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Waterman Laureat


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#1 saskia_madding

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 18:16

INTRODUCTION: This pen is hard for me to do a review on given how long we two have been together. This was my first fountain pen, given to me by my mother at my request twenty years ago. I was twelve when I first began using fountain pens, and my mom was unconvinced that I wouldn’t lose track of a fountain pen, or worse yet, break it. She bought me a $10 Sheaffer calligraphy pen set and I used the smallest nibbed one for absolutely everything. The deal was that if I dind’t lose or break the Shaffer for one year, my mom would buy me any pen I wanted. I was twelve and knew nothing about pens, so she felt confident I wouldn’t end up asking for something expensive.

For eight months I used that Sheaffer every day. She took pity on me four months early and went with me to Grand & Toy and let me pick out any fountain pen I wanted. I remember that it was $125 CAD at that time (1992). I loved it, and used it every day well into University, before I finally bought a second “fancy” pen – a waterman Edson sterling LE.

I do remember that when I first saw this pen (bear in mind that I was 12), I thought it was the prettiest pen in the whole world. The box was sleek and blue, the marble pattern was gorgeous, and the slimness of the pen suited my still child-sized hands well. The nib was smooth and the converter was easy to use. I was thrilled, and if I am being honest, I still am thrilled with the pen.

Appearance & Design (8/10) – This pen is very simple and streamlined. I got the blue marble version, with gold trim and a black ridged plastic grip section. Very utilitarian, there are no fancy bells and whistles on this pen, making it look very much like a cylinder that has been chopped off straight-edged at the end.

Construction & Quality (10/10) – The construction quality is great, as is evidenced by the fact that it is still working perfectly after 20 years and multiple drops! Some of the marble pattern has been chipped off in places that the pen has obviously been scratched with a sharp edge, but I can forgive that considering I gave it such a beating when I was 13. I really had no idea about pen care at that time. The pen is quite light but has a very solid feel to it.

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Weight & Dimensions (8/10) – This is a slim, smallish pen, and if you like that sort of thing, then it’s not a problem. Although I do typically use larger pens than this, I still find this easily comfortable in my hand. It is well balanced when posted, but I’ve used it un-posted for literally 20 years, so I feel more comfortable that way. I took off two points just to indicate that if you don’t like slim pens, I advise against a Laureat.

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Nib & Performance (10/10) – I went with a medium nib, but I do remember a F was also available, and I did end up purchasing it about 10 years later. Of course, I dropped the nib while in university and it has never written the same, so I typically stick with the M. The nib and grip section are stuck together, but you can swap the new nib/grip section in as a complete unit. I don’t know if they are available for purchase anymore, but I bet they are.

MB Alfred Hitchcock ink
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I am pretty sure the nib is gold plated steel, but it writes better than any other steel nib I’ve tried. Perhaps because I’ve written with it for years! The nib is quite wet and most inks make the nib seem like it writes a little bit more wide than a regular M. It works well on all different types of paper, but really shines on CF and Rhodia. The nib is smooth and delicious, and a real pleasure to write with.

Filling System & Maintenance (10/10) - The Laureat is a cartridge or converter filler. It has been working perfectly for the 20 years I’ve had it. Easy to clean and easy to use, this has become my “test pen” for new inks, particularly because the filling system is such a breeze to clean and maintain. The only downside is that given the slimness of the pen, the cartridge holds much less ink than I’m used to with the pens I normally use (piston or plunger fillers). This makes it ideal for an ink testing pen, but perhaps slightly less ideal for a heavy user carrying only one pen.

Cost & Value (10/10) – When I got this pen in 1992, it was $125 CAD + tax. At the time that seemed like a lot of money, but considering it is still going strong after 20 years and has never once caused me any kind of problem, I feel like the price was totally worth it!

Laureat vs. Parker '51
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Edited by saskia_madding, 23 April 2012 - 18:44.


#2 vrgelinas

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 18:20

Very nice review. I just posted one not too long ago. It is a very nice pen indeed. What ink is in there for this review? And which pen is it being compared to in the last pic?

#3 ThirdeYe

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 18:39

What an enjoyable read! I hope I get 20 years of service out of my Laureat. I got mine only a few months ago from an antiques mall, and it looked to be hardly used. I love the way it writes, and for being such a slim pen, it's surprisingly comfortable.
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#4 idazle

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 19:31

The nib and grip section are stuck together, but you can swap the new nib/grip section in as a complete unit. I don’t know if they are available for purchase anymore, but I bet they are.

[...]

I am pretty sure the nib is gold plated steel, but it writes better than any other steel nib I’ve tried. Perhaps because I’ve written with it for years! The nib is quite wet and most inks make the nib seem like it writes a little bit more wide than a regular M. It works well on all different types of paper, but really shines on CF and Rhodia. The nib is smooth and delicious, and a real pleasure to write with.


Excellent review. It's got something of a personal tale, which is all right as pens are special objects to many of us. My Laureat has also been with me for 20 years. However ours has been a story of reconciliation. When I bought it in 1993 (one year later than you)I was dissapointed at the way it wrote: its M-nib was too broad for me. At the time I knew nothing about nibs and thought it was the way all pens wrote. So I left it untouched, and after a while gave it a second try, and a third and a fourth, but never felt quite at ease with it ... up until now, when I got a new F-nib unit. Now we are a happy couple. This nib is perfect for me, it's a joy to write with it.It's become my everyday pen. The one I use at the office with blue ink.

By the way, as you say, these nibs are rather on the broad side, so my new Laureat's F nib is like an M in my Sheaffer's Targa. The nib is gold plated steel.

In the pic, the Laureat is accompanied by my Duofolds and a Montblanc Meisterstück 144.

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#5 saskia_madding

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 19:50

It is precisely because the nibs on the Laureats tend to run broader that I posted my picture of comparison nib lines. The Laureat medium is ever to slightly wider than a MB 146 medium, and ever so slightly finer than a TWSBI broad. :)

I had a fine nib for it and really hated it. I was only moderately sorry when I dropped and broke it. :P But I'm glad yours has made you very happy!

Edited by saskia_madding, 23 April 2012 - 19:50.


#6 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 20:34

I own approximatively 15 laureats or so and I do agree that they are very good or must I say outstanding value for money like their upper luxury cousin the man 100. Nowadays waterman pens aren't made like this and are really boring. On mine, the nibs are a pure treat rivaling with my man 100s and my mbs

Edited by georges zaslavsky, 23 April 2012 - 20:35.

Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time
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#7 Gerd W

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 21:01

Nice review, thanks!

Years ago I bought a Laureat blue marbled and it's a fantastic writer! And looks very nice, too.

#8 Bill Wood

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:23

Thank you for the review. I've had two Laureats and enjoyed both for many years. Just passed along one in the Pay It Forward section. Great Waterman starters.

#9 breaker

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:42

nice review and pics!
thanks!
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#10 tonydent84

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 19:50

I have several Laureat rollers, two from the first generation (like the one you have, except roller versions) and three from the newer generation. I was iffy about buying a used Laureat like the one you have because on the roller, the grip section broke the second day I had it when I was putting in a refill. It was so weak when I got it that I had a feeling it was going to give me some problems down the line. Waterman replaced it with a sturdier grip a couple of months ago, but it cost twice the amount I bought the pen for.

Thanks for the review. I'm going to look into this pen and see if I get any good deals on them.

By the way, how would you describe the fine, typical of pens like Pelikan? Or would you consider it more like an extra fine? Thanks!

Edited by tonydent84, 01 May 2012 - 19:51.

I no longer own any fountain pens... Now they own me.

#11 ethernautrix

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 22:40

The Laureat -- the blue marbled one -- was one of the first fine fountain pens I had, back in the late '80s. Eventually, I had at least a handful, and it was my favorite pen to give as gifts. I still have the blue marbled one and a couple of extra nibs, Fs and one EF. (I gave a couple of them to FPN members a while ago.) The cap on yours looks a bit domed (I had a couple of those); the cap on mine is flat.

Love the review and the pen. Mine has a few scratches, too; signs of good use!
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#12 tonydent84

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 20:01

Finally got around to buying myself a Waterman Laureat. It was a first generation Laureat, came in black and gold with no visible marks, but the nib was damaged. I decided to experiment with it myself to see if I can fix it, and despite my lack of faith in myself, I managed to fix it just fine. Now the pen not only looks like new, but it writes like a dream. Here's a pic I took of the fountain and the rollerball on the same page. It really is such a nice pen!



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Edited by tonydent84, 26 August 2012 - 20:02.

I no longer own any fountain pens... Now they own me.

#13 rochester21

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 21:07

Good review. I have a similar waterman with a identical nib, i think. It was bent when i got it, but after fixing it, the nib proved to be wet and very responsive- smooth as every modern waterman, of course.