Waterman Laureat…….Writing Under the Radar

19 05 2014

Tonight’s focus is on a pen that I have a love-hate (actually more of a love-kind of dislike) relationship with, the Waterman Laureat. Here’s what I mean by love-hate. I love the way this pen writes. I mean LOVE the way it writes. Like butta. When inked, I can write with it for a bit, cap it, and then set it aside for weeks at a time. When I pick it up, uncap it and begin to write, it starts wet every time. I don’t own that many pens that I can store that long and stay “wet”. The hate part (again, hate is probably too strong a word) is that I just don’t like the way it looks. It’s just aesthetics. But, hey, did I mention how great this thing writes?

There’s not an enormous amount of information out there about this pen. In fact, prior to writing this, all I knew was what I could see looking at it.

  • It’s a metal bodied pen (brass I believe) with a lacquer paint finish.
  • Medium steel nib with gold plate.
  • Takes international cartridges.
  • It’s a Waterman from France.
  • It’s skinny. That’s an absolutely quantifiable term.
  • It’s ugly. At least mine is.

When doing my research I came across the following post at Ravens March Fountain Pens (http://dirck.delint.ca/beta/?page_id=5209 ). By the way, if you haven’t already, you should check out the Ravens March blog, it’s really good! This is simply copied from that site – no plagiarism intended.

Lauréat

Maker: Waterman.

The Lauréat was one of Waterman’s nearly-fine pens of the 1990s; not one which lay on the bottom of the heap, but which was not out of reach of the average buyer.  Like the Super Master, it is less notable for its superb writing abilities than for its power to resist damage.  It is reasonably close in looks to Waterman’s iconic Le Man series, a move likely aimed at the same sort of combination of vanity and inability to either scrape up money or justify spending a lot on a pen which Parker served with its 21.

The Lauréat in use is something like the Expert II; the point is of very similar construction and performance.  It is perhaps a little better balanced, and is a somewhat more slender object overall.  The cap-station on the tail is another echo of the Le Man, and while it doesn’t have an actual gripper mechanism like the more expensive pen, it does make for very secure posting.  It is wide enough in the body to avoid my frequent accusation of over-slimness, and balances well with the cap posted or set aside.

Update: I’ve been shown a pre-1990 catalogue showing that this model and the Super Master were both in production at once, at least for a while.  It thus is not only of the 1990s, as the first sentence indicates, but also a little bit of the 1980s.

Production Run: c. 1985 – c. 2000

Cost When New: Based upon someone else’s public remembrance, it was $125 in 1992, but this seems too much based on the overall feel of the pen.  A 1999 catalogue shows it at $85.00 which seems nearer the mark (for modern values, try this calculator).

Size: 13.8 cm long capped, 17.0 cm posted, 12.4 cm uncapped.

Point: Plated steel.

BodyBrass, generally lacquered.

FillerCartridge, capacity approx. 0.6 ml or 1.4 ml (international pattern).

 

 

 

 

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8 responses

19 05 2014
ravensmarch

There’s a citation AND a link. No plagiarism as far as I can see– and thanks for the nice words!

25 05 2014
Sunday Notes & Links | Fountain Pen Quest

[…] Waterman Laureat…….Writing Under the Radar | Fountain of Pens […]

3 06 2014
Adam

Nice review. I agree with you about how smooth this pen is. This was the first fountain pen ever given to me (as a graduation gift in 1989) and I still have it. I love the glassy smoothness of this nib. In fact, I love this pen so much that I bought another brown pen like the one you have pictured, and I have a blue-grey marble one as well.

Really, you don’t like the way it looks? I think this is one of the better looking Watermans. The lines are really clean and the black band in the middle is kind of fancy looking. When I first wrote with this pen I thought to myself, “This is really classy!”

Funny, I actually don’t like the waterman lineup today. Since the mid-90’s their design department has been out of touch. For example, when the Carene came out in 1996 it was always too effeminite for a guy; the nib looks like a lady’s fingernail. When the plastic Phileas came out I was like, “What the heck is this crap?” The Hemisphere is still boring (and cheap) looking today and the Expert should have been buried 10 years ago. It is looking really long-in-the-tooth.

If anything, I wish Waterman would bring back the Laureat and the Le Man 100 Opera. Alas, they keep plodding along with the same tired designs, having axed the good ones.

16 11 2014
Lion of the Blogosphere

I have one of these, and I think it’s the most beautiful under-$100 pen that I own. Doesn’t write as smoothly as a Pelikan, but still was a very reliable pen that I used every day while I was in law school.

9 04 2015
David A Lane

I have two and a rollerball. Yes, it is a brass barrel with lacquer and a nice intro pen in fine, medium, and broad. It isn’t a LeMan, and I have one along with a more current generation Waterman. There were several colour schemes – the red/black which I have and a blue tortouise which I also have. Both are nice looking and distinctive. Nothing like modern styles. Embrace the colour. It is a beautiful pen.

28 10 2015
Elizabeth Pengson

good to find this page..I have the frst edition Laureat in gun metal fountain pen & a marbled black roller ball.. the top black piece unscrewed & since I cannot use it.. do you know of any place or anyone who will have a spare part ??
thanks

31 03 2016
wtisaac

Sorry, no I don’t.

18 11 2015
Gillikan Peberdy

I notice a Waterman Supermaster was mentioned above – I am looking for one of these urgently – it doesn’t matter on the condition of the barrel and cap but the nib section must be in good serviceable condition!

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