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Waterman Skywriter


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#1 ChrisChen

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 23:08

Waterman Skywriter

After going through two Jinhao x750's and being dissatisfied with the way that they leaked ink and had insecure converters, I tried a Parker Sonnet at the FPH. It was excellent. It wrote like butter and had no startup or skip problems. Also it was $108 including tax, which is a perfectly reasonable price. However, I sought a pen that I wouldn't worry too much about losing and would still write better than the Jinhao's. I decided to look for vintage pens in good shape that weren't collector items. I picked this Skywriter up on eBay a few days ago.
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Appearance & Design 2/10 - The Skywriter is clearly, by appearance, the entry level pen that it is. There aren't any frills, and it's made out of black plastic. There are no decorative engravings, only the place of origin and company, which in this case, is Canada and Waterman. However, I wouldn't say that it is ugly, just extremely utilitarian.

Construction & Quality 3/10 - If I could rate the cap alone I'd give it a 10 because its simple and made of steel. You definitely wouldn't have to worry about it cracking, discoloring, or otherwise deteriorating. Additionally, it posts excellently and very securely, without having to put too much force on it. On the other hand, the plastic barrel is very thin and doesn't feel secure in the hand. They are very prone to cracking. Mine came this way, but it was no fault of the seller. It was clearly pointed out on eBay and I bought it knowing about the crack. I wish the barrel was made of....almost anything else. Honestly it's probably the cheapest feeling plastic I've ever felt.

Weight & Dimensions 5/10 -
Wow this review is starting off really negative. I can imagine nobody would buy it if they only saw the first couple categories. Posted the pen is lighter than my Jinhao x750. It feels top heavy, but not too much because the pen doesn't weigh much to begin with. Unposted it's a really weightless pen, almost like a generic BP pen. Some may find that to be excellent, others who like a heft to their pens won't like it.

Nib & Performance 6.5/10 - Finally...
I say finally because this is the true redeeming quality of the pen. The nib starts up pretty well and it writes excellently. It has a B26 nib, which writes nice and wet with Noodler's Lexington Gray. I found it to be too wet with this ink on Moleskine paper, but with Private Reserve Burgundy Mist it was perfect. No skipping, it does the race track test very well. Also, unlike the Jinhao's I have, it does the down-to-up stroke very well. I'll post a picture of the test results on Willcopy Recycled Acid Free paper. A bit too wet with the Noodler's, and, at least to me, perfect with the PR. On Moleskine paper it feathered just barely with the Noodler's. The nib feels more scratchy than the Parker Sonnet, but I wouldn't say that the Skywriter is a scratchy pen. It's just that the Sonnet wrote like butter.

Filling System & Maintenance 8/10 - Classic Lever Fill
From what I've read in my very limited time on filling systems, the lever fill is reliable and simple. I've read to wait 10 seconds for the sac to re-inflate completely, but I miss the Parker Sonnet's vertical slide converter simply because I like to see how much ink I have. With the lever fill there's no way to tell if you have a rubber sac. I guess this would be better with a silicone clear sac.

Cost & Value 9/10
For only $14 I was able to get a pen that wrote only a bit scratchier than the $108 Parker Sonnet. I like the Sonnet, but I'm still in college and I realized I don't need to spend more than $50 on a pen yet. I gave the Skywriter a 6.5 on the nib, and I would give my Sonnet a 9, just because it's so buttery smooth!

Conclusion (Final score 5.6) - The score isn't great but I'm still really glad I got this pen. A great value and a reliable everyday writer. Good for those like me who tend to lose things and don't want to worry about an expensive pen.

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Edited by coolguy684, 30 December 2012 - 23:23.


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#2 gary

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 14:04

Thank you for taking the time to review the Skywriter. My college/law-school pens were Sheaffers, but I remember the economics and the desire for a dependable fountain pen.

You might look up the Waterman food chain a little to the Commando, the Taperwrite, or the W series. I doubt that you'll find one for $14, but for a bit more money you can get a sturdy pen with a wonderful nib.

Appreciate your sharing,

gary

#3 ChrisChen

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 22:02

Thank you for taking the time to review the Skywriter. My college/law-school pens were Sheaffers, but I remember the economics and the desire for a dependable fountain pen.

You might look up the Waterman food chain a little to the Commando, the Taperwrite, or the W series. I doubt that you'll find one for $14, but for a bit more money you can get a sturdy pen with a wonderful nib.

Appreciate your sharing,

gary



I have a revision...Turns out the Skywriter writes better than the Sonnet. But then, it's the gold plated Sonnet nib, and not the solid 18k nib, plus the Sonnet was brand new from FPH. But I didn't want to do anything to the Sonnet since I knew I was about to return it for 2 rollerballs for gifts.


Edited by coolguy684, 06 January 2013 - 22:04.







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