown flex nibs are much more common than say the very rare “Black” flex nib, but also less common than the Red or Pink flex nib. This Waterman 5 is in good condition. There is light scratching on the body but it is still a glossy black. There is little bit of brassing on the band, but it is not significant. The clip and lever look pretty good with only light scratching. Imprints are great, and the nib matches the color on the end of the barrel. The 14kt. Waterman BROWN keyhole nib is a great nib. It is generally not quite as flexible as the Pink, but I would say better than the Red due to it being a F or what we would say is “XF.” The flex really is nice. Great responsiveness, great flow, and flexes with very little pressure from 0.3mm to BBB. Normally, it writes as a wet and smooth XF with just a hint of feedback.
I’ve been restoring vintage fountain pens for many years now and have offered my services to customers from time to time. I’ve entered a season of life where I have a need for flexibility due to the care our two autistic sons, so I thought I’d start offering my services more broadly to generate a little income while staying flexible.
Check out the restoration page for a list of services and prices, and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get things started.
This Waterman 52 comes in the red mottled or wood grain hard rubber. The color is still very nice on this pen with only minimal fading. The gold-filled trim still looks very nice. You can obviously see it has some wear in the zoomed up pictures, but it is all much less obvious to the naked eye. Imprints on the red/black hard rubber models are really difficult to read, and this one still has imprints that definitely have some fading but in the right light and with good eyesight you can still read them. Only the globe in the center is mostly worn off. There are some very, very light teeth marks on the top of the cap. Honestly, I didn’t even see them until I noticed them in the picture. The 14kt. Waterman #2 on this pen is a gem. Many people define “wet noodle” in terms of quantity of flex (it goes BBBB++++) or ease of flex (paintbrush like), but I grade flex on quality of flex. So though this nib is very soft, it’s not uber soft. It’s something much better. It is ultra responsive, approaching dip nib kind of responsiveness. Just look at that crisp flex action in the pictures. Normally, this pen writes as a nice and smooth XXF/XF (0.25mm). It’s not glass, but you don’t expect that from an XXF. Range of flex is great going up to BBB (1.8mm with ease). The flow keeps up well, but that snap back is just spectacular. Notice the detail flex lettering done within a 5mm space! This 52 is in a beautiful, classic style. In good condition with good color, and a superb nib.