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Hi all

I know this is a very broad question but what is your opinion of the Waterman company in terms of their product range and quality?

I recently bought my first Waterman pen. It's a black Carene ballpoint. I use it at work and bought it to replace a Lamy studio piano black which I recently lost. So far I think it's great quality at a reasonable price. Bought it at about 40% off the retail price. I have a few great fountain pens and have generally been a fan of Parker pens, particularly the UK made duofolds. Am I correct in thinking that Waterman pens are made in a similar if not the same French factory as some of the Parker pens?

Cheers

Peter
 

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I believe Waterman and Parker might be viewed as subsidiaries of the same company. As for the pens, I own three Parkers and two Waterman fountain pens. The Parkers are all vintage (a Parker 51 and a pair of Parker Vacumatic pieces) while the Waterman pens are new (an Edson and a Carene). The Parker pens write beautifully and smoothly and might be my three favorites to use, while both Waterman pens remind me of writing with a nail dipped in ink. That is simply my opinion and experience.
 

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Keep in mind that there are also two Watermans to pen collectors. Waterman was originally an American brand that was highly successful in the 1920's and had divisions all over the world. They made high quality eyedropper and lever filled ebonite pens, of which you can still find 100 year old examples. When the great depression hit, every division of the company went out of business except the one in France, which eventually grew into the company you see today.
 

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Hi all

I know this is a very broad question but what is your opinion of the Waterman company in terms of their product range and quality?

I recently bought my first Waterman pen. It's a black Carene ballpoint. I use it at work and bought it to replace a Lamy studio piano black which I recently lost. So far I think it's great quality at a reasonable price. Bought it at about 40% off the retail price. I have a few great fountain pens and have generally been a fan of Parker pens, particularly the UK made duofolds. Am I correct in thinking that Waterman pens are made in a similar if not the same French factory as some of the Parker pens?

Cheers

Peter

Excellent pens with a long heritage. Unfortunately in recent years the range has narrowed but I have an Edson which is around 15 years old and writes like a dream and also a Man 100 Patrician from the 1990s which is just as good.
 

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I believe Waterman and Parker might be viewed as subsidiaries of the same company. As for the pens, I own three Parkers and two Waterman fountain pens. The Parkers are all vintage (a Parker 51 and a pair of Parker Vacumatic pieces) while the Waterman pens are new (an Edson and a Carene). The Parker pens write beautifully and smoothly and might be my three favorites to use, while both Waterman pens remind me of writing with a nail dipped in ink. That is simply my opinion and experience.
It's true that Watermans have a reputation for very stiff nibs but that's not necessarily a bad thing - not everyone likes flexible nibs.
 

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It's true that Watermans have a reputation for very stiff nibs but that's not necessarily a bad thing - not everyone likes flexible nibs.
They do NOW.

Waterman probably had as good a range of flex nibs, of high quality, as anyone, from the turn of the 20th century through even the 100 Year pens...which were the last dance for them, as a major player. They'd already faded by the time ballpoints delivered the crushing blow that more or less crushed the entire American production.

For the last 20 or so years, IMO there's nothing interesting from Waterman. To be sure: a lot of this is disappointment...because the 20's and 30's Watermans, the 92 and 94, the 5 and 7...they're something special. The 100 Years...save the nibs! Package them into something that won't fall apart. (That was the issue: failure to cure the cellulose adequately, leading to it literally falling apart. Wahl Eversharp had the same issue with the Dorics.) The modern ones are smooth, to be sure, but DULL. Many are also lacquer over brass, which for me is just too heavy. There are better, more interesting pens for less, so...IMO, why Waterman?
 

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Keep in mind that there are also two Watermans to pen collectors. Waterman was originally an American brand that was highly successful in the 1920's and had divisions all over the world. They made high quality eyedropper and lever filled ebonite pens, of which you can still find 100 year old examples. When the great depression hit, every division of the company went out of business except the one in France, which eventually grew into the company you see today.
IIRC, not quite accurate.
Waterman started, IIRC, around 1890. They were huge in the hard-rubber, pre-celluloid era...call it 1895 to about 1920. They remained big, but they owned rubber production facilities and were VERY slow to move away from it. Hard rubber has serious issues, both technically and visually. Also, they were very slow to move past the lever filler. And while the Depression certainly hurt, they worked through it. The death knell was the 100 Year's technical failure. It's the model that could've saved them, or at least let them continue as a reasonable player until the ballpoint crisis, but...oops. US production ceased, IIRC, in the 50's; I am sure the 100 Years were US production in the 40's.
 

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IIRC, not quite accurate.
Waterman started, IIRC, around 1890. They were huge in the hard-rubber, pre-celluloid era...call it 1895 to about 1920. They remained big, but they owned rubber production facilities and were VERY slow to move away from it. Hard rubber has serious issues, both technically and visually. Also, they were very slow to move past the lever filler. And while the Depression certainly hurt, they worked through it. The death knell was the 100 Year's technical failure. It's the model that could've saved them, or at least let them continue as a reasonable player until the ballpoint crisis, but...oops. US production ceased, IIRC, in the 50's; I am sure the 100 Years were US production in the 40's.
 

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Yes, when they remain in good shape, they're lovely pieces. The celluloid crazes, tho, and literally falls apart. The barrel end is particularly prone to this; this also affected the Emblem. There is a significant risk that finding one in as good a shape as that, has a modern barrel piece added. NOT saying that's true of this one; given jar's collection, probably not. However, it is common, and it's perfectly fine as long as it's reported as such. Price for a cleaned-up barrel should be NOTABLY less than a pristine one.
 

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Yes, when they remain in good shape, they're lovely pieces. The celluloid crazes, tho, and literally falls apart. The barrel end is particularly prone to this; this also affected the Emblem. There is a significant risk that finding one in as good a shape as that, has a modern barrel piece added. NOT saying that's true of this one; given jar's collection, probably not. However, it is common, and it's perfectly fine as long as it's reported as such. Price for a cleaned-up barrel should be NOTABLY less than a pristine one.
But there were two different materials used in the 100 Year pens. The early pens from the first two years were made of Lucite, not Celluloid. The Lucite pens never suffered from the crazing issue like the celluloid ones. But Lucite became a War Commodity with restricted availability and so Waterman switched to celluloid, and that proved to be another causality of WWII.

The pen from above is a first year issue Ladies Model made from Lucite with the original case and certificate.

 

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Ahhh...that's right. My bad, I forgot that. Been a long time since I really dug into Waterman history.
 
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