View Full Version : Waterman Extra Fine Pens

December 29th, 2018, 01:34 PM
Hi everybody. I am looking for advice regarding a couple of Waterman fountain pens with
extra-fine nibs. I have two fine-point fountain pens (a Cross and a Sheaffer) that write
beautifully with any ink. I also have a couple of extra-fine Watermans (a Carene and a Preface II)
that only write well with certain water-based, shellac-free inks. Other inks e.g. Pelikan Black, just don't
flow easily from those extra-fine nibs. I'd like to know if this a bug or a feature of extra-fine Watermans?

The Waterman repair people have understandably asked me to send them the pens for examination, but
I'd rather not bother them if this is just a case of Waterman extra-fines performing as they're supposed to.

I should add that I clean the pens regularly, and that they have never been damaged,

December 29th, 2018, 02:45 PM
Just my experience in general: certain nibs pair extraordinarily well with particular inks and are poor writers with others; regardless of the nib width. Now, F and EF varieties let you know sooner than wider options as their sweet spot is narrow. If the ink is not flowing well for the nib in question, your writing experience heads down the toilet quick.

Haven said this, often times you can have your nib tuned to write better with drier/wetter inks, depending on your taste.

For example, I have a Man 100 adjusted for a generous flow, so to speak, in a B nib that writes like a 2B. It needs a dry ink such as the Pelikan 4001. If I use a wet one...it will empty the converter quicker than I can write my name hahahahaha

December 29th, 2018, 03:20 PM
First of all please consider that fountain pens will work well only with shellac free inks. If you use a shellac based ink you will surely clog the feed.
Pelikan 4001 black is known as a "dry" ink which is suitable for "wet" nibs such as vintage Pelikans (and many others). Evidently it is not the best ink for your Waterman EF nib.
For an EF Waterman pen you should probably use a "wet" ink such as Waterman (or most Sailor or Iroshuzuku inks).
Whatever you do please try different inks in your pens before you consider tinkering (personally or professionally) with their nibs.

...and welcome to FPGeeks!

December 30th, 2018, 11:58 AM
I have Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black and have found it to work better in pens that tend to have high flow, and it has tamed a few gushers.

I don't have any Waterman pen experience except that my wife's Hemisphere (F) writes and flows amazingly with Serenity Blue.

I've found Quink Permanent Black flows a bit more generously in drier pens with extra fine or posting nibs, like two of my Esterbrooks, while Iroshizuku Take-sumi flows even more so and makes somewhat frustratingly dry pens quite a bit nicer to use.

Hope this is helpful.

December 31st, 2018, 12:35 PM
I have a Waterman Carene and several other Waterman pens with extra fine nibs. These pens write well with any ink, including Pelikan 4001 inks. The EF Carene nib unit was bought from nibs.com, and they do tune the nibs. I don't think you should be having these issues, but the tuning of the nibs might be the cause, dry as opposed to wet. Consider too flossing the nibs..

January 1st, 2019, 04:37 PM
Thank you all very much for the advice / ink theory crash course. I tried an inexpensive, wetter ink made
by Arts Alternatives, and it flowed very smoothly from the Watermans. That was encouraging. I'll try a few
more to see how they do. If I can find a large enough selection of inks that flow well, I'll consider the Waterman
EF problem solved. Otherwise I will send them off to Waterman for tuning, flossing etc.

Thank you again for your help.

January 17th, 2019, 10:59 AM
Thank you all very much for the advice / ink theory crash course. I tried an inexpensive, wetter ink made
by Arts Alternatives, and it flowed very smoothly from the Watermans. That was encouraging. I'll try a few
more to see how they do. If I can find a large enough selection of inks that flow well, I'll consider the Waterman
EF problem solved. Otherwise I will send them off to Waterman for tuning, flossing etc.

Thank you again for your help.

The amusing thing is that Waterman's Serenity blue is considered THE standard testing ink - if a pen won't write smoothly with it, then it's in need of tweaking or repair. So you might want to try it - it's cheap and an excellent ink. Pel Black otoh is notably dry. If you really want to use it, you can add a little glycerine or photoflow.

Eddie Southgate
January 18th, 2019, 02:07 PM
I almost always find that Parker Quink works in any pen that I have that writes dry . I have some that is 10 years old but mostly I look for the 1940-1950 stuff on ebay . I have Micro Film Black , Green, Violet , Blue Black , Red and Brown and it is all wonderful ink and usually can be had reasonably priced . I bought a dozen or so bottles from the 40's recently for 7.95 each + shipping from one ebay seller , all in original vintage boxes in immaculate condition .

If your pen writes nicely with any ink you have that you really like I would not worry about having it adjusted for any others , if not , then go for it . I usually do not switch inks once I find one that works like I want it to in a particular pen bur I have lots of pens and do not need them to work with multiple inks .


January 18th, 2019, 08:59 PM
I have been trying other inks, though I haven't gotten around to Serenity Blue or the Parker Quink.
But here's a twist: I've always used bottled ink, but this morning, out of curiosity and desperation,
I put Waterman black cartridges in the two XFs, and they both wrote quite nicely. Could the flow problem
have been caused by faulty converters? Or something in the general converter-to-nib mechanism? I will
write with the XFs for a few more days, and see how they do when the cartridges are somewhat depleted.
I would like to be able to conclude that fault lies not in my ink, but in my converters. It just offended my
sense of propriety that a Waterman pen, however fine the nib, not write well with Waterman black.

I was not aware that Serenity Blue was the ink of choice for testing. Is it just wet enough to flow well
from any nib, and just dry enough to not run? That is good to know. I will be sure to try the Serenity
Blue before I throw in the towel and send the XFs somewhere for adjustment.

I will also try the Parker Quink. I used it many years ago with one of my first pens (a Parker), and don't
remember any having any problems.

Thank you as always for the advice.

January 18th, 2019, 10:46 PM
If you have a faulty converter, it will usually have lost the vacuum to suck up ink and hold it. Ink in the converter would flow out, and you couldn't suck up ink. I often use a small toothpick through the converter mouth with a tiny bead of silicone jelly-like lubricant that I deposit on the inside of the tube near the piston. I work the piston back and forth a few times to spread the silicone lube. I think this helps a converter last longer, but I couldn't prove it.

January 22nd, 2019, 05:57 AM
It turns out that the Waterman EFs did not perform better with cartridges.
Just as with converters, they started to run drily after the ink reservoir dropped
by about 1/3. So after three weeks of testing, I can conclude that (as you've all
been telling me) that I should either switch to wetter inks or have the nibs tuned
to drier ones.

Most of you who have weighed in seem to feel that wetter ink is the preferable
remedy. I have no rational objection, just a grouchy conviction that a new Waterman
pen should be optimized for Waterman ink. Maybe that's not possible, given the large
differences in flow between their mediums and extra-fines.

Okay, so I will try the Quink first. Thank you all again. On the bright side, three weeks
of testing has left me with enough ink for a couple of years.


P.S. Have any of you had a Waterman nib tuned? Were you happy with the outcome?

January 22nd, 2019, 10:37 AM
I bought two extra fine nibs for two carenes from nibs.com. I told them what ink I used and they tuned the nibs. $129 each, purchase price. These two nibs write perfectly with Montblanc, Pelikan 4001 or Sheaffer blue black inks. I felt they knew what they were doing.

January 22nd, 2019, 08:08 PM
P.S. Have any of you had a Waterman nib tuned? Were you happy with the outcome?

I had Dan Smith take a stab at one of my Experts and Iíve been very pleased with the results. It was already smooth but a little dry for my tastes. Now itís even smoother and the flow is perfect.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

January 22nd, 2019, 09:08 PM
I have never had a nib tuned. If I leave the Waterman EF nibs as they are,
I can solve the flow problem by switching to wetter inks, and still preserve
the extra-fine line.

If, on the other hand, I had the nib tuned to increase the flow, the pen would
lay down a slightly thicker line, but I would be able to use the drier inks.

Is this correct?



January 26th, 2019, 05:47 AM
Thank you for that recommendation. A fountain pen nerd friend of mine speaks
highly of them also. (She dropped her Pilot straight down on on its nib.) I can't
find a satisfactory ink some time soon, I'll try having the Waterman XFs tuned.

January 26th, 2019, 05:55 AM
Parker Quink seems to elicit a wide range of opinions. User 1 finds it dry, but
User 2 feels quite strongly that it is wetter than Waterman or Pelikan Black.
I guess it is somewhat subjective, and depends on writing style, paper quality
and pen type.

I have ordered some. If doesn't help the Waterman XFs, I can still use it in
the Sheaffer and Cross XFs. Their XF nibs are more like Waterman fines.
Thicker lines, but trouble-free.

Thank you again for the recommendation.

December 7th, 2019, 06:18 AM
I am sorry for the long hiatus. For anyone still interested, here is an update:

For the Waterman Preface II, I took the suggestion that I try a wetter ink.
(Waterman Black and Parker Quink were too dry.) In a dusty corner of a local
art supply shop, I found an inexpensive black ink called Manuscript that flows
very nicely from the Preface II. I'd like to find another brand to supplement the
supply of Manuscript.

For the Waterman Carene, I took the suggestion that I have the nib tuned. The
Goulet Company referred me to a nib guy who smoothed the nib and increased
the ink flow. The newly-tuned Carene now works quite well with Waterman Intense
Black --- even on the cheap legal pad paper that I use at work. (I should still
replace the converter.)

Thanks again for the advice.

December 7th, 2019, 06:55 AM
We all love happy endings! :thumb:

December 7th, 2019, 08:41 AM
Glad to hear you found some solutions.

Maybe try Pilot black for an ink that flows wetter than Quink?

December 8th, 2019, 10:48 AM
Thank you. I will try it. My sister (also a fountain pen geek with scratchy Waterman EFs)
is a fan of Pilot inks.