Here is a lovely vintage gold-filled vest-sized pen very similar in style to a Waterman 52V. There is no actual company hallmarks on the pen itself, but the nib does say “Aurora.” What I can tell you is that Aurora did start in 1919, that this pen has all the markings of a European styled model, and that therefore it could be an early Aurora. Regardless, it is a high quality pen with a high quality nib. The 18kt gold-filled overlay is in great condition with no dings or dents, and it only has some light scratching. The orange hard rubber under the overlay is visible under the cap and has very little fading to it. There is little to no brassing on the body, and the chasing still looks great. The 14kt. Aurora nib is a long and slender tined beauty that writes normally as a surprisingly smooth XXF. The flex is phenomenal. Wonderfully soft this nib easily swells to BBB (l.6mm) lines, and is also very responsive allowing for some great control. Whether you want a nice springy XXF writer or want something with soft, responsive flex, this pen is a great choice.
Mabie Todd Swan GF with Over/Under Feed – Wet Noodle
Here is a gorgeous made in New York Mabie Todd Swan eyedropper with a beautiful gold-filled overlay. Overall, the pen is in great condition. There is no brassing on the overlay and capped looks like a little used pen. The imprints are gorgeous and there is no personalization. There is a little scratching on the end of the barrel where the cap was posted, and there is a lot of scratching (but still no brassing) on the section from the cap being taken on an off. The cap fits very snuggly. Like it’s not coming off without a firm tug. In fact, it might be a little too snug, but is best uncapped by twisting the cap while you pull. The 14kt. Swan #2 is a beautifully soft and smooth writing XF. My original test was on paper that had some hand oil on it which is why I originally had it as an XXF. The flex comes very easily with excellent responsiveness. The range is excellent going up to BBB (1.6mm), and the feed is plenty wet. It’s a gem of a nib that both writes beautifully and has fantastic flex action.
Wahl-Eversharp Doric Blue Shell with “FLEXIBLE” Nib – Wet Noodle – (See Price Here)
Here is Wahl-Eversharp Doric in a beautiful blue. What I think Wahl called “blue shell.” This is a vac-filling modeling comes with the rarer white gold trim. The body looks great with very minimal scratching. There is also no signs of any crazing or crystalizing of the celluloid. The clip looks great with no signs of plate loss. The band does have a little bit of brassing here and there. I replaced the plunger and rejuvenated (rather than replaced) the packing seal. Personally, I agree with the pen restorers who see no need to replace the seal if they original can be rejuvenated. I also had to put in a replacement pin at the top of the section as the original was missing. There is also a small chip out of the top of the section threads inside the barrel. This blemish has no effect on functionality and is completely hidden inside the barrel. The pen fills extremely well. Something to note, this cap does not post. Or at least it posts very, very loosely, but I find it more than comfortable unposted. The 14kt. Eversharp “Flexible” nib is a wonderfully springy and smooth writing XF. For reasons I cannot determine, when the pen sits unused for a few hours or so it needs a second to start writing. Once it starts, it never runs dry. It reminds me of some modern Platinum pens in that regard. The flex is fantastic. This isn’t a paintbrush soft, but it is wonderfully easy to flex and has a superb springy action. The feed has no trouble keeping up and the range is outstanding going from XF (0.3mm) to BBB (1.7mm). Dorics were made to be top of the line pens, and this pen definitely exemplifies that quality.
SIZE: 5″ Capped
NIB: Wahl-Eversharp “Flexible”, XF to BBB (0.3mm-1.7mm), WET NOODLE (See “Grading Flex Nibs” for How I Grade)
Pen thoroughly cleaned & flushed
Body buffed for scratches
Body and trim cleaned and polished
Nib and feed ultrasonically cleaned and adjusted for optimal flow
Here is a nice Conklin Crescent ring top. The model imprint is worn and unreadable, but I think it would be something like a 33P where the first 3 refers to the #3 nib size, the second three to the ring top, and the P to the fact that it’s a “pocket” sized pen. The hard rubber on this is faded some but still very dark. The chasing is worn almost smooth and only partially visible. Imprints are also quite worn and only pieces can be read. I don’t see any brassing on the ring top or crescent. The 14kt. #3 Conklin is a paintbrush wet noodle. It’s bouncy, fun, and just beautiful to use. Normally, it writes as a wet X (0.3mm) but it takes almost no pressure to get line variation. Responsiveness is excellent even though the nib is as soft as it is. If you really push this nib (please don’t for longevity’s sake), you will get some railroading. But if you use good form and stay within a good range, the feed keeps up well. This nib is particular suited for small and detail flex work. Or to just add a little flex flair to your normal writing. It’s a blast to use.
This is I believe the Wahl “Signature” pen which followed the Tempoint but preceded the gold seal and personal point models. This one comes in what Wahl called “Rosewood” hard rubber, very similar to Waterman’s wood grain hard rubber but generally a bit redder. The hard rubber has faded a little and lost it’s original sheen, but the color is still very good. The gold-filled roller clip is in very good condition with no brassing. The cap bands are also in good shape with just one tiny spot of brassing on one of the lower bands. The lever, however, does have some brassing along the edges. The 14kt. Wahl #2 is a beautifully soft wet noodle. What I would call near paint brush soft. Normally, the nib writes as a very wet XF. The tines require almost no pressure to start spreading, so it doesn’t provide a super smooth writing experience. Responsiveness is very good considering the nib’s softness and the range is excellent going from XF (0.3mm) to BB (1.5mm) with ease.
This Waterman 94 comes in Watermans “Steel Quartz” celluloid, a dark celluloid with chips of silver pearl and flecks of red. The body has only very light surface scratching, and I’ve buffed much of it out. The trim is chrome and is in pretty good shape. The clip and cap band have some surface scratching, but the lever is pretty clean. Imprints are crisp and easy to read. The 14kt. Waterman keyhole nib is astonishing. The flex is ultra soft while also fantastically responsive. It’s a nib that comes very close to rivaling the fantastically flexible Waterman PINK nib. Full disclosure: this nib did have a small chip out of the side edge back across the breather hole. I asked Greg Minuskin to weld in a donor chip of gold, and as usual he did a fantastic job. From the top side you would never spot it. As with all Greg’s welds, the expectation is that these will easily hold for the life of the pen. This is especially true for an unstressed spot like this particular spot. The range of flex on this is very good going from XF to BB (1.5mm). The flex is effortless and the nib responds to the slightest movements of your hand. Normally, this writes as a wet XF that is very soft. It has a pleasant sweat spot, but because of the softness of the nib it does require a soft touch to write normally.
Here is the Parker Lucky Curve Jack Knife #20. These early Parkers are longer and more slender than the Duofold models and were titled as “Safety” pens since they had a screw on cap. This Jack Knife is made of hard rubber and still retains it’s dark, black color. Imprints are a little worn but still readable. The nickel clip has some wear to the edges but otherwise in good shape. The 14kt. Parker Lucky Curve nib has the tiniest crack coming out of the top of right curve of the heart-shaped breather hole (looking at it from a writing position). I almost missed it, it is so small. You can just barely make it out in the picture. I debated whether to send this off to get welded shut and decided that it just wasn’t cost effective (i.e. a lot of money for something that isn’t a great concern). This spot on the breather hole is the least concerning of all cracks, and this one is miniscule. I know cracks scare a lot of people, but they are quite common in flex nibs due to their thinner profile. I have a whole pile of cracked nibs, and have used some of them frequently for years. So long as you don’t over flex (something you shouldn’t do even if there isn’t a crack), the crack remains quite stable. So back to the nib….it’s wonderful, wet noodle soft nib. Normally, it writes as a wet F (0.4mm). It’s soft enough, however, that even slight pressure causes movement in the tines and so isn’t the most pleasant writer. The flex, though, is amazing. While the range isn’t massive (F to BB / 1.5mm), the responsiveness is approaching dip nib quality. It is really quite exceptional. It’s the kind of nib that you could easily add flex to your normal cursive writing without using hardly any extra pressure but also without having to worry about things getting too wet and blobby. The flex is just clean and crisp.
SIZE: 5 1/4″ Capped
NIB: 14kt. #2 Parker Lucky Curve, F to BB (0.4mm-1.5mm), WET NOODLE (See “Grading Flex Nibs” for How I Grade)
Here is the classic Waterman 12 with a beautiful sterling sliver filigree overlay (thus the “4” in “412”). The hard rubber underneath the overlay is still very dark and black or nearly black. There are some small dings on the top of the cap, and the ball of the clip is missing. Otherwise, the overall is in very good condition with only light scratches. There is also no personalization on the body. The 14kt. Waterman #2 is a wonderfully wet XF. It’s soft and smooth and just about everything you could want in a vintage nib. That includes flex, which this nib has plenty of. With light pressure this XF goes up to BBB (1.8mm), and the feed has no issues keeping up. Responsiveness is also impressive for a wet eyedropper. Overall, this is a fantastic specimen of all that was right with vintage Waterman eyedroppers.
SIZE: 5 1/2″ Capped
NIB: 14kt. Waterman #2, XF to BBB (0.2mm-1.8mm), WET NOODLE (See “Grading Flex Nibs” for How I Grade)
This Waterman 52 1/2 red ripple is in great overall condition. The red ripple hard rubber is only slightly faded and has good color overall. The imprints are also good and crisp. The gold-filled trim looks fantastic overall with just the slightest bit of brassing on part of the top edge of the cap band. Otherwise, there is only some slight scratching from use. The 14kt. Waterman #2 is a very interesting nib. It writes almost like an XF italic (0.4mm). The tipping is getting low, so this grind may not be original. Regardless, it is a lovely nib to use. With very light pressure it flexes easily enough for me to grade it as a wet noodle. The responsiveness is also very good and it ranges from 0.4mm to BB (1.5mm). There is just a tiny bit of a bend in the tines which I wasn’t able to pick up in the pics, and you can only see when the light hits it just right. It does not affect the nib’s performance, however.
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 pen itself is clearly well used. It’s faded to a dark brown and most of the imprints are worn off. This is a no frills Swan eyedropper. Just a plain black hard rubber body. The 14kt. #2 Swan nib is just amazing. There was a crack in it’s base that I had welded by Greg Minuskin. Normally, this nib writes as smooth and very soft XF (0.3mm). Flow is just about perfect, not too wet, not too dry. And the flex is sublime. This is near paintbrush soft but retains just enough resistance to allow for some phenomenal responsiveness. Many of these over/under eyedroppers just aren’t that usable for anything other than flex, but this one is a great writer and a great flex pen. Feed has no issues keeping up. An eyedropper means you can fill with plenty of ink. And the Swan metal pocket sleeve means you can take it with you.