The Waterman Ideal 14 differs only in size from the No 12. It’s close to as simple as a fountain pen can get and yet there is still, rightly, huge demand for these excellent writers. I believe it came out in 1899, breaking new ground with its cone cap and the overflow reservoirs in the feed, which Waterman now christened the “spoon feed”.
I think it’s worth saying with regard to this particular example that I’m not totally convinced that the cap is original. The person I bought it from, to be fair, wasn’t sure either. It fits perfectly in length and diameter but it’s a little darker than the rest of the pen and I view it with mild suspicion.
Waterman made a virtue of the minimalist simplicity of these pens; there’s a barrel, a cap, a feed, a section and a nib. That’s it. It’s all you need to make a perfect pen! Later models came with a fixed clip as an option, and so popular was this range of pens that it continued on sale until around 1925.
The main reason for their continuing popularity today is the nib. The No 14 nib is noticeably bigger than 12, but otherwise it conforms to the same “Ideal” design. These are wonderful nibs. This particular one is very fine, perhaps an EF, with superb flexibility and snappy return.
I should have photographed the barrel thread. Waterman’s have quite short barrel threads, but they’re deeply cut and unless they’re completely worn out, which is rare, they hold ink absolutely securely. No need to go slapping silicone grease on these pens!
Because the cap may be a replacement, I can’t date this pen with certainty but it’s unlikely to be much, if any, less than a hundred years old. What a privilege it is to share the pleasure of writing with such an exceptional pen with its original buyer all those years ago!