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Waterman L'etalon Leaking


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#1 4032yBCu

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 03:35

I am new to the group and have a problem I'm hoping you guys can help me diagnose. I have a Waterman L'etalon FP that I've had over fifteen years. I bought it on a trip to Paris many years ago. I had cleaned it and stored it for more than a year. I picked it up recently and filled it with ink (converter). I had a tough time getting the ink to draw into the converter, lot's of bubbles. I didn't think much of it and went on my way. Later in the day when I removed the cap to use the pen, I was greeted with a big leaky mess.

 

The ink seemed to be leaking from the nib section close to the metal retaining ring. I wonder if someone has had a similar issue? Do you have any suggestions of what I can do to diagnose the issue and resolve the leaking? I can't recall if when I was having issues filling the converter if I swapped the converter from my Phileas with the L'etalon. I kind of remember now that I was having issues with the converter being very stiff after being unused for so long. Are Waterman ink converters interchangeable? Do you think my issue stems from using the wrong converter? If so, where could I find a replacement converter for the L'etalon?

Thanks in advance for your help.



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#2 esteroids

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 04:58

If you're pretty sure the converter is leaking that's a very easy fix.  L'Etalons have no problem using the same Waterman converter as the Phileas.  The L'Etalon is also one of the few Watermans that will take an international standard converter (slightly larger diameter) that is a bit too thick to fit in the Phileas.  Right now I've got a converter from a Graf v FC in a L'Etalon.  Even the 99 cent converters fit.  

You can always try a cartridge to make sure you don't have a different issue.  But when I have a converter get stiff, like the seal is getting hard, I throw it away.

 

Good luck



#3 RMN

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 06:08

Two possibilities: A broken feed (I had one on my l'Etalon, but it leaked just above the metal ring in the section)

and more likely: a bad fitting converter. The Bubbles are a give-away, the converter sucks false air. And because of the leak the ais can get above the ink and the ink seeps out.

 

Either try your old converter and push it home firmly, or buy a new one.

 

I always advise to use the pen with a cartridge instead of the converter to eliminate the converter. If the pen keeps leaking your pen is wrong, otherwise it was the converter.

 

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#4 jmccarty3

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 01:26

I'm having a similar problem. I have used L'Etalons for years without problems, and recently had the opportunity to buy a NOS black one with an "L" (broad) nib. I filled it, and it wrote without leaking. I despatched it to a well-known nibmeister to be stubbed. Upon receiving it, I filled it and wrote with it again without problems, but upon cleaning it and filling with a different ink (I didn't see bubbles), it began to leak. The leak is coming from the friction points, where the gold-plated brass portion of the section meets the proximal end of the lacquered portion. I asked the nibmeister about it, and he recommended a well-known restorer and repair person, to whom I sent the pen. I received an email from him a day after he got the pen, saying that the converter had been poorly seated, and that he had filled and written with it without problems.

 

I got the pen back today and filled it with a different ink from the one that had caused trouble (again no bubbles), and the pen leaked immediately in the same fashion. The converter was firmly seated, although it does not screw into this section as one sees with some Watermans. The leak again is coming through the friction points, which one can easily see when cleaning the section with a bulb syringe. It seems to me that if the leak involved the converter, the ink would leak into the barrel, not distally. There is no ink in the barrel. Someone previously mentioned the possibility of a broken feed. I don't think this repair person even examined the pen carefully to see what might be wrong with it. I will order a new converter, just to be sure, and will try a cartridge, although it is against my religion. It is frustrating to have spent a lot of money on this nib and the customization, only to end up with an unusable pen. Suggestions?


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#5 Force

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 03:53



The converter was firmly seated, although it does not screw into this section as one sees with some Watermans.

Waterman have never manufactured a converter that screws in. Some of the early types, with chrome rings, have a helical groove but it is not a thread. It is purely there to assist gripping the section bore. I have a L'etalon stripped down in my outside workshop and will look at the parts when light.

 

In fact the chrome ring was also available with radial grooves, in this picture the left is a helical and the right radial. As a machinist it was probably far quicker to run one pass with the tool as a helix than a number of in/out passes to produce grooves....are you all still awake.

 

As for the leak, take a very close look, with magnification, around the plastic grip. You are looking for a crack or cracks. I have one with a crack under the front end ring.

 

fpn_1432266954__dscn0801.jpg


Edited by Force, 22 May 2015 - 04:03.


#6 Force

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 08:08

I cannot release the grip from the brass hardware although it is loose. When I have a little more time today I will try heat.



#7 penmanila

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 00:41

i had one that also leaked horribly, and it proved to be the section. thankfully i was able to buy a replacement from an FPN member.


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#8 jmccarty3

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 02:57

Substituted a new converter, with no leaking so far. Have only tried it with Iroshizuku ink--haven't tried it with any of my really exotic French or Japanese inks yet.


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#9 jmccarty3

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Posted 05 September 2015 - 22:57

Update: The section ring is leaking again. Apparently this is fairly common with this model, although oddly enough I have used the heck out of several L'Etalons without ever seeing it. I do have some spares that could serve as a donor for the broken section/feed, but would need to find someone to switch out the nibs. Suggestions?


Rationalizing pen and ink purchases since 1967.


#10 Arlo

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 07:27

Had a L'Etalon leaking where the tines meet the grip section. Bought a second L'Etalon thinking I could use the new pen's section on both the old and the new pen. The new pen had the same problem. Hum. Curious.
I am aware that Waterman doesn't have the best customer care so I took matters into my own hands. Clear fingernail polish inside the section seems to have done the trick on both pens. Just keep a hole open for the tube that comes out of the section to fit into the cartridge or converter. This can be done with a bit of wire or a straightened paperclip once the fingernail polish is dry. Works a treat. Not rocket science but effective.
My repeated exeperience with a leaky l'Etalon section, and the fact that there are a series of entries under this topic lead me to be disappointed with Waterman.

#11 RMN

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 22:57

Ehh. Nice you are happy with it, but no nailpolish (contains acetone) near my pens.

 

 

D.ick


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