A Very Flexible Waterman 52


I’ve outlined the history of the Waterman 52 before so there is no point in going over that again.
This very fine example of a US-made Waterman 52 in black chased hard rubber didn’t look quite so good when it arrived.  It had accrued many years of dirt, mostly, I think, from being in a drawer somewhere.  I say that because it doesn’t show the signs of long, continuous use.  The chasing is crisp and the black hard rubber shows very little fading.  A little cleaning and polishing returned it to something very close to what it looked like on that long ago day that it was bought and became someone’s pride and joy.
The pen bears a patented clip of a type that I see now and again.  Though it has a patent number, there is no maker’s name on the clip, but it’s a clever little device that takes a firm grip of the cloth and can be released by pressing the tiny trigger.
As is so often the case with Waterman 52s, the high point of the pen is the nib.  It’s the most flexible nib I have had in quite a while and it snaps back to medium the instant the pressure is released – not that it takes very much pressure to produce a double-broad line.
Pens like this are truly precious.  There is no pen made today – or in the last few decades – that can compare with a really great Waterman 52 like this one, or for that matter, a flexible Swan or Onoto.  We are very fortunate that these pens were made so well and have lasted to our day in such splendid condition.


10 thoughts on “A Very Flexible Waterman 52

  1. You have an example of a Grip-fast clip! See the 1922 advertisement in my article in the latest WES Journal, page 56. Marketed by Conway Stewart for a time, but almost certainly not made by them.

    1. Thanks, Deb.

      CS must have picked it up very soon after the application was lodged in 1921. Inventor – Alfred Allen of Birmingham, the original documentation can be viewed at the address below, no clue as to who actually manufactured the clips though. Roll on the release of the 1921 census which may help us!


  2. Oh man, this is almost exactly what I’m looking for. A vintage wet noodle. Though I’d prefer if it went from F or EF to BBB. A thinner starting line anyway.

  3. Deb – you spoke about cleaning and polishing pens in this article – can you advise what you would recommend for the marbled celluloids of the english pens of the 1930’s through to the 50’s? I have a lot of them that could you with a clean to give a good sparkle but im unsure what to use so i dont discolour the pen in any way – Many Thanks

    1. Hi,

      I use Novus plastic polish which comes in three grades and does a great job. I can’t tell where you live, but here it’s available from a variety of sources including Amazon.

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