Waterman Man 100 Review
Lewis Edson Waterman patented the 'first reliable' fountain pen in New York in 1884. It is said that his design followed the loss of a sale due to a leaky fountain pen. The original 'Ideal Pen company' was renamed the 'LE Waterman Company' in 1888.
To celebrate its 100th anniversary in 1983 Waterman produced this pen, the Waterman Man 100:
The Waterman Man 100 is a huge but perfectly proportioned and well balanced pen. It may have been designed to compete with the Montblanc 149, if so it needed to be of similar proportions. When posted it is, in fact, slightly longer than the 149:
Length capped: 144mm. Length Posted: 170mm. Barrel Diameter: 12.6mm. Weight: 34.5g.
The pen body and cap are made from solid brass, as is the ferrule connecting the nib section to the barrel. The body and cap are finished in Black Lacquer. This is applied in multiple layers to give a very deep, lustrous, hard wearing shine.
The clip is the familiar Waterman 'split clip' design, fully open at the top end. There is a double cap band, the wider one is engraved: 'WATERMAN, Made in France.' A Gold filled disc, engraved with a stylised 'W' is inlaid into the end stud. The barrel has twin bands, one of which serves as a clutch for posting the cap, a clutch ring and a wide band between the section and the nib. The trim is 18Ct. Gold filled.
There are two versions of nib used in the Waterman Man 100. One is a plain two tone nib but this pen has the more elaborate 'Globe. nib:
The nib is clearly marked, twice, for 18Ct. Gold, '18K' and '750'. The name 'Ideal' refers back to the 1884 name of the Waterman company, the 'Ideal Pen Company'. As expected from a pen of this quality the nib is a superb, super smooth writer.
Perhaps the most important thing to appreciate about the Man 100 is that, if you are not a particular fan of large pens, then it is probably not for you. It still may be an idea to try holding one, as the pen is extremely well balanced with a centre of gravity very close to half way up the pen when posted for use and much of the weight 'disappears'.
Cosmetically the pen is very pleasing, it manages to convey a distinct sense of luxury without ostentation and it certainly has a good deal of 'presence'.
The pen just feels good in the hand, it has the unmistakable but hard to define feel of a well designed and executed item of the highest quality. This is confirmed by the attention to detail evident in the design such as the way the cap clicks satisfyingly into place at either end of the barrel, the elaborate engraving on the nib and the smooth and well proportioned profile.
As a large and luxurious but discrete cartridge/ converter filling fountain pen the Waterman Man 100 is about as good as it gets.