Review: Waterman Gentleman, 18k Fine Nib


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I got this Waterman Gentleman for a basement bargain price. I was expecting it to need some restoration (the seller’s photos weren’t very clear) but, as it turns out, it’s in nearly perfect condition. There are some minor scratches on it, but nothing that’s really noticeable or would affect the pen’s performance.

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My first impression of this pen was that it looked beautiful in a classic way. Black and gold is a timeless combination, and this pen looks so well-made. The workmanship is so good. It also feels a bit hefty, even if it does not look large. I like the weight of the pen because it’s substantial without looking so over-the-top oversized.

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L to R: Waterman Hemisphere and Expert II, Pilot VP, Parker 51, Waterman Gentleman

Here is a comparison of its size with some other pens. It’s a little bit longer than the Expert II and the Vanishing Point. It just doesn’t look like it because of its slim profile.

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The body is made of lacquered brass, like the Hemisphere and Expert II, except that the section of the pen is also made of the same material. The Gentleman was manufactured as Waterman’s top of the line pen back in 1976 to 1983, before it was replaced by the Le Man line as the brand’s luxury pen.

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I absolutely love the finial of this pen. It’s not sloped like the modern Waterman pens of the 1990’s. It’s flat and has this stylized W on it, gold stamped on black. It looks very pretty. It’s an elegant touch on this very simple and well-designed pen.

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The cap has a gold-plated band around the lip which has “Waterman made in France” engraved on it. The cap and the clip has the hallmark “WAT-SA” which is Waterman’s sterling silver hallmark for the gold-filled trims. The cap snaps on the section and, if you post the pen, it also snaps at the end of the barrel. The pen’s weight is pleasantly hefty when unposted. Posting it adds weight to its top, though not enough to cause hand fatigue during long writing sessions. It’s a well-balanced pen.

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The nib is a beautiful 18k nib. The design is like a mixture of the old Ideal nibs and the modern nibs with the Waterman logo. For a fine nib, it’s a wet writer. The underside of the feed is flat, also reminiscent of vintage Waterman pens.

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The nib is quite springy and offers a bit of flex. It writes like a European fine, and it writes oh so well. I was so excited when I got it that I completely forgot about my usual ritual of disassembling it and running it through the ultrasonic cleaner. There wasn’t any dry ink in it, but once I flushed it thoroughly and ran it through the ultrasonic cleaner a few times, it wrote so, so well. It’s pretty easy to disassemble and clean. The nib and the feed are friction fit to the section. Just use a rubber mat to gently pull out the nib and feed to clean it out thoroughly.

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Below is an example of the writing sample using Diamine Onyx Black (before cleaning).

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Watch the video of the writing sample after it’s been cleaned:

It writes effortlessly, and the nib feels almost like there’s a soft cushion between it and the paper. It’s an enjoyable pen to write with, and I am so  happy to add it to my collection.

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