A Mottled Hard Rubber Waterman 12

As you will have seen I’ve been looking at some modern pens recently, and very nice many of them are, but you can’t beat the old ones!
This is a Waterman 12 in mottled hard rubber.  They were made in this cone-cap version from 1900 to 1910 so it’s more than 100 years old.  Really, the only sign of its great age is that the barrel imprint is a bit worn.  It still has wonderful colour and a good shine.
I wonder if there is a good reason why we gave up the cone-cap in favour of other methods of attaching the cap.  Unlike the nearest modern equivalent, the clutch cap, it doesn’t wear out or need attention.  It just provides a good, firm fitting.
Being eyedroppers, these pens hold a lot of ink.  With a fine nib, like this one, it will last so long that when it comes time to fill it again you may have forgotten how to do so.  However, if you want to use the ink up a bit faster, just apply the flex!
It’s no accident that these pens have lasted so well for so long.  Manufacturing methods were exemplary and the best of materials were used.  These threads, cut over 100 years ago, must have been used thousands of times, and yet the pen is still perfectly ink-tight.
The nib, which is doubtless original, has superb flexibility.  The pen is a pleasure to write with.  Pens have come on a long way in the last hundred years but for the pure and minimalistic act of laying ink on paper this old pen has it all!  It pleases the eye as well, in its rich MHR.  Form meets function in a beautiful result!

4 thoughts on “A Mottled Hard Rubber Waterman 12

  1. Deb –

    Did you know that the Waterman 12 was one of the very first pens to be offered in RED hard rubber? I have a 1907 advert showing this pen as being available in what they called “Cardinal.” Sold for $2.50 back then.

  2. “You can’t beat the old ones” you wrote; well I agree entirely – and especially when considering a beauty such as this lovely Waterman’s. And I’ll bet that that nib feels glorious when writing with it.

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