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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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