I got this pen back in the first week of September and I’ve been meaning to write a review about it since then but I really wasn’t able to find the time. I bought this from another fountain pen enthusiast from the FPN-P group and I’ve used it several times already. I didn’t want to wear it out too much so I rotate it with other pens. This particular model of Waterman was made in the late 1940’s and 50’s. Its more popular cousin would be the Taperite model, with the hooded nib, probably a response to Parker’s very famous design innovation on their 51 series pens. I’m not a fan of the hooded nib, though, so I’m glad I got a hold of a model with an open nib.
My first impression on this pen was that it was incredibly light. Even if it felt light in my hand, it didn’t feel flimsy at all. Light and well-put together is how I would describe this. The pen looked almost like NOS when I got it, except for a tiny ding on the cap.
The Waterman Crusader has a plastic body and a two-tone metal cap. The chrome plated trims reminded me of jukeboxes and old diners. It’s plastic so most people won’t find the design exciting, but I kinda like it. It has an old-school appeal that I’m fond of.
Appearance-wise, it looks very beautiful, in that retro-kind of way. I can imagine students in the 1940’s and 50’s taking this to school with them. It looks like it can take a beating. Seems really durable well-made.
The cap snaps on and off, and it posts at the end of the pen. It’s a little on the short side if you don’t post the cap.
The section is really smooth, with a chrome-plated clutch ring that separates it from the barrel. People with large hands may find this ring a bit uncomfortable to the touch as they write, but my medium-sized hand doesn’t mind it at all.
The nib of this pen is a 14kt gold-plated steel, Ideal rigid nib. It looks slim and the sides don’t flare out too much. The feed at the bottom side of the nib looks flat, much like old-style Waterman pens do. There’s not much tipping material on the nib, making it really pointy. I was expecting a medium point on this, but I’m it writes more like an EF. Not at all scratchy, though, it’s very smooth for an EF. Kind of gives you the feeling of writing with a quill, not an unpleasant experience at all. It doesn’t flex, though it has a bit of spring to it.
So far, I have two vintage pens that I’m using; this one and an Esterbrook J. I gotta say, I’m impressed with these two pens because they write without issues. Just put them on paper and they write without skipping or hard starting. Pretty awesome. It’s easy to see how pens as reliable as this stood the test of time. I find it super cool that something made over 50 years ago can still be used and appreciated today.
The pen uses a lever filling system, which was common for that time. I was a bit hesitant to buy a lever filler at first, being used to converters/cartridges and piston-filling pens. However, the kind folks at FPN-P have shown that there’s nothing to be afraid of with lever fillers. One can easily learn to resac these pens too, or ask them for help resaccing if ever you don’t want to learn it.
Here is a video of a writing sample I made for this pen:
All in all, I think that this pen is a pretty cool pen to carry around. I’ve used this for days on end and I had no problems with how it refills or holds ink, nor with the way that it writes. If I had any gripe about it, I wish that the medium point is broader, but that’s usually how vintage medium nibs were made back in the day, so it is what it is. It’s perfect for small writing, I’ve used it to make notes in Bible paper and it holds up pretty well.