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Waterman Kultur Demonstrators


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7 replies to this topic

#1 amk

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 09:36

INTRODUCTION: I've recently bought two Kulturs. One from ebay seller Lewertowski, which came in its box with cartridge but without converter, and one from a local seller. Both new, both with fine nibs; one transparent yellow, and one clear.

First impressions getting it out of the box - it's very rounded, no rough edges, light but not cheap-feeling. The cap clicks on and off very positively. Something I like in a demonstrator, the clear plastic isn't spoiled by any stampings or engravings or unwanted bling - just a simple black dome to the cap, a clip that picks up the roughly torpedo shaped bodylines, and a very discreet 'Waterman' stamp on the lip of the cap.

Appearance & Design 10/10. A nice simple pen, quite fat - the cap is a lot fatter than the pen. Everything is rounded, except the end of the barrel with a slightly pointed button. There are only three silver elements in the design; the clip, the ring at the top of the section, and the nib.

Many cheap demonstrators have a feeling of 'cheapness' to the furniture. They stick too much very thin metalwork on the pen and don't have much sense of overall design. This pen is different. It has a definite style. The clip is very clever - it doesn't copy other Waterman clips but the slot in it immediately says 'Waterman' - and its streamlined curves fit the pen beautifully. It's not solid, but folded metal, but it's so well formed that it has a satisfyingly 3D look.

http://i1058.photobu...pn/_IGP3946.jpg

Just around the top of the section there's a roughly 1 cm deep band of faceting, and that's about the only thing on the pen I don't like; it feels a bit fiddly, and impedes the view of the pen's insides, which is after all what I got a demonstrator for.

The body material is wonderfully clear. However, it's already picking up a few scratches (all my pens are 'workers' but these two more than most), so I have some doubts about the long term future of the pen as a gleamingly transparent beast.

The yellow pen is a cringe-making neon bright beast. One to take to meetings with self-satisified bankers and watch them squirm :-) I love it to bits.

Construction & Quality 8/10 - As noted, both pens have picked up a few tiny scratches. But other than that, I can't see much wrong with them. I have managed to find a seam left on the bottom of the cap, but nowhere else, and the threads work well.

Now, I *am* a bit fed up that the way the pen is constructed means I can't use it as an eyedropper (or maybe I could, but only if I could find some way of sealing the end of the barrel properly...) But I don't think I can really subtract points for that! After all Waterman didn't intend it to be used that way.

Weight & Dimensions (1-10)

This pen weighs 16g - lighter than my Ahab (18g) and a lot lighter than Chinese pens (Jinhao MOP 61g!! and Kaigelu 316 at 45g), but a couple of grams more than many of the cheaper pens I have (an Ero piston at 13g, Pilot crystal 14g, Senator demo 12g).

Length capped 5 1/4" / 135 mm. uncapped 125mm or 5". I don't post, but for those of you who do, 145mm and 5 3/4" are the relevant figures.

I find it a lovely pen to write with when I'm in expansive mood. When I use my Lamy pur, I tend to write smaller and finer in line with the thinness of the pen; with this pen, my writing is bolder - I can't help it, it's the pen that made me do it! It fits the hand very nicely, not too big for me even though I have quite small hands.

Nib & Performance 10/10 – Of course, I'm not comparing this with a gold Lamy 2000 nib or a Sailor music nib. Nope. But for a pen of this price band, 10/10 for the nib. It's steel, satisfyingly large, so that it fits the overall size of the pen just right, and it writes with what I find a very satisfying crispness, with a little 'edge' to it, but no scratchiness at all. Nice and wet, too, not prone to skipping and will start readily when left up to 2 days. After a week, it needs a quick dip and away we go again. I *like* that! (All the above applies to both nibs so the chances are this is a good average, not a one-off beauty.)

The nib has a sort of arcaded detail, the W-in-hexagon logo, and the words 'Waterman Paris'. And no breather hole, which surprised me. I would say it writes on the medium size of fine.
http://i1058.photobu...pn/_IGP3944.jpg

I would love to try Kulturs in other nib sizes but only ever see them on eBay in fine. I know medium used to be available. (Of course, the pen has been discontinued - a crying shame - as Waterman tries to move upmarket, leaving it to people like Nathan Tardiff to wean the gel-pen-carrying public on to using FPs in the first place.)

Filling System & Maintenance - 6/10. Oh, boring, a cartridge, and didn't come with a converter, and won't work as an eyedropper. Really it takes some of the fun out of a demonstrator when it's a C/C. However it's a nice big cartridge; enough ink for a couple of weeks when I'm using both to take notes occasionally, a couple of days when I'm doing a lot of interviewing in the field. (I'm a journalist so my pens have to work for a living, except my Indian ebonites and my calligraphy pens which are for fun only.)

One thing I have noticed about this pair - blimey, the insides of the caps get filthy! That may be a thing with demos, but it seems worse than usual on these.

Cost & Value (9/10) – These pens are available new for anything from £7 up to £14 on ebay and sometimes on Amazon. What else could I buy for the money? Well, anything from Noodler's. Lamy safari - another low priced classic, with interchangeable nibs which makes life easier for us than with the Kultur, where you'd have to buy a new section with the nib. I don't think anything else at this price that you can buy new really cuts the mustard.

Conclusion - 8/10 - I have a bit of a down on Waterman after using a pair of Laureats for some time in my early career with fountain pens and not really liking them. The Kultur has been a breath of fresh air. I am definitely looking out for the other colours (translucent blue, orange and red, I think are the other options) and for a medium nib. These are great daily writers and good fun to use.

This is my first review on FPN so I'm ready to take feedback on it... but please be kind :-)

Too many pens, too little time!

http://fountainpenlove.blogspot.fr/


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#2 delphi303

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 11:50

Hi, thanks for your excellent review of the Kultur!

I have 3 of them, all fine nibs, also purchased from Lewertowski: clear demonstrator, translucent red, and the shimmering/frosted blue.

Nice writers, nibs are wet and put down a good line, and they do look stunning.

However, I find I don't use them much. There is no inner cap, and since there is a small opening/gap at the top of the clip, the nibs dry out even after just one day of sitting idle. It's easy enough to get the nib writing again, but then the ink has darkened quite a bit.

If you are still looking for a medium, perhaps Lewertowski still has some Kultur replacement nibs available on his eBay shop.

Thanks again!

#3 MarcM77

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 20:17

Ink evaporates much to fast from these Kultur pens. I used some of them before noticing that some cartridges emptied by hal in about one to two weeks without using it. And I did never notice such an evaporation on any other pen I had to use.
This is sad, because I agree that this cheap demonstrator could have been a very good pen.

#4 guilhermejf

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 01:30

Very nice review! I am thinking of getting one soon.

#5 amk

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 09:14

That's interesting. I haven't noticed the evaporation issue at all, and ink seems to last a while in my two pens. But yes, they are pretty 'porous' in construction when I look closely.

Too many pens, too little time!

http://fountainpenlove.blogspot.fr/


#6 LostInBrittany

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 22:07

The Kultur aren't discontinued, at least here in France. You have them in every mall (Carrefour, Leclerc, Auchan...) for less than 10€. It's one of the basic school pens here. But only in F nib, that's a pity...
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#7 amk

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 07:40

The Kultur aren't discontinued, at least here in France. You have them in every mall (Carrefour, Leclerc, Auchan...) for less than 10€. It's one of the basic school pens here. But only in F nib, that's a pity...


Terrific! I shall be off to Eure-et-Loir again fairly soon and a trip to Leclerc is indicated. Thanks for the tip.

Too many pens, too little time!

http://fountainpenlove.blogspot.fr/


#8 ThirdeYe

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 16:43

I've had the dreaded "evaporation" problem with my Kulturs as well. I won't use them anymore unless I know I am going to be using them non-stop.
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