This Mabie Todd Swan is an early, turn of the century eye dropper with an ebonite over/ under feed. This Swan is about the girth of a pencil. It is in fantastic condition for a 100 plus year old pen. The color is still jet black with the original shine on the hard rubber. Chasing is good with plenty of the original texture. The imprints are also crisp and easily readable. This is a deluxe model with solid 18 kt. gold bands. The solid gold bands do have some light surface scratching as is expected being 18kt. gold. With it comes an original Swan eyedropper and pen box, though the box is not original to this pen as it’s a “Self-Filing” box. But I found the pen with this box in the “wild,” so I’ll pass it along to the buyer. Now to this wonderful juicy nib. This 14kt. Swan nib is a ultra-soft, genuine wet noodle. This is an oh so near paintbrush noodle. For normal writing, I would not recommend it. It does have a sweet spot that is smooth, but it’s not very big or forgiving. Plus, the tines separate with the slightest pressure. And it is wet like a lot of these eyedroppers. Remember, their forebearers were the dip nib, so there was wet and really wet. This is really wet. Range of flex is superb going easily from F (0.4mm) to BBB+ (1.8mm). The responsiveness for a nib this soft is impressive. For such a wet writer, it can railroad occasionally. It railroaded on me once during the writing sample, but if you did a bunch of flex as fast as you can (not recommended by the way) it will railroad. It’s a Swan in superb condition with 18kt. bands and a stellar noodle nib.
Here is a stunning Wahl-Eversharp Sapphire Ring Top. The pen is in overall beautiful condition. The gold-filled trim has minimal wear. Please remember that the pictures are ultra-zoomed and picking up flaws not detectable to the naked eye. The body still has great color, and only surface scratching typical of normal use. Additionally, this ring top is suited with a superbly soft 14kt. Wahl #3 nib. Normally, this nib writes as a XF / F (0.3mm-0.4mm). That is, with ultra light soft strokes, it’s a wet, glassy smooth XF. But add the slightest bit of pressure and the tines with split to a F. Often when tines are this soft they don’t make good normal writers, but this is soft and buttery regardless of the pressure you apply. The range of flex is wonderful going up to BBB+ (1.9mm!). The flow keeps up well, and the responsiveness is still quite good for a nib this soft. If you are looking for a pen in this size, I’m not sure what more you could ask for. It’s beautiful, superb craftsmanship, and equipped with a superior all around nib.
Here is the classic Waterman 12 in chased hard rubber with gold-filled repousse bands on the barrel. The black body has faded some to a dark brown. The chasing is in very nice condition with plenty of texture still left. The imprints still look almost new. The gold bands look untouched with very little signs of wear. The 14kt. Waterman #2 is a superb nib. Normally, it writes as soft XXF, which is fairly smooth for so fine a nib. But this nib is soft. Soft enough that normal writing needs a light hand or you will start to flex the tines. This is quite paintbrush soft, but it is nearly there. Remarkably, this nib also has very good snapback, which is not that common for so soft a nib. The range is also superb going from XXF (0.2mm) to a plentiful BBB (1.7mm).
SIZE: 5 1/4″ Capped
NIB: 14kt. Waterman #2, XXF to BBB (0.2mm-1.7mm), WET NOODLE (See “Grading Flex Nibs” for How I Grade)
Here is a nice Waterman 52 1/2 V in BCHR. The “52” means it is a lever filler. The “1/2” means it is half the diameter of the normal “52”, and the “V” stands for vest pen. That is, a short pen meant to carry in your vest pocket. The BCHR on this has faded from the original black to a dark brown. The chasing is still present though worn, and it does have some texture. The imprints are also easily readable. The gold-filled lever and ring top are in good shape with little to no brassing. The 14kt. Waterman #2 writes normally as a wet XF (0.3mm). It has a smooth sweet spot but I wouldn’t call it “glassy.” It has a pleasant bit of feedback. The flex ranges from XF (0.3mm) to a nice BB (1.5mm). It is a bit too firm for me to grade it a “super flex,” but it has some very nice responsiveness. It’s plenty good flex to do some nice work. Overall, a great little Waterman 52 1/2 V.
Here is Mabie Todd Swan model # 3161. It is a lever filler in black celluloid. The pen is in really nice condition. The body looks really good with only light surface scratching from normal use. The gold-filled trim also looks really nice with only the slightest bit of wear on the clip and lever. The section on this model threads into the body making it easy access to the sac. There just isn’t much to write about other than it looks great. The 14kt. Swan #1 is a lovely writer. It has a wet and glassy smooth flow. It is slightly stubbish and slightly oblique F which adds some character to your writing. The flex ranges from F (0.4mm) to BBB (1.7mm), which is fantastic. The flex is on the firmer side of “super flex,” but everything else (responsiveness, flow, line variation) ring all the bells for super flex. You can definitely do some great flex work with it. Overall, a lovely Swan in excellent condition.
Here is Mabie Todd Swan self-filler in wood grain hard rubber. The hard rubber is beautiful. The color has undergone very minimal fading through the years. The pen is about the size of a Waterman 52 and very similar in design. The imprints are present, but those on the side of the barrel are quite worn and difficult to read. The gold-filled trim is in nice condition as well with the exception of the lever which has some obvious plate loss along the edges. But the two bands and clip still look great. The 14kt Swan #2 is a lovely wet, soft and glassy smooth writer. It falls somewhere between a Mediuma nd Broad (0.6mm), and it is not shy about putting down some ink. The flex on this is soft and wet with some nice responsiveness for a medium nib. It has some nice range going from M/B (0.6mm) to BBB (1.7mm) with ease. Overall, just a wonderful Swan in a beautiful style.
Here is a clip less (no original clip)made in Canada Waterman 52 with gold filled bands and lever in BCHR. The hard rubber on this pen has browned to a dark brown on the barrel. More of a blackish brown still on the cap. The chasing on the barrel is almost completely worn away. There is still some texture left on the cap. The gold-filled trim is in decent shape. The bands looks pretty good with only minor scratching. They also have the “FDW” markings as well as “9-375” showing that they are factory bands. The lever obviously has some scrapes. The imprints are mostly worn off and are just slightly visible. But this pen is all about the nib, and what a nib it is. This is an XXXF (0.1mm) to BBB (1.6mm) flex nib. The single most sought after style of flex nib there is. Waterman did make an “Artist Nib,” and while they didn’t mark them and I cannot say for sure that is what this is, for all intents and purposes that is how it performs. This 14kt. Waterman #2 is an ultra fine 0.1mm nib. Writing normally it is actually pretty smooth. You could easily use this as an every day writer should you like such a fine nib. And the flex on this nib is superb. This isn’t a paintbrush wet noodle. The quality of this nib is in the precision of the flex. It has great flow and that flow is coupled with fantastic snapback and responsiveness. It is approaching a dip nib kind of feel. I’m decent with a flex nib, but I’m only scratching the surface of what this nib is capable of. This is the nib you’ve been looking for, but I’m happy to keep it with me in the meantime.
Here is a gorgeous Skyline in my personal favorite color scheme: navy with green pinstripe cap. The pen is in very good condition overall. There is very minor surface scratching from normal use, but I buffed out most of those. There is some plate loss on the clip, band, and lever (see pics), but you have to look for it. The 14kt. Eversharp nib is a typical wet and smooth Skyline Fine. Eversharp made such fantastic writing nibs, and this is no exception. I love the flex action on this nib. It’s not the widest, and the wetness makes it less snappy than some, but the action is just so smooth. It makes flexing a joy. The range of is from F (0.5mm) to BBB (1.6mm). It is reasonably snappy, and the flow has no issues keeping up. If you’re looking for a Skyline, it doesn’t get much better than this.
This is a late 80s Omas 555 S complete with original box and warranty book. The pen looks to have hardly been used. There is little to no signs of wear, scratching, plate loss, in short it is in near mint condition. Omas is well known for its quality and this pen is no exception. Omas is also well known for having fairly stiff pistons, and this pen is no exception. So I greased up the piston to make it nice and smooth. The 14kt. nib is what you would expect of an Omas Fine, wet and beatifully smooth. The flex on this nib comes quite easily and ranges from 0.4mm (F) to BB (1.5mm). It isn’t quite responsive enough to be graded “super flex,” but there is something about the smooth action of this nib that makes flexing with it pure pleasure. This would be a great all around pen. Great at everyday writing with some lovely, pleasurable flex.
Here is a clip less (no original clip) Waterman 12 PSF. These are the predecessor to the 52 and identical to it (so ignore the mistaken identity in the pic…sorry!). This one comes in black chased hard rubber. The chasing on this nib is still decent. The texture on the barrel has smoothed out but it is still visible. The cap chasing is still quite crisp. The imprints are all quite good. The nickel-filled lever is also in pretty good condition with only light wear from use. But who are we kidding, this pen is all about the nib. And the nib! It is a 14kt. Waterman #2 italic. This nib is more crisp than a typical stub. Perhaps, you can call it a cursive italic. The vertical stroke is around 0.5mm, so getting this kind of line variation in such a fine nib is just spectacular. If you’ve never used a stub or italic, this is probably not for you. The flex on this nib is wet, easy and huge ranging all the way to 2.1mm! An italic wet noodle is makes for some superb, crisp flex work. It’s also a very rare combo. This one likely won’t last long. Just a fantastic vintage pen that will spoil you forever.
SIZE: 5 1/4″ Capped
NIB: 14kt. Waterman #2, Fine Italic to BBBB+ (0.5mm-2.1mm) WET NOODLE (See “Grading Flex Nibs” for How I Grade)
Pen thoroughly cleaned & flushed
Nib polished and tuned to write smoothly
Nib and feed ultrasonically cleaned and adjusted for optimal flow