Waterman 515

I’ve been calling this a Waterman 515 but I’m not entirely sure.


Any ideas?


16 thoughts on “Waterman 515

  1. Sort of, but the cap band on the 515 didn’t go to the lip of the cap. Racking my brain here, and creating a fire hazard in doing so 😄

  2. It might be assumed that the answer would be in the Davis & Lehrer book, but that seems to leave the situation more confused than before. For reasons I don’t understand, the only 515s shown are b.f. pens, and in the book the No. 515 appears always to be followed by letter D. As a general rule, 515s in the book do look very similar to the one shown here, but as already commented, the cap ring shown here is wider than the book 515 example.

    It may not be significant, but the cap clip on the book 515s show the word Watermans running further down the clip, and the top portion of the clips in the book show ribbing, which doesn’t appear on this one.
    Clip variation is probably an unreliable guide, and not infallible when it comes to id.

    So, what now makes you doubtful Deb?? 🙂

  3. yes, know what you mean about the booklet – definitely a lost opportunity, but I’d rather have it than not.
    Having now put brain in gear, and looked at my two 515s, their cap band design agrees with the book, which is different to yours and yes, both barrels on mine show the model No. The clip also agrees with model 515 in the book, which again is different to yours. You have what appears to be a quality pen with that box lever, and substantial cap bands seem to have been allotted to better pens only.
    Sorry we can’t help you, so far:-)

  4. From the point of view of one who knows little of the fine details of Waterman pens (or any other brand, come to that), could it be s ‘marriage’ of components from different models??
    Thanks for your always fascinating and interesting blogs.

  5. I tried to find the pen in this 1947 catalogue here https://ia802503.us.archive.org/7/items/WatermanFountainPenCatalogs/Waterman%20Pen%20Catalog%201947.pdf
    The clip style is the same as yours but not the cap band style. I did wonder if your cap rim had been shortened at all. Unfortunately most of the pens in the catalogue are posted so it is difficult to compare the proportions, cap rim to lever. But as I said, none of the cap band styles match really.
    However it does show that these pens had some interesting names as well as one 555 – the catalogue pre-dates the 515 I’m pretty sure.

    1. Thank you for your efforts. I agree that none of them has a similar band. Yes, I’m pretty sure the 515 is later than those pens, though not by much. I’ve studied the cap lip repeatedly because I had thought it might be shortened too. The finish is very good; if it was cropped it was done very well. Also, it’s quite thin. I can’t be certain one way or the other, but the cap lip only protrudes beyond the band by as little as 1mm. I think that might hint at cropping. However, that still leaves me looking for a Waterman with as broad a band as that.

  6. the possibility of some shortening of the cap, at the lip, had occurred to me – but I think even then the band itself remains unlike any I can see in the literature. Apart from the band, the appearance of all other parts of the pen can be found on various W. models c. 1940s.
    This wide plain band is similar to some M.T./Swan bands.

  7. I know nothing about Watermans, but (if there is no evidence of shortening) in my limited experience atypical cap bands on vintage pens (especially broader bands) are usually ‘jewellers’ bands’, which often extend uncomfortably close to the cap lip. They would normally sit slightly proud of the cap, though I don’t know whether Watermans factory bands normally sit the same way. Jewellers’ bands can be fitted for two reasons, either as part of a cap repair or when a broader band is required for some commemorative engraving. If there is no sign of damage to the cap, and the overall cap length tallies with other 515s, yours could be an example of the latter case that never actually got engraved for some reason or other?

    1. To be honest I can’t swear there has been no shortening but if it was done, it was done extremely well. There’s no crack. The possibility that it was a band added for engraving which was never carried out isn’t impossible. I’m assuming it’s a gold band. This is a well-worn pen but there’s no sign of base metal as there would be if the band was plated. The Waterman 515 does have a band – a broad one, though not as broad as this, and it has slight decoration at the edges. That band would have to be removed. Of course, there is an anomaly on the barrel too, in that all the 515s I’ve been able to check had the model number in the barrel imprint and this pen does not.

      If this cap band really is solid gold, I would think it unlikely that Waterman put it there. This is a good pen, but not high prestige. The band does sit proud of the cap and those Watermans I am in a position to touch (not that many at the moment) have the bands flush.

  8. I’m no expert in Waterman’s, but I have both a 515 and a W5. My 515 doesn’t have the model number in the imprint either, but the pen is similar to yours, exept for the cap band.

    It seems that Waterman did produce pens with solid gold bands (see for example: https://www.penworkshop.co.uk/waterman-515-9ct-gold-band-1954.html). But the band on that pen looks different from the one on your pen. If the band on your pen is solid gold there should be a hallmark, but as you don’t mention it, I assume there is no hallmark.

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