January 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
Waterman has a penchant for subtly revising the style of their products. The styling change can be difficult to identify for the average user, particularly without the alternative style for comparison. In terms of nomenclature, whilst at best the company adds a suffix denoting the year of the revision (helpful only if you’ve kept the original slip case) and, at worst, not even telling their colleagues! Customers love and cherish their pens and, from time to time, may require a new nib but have the devil’s job trying identify which model they own. A couple of recent cases confirm this scenario.
The Waterman Hemisphere enjoyed a facelift towards the end of 2010 – the model helpfully known as the Hemisphere 10. The barrel was slimmed down by about ½ a millimetre and with its revised profile making the pen appear more slender than its predecessor. Move forward a few months and the demand will start to rise for replacement nibs. The nib units between the original Hemisphere and the 10 are incompatible and therefore we need to identify which is which and ensure that the customer receives the correct nib. In this case, the decorative band on the 10 is significantly wider than the earlier model making life a little easier. Replacement nibs for both types are now available (subject to stock) in a range of widths and either chrome or gold plated finishes on PenFountain.com.
Hemisphere (top) and Hemisphere 10 compared
However, there are models that, without the help of comparative illustration and key differentiators highlighted, for the occasional user identification of their pen can be something of a nightmare. At PenFountain we have produced a guide showing some of the different model features to help identify Waterman models.
The second type of model revision alluded to in the introductory paragraph is represented by the Waterman Perspective. On this model, presumably for production reasons, the threaded portion of the front-end nib assembly has been lengthened rendering it incompatible with the majority of barrels in circulation without notification to anybody outside the customer service area. The replacement nibs were simply withdrawn and then eventually replaced with the newer, incompatible versions!
After further enquiries, we have identified that if a customer requires a replacement nib, Waterman will replace the barrel section as well, at their discretion. This becomes a very time-consuming process requiring the complete pen to be returned to Waterman for ‘refitting’ of the nib. Therefore, we have had no alternative but to withdraw the Perspective replacement nibs from our standard offering. However, if you have a perspective requiring a replacement nib, please contact us and will explore the options with you.
February 5, 2011 § 1 Comment
In addition to her couture and cosmetics ranges, French fashion designer, Agnes B has also designed for Seiko and L’Oreal, and is a patron to the French film industry. With the re-launch of Waterman’s Hemisphere, the company commissioned Agnes to produce a special edition fountain pen and ballpoint pen. Featuring the sweeping lines of a point d’ironie, a humorous punctuation mark created by 19th century poet Alcanter de Brahm, produced on a deep black lacquered barrel with complementary blue roundels. The cap and trim offset the black of the barrel with the brightness of their chrome plating. This is a beautiful, ‘special edition’ for the new Waterman Hemisphere pen range.
Although the Agnes B uses the new Hemisphere pen as its base, the writing experience has changed from the tried and tested Hemisphere models of the past. It is a millimetre narrower than its predecessor with the revised profile of the barrel, grip, cap and clip emphasising the narrower dimension. The fountain pen is a couple of millimetres longer, giving the pen the visual appearance of something a little more sleek. The actual nib is identical to the earlier pen but the grip and central chrome plated band mean that the nibs are not interchangeable and, because of the revised profile of the grip, the writing experience of the new model is noticeably different.
The Agnes B Hemisphere, although no production numbers have been released, we believe that there will only be a limited quantity which, combined with the pen’s premium price, may make this delightful pen a collectors’ piece. Perhaps a little disappointing is the lack of finer materials being used such as, rhodium plated gold nib and trim.