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Waterman Concord


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29 replies to this topic

#1 MYU

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 22:46

Waterman Concord

One day while searching around for vintage Waterman C/F pens, I happened to notice a model called "Concord." I wondered... a tribute to the Concorde SST? Well, Waterman did make a pen specifically for passengers of the Concorde but it was a different design and sported "Concorde Air France" lettering printed on the cap. However, when looking at the nib of the Concord, one can't help but be reminded of the nose-cockpit module from the world's fastest passenger jet. I'm not exactly sure of the years of production... some sellers have sold these pens while claiming a year in the 1960's as date of manufacture, and yet others have stated production was started in the 1970's. I tend to believe the latter, as the design of this pen embodies a 70's look to me.


______________________________________________________________________

1. First Impressions (9/10) - Succeeding production of the impressive C/F and DG models, Waterman introduced a model with a rather distinctive departure in design--the Concord. It is more modern looking than its predecessors, a serious impression about it that says this pen means business. "Waterman" is boldly imprinted in the metal cap, along with "Made in France." A pen to trust and use regularly in business and in life. Mine came with a matching companion ballpoint. Together they look quite attractive.




2. Appearance & Design (9/10) - Gone are the elaborate metal sections and Art Deco inspired lines, seen in the C/F and DG models. Instead we have your basic black plastic partially-faceted section and rather triangular looking nib--no curves. However, the design is still appealing. What's interesting is that this pen is the precursor to the Carene. The Carene design returns to artful curves, with a beautiful inlaid nib that arcs gracefully across the front section. So, the Concord is the momentary break with tradition. Clean, crisp, conservative. It was made in a variety of materials: a brushed or smooth plastic cap and barrel, a brushed metal cap and plastic barrel, or all brushed metal cap and barrel (either in silver or gold). The slip-on cap has a subtle but interesting design. The overall shape is rounded/tubular, but with two flattened sides that feature highly polished triangular accents in contrast to the brushed metal. The top of the cap is polished and squared off, then met by a rather firmly planted clip with "W" embedded logo. It mates to the barrel with a clearly audible "snap" and a snug fit. Alas, Waterman decided against a spring loaded mechanism and instead crimped the clip onto the cap. Although tastefully done (unlike a typical Chinese pen), the clip is really firm and may end up causing pocket wear with repeated use. The cap will post to the barrel, and due to the high quality brushed material I expect that there won't be discernible posting marks over time. Still, I always post gently to avoid encouraging marks.






3. Weight & Dimensions (9/10) - It looks heavy, but thankfully the core barrel material is lightweight. The pen is nowhere near as heavy as a Rotring 600 and yet it feels more substantial than a plastic based pen. Length wise it is 5.25" capped and 5.75" posted, with the widest part being 3/8" where the barrel meets the section. A nice dimension, with general appeal to most people.

4. Nib & Performance (9/10) - Waterman is well known for making very firm but smooth nibs in the C/F and DG lines. I'd say the Concord nibs tend to be slightly softer, offering a little spring when pressed. I once owned a Carene and have to say that it's very similar (assuming a standard Carene nib). Butter smooth with only the slightest suggestion of tooth. Alas, I do better with a little more tooth and a stub hides my inconsistencies well. I love the smoothness but I wish I could print better with Waterman nibs. Cursive writing flows nicely, though. The upper half of the section is faceted, which seems to help a bit with orientation and grip (it is subtle, definitely not like the Lamy Safari). As for the ballpoint, it is cap actuated by rotating in either direction.






5. Filling System (9/10) - It appears that the section opening has been widened on this model. Whereas on the C/F pens you cannot fit in a standard cartridge, the Concord has a larger opening and will take the long style cartridges. I also test fit the old style converter--it does attach, but not firmly. Unfortunately, the new style piston converter does not fit properly on the Concord. I haven't tried international cartridges, although I expect they might work. The extra long Waterman cartridges hold in place reasonably well--no leaks. I tried a Montblanc converter and it also fit.

The ballpoint is nicely done, but just as with the C/F and DG pens it has a proprietary filling system. The refills have a kind of flared "horn" back end that is used to keep it in place. This design was eventually abandoned by Waterman and they no longer make the refills. Fortunately, Cartier makes one that 'almost' fits... there is some lateral refill movement within the pen, but it's tolerable.



6. Cost & Value (9/10) - The Concord does not appear to be a well known model. I've watched quite a number of auctions end with only light to moderate bidding activity. I would say on average that a reasonable value would be close to but below the going price of a Carene. For a matched set in mint condition, I'd go higher than the Carene, mainly because it is just as well made but more exclusive--a vintage model no longer produced. I put the cost/value rating at what I have observed as the going rate (around $100 for a near mint all brushed metal example). If you are lucky enough to get it for less, all the better. smile.gif

7. Conclusion (Final score [54/6]: 9) - There is a tendency to be kind with scoring when a pen appeals to you. But really, this is a high quality pen. Waterman paid a lot of attention to details, creating a very well made pen with artistic accents. Everything about it is well done. I really can't cite any serious complaints, except that I wish the clip was spring loaded and the ballpoint didn't have an obsolete refill type. Overall, a great pen that has a nice place in Waterman history.

Edited by MYU, 21 April 2009 - 18:14.

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#2 jar

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 23:04

I have a plain old black Concord and it is a wonderful writer.

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#3 Univer

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 23:41

Hi,

Thanks for a marvelous review of an underappreciated (and undeservedly obscure) pen.

Like jar, I'm also a member of the "plain old black Concord" club; mine was a pure impulse eBay purchase, based mostly, I think, on the look of the nib. The plastic body (not brushed, by the way) has an interesting profile not seen in the brushed metal version: the barrel starts out, at the bottom, as a cylinder and flares outward slightly into a six-sided faceted design. The top three facets flow on into the section, which is identical to that of the metal pen (and those facets, at least on my pen, line up perfectly when the barrel and section are screwed together). The barrel could almost be taken for a subtle homage to the Wahl Doric or the Omas faceted pens. Regrettably, my Concord has a leakage problem where the section meets the feed proper - something I'll address one of these days.

I was interested to read that you had such good success with a standard Waterman cartridge; honestly, I have never been 100% sure whether the Concord takes the current version or the previous C/F version. The standard cartridges and converters don't seem to seat themselves perfectly in my pen, but the C/F converter is a very good fit indeed. I have read that short "international" Waterman cartridges, but not converters, can be used successfully in pens designed for the C/F system, and I've wondered whether the Concord might be one of those pens...among the last of them, if so.

Sorry for rambling - thanks, again, for an excellent review!

Cheers,

Jon

Edited by Univer, 19 April 2009 - 23:49.


#4 MYU

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 01:55

Thanks for the compliment. smile.gif
QUOTE (Univer @ Apr 19 2009, 07:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Regrettably, my Concord has a leakage problem where the section meets the feed proper - something I'll address one of these days.

A while back, I had heard the Concord can develop section cracks along the seam (the piece that fits below the nib). Perhaps if a previous person applied too much force on the nib for extended periods. But this is easily remedied with a crack sealant like "Captain Tulley's Creeping Crack Cure." If you have time, give it a try. Or I'm sure a pen repair specialist could fill in the crack for you.

QUOTE (Univer @ Apr 19 2009, 07:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was interested to read that you had such good success with a standard Waterman cartridge; honestly, I have never been 100% sure whether the Concord takes the current version or the previous C/F version. The standard cartridges and converters don't seem to seat themselves perfectly in my pen, but the C/F converter is a very good fit indeed. I have read that short "international" Waterman cartridges, but not converters, can be used successfully in pens designed for the C/F system, and I've wondered whether the Concord might be one of those pens...among the last of them, if so.

Sorry for rambling - thanks, again, for an excellent review!

Well, I'm glad you brought this up. I acquired my set late last year and only now got around to writing the review. I relied upon my memory concerning the filling system... and it appears I was not 100% correct. As it stands right now, I have a Waterman long cartridge installed. They don't fit completely snug on every pen. I have two Concord pens... on this silver one, it seats pretty well as long as I press firmly enough. On the other, it's a little loose. I was wrong about the newer Waterman converters... apparently I got things mixed up. It was a Montblanc converter that was able to fit it.

The diameter of the opening end on the long cartridges is just a little too wide to fit the C/F pens. But I suspect the connector hole may be compatible. My suspicion is that if the opening end of the long cartridge were to be slightly shaved off a bit, the cartridge might actually fit in a C/F pen. I never got around to experimenting... I was hoping that there might be a way to devise a little "shaver", similar to a pencil sharpener. And so, with just a little effort, any cartridge could be sized to fit a C/F pen. smile.gif

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#5 Brian

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 04:50

Nice pen and photos. I can clearly see from your photos the design homage.

#6 soapytwist

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 12:20

Thanks for this review and the DG - I have one of these and was going to review, but your pictures do more justice to it than mine could! Mine is the all plastic version with the hexagonal barrel where it meets the section. It was the mixture of the different geometric shapes (plus the 18K nib) that made me take a punt on mine without knowing what it was.

Now I'm going to have to dig out another more obscure pen from the collection to review...
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#7 WendyNC

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 12:35

This is a pen on my short "I really want it" list. Thanks so much for the review and the photos. I think. (I'm on a buying hold.)
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#8 Univer

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 13:18

Hi,

I'm sorry to hear that you've experienced cartridge/converter issues as well, but I'm glad to know my problems aren't attributable (as they so often are) to user error.

For what it's worth, I have never heard that the current long Waterman cartridge could be successfully used in a C/F-system model, but I have heard that the short cartridge can be pressed into service. The notion of a cartridge "shaver" - where did I put that truffle slicer, anyway? - is an interesting one.

So far as I know, Waterman service in Janesville still has a supply of the so-called "Lady" converters, which work perfectly in C/F pens. And if you can locate a C/F cartridge, you could always fabricate a so-called "squeezac" filler. (I wonder if anyone has tried the Monteverde mini-converter, which seems to be recommended as the workaround for nearly every obsolete-cartridge problem.)

Thanks, also, for the Captain Tolley's tip. I've heard wonderful things about that product, but haven't yet tried it. Maybe this will be my first opportunity.

Cheers,

Jon

#9 dandelion

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 13:41

Beautiful pics of a stunning pen! Thanks for a great review!
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#10 MYU

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 18:05

QUOTE (soapytwist @ Apr 20 2009, 08:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for this review and the DG - I have one of these and was going to review, but your pictures do more justice to it than mine could! Mine is the all plastic version with the hexagonal barrel where it meets the section. It was the mixture of the different geometric shapes (plus the 18K nib) that made me take a punt on mine without knowing what it was.

Now I'm going to have to dig out another more obscure pen from the collection to review...

Glad you enjoyed it. I haven't seen the all plastic version, but I have to wonder if it is a very light pen. The other Concord I have has a plastic barrel and a metal cap. The barrel is very light and I don't like using the pen without the cap posted (which incidentally doesn't feel top-heavy). I also appreciate the geometric shaping... a hexagon faceted barrel that blends into the section with the facets continuing on the top and rounding off on the bottom.

Definitely do a review... it would be nice to have at least 2 reviews of the Concord. smile.gif

QUOTE (Univer @ Apr 21 2009, 09:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For what it's worth, I have never heard that the current long Waterman cartridge could be successfully used in a C/F-system model, but I have heard that the short cartridge can be pressed into service. The notion of a cartridge "shaver" - where did I put that truffle slicer, anyway? - is an interesting one.

So far as I know, Waterman service in Janesville still has a supply of the so-called "Lady" converters, which work perfectly in C/F pens. And if you can locate a C/F cartridge, you could always fabricate a so-called "squeezac" filler. (I wonder if anyone has tried the Monteverde mini-converter, which seems to be recommended as the workaround for nearly every obsolete-cartridge problem.)

Jon, it is true that the long Waterman cartridge won't fit in the C/F, and this is due to the diameter of the section opening. Based on the similar opening size on the cartridge and the C/F converter, I'm willing to bet it would fit if the outer diameter could be reduced. I've never seen a truffle slicer... I wonder if it might do the trick? I'm going to see about locating a plastic pencil sharpener and then modifying the blade a bit. Would be nice to get that long cartridge in a C/F and expand the ink supply by upwards of 30%! I'm guessing the "Lady" converter is the same as the mini-purse one. I've not seen one--hope they are better than the old C/F converter.
~Gary

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#11 Lefthander

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 22:30

A very nice looking set! Congratulations and thanks for sharing it with us.

#12 jar

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 22:43

QUOTE (MYU @ Apr 21 2009, 01:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I haven't seen the all plastic version, but I have to wonder if it is a very light pen. The other Concord I have has a plastic barrel and a metal cap. The barrel is very light and I don't like using the pen without the cap posted (which incidentally doesn't feel top-heavy). I also appreciate the geometric shaping... a hexagon faceted barrel that blends into the section with the facets continuing on the top and rounding off on the bottom.

Definitely do a review... it would be nice to have at least 2 reviews of the Concord. smile.gif


Here is the all plastic version and yes it is very very light.





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#13 Univer

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 01:15

Hi,

I'm with jar - the all-plastic version is extremely lightweight.

So far as I can tell, the "Lady" converter I purchased from Waterman is very similar, if not identical, to the C/F converter shown in MYU's excellent DG review.

I promise I'll add a review (once I get that leak taken care of!), but I think it'll suffer by comparison to this one.

Cheers,

Jon

#14 Nikolaos

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 08:39

Very nice looking pen Gary and a great review.....super aerodynamic

#15 dedalian

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 10:15

Lovely pen. great review. I like the way waterman use inspirations for their designs. I love the sail boat inspiration on my carene. I wish they would use architecture as well (I dont like their perspective series). maybe they can do a Gehry version. Imagine what that would look like laugh.gif

Edited by dedalian, 22 April 2009 - 10:19.


#16 jips123

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 11:30

I have one just like that, though it does not read concord. It merely states "made in France". Also the nib is gold coloured on mine. I bougth it NOS 10 years ago together with a brushed gold(plate?) c/f. Due to the cartridge/convertor issue I have never been able to write with them.

#17 gicoteni

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 22:10

Great pictures Gary!
Here are two more Concord models: a plain chromed steel FP and a brown plastic set FP + BP. The steel fountain pen is "Junior Concord", which has a smaller size: 12,3 cm instead of 13,6 cm, the normal size (capped sizes).













Edited by gicoteni, 25 April 2009 - 08:22.


#18 MYU

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 23:56

Thanks for adding your photos to this review thread, Guiseppe. smile.gif I had no idea that there was another size of this model, and that the plastic bodied ballpoint had a metal tip reminiscent of the faceted nib! Very nice look.

Incidentally, the majority of the information I found on the Internet spelled the model name as "Concord." Only a few cited "Concorde", so I just assumed the latter was a typographical error, echoing the name of the aircraft (which is indeed called Concorde). It is a minor naming difference between English and French, or is the model officially known globally as "Concorde".

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#19 gicoteni

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 08:32

QUOTE (MYU @ Apr 25 2009, 12:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Incidentally, the majority of the information I found on the Internet spelled the model name as "Concord." Only a few cited "Concorde", so I just assumed the latter was a typographical error, echoing the name of the aircraft (which is indeed called Concorde). It is a minor naming difference between English and French, or is the model officially known globally as "Concorde".


In my opinion the official name of the pen is "Concord" (see also the Lambrou's book), as you correctly named it. I modified my post. Thank you

#20 MYU

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 05:07

Sounds good--thanks gicoteni. smile.gif

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