Contemporary Watermans

Fast forward to two typical Waterman pens from the 1980s.

The Gentleman, at left, has barrel, section, and cap made from heavy-gauge brass and finished in a very rich blood-red lacquer that unfortunately loses almost all of its eye appeal under fluorescent lights (so much for impressing your friends at the office). The looped "W" trademark appears on the derby in gold surrounded by more red lacquer. Like most modern Waterman pens, it is very well constructed (I particularly appreciate the o-ring between section and barrel that keeps the pen from screwing apart during use). It has a 18k nib, and fills from cartridge or piston-style converter. The Waterman converters are very nice; they tear down completely for cleaning and can be inexpensively replaced. The Gentleman was for a time the top of the Waterman line, introduced in 1974 and discontinued a couple of years ago. The deep-V shaped clip (with a tiny hallmark at the vertex) was introduced by Waterman during the 1950s. It is one of the more subdued efforts of famous U.S. automobile stylist Harley Earl (the inventor of the tailfin and the "Dagmar" bumper guards).

The Le Man 100 (right) was released in 1983, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the original company. This is the basic model, in black plastic with gold filled trim and 2-tone 18K nib. The styling, like that of the Duofold Centennial that Parker would release some years later, is an obvious reference to vintage pens; this is particularly apparent in the Opera finish, which had fishscale chasing reminiscent of early BCHR Watermans. The Le Man is still available in two sizes of fountain pen, as well as ballpoints and rollerballs, and comes in a variety of finishes.

This file last posted on:
2005-Jan-20 17:50:26 CST
MCMVIII, the red network