The Waterman Liaison model replaced the Man 100/200 as Waterman's "top of the line" pen, I believe in 1994. However, it's reign was short-lived. I think I have read that it was produced only for two years. In contrast, both the Gentleman and Man 100 were produced for about 10 years. I'm sure there is an interesting story about the development and the rapid demise of the Liaison, but it is unknown to me.
The Liaison was produced in black and in two colors of wood grain-appearing ebonite. A limited edition - the "Cobra" - was black with chasing. I believe other colors were also made, but I haven't found a complete list. I do not know how many Liaisons were made during its brief life, but both used and NOS Liaison's are currently found on eBay and a few online vendor web sites.
I recently purchased a dark brown wood-grain model, my first Liaison. The Liaison is a substantial pen. It is essentially identical to the Man 100 in length and girth, but it is heavier by 6 grams on my scale.
The Liaison had a number of design features that sets it apart from the models that preceded and followed it.
• The barrel is basically a cylinder with a slight swelling in mid-length. There is no defined separate section.
• The nib is semi-hooded and wraps around the feed.
• The way the cartridge or converter is accessed is by turning the blind cap. This pushes the nib/feed and collar that holds the C/C out from the barrel. (See photos.)
• The hardware - clip, cap ring, etc. - is of an unique and pleasing design.
• The Waterman emblem on the cap is cast into a gold hexagon.
Clip and Cap Ring
Waterman emblem on top of cap
Blind Cap (Turn to release nib/feed/ and load cartridge or converter.)
Nib (Compare to next 2 photos.)
Nib, after turning the blind cap to release it for loading ink.
Cartridge installed, after pulling out released nib (See 2 preceding photos.)
The Liaison is a comfortable pen to hold and use. For me, it is a tad more comfortable un-posted but certainly not uncomfortable to use posted. The one I have is a dark brown ebonite with orange streaks, giving it a wood grain appearance. The nib is a Medium. It is a very smooth writer with even ink flow using a Waterman Florida Blue cartridge. I haven't yet tried it with the converter. There is very slight tactile feedback, writing on Rhodia paper. I was pleasantly surprised to find that writing on either inexpensive printer paper or high-quality, "fountain pen friendly" paper gives essentially indistinguishable results.
Reading older FPN threads, I find that some experienced problems with Liaison nibs skipping. So far, I have had none. Mine writes beautifully. I am enjoying using it.
Edited by dms525, 08 March 2012 - 20:06.