Saturday, July 10, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 222

Now, here's a fountain pen model we've never seen at a Vancouver Pen Club meeting before (as far as I know) - a vintage Waterman that VPC member Anthony discovered in an online auction...

(all photos courtesy of Anthony, except where noted ~ please click on images to enlarge)

                                                       (Unknown pen parts - photo source)

Anthony: "I scored six 1960s Kaweco NOS (new-old-stock) pens in a recent online auction – but I’m not going to discuss the Kawecos this time. As part of that haul, there were some NOS pen parts that I couldn't easily identify. Once I had them in my hands, I found identifying attributes. The caps have the name Waterman stamped on the clip. The barrels are faceted in a very pleasing cobalt blue colour. The nib-sections house a hooded nib. Behind the nib there is no feed. I did my homework and found I had parts from several Waterman WATs (X-Pen series). Unfortunately, I lacked the capillary tube that the pen uses to "feed" the nib. A pad of felt-like material is bonded behind the nib and is supposed to contact the open end of the capillary tube. These pens are designed to ink themselves. It is on the face of it a simple design. You immerse the nib in ink and wait ten minutes or so, and the pen fills itself. The filler mechanism consisted of the capillary tube which should contain a compressed roll of a type of muslin which readily absorbs fountain pen ink. Here is how the capillary tube looks:"
                                                            (Capillary tube - photo source)

                                                           (Necessary parts - photo source)

"These capillary tubes are almost impossible to find without paying for a complete and rare near-mint Waterman X-Pen or WAT. I believe the end of the capillary tube touches the felt material near the nib. I soaked my nib sections for a few days until the water ran through clean (using a pear bulb and a flushing cartridge). While doing this I noticed that when I pushed the cartridge into the nib-section it readily held in place without using undue force. Readily removable as well. You might guess what I did next. Yes, I topped up (with distilled water) a circa. 1998 Rotring turquoise cartridge I had handy. I pushed it into the nib-section. Re-assembled the barrel, hey presto – It writes!

Since that revelation I’ve discovered that the experience is very similar to a regular cartridge/converter pen, albeit with a slight increase in wetness. The nib used in my experiment is an F. I also tried a PF nib (Pfannenfeder – Pan spring nib), but that did not perform nearly as well. The PF nib required a higher rate of ink flow and would write a third of a page-paragraph or so before skipping dry. It needed a few sharp taps on a blotting pad before continuing for another paragraph. I had two fine nibs in the haul, so from the available parts, I assembled two complete pens and filled one with Rotring Royal Blue - and passed it to Paulette my wife, so far, she’s very happy with it. The other I kept Rotring Turquoise in, and I'm finding it can be left for a few days at least and then starts up again without hesitation. Calculating what I spent for the pens relative to what I paid for the entire lot, I estimate around $15 each. Yes, it is a hack, but I don’t feel guilty about that, the pen works great so far."

                                                                   (Fully assembled)

                                                                       (The hack)

                                                                 (How it writes)

"If you’d like to know more about the history of the Waterman WAT pen you can look here."

Anthony--great job with the filing system hack (and for identifying the Waterman model, in the first place). Many thanks for sharing your finds on our pen club's site!

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