The Waterman 52, in all its varied forms, is one of the stalwarts of fountain pen collecting. In both its hard rubber and celluloid forms it’s a sturdy, reliable pen, often with a great nib. At its best, a Waterman nib is unsurpassed even by Wahl Eversharp or Swan.
This black hard rubber model has a 9 carat gold barrel band. I can’t find my hallmark book; perhaps someone will kindly do the honours. I am more than satisfied with this pen. It is semiflexible and medium. It writes splendidly.
However, the seller provided a photo that to me suggested that it is very much more flexible. The pen is strongly pressed against a surface causing the tines to spread wider than they would ever do in writing. This is a pernicious practice. As well as misrepresenting the nib’s flexibility it risks cracking the nib at the breather hole. It’s stupid and a way of increasing the price with a false promise.
The shape of this nib gives rise to another point. It is usually taken, in the pen boards, that a nib like this with a slender profile and long tines, is sure to be highly flexible. It is not so. I have had nibs exactly like this that are nails and others short-tined and high-shouldered that have flex you would not believe. The shape of the nib is no guide to its flexibility.