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Is A Phileas Pen Really Worth Today's Price?

waterman philease fountain pen price cost ebay high price going price good deal not worth it

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#1 TwelveDrawings

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 17:51

I use Waterman Phileas fountain pens to create drawings for my website www.TwelveDrawings.com

 

Through my several years of buying, I have watched these wonderful pens creep up and up in price. I hear that back in France, they were strictly a school student's pen. In America, they once sold at Staples for about $20. When I bought my first one at Staples (2011) it was up to $50. I bought two more as gifts.

 

One day, I dropped my pen (nib down onto concrete) and went back to Staples for another. The clerk said the pens were no longer made and suggested I check eBay. At that time (maybe 2012), new Phileas fountain pens were going for $70-90 on eBay. Online retail stores were listing the discontinued pens at $99+.

 

Today, a quick check of eBay shows several black Phileas pens with an "Buy It Now" price of almost $200. The highest priced ones are black pens owned by speculators willing to wait for the market to come to them. Less costly items are typically used, out-of-box, an unusual color, or a Kultur.

 

I have the pens I need and won't be buying any more unless I see a great buy on a new-in-the-box Phileas. If you know such a source, please share.

 

Do you think this  $20 pen is really worth paying triple digit prices? And why? Because it's THAT good? Because they are not made any more? Because you might resell it for a profit in the future? I'm okay with all three reasons.... maybe you have another one.

 

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Edited by TwelveDrawings, 22 August 2013 - 17:55.

 


#2 Wolverine1

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 17:59

Why dont you just get your Phileas repaired? I am sure one of the many nibmeisters could fix it. 

And, well, as for the prices people are asking for on fleabay.  Just the madness with fleabay prices. Therefore you find a Parker Lucky Curve Duofold that used to sell for $8.95 in 1924-24, now going for over $800.



#3 corniche

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 18:04

Hello Twelve,

 

Well, the Parker 51 sold for $12 and the Esterbrook Model J sold for $2 and look at them today.  The Phileas is popular, (I own three myself), because it was a really good pen- probably Waterman's best effort in the entry level field, (in recent years).  I don't know if I'd pay $180 for one when I can get an equally good or better Edison or Bexley for the same or even less money.  But I probably would pay $90 - 100 for an NOS.

 

All the best,

 

Sean :)


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#4 TwelveDrawings

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 18:09

Regarding the Duofold madness -- Touché!

 

Regarding replacing the nib, there are two camps. One says they removed the nib (I assume we mean just the gold tip and none of the black plastic) with a good soak followed by a modest pull. The other camp complains that they soaked and soaked, then pulled and pulled while wearing rubber gloves, but the nib never budged.

 

I gave mine a spirited pull...and in the process bending the already-ruined point....and it would did not yield. I am not implying it cannot be done, for obviously others have done it. But my Phileas nib apparently never got that particular memo.

 

So, if anyone can point me to:

1) a helpful video or step-by-step instruction, and

2) a vendor who sells just the metal nib without the plastic,

I am all ears because I have two dead pen barrels waiting to be brought back to the living.

 

My thanks in advance.

 

---www.twelvedrawings.com


Edited by TwelveDrawings, 22 August 2013 - 18:11.

 


#5 corniche

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 18:10

Why dont you just get your Phileas repaired? I am sure one of the many nibmeisters could fix it. 

 

Hello again TD,

 

I would give this some consideration.  The Phileas' were great pens and they're worth paying the stiff nibmeister fees, (a great many modern pens are not).  In fact, it would not surpise me if the Phileas is one of tomorrow's 51s.  Remember- you heard it here first, folks.  :D

 

All the best,

 

Sean :)


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#6 TwelveDrawings

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 18:20

SP Coffer and Wolverine, considering the impressive posts that you have both amassed, might you happen to know a nibmeister or two? I'm thinking they are not in the yellow pages any more. -- TD

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Edited by TwelveDrawings, 22 August 2013 - 18:20.

 


#7 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 18:28

I own two of these---a new-ish black modelwith F nib bought a few years ago (abt. $65) AND an older blue marble with a gusher of an M nib that came in a presentation box with an ink bottle, wiper, and many carts. For fifty bucks! At Office Max.

They are well worth the money. I'm thinking, though, that only the F nib would suit your fine-line drawing style.

The Waterman Kultur is allegedly the same, or similar, and I think you can still find these at a reasonable price.

#8 vrgelinas

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 18:31

SP Coffer and Wolverine, considering the impressive posts that you have both amassed, might you happen to know a nibmeister or two? I'm thinking they are not in the yellow pages any more. -- TD

 

My personal favourite, just because he happens to be local to me, is Richard Binder.  He can be found at www.richardspens.com. His site is a bit tricky to navigate, but he's very nice and amazing at repairing broken pens.



#9 corniche

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 18:32

Hello TD,

 

The three names that come off the top of my head are Pendleton Brown, Richard Binder and John Mottishaw - any one of these three men would do an excellent job.  I am sure there are more, but these were the first names that came to mind. ;)

 

Hope this helps.

 

All the best,

 

Sean :)

 

 

Edit:  Corrected a mis-spelled name.


Edited by S. P. Colfer, 22 August 2013 - 18:38.

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#10 pajaro

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 18:38

The Phileas is discontinued, and many fans are creating a demand.  Sellers who have the pens in stock are raising the prices to take advantage of the demand and no new supply.

 

Regardless of the merits of the Phileas, situations like this usually settle out at a more modest level.  When it was in production, it was well liked.  So, now the price will fluctuate and settle out somewhere.

 

I saw some this week for about $50 on ebay.  I wasn't looking for them, they came up as incidental ads at the end of a listing.


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#11 TwelveDrawings

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 18:47

Thank you SP Colfer and vrgelinas for the nibmeister tips. Need to get to know these folks. -- TD


 


#12 vrgelinas

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 19:02

Thank you SP Colfer and vrgelinas for the nibmeister tips. Need to get to know these folks. -- TD

 

You're more than welcome.  I LOVE your drawings!



#13 RMN

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 19:15

Ehhh, didn't Richard Binder announce some months ago that he was retiring from repairing pens and concentrating on sales and production of the New Dunn pens? He does sell new special nibs AFAIK, but will not do repairs.

 

 

 

D.ick


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#14 pajaro

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 19:17

http://www.ebay.com/...40#ht_721wt_679

 

http://www.ebay.com/...d#ht_1865wt_679

 

http://www.ebay.com/...26#ht_998wt_917

 

http://www.ebay.com/...e0#ht_649wt_917

 

http://www.ebay.com/...ed#ht_187wt_917

 

http://www.ebay.com/...77#ht_721wt_679

 

 

 

 


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#15 corniche

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 19:24

 

 

Ehhh, didn't Richard Binder announce some months ago that he was retiring from repairing pens and concentrating on sales and production of the New Dunn pens? He does sell new special nibs AFAIK, but will not do repairs.

 

 

 

D.ick

 

I think you're right; now that I recall, he is no longer taking on new repair work. 

 

Here is Pendleton:

 

http://pendletonspens.com/

 

Here is John Mottishaw:

 

http://www.nibs.com/beforeandafter.htm

 

 

All the best,

 

Sean :)


Edited by S. P. Colfer, 22 August 2013 - 19:28.

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#16 TwelveDrawings

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 19:32

Ehhh, didn't Richard Binder announce some months ago that he was retiring from repairing pens and concentrating on sales and production of the New Dunn pens? He does sell new special nibs AFAIK, but will not do repairs.

 

 

 

D.ick

Fraid you are correct. I contacted three nibmeisters. First listed no phone number and expected a nib to be mailed with an order form with no advance estimate. Second said they do not repair or replace Phileas nibs because they are steel (even underneath that beautiful gold plating). Third said on their website "We no longer do any nib repair or replacement." Apparently they customize new nibs only.

 

Like many boomers, I remember when toasters, radios, TVs and watches used to be repaired. The skilled repairmen/women did not vanish. But they apparently got sick of being told, "$100 for a REPAIR? Why, I could go out and buy a NEW one for that!" So those folks have gone into another line of work. Maybe the nibmeisters got bitten one time too many by that complaint.

 

I am still open to anyone who can repair my Waterman Phileas nib. But I'm not holding my breath.


 


#17 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 19:36

Fraid you are correct. I contacted three nibmeisters. First listed no phone number and expected a nib to be mailed with an order form with no advance estimate. Second said they do not repair or replace Phileas nibs because they are steel (even underneath that beautiful gold plating). Third said on their website "We no longer do any nib repair or replacement." Apparently they customize new nibs only.
 
Like many boomers, I remember when toasters, radios, TVs and watches used to be repaired. The skilled repairmen/women did not vanish. But they apparently got sick of being told, "$100 for a REPAIR? Why, I could go out and buy a NEW one for that!" So those folks have gone into another line of work. Maybe the nibmeisters got bitten one time too many by that complaint.
 
I am still open to anyone who can repair my Waterman Phileas nib. But I'm not holding my breath.


Maybe if you posted a pic of the damage, someone might have other references?

#18 RMN

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 19:42

There's another option. The Phileas and Kultur are very related. A cultur section would fit a Phileas.

 

And the Harley Davidson by Waterman pens are based on the Kultur. These prices are still "normal" if I understand right.

 

These sections could be interchanged, no need for painful operations....

 

Pulling a nib always reminds me of a dentist....

 

 

D.ick


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#19 TwelveDrawings

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 19:48

 

I think you're right; now that I recall, he is no longer taking on new repair work. 

 

Here is Pendleton:

 

http://pendletonspens.com/

 

Here is John Mottishaw:

 

http://www.nibs.com/beforeandafter.htm

 

 

All the best,

 

Sean :)

Hi Sean,

 

Interestingly, the three you named are the three I called. Not to say these are not expert professoinals. But I note most of their success stories are restoring solid gold pen nibs, rather than steel. I am deducing that gold is maleable enough to repair whereas steel must be discarded and replaced. Since the Phileas is steel under the gold plating and is no longer in production, the nibmeisters have little financial incentive to work on them. Just guessing.

 

Thanks for the recommendations.

 

John I.


Edited by TwelveDrawings, 22 August 2013 - 20:31.

 


#20 TwelveDrawings

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 20:27

There's another option. The Phileas and Kultur are very related. A cultur section would fit a Phileas.

 

And the Harley Davidson by Waterman pens are based on the Kultur. These prices are still "normal" if I understand right.

 

These sections could be interchanged, no need for painful operations....

 

Pulling a nib always reminds me of a dentist....

 

 

D.ick

I won't go into it here because I don't have the facts in front of me. But I read somewhere in this forum that there are differences between Kultur and Phileas to consider. It has something to do with differences in how the cartridges fit.


 


#21 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 20:33

The Phil has a brass insert in the barrel; the Kultur doesn't. If the sections are interchangeable, what's in the barrel shouldn't matter as far as being able to fit Waterman carts.

Edited by Sailor Kenshin, 22 August 2013 - 20:34.


#22 corniche

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 20:44

There's another option. The Phileas and Kultur are very related. A cultur section would fit a Phileas.

 

And the Harley Davidson by Waterman pens are based on the Kultur. These prices are still "normal" if I understand right.

 

These sections could be interchanged, no need for painful operations....

 

Pulling a nib always reminds me of a dentist....

 

 

D.ick

 

Hello again John,

 

Sorry my recommendations got you no place fast, that's the story of my life. :D 

 

D.ick's advice, (quoted here), is the route I would take.

 

All the best,

 

Sean :)


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#23 spotted and speckled

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 20:49

Gregminuskin.com  --  excellent nibmeister. Two week turnaround time too, a little longer overseas.

 

Harley pens are still available online at Peyton street pens for a reasonable price, maybe other places too.

 

http://www.peytonstr...in-pen-new.html

 

 

Have you investigated any other pens to draw with?

 


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#24 TwelveDrawings

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 20:59

 

Hello again John,

 

Sorry my recommendations got you no place fast, that's the story of my life. :D

 

D.ick's advice, (quoted here), is the route I would take.

 

All the best,

 

Sean :)

You pointed me to highly-regarded and obviously qualified masters of their craft. But like good business people, they have to cut out low-profit product lines.

 

Like the owners of old sports cars, Phileas owners will soon need two pens....one just for parts! :rolleyes:


 


#25 TwelveDrawings

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 21:04

Gregminuskin.com  --  excellent nibmeister. Two week turnaround time too, a little longer overseas.

 

Harley pens are still available online at Peyton street pens for a reasonable price, maybe other places too.

 

http://www.peytonstr...in-pen-new.html

 

 

Have you investigated any other pens to draw with?

 

Now, there is a sensible question. I have tried other pens but I haven't gone as far as some afficianados here. I use a plain pen, plain ink, plain paper, and plain subject matter. The Harley has gotten good word-of-mouth reputation. Still, my glossy old Phileas with its gold-plated tip is about my speed. The fact that I have two defunct barrels with bent nibs in my drawer bothers me, but does not prevent me from enjoying the several good pens I own.


 


#26 TwelveDrawings

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 21:35

The Phil has a brass insert in the barrel; the Kultur doesn't. If the sections are interchangeable, what's in the barrel shouldn't matter as far as being able to fit Waterman carts.

 

I'm the newbie here, so I'm just trying to sort things out in my mind....not to argue. I went and found this post that seems to speak to the diff between Kultar and Phileas. Maybe I'm wrong. -- TW

 

Posted 02 July 2013 - 12:16

Harley Free Wheel is a Kultur with a Harley theme.  They can be considered another color of Kultur.

 

The Kultur is a Phileas without the brass tube in the barrel or the fan trim at the end.  Phileas always have a two tone nib, Kulturs monochrome - either gold or silver colored.  Other than the color the nibs are identical.

The L'Etalon nib is also identical, though in 18k (I put one in my Harley Flames).

 

Because of the brass tube, Phileas must use a Waterman converter (or similarly slender aftermarket) while the Kultur can use a generic international long standard size.


Edited by esteroids, 02 July 2013 - 12:16.


 


#27 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 23:39

Now, there is a sensible question. I have tried other pens but I haven't gone as far as some afficianados here. I use a plain pen, plain ink, plain paper, and plain subject matter. The Harley has gotten good word-of-mouth reputation. Still, my glossy old Phileas with its gold-plated tip is about my speed. The fact that I have two defunct barrels with bent nibs in my drawer bothers me, but does not prevent me from enjoying the several good pens I own.


Can you post pictures of the damage?

I was struggling to say that if you used a Kultur section on a Phileas barrel, the long Waterman carts would still fit. x_x

#28 RMN

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 00:49

The Brass tube is about weight, not stability.

 

The brass tube makes the barrel narrower, preventing the use of international standard cartridges that are just a bit wider at their bottom end. It has nothing to do with a loose fitting cartridge in the section part.

 

The nipples on the Waterman and the short international standard cartridges are almost the same. I have happily used long Waterman cartridges in several pens intended to take standard international size, including my Conway Stewarts.

 

But if you put a Kultur/Harley section on the Phileas Barrel, it will be as if you had your original Phileas. (maybe apart from colours)

As far as I remember from earlier topics the Phileas and Kultur sections are the same. The nibs are different. I have never had a Phileas myself, they did not sell them in the Netherlands AFAIK. But I do own two Harley pens, and the carts sit safely in them. Good steel nibs, too.

 

 

D.ick


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#29 TwelveDrawings

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 01:32

Can you post pictures of the damage?

I was struggling to say that if you used a Kultur section on a Phileas barrel, the long Waterman carts would still fit. x_x

I understand now about the Kultur and Phileas barrel. That helps much.

 

Thank you for asking to see pictures of my two bent Phileas nibs. I attempted to repair them both. On the middle pen, there is little trace of the bending but the pen skips now so i know it is not properly repaired. I included one good tip in each photo for comparison.

 

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Edited by TwelveDrawings, 23 August 2013 - 01:33.

 


#30 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 01:40

Ah. I see what's happened. Thanks for the pictures.

In the shots taken of the nib tops, it almost looks like you've accidentally created fude (nibs that turn up on purpose, used for drawing/Chinese characters). From the side, not so much. But if they're skipping, obviously they can't be used as a normal nib.

I'm wondering. Even though these are steel, not gold, do our more experienced members think these bent nibs could be fixed?

Edited by Sailor Kenshin, 23 August 2013 - 01:41.






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