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Thread: Advice for Waterman 512 Beautiful Pen!

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    Default Advice for Waterman 512 Beautiful Pen!

    Hi there,
    I am a newbie looking forward to acquiring a highly flexible nib fountain pen.
    I have just found this...
    Can someone offer me a piece of advice? the price is OK, but is this legit?
    Will it write this beautifully?

  2. #2
    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Waterman 512 Beautiful Pen!

    Quote Originally Posted by haroldawerben View Post
    ...Can someone offer me a piece of advice? the price is OK, but is this legit?
    Will it write this beautifully?...
    1. Piece of advice: Buyer beware!
    2. Price: Since it's okay with you, 'nuff said. (Ouch!)
    3. Legit? See 1, above.
    4. It has the potential to write beautifully, but that depends upon the writer's skill. (If you're smitten by a melody you hear on a violin, will your purchase of the violin result in you playing the same melody as beautifully?

    Good luck.

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  4. #3
    Member controlsfreak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Waterman 512 Beautiful Pen!

    Most nibs weren't meant to be as flexible as some sellers would like you to believe. Treatment like that seriously limits the life of the nib.

    Stacy Hills

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    Default Re: Advice for Waterman 512 Beautiful Pen!

    I have a Waterman nib that is similarly flexy. I bought it 15 years ago on EBay for not a lot of money because it was found in a cheap no-name celluloid pen body that was used simply to hold the feed and ink sac. I am a practiced calligrapher (not good, but I have practiced for 40 years!) and I can tell you that my nib naturally gives as much line variation as the Ebay pen, without any sort of extra force. So I am not completely skeptical of this listing.

    That said, if you’re a newbie and have no experience with flex nibs, be warned that there’s a steep learning curve to using them. As the poster above me said, the fact that you own a nice violin doesn’t mean you can play it well. If you are interested in learning pointed nib calligraphy, I highly recommend that you try a pen with a dip nib and see if your fingers and hand find this writing style comfortable. It might end up saving you $300 and a bad Ebay experience.

    If money is truly no object and you really want to go all out, $300 can buy a very good pen from a dealer who would back up your purchase with knowledge and warranty. Flexible nibs are not uncommon, just high-priced.

    On the other hand, if you have $300 to spare and are adventurous. It might be a fun pandemic-era project to take on. I think the listing looks earnest, though you can never tell how a nib will feel just from the line it puts down on paper. But life is short, after all, and there can be fun in small risks.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Ron Z's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Waterman 512 Beautiful Pen!

    Finding a pen to be attractive is a big part of buying a pen, and if you really like the way it looks, that counts. Having said that, Fred's comments are worth noting. The seller is just 2 or 3 decades off on the age, which decidedly is not 100+ years. That Waterman style/material, is mid to late 40s. Waterman didn't use the top rivet on the clip until the 40s either. IMO their product was on the decline by the time the pen was made. OTOH, the trim looks to be reasonably clean, and the nib does flex. As has been noted you can buy a lot of pen for $300. If I were selling the pen, the price point would be about half their asking price, even with a flex nib.

    Elaineb's observation are good ones. I've tried flex nibs, bought them on purpose. We don't play well together, and because I can't control them, they find a new home sooner rather than later.
    Last edited by Ron Z; August 4th, 2020 at 04:38 PM.

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Waterman 512 Beautiful Pen!

    If you want a budget way to explore really flexible nibs, may I suggest dip pens?

    Not that I have any experience with calligraphy but you get the idea...

    My lowly, everyday, vintage, steel Esterbrook 815 school nibs are remarkably flexible and easy to use. Esterbrook 048 nibs are maybe slightly less flexy but also easy to write with.

    It isn't difficult to find NOS ones on ebay for $5 each or less. Far flexier new nibs are available as well.

    Vintage all-wood pen holders (aka nib holders; the wood thing you hold) are inexpensive. Or you can buy simple new ones for $10-50. (I made the brass and walnut holder above)

    I've bought several pen and ink things from John Neal Bookseller and they have a wide variety of nibs and nib holders and inks. Check out their nib sampler pack.

    Hope this helps.

    (in case you're curious I used Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black ink on Rhodia paper with 5mm grid ruling)
    Last edited by azkid; August 4th, 2020 at 04:57 PM.


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