Monday, August 9, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 237

 "Vacation Dreams" Pens ~ Part 2

Continuing on with my travels through pen-buying in lieu of an actual vacation overseas...

(please click on images to enlarge)

A jump across the English Channel now to the City of Light- a beautiful, romantic destination that's also the capital of the country where my brand-new Waterman 'Emblème' fountain pen (in "Deluxe Grey") was made!

From Waterman's official website: "Taking inspiration from the iconic Parisian skyline, Emblème’s modern and deluxe lacquer finishes convey an effortless style and reflect French elegance. The collection benefits from Waterman’s in-house craftsmanship and expertise. It features four precious resin finishes and two precious lacquered resin finishes, all with a unique Eiffel-tower inspired pattern stainless steel nib."

I acquired the pen via (you guessed it) Amazon's Warehouse for $46.70 CAD, which is a little less than half the $88.59 current retail price on that site. Its condition was listed as "Used - Acceptable - Cosmetic imperfection(s) bigger than 1" on top, front or sides of item. Item is in original, pristine packaging." which, admittedly, sounds a bit ominous. I'd had good luck with other used pens from the Warehouse in the past, however, so I took a chance on this one because I really liked its soft grey colour. It arrived in the box above, in perfect condition (including its nib), with no scratches or dents or other visible damage - yay!

The 'Emblème' fountain pen is made of lacquered resin, with a stainless steel cap, chrome trim, and a stainless steel nib which comes in Fine and Medium. According to my measurements, it's 14cm capped, 15cm posted and 12.5cm from nib tip to barrel end. The model currently comes in six different colours--Deluxe Grey, Deluxe Gold, Essential Black, Essential Blue, Essential Red, and Essential Ivory. In case you prefer a different writing form, it's also available as a rollerball and ballpoint. 

As soon as Waterman released the 'Emblème' fountain pen in the fall of 2019, it immediately drew comparisons to the Waterman 'Phileas' and Waterman 'Kultur' fountain pens because of their similar/same nibs and black plastic ribbed sections. I own both of those other Waterman models, so for this review, I tried interchanging their sections. The results: (a) the 'Phileas' and 'Emblème' sections both fit each other's barrels and both pens cap (ie. snap shut) properly, (b) the 'Kultur' section fits the 'Emblème' and it caps properly, and (c) the 'Emblème' section fits the 'Kultur', but the 'Kultur's' cap won't snap on at all.

I think some of the criticism about Waterman reusing those plastic sections on the 'Emblème' was that it made the pen look a bit cheap for its price tag (the 'Phileas' and 'Kultur' were considered entry-level fountain pens). So, could Waterman have used a metal section on the 'Emblème'? Yes, I think they could have. Why they chose not to, I don't know; at 25 grams capped (with no converter or cartridge in place) the 'Emblème' isn't a heavy pen.  The maximum diameter of the barrel is 12.4 mm and the section doesn't have much of a taper, so it makes for a comfortable grip. The pen is comfortable for me to use posted or unposted (unposted weight with no cartridge/converter = 13 grams). When posted, it's a bit weighted towards the back end, but I'm a "high gripper" so it's not a big deal for me. I just noticed that the barrel has a brass insert in it, so that adds weight to the back end of the pen; because of this, I think a metal section might have helped to counterbalance the posted pen.

According to its manufacturer, the Emblème nib is the largest nib in Waterman's current lineup. It's also unique in that it sports a nice engraving of the Eiffel Tower (see above), another design feature that instantly drew me to the pen. The pen takes international short/long ink cartridges, or an international converter. Mine came with a long international cartridge with black ink in it. The Medium nib on my pen wrote smoothly, but without line variation or flex. It wasn't glassy-smooth, though--- the nib had a bit of 'tooth' to it (which I like)---but it certainly wasn't scratchy.

I've always liked Waterman's split clip designs. The Emblème's chrome clip is neither too stiff nor too loose---just to my liking----and the palladium finish gives it very shiny appearance (the clip is also really smooth to the touch---I love those tactile features!) About its stainless steel snap cap, Waterman states: "The only Waterman collection to offer a metal cap for the full range, Emblème's design takes subtle cues from Paris's emblematic grey zinc rooftops, conveying an effortless style and refined French elegance." And just how beloved are those Parisian zinc rooftops? Well, there's been a push to get them UNESCO World Heritage status.

So, there you have it! Tune in on Wednesday when I take a long virtual trip to another part of the world with a new travel-inspired fountain pen :)

~ Review & photos by Maja ~

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