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.
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.
Body: Brass, generally lacquered.
Filler: Cartridge, capacity approx. 0.6 ml or 1.4 ml (international pattern).