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Thread: Vintage Waterman newb requests help

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    Default Vintage Waterman newb requests help

    Hello, all. I've owned a number of modern Waterman pens over the years, and have held onto a few--a Le Man 200 caviar, an Expert II, and a Phileas. I'd love to try a vintage Waterman, and have been doing some research, but still feel a bit at sea in terms of which model to start with.

    I like larger pens that aren't too heavy--say, uncapped and unfilled, 127mm or longer, and 25g or lighter--which I think (corrections welcome!) means I'm looking at #01852, #12, #14S, #44, #45, #46, #52, #55, or #645.

    I'm not too worried about the filling mechanism, though I'd love an eye-dropper (#12, #14, others?). I've heard great things about safety pens (12s, 44, 46, others?)--I'm not sure I totally get the appeal, but it might be fun to try.

    I'm not bothered about flex--a flex or semi-flex nib would be fun to have, but not a requirement.

    I'm not worried about the finish for this first foray into vintage Waterman (though if I'm being honest, that red ripple is pretty snazzy.)

    I don't mind paying a fair price, but I'm hoping to start with a relatively cheaper model for this first one.

    So! Given all that, is there anything else I should be thinking about?

    Any particular model strike you as perfect for my first one?

    Any recommendations on particular sellers, here or elsewhere? I'll be going to the Baltimore pen show next weekend, and would love to connect there and try the pens in person!

    Many thanks, all.

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Waterman newb requests help

    Quote Originally Posted by rkesey View Post
    ...I'm hoping to start with a relatively cheaper model for this first one.... Any particular model strike you as perfect for my first one?...
    The classic "first" vintage pen recommended to me by senior collectors years ago was a "Waterman 52." To keep the price to its lowest, don't worry about crisp chasing, overlay or colors other than black.

    Since you are going to the Baltimore-Washington International Pen Show this coming weekend, March 11-13, you will have many to choose from. See: https://fpgeeks.com/forum/showthread...Show-Mar-11-13
    Last edited by FredRydr; March 6th, 2022 at 10:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Vintage Waterman newb requests help

    Excellent, thank you!

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    Default Re: Vintage Waterman newb requests help

    Well . . . how was your hunt? Did you bag anything? Pics? Opinions, feelings?

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    Default Re: Vintage Waterman newb requests help

    Well! I saw twenty or so, tried half a dozen, and had a great time talking with the vendors, but in the end I didn't go for any of them. I came close on a nice 55 Red Ripple but decided to learn a bit more and maybe cast a wider net. The experience confirmed for me that flex isn't something that matters to me the way it does to others, and since so much of the value of many vintage Watermans is in their flex, maybe they're not the pen for me. Of course I could just get one with a stiffer nib, but I think the less flexy nibs I happened to try at the Fair were perhaps not in the greatest of shape, and aesthetically the pens spoke to me more in photographs than in person. I guess I walked away a little nonplussed... but still glad to have learned a little more about my relationship to fountain pens of this kind, and grateful to have done so amongst people who are so generous with their time and knowledge.

    (FWIW, the other aspects of the fair were lots of fun. I picked up a pad of Tomoe River in A5, a bottle of KWZ and a bottle of 3Oysters, a Narwhal that I'm finding very impressive for the price; I got 2 nibs tuned and 1 reground and overall got a a kick out of talking to so many people who love these beautiful controlled leaks as much as I do.)

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Waterman newb requests help

    Quote Originally Posted by rkesey View Post
    ...The experience confirmed for me that flex isn't something that matters to me the way it does to others, and since so much of the value of many vintage Watermans is in their flex, maybe they're not the pen for me. Of course I could just get one with a stiffer nib, but I think the less flexy nibs I happened to try at the Fair were perhaps not in the greatest of shape, and aesthetically the pens spoke to me more in photographs than in person. I guess I walked away a little nonplussed... but still glad to have learned a little more about my relationship to fountain pens of this kind, and grateful to have done so amongst people who are so generous with their time and knowledge....
    Fantastic! Another example of buying at a pen show being more satisfying than buying online. If at all possible: Try before you buy!

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    Default Re: Vintage Waterman newb requests help

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rkesey View Post
    ...The experience confirmed for me that flex isn't something that matters to me the way it does to others, and since so much of the value of many vintage Watermans is in their flex, maybe they're not the pen for me. Of course I could just get one with a stiffer nib, but I think the less flexy nibs I happened to try at the Fair were perhaps not in the greatest of shape, and aesthetically the pens spoke to me more in photographs than in person. I guess I walked away a little nonplussed... but still glad to have learned a little more about my relationship to fountain pens of this kind, and grateful to have done so amongst people who are so generous with their time and knowledge....
    Fantastic! Another example of buying at a pen show being more satisfying than buying online. If at all possible: Try before you buy!
    1000%, Fred--thanks!

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    Default Re: Vintage Waterman newb requests help

    Wonderful!! Thanks for taking the time to reply and share your experiences with us. Prior to the show I was going to mention if flex wasn't that important to you, you would actually be able to pick up some really nice vintage Waterman's at a lower price point. Personally, I still enjoy the writing experience with Waterman's (even the less flexible) over most modern fountain pens. It's so variable and such a personal experience, you can only go so far with others recommendations, which I suspect is why Fred is such a proponent of the shows and try b4 buying.

    Good Luck on finding your happiest writing instrument experience!

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Vintage Waterman newb requests help

    Many thanks, Adicus--it's a fruitful trail, no doubt.

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    Default Re: Vintage Waterman newb requests help

    It is really true the philosophy of vintage pens and their flexibility and all writing characters depend on how and what you writes.
    Some who has not already exposed to the rabit hole of many aspects or the other characters or hit by the bug to go for the VINTAGE PENS may always hesitate to be where there are sill standing. Vintage Waterman is not the only flex soft pens in this matter. There are many others. In my own experience of getting into this rabbit-hole and ended up adding and accumulating a big bunch of Penn collection in many vintage pens including several Waterman's. It is real costly fun but I haven't found any that is so called WET NOODLES IN WATERMAN'S to my taste.
    All I find is very different pens in many characters and according to my general " lettering and formal cursive writing' There are pens that gives very great cursive writings under controlled speed ( Eg. spencerian style writing of business writing ). with many pens I have, I can easily use them to write ( and LETTERING ) what easily achievable with soft ( flex ) pens like Waterman's
    Last week I bought a "Swan pen" and that pen was listed with a very high flex drawing and some texts. So the seller was a famous vintage seller. For every pen he included a drawing and he categorised his pen's flexibility.
    As I was hunting a WET NOODLE PEN ( SWAN ) I was intrigued by the pen and bought it. But when it came to me I found it was just another Swan soft "nibbed pen" and it is never a So called Flexible pen.
    But fortunately it is a beautiful EF writer for my cursive writing.
    So the same story goes with another waterman's I bought this week. I got this pen just looking at it and nothing was mentioned on the listing but it was just listed as it was found. So I bought it and BINGO ... It is another soft EEF ( extra Extra Fine Fantastic Nib) for Spencerian writing.
    So the for the long story short It is always good to test / write your pen before you buy on Line.
    And if it is for the first time and if you haven't into finding a pen for for specific writing style Ex.. Broad stub , cursive or lettering or just daily Jotering or office work It is always better to see how the pen writes.
    It will also save your money and some frustrations if you do it on line and it will be more a miss hit than a won. This is true about Waterman's or another many Flex pens.

    This is applicable to many modern pens too. I own a Pilot Falcan Ef Soft nibs. I have seen many writing done SO CALLED FLEX. But In my hand I never do it and that pen is not made for constant writing made such all the time. It is insane and those pens are mean for general Writing that gives different experience of doing your work from another aspect perhaps.


    I am attaching the swan pen that was listed by the original listing of the seller. This shows a story as a Good - medium Flex by the photos . But unfortunately It is not a flexible Nib/pen but it is achievable... but one day soon you'll be destroying this pen by repeated pressure like this.
    Among the Vintage pens I own , This is a new fantastic EF nib from Swan.

    s-l1600-5.jpg s-l1600-6.jpg

    And here is my new Waterman EF soft nib. ( my apologise for huge Photo not prepared suitably for this page.

    IMG_0199.jpgIMG_0198.jpg
    Last edited by Cyril; February 16th, 2023 at 07:13 AM.

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    Default Re: Vintage Waterman newb requests help

    Cyril, thank you for all of this--and what amazing writing you have. Truly in awe.

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