Waterman/Alco Skywriter

Skywriters can be very confusing.  There are three separate generations of this pen which hardly resemble each other at all.
The first Skywriter was produced in the 1930s when Waterman took over Aiken Lambert and the pen appears under both Waterman and Alco names.  The next one has a metal cap and was made in the late 40s and early 50s.  The final Skywriter was very similar to the C/F and was launched in 1953.
These were all entry-level pens and the first two were high-quality and excellent value for money.  The third one, though not a bad pen, has not proved as durable as its predecessors, and I think it is awareness of this pen that brings the reputation of the earlier versions down in the estimation of collectors.
The first version, an example of which we are dealing with here today, is a beautiful pen in striking Du Pont Pyralin plastic.  The pattern is best explained as brown lines over brown and black marbling.  The pattern appears to change and shift as the pen is rotated.  It is known as Brown Pearl. The clip, which I believe is unique to this pen, is in an elegant At Deco style.  The section is visualated to enable the user to see much ink is left.  The nib in this version is a slightly stubbish medium with plenty of flexibility.
The barrel imprint tells us that this pen was made in Canada by the Alco division of Waterman, and in reality this pen is the last creation of the famous Aiken Lambert company.  It cost $1.50 when it was new, which is outstanding value for such a high quality pen.  This one retains all its gold plating in perfect condition nearly 80 years after it was made.  It is a pity that Waterman was unable to maintain this high quality in later years.



3 thoughts on “Waterman/Alco Skywriter

  1. Nice timing on this post Deb. A guy at the antique markets I go to has had one of these in a pile of pretty low end/scrappy pens for a few weeks now and I have always passed it over thinking Wearever. Now, as a result of this post, I own a nice Skywriter. There are some differences, in condition (the lever on mine is more brassed, and the lever slot gapes a bit) and also at the business end. The nib has a diamond shape on it with 14Kt and lower down R in it. It also has C 14 585 and a C in a circle with little spurs sticking out at the major compass points along one edge of the nib and F.D.W. along the other edge. I think this nib is made by Waterman as I think FDW is their maker’s mark in hallmarks but I wonder if this was the original or a replacement.

    All in all its a nice pen which I wouldn’t have bought without the prompt of this post, and I suspect I got it £5 cheaper at £15 that I would have done when the dealer first put the pen out.

    Thank you


    1. Hi Simon,

      Glad to have been of help! Your nib is different from mine but I don’t think that necessarily means that it’s a replacement. Mine also has FDW the most of the other marks are different. I think these are very nice pens from the last period when Waterman could be regarded as a leading pen manufacturer. You got yours for a really excellent price!

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