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Thinking Of Buying A Desiderata Pen Instead Of A Waterman 52

flex vintage dip nib desiderata waterman 52

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119 replies to this topic

#1 BookCat

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 00:36

For a long time I've wanted a full-flex vintage pen. I have an Eversharp Skyline with a medium flex nib (gifted by a FPN member) which I love, but would like to go one step further. I've looked at the fleabay prices for Waterman 52's and other vintage full flexes and they are just too expensive. However, I can afford one of the plastic bodied Desiderata pens.

 

Does anyone have experience with both types: vintage and Desidarata? How do they compare? I realise that the latter is basically a dip nib with an ink supply and I have very little experience with dip nibs. But the price is so tempting.

 

Thanks :bunny01: :bunny01: :bunny01:



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#2 TeaHive

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 03:44

I don't have any Watermans, but I have some other vintage wet noodle nibs (Cadet and Duryea, a company or model I've not been able to find anywhere other than eBay for either pen, actually). While being wet noodles, and super easy to flex, they don't have the line width range a G nib, which is used in a Desiderata pen. However, both are very easy to flex. Very little pressure is needed to make thin and thick lines with either.

 

My Cadet and Duryea nibs start at a fine width and push out to about 2mm. They're small pens with small nibs, so I'm not sure how other vintage wet noodles compare. The Zebra G nib in the Desiderata goes from hairlines to about 4mm at max width. It does this consistently without railroading or skipping so long as your G nib is fully clean and you're going at a slow, even pace.

 

I love both, but I prefer my Desiderata (and G nibs in general) for their range of line widths. As for the G nibs being disposable, they do last a long time so long as you clean them. (I've actually had a Zebra G nib in a modified Noodler's Ahab since December 16th with only minor corrosion, and still working very well.) You can buy them in 10-packs, so those would last you quite awhile.

 

But only you can decide what it is you like and feel comfortable paying for. :) The Desiderata Daedalus is definitely affordable, and I would say it is worth a try.



#3 FarmBoy

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 04:50

I would buy the Waterman.  You can buy a dip nib and a holder for a few $ and have both.


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#4 BookCat

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 18:35

Thanks Teahive, that's very useful information.

 

Farmboy, at the moment a Waterman 52 in good condition is going for £200-£300 plus. I just don't spend that much on pens.

 

I've just tried to buy one (Daedalus) and was so shocked at the shipping cost that I changed my mind. Maybe I'll just have to get used to the idea.


Edited by BookCat, 09 January 2015 - 21:50.


#5 Tootles

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 20:20

Shipping from the US to New Zealand is usually around $10 - $15. I can't imagine why it should be significantly higher going to the UK, $15 is roughly 10 quid, unless the shipping option includes all sorts of insurance, which, for an item that falls within the postal service's own compensatory limits, seems faintly ridiculous.



#6 Cob

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 21:41

Thanks Teahive, that's very useful information.

 

Farmboy, at the moment a Waterman 52 in good condition is going for £200-£300 plus. I just don't spent that much on pens.

 

I've just tried to buy one (Daedalus) and was so shocked at the shipping cost that I changed my mind. Maybe I'll just have to get used to the idea.

Maybe a super-duper red ripple job in astounding condition; I have bought a few BHR 52s for about 80 - 90% less. Certainly they are well worn, but then they are for writing aren't they!

 

Cob


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#7 BookCat

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 21:59

I can't find a Waterman under £200 which doesn't have something significantly wrong with it, such as one of the nib tines missing. I don't mind if it looks a bit distressed, or even if it needs resaccing, but the pens under that price (and there aren't many) are really just for parts.

 

Cryptos, £10 may not seem like a lot, but when the pen itself is only $50 (£33), proportionally it adds a lot to the cost.



#8 Tootles

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 22:25

 

Cryptos, £10 may not seem like a lot, but when the pen itself is only $50 (£33), proportionally it adds a lot to the cost.

 

Still significantly cheaper than your proposal to spend over 200 pounds on a Waterman though!

 

Incidentally, there are tons of Waterman 52s around at well under 200 quid. I'm with Cob on this one. Unless you are looking to start a collection of RHR in mint condition. The alternative is to contact someone here who has a history of selling such things.

 

HERE are some in the classifieds, to give you an idea.

 

Edit: yes they are not perfect, but as Cob pointed out you are searching for a writer not a looker.


Edited by Cryptos, 09 January 2015 - 22:27.


#9 Cob

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 22:36

I can't find a Waterman under £200 which doesn't have something significantly wrong with it, such as one of the nib tines missing. I don't mind if it looks a bit distressed, or even if it needs resaccing, but the pens under that price (and there aren't many) are really just for parts.

 

Cryptos, £10 may not seem like a lot, but when the pen itself is only $50 (£33), proportionally it adds a lot to the cost.

Yes once again I'll echo Cryptos; I suppose I have had half a dozen or so 52s, in fact I received one today.  None had broken tines (such a pen would have to be very cheap indeed); all required sacs of course - 99.5% of the pens I buy I re-sac, and that means removing the nib and cleaning out the feed and section etc., and usually doing some nib re-alignment and/or smoothing and often the pen's surfaces need attention too; there is no "free lunch" unless one is lucky. 

 

I will add that none of the 52s I have bought (either Canadian or American) have had the famous "paint-brush" 2A nibs, (though all the nibs were "good" nibs).  I have found those in other Waterman's pens which nobody seemed to want, usually with the coffin clip gone and a hole in the cap where it once lived.

 

Cob


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#10 Stanley Howler

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 22:43

I can't find a Waterman under £200 which doesn't have something significantly wrong with it, such as one of the nib tines missing. I don't mind if it looks a bit distressed, or even if it needs resaccing, but the pens under that price (and there aren't many) are really just for parts.

 

Cryptos, £10 may not seem like a lot, but when the pen itself is only $50 (£33), proportionally it adds a lot to the cost.

I've recently had a Noodler's Konrad from Goulet Pens shipped here to the UK. The postage was, as I recall, around $12 USD but that included (with Goulet Pen's excellent customer service) international tracking. What was worse (considering the pen itself was only $40 was having to pay a further £17 GBP for VAT and Royal Mail 'handling fee' once it got here.....the swines (the Royal Mail that is)!

So, yes worth considering some of the many delightful vintage pens available in the UK. I bought a nice flexi Waterman Commando a while ago off ebay, for £24 including postage, just needed re-sac-ing.


Edited by domnortheast, 09 January 2015 - 22:43.


#11 BookCat

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 23:12

Oh dear, we are getting our wires crossed.

 

Cryptos, if you read my original post, you'll see that I never did propose spending £200 plus, in fact I had ruled that out and was looking for a 'substitute'. Also I mentioned that I longed for a full-flex nib; all the ones you linked to are semi-flex and still far more than I'd be willing to pay (willing to pay about £100, which is far more than $100).

 

Cob, you point out that your Watermans, which were a reasonable cost, are not full-flex. I don't mind re-saccing, I've done it before.

 

The position at the moment is that I've purchased a Ranga dip pen with ebonite feed and am trying to source some flexy nibs which will fit, even if they have to be dip nibs. Cost £12, free postage from India.

 

domnortheast, thanks for understanding how I feel about being hit with huge shipping costs which you don't expect, especially when it's so large relative to the cost of the item. I hope your Konrad works better than mine... it just drips ink from the nib, so is in a box, never to be seen again.

 

Thanks for your help and advice :)


Edited by BookCat, 09 January 2015 - 23:15.


#12 strictlyobiter

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 23:26

I purchased a Desiderata as a Christmas gift for my calligraphy loving best friend. It's a wonderful pen (visually stunning and performs excellently) and I will eventually pick one up for myself when I need to scratch that itch.
For flexibility alone I have Zebra G nibs in an Ahab, a Konrad and an Asa pens Indian eye dropper and they perform excellently. Some modification required of course but good if you like to tinker. Maybe consider a packet of G nibs to test out in your Konrad before laying out the cash for another pen?
My only experience of flexy gold nibs come in the shape of my Parker Duofold AF with a surprisingly flexy 14kt broad nib and my Waterman Patricia with a tiny flexible F nib. The G nib flex surpasses both.

#13 Tootles

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 23:57

BookCat, no problem. In post #4 you used 200 as a comparison. I was merely point out that Desiderata are cheaper as an option overall. That's all.

 

Full flex, semi-flex. Good luck with defining what any of that means. There are tons of threads on here trying and failing to do just that. Even in the world of dip nibs it is not that certain. People say the Zebra G is full flex, I find they require quite a bit of pressure to flex that much. On the other hand I have a Gillot 303 that flexes when I give it a heavy look! And another 303 that requires more pressure to flex fully.

 

Point is that it is always a bit of a gamble with flex, at least as far as I can tell, and my experience is far from great.

 

There's a rosewood fully flex needlepoint in the classifieds - HERE - that quite frankly I would buy if I had the money. Buy it in a heartbeat. Its close to your limit too. Beautiful looking pen.



#14 BCastle

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 00:36

Ooooh that Rosewood looks nice!
BookCat, I am not sure how big the feed is on that holder but while the Zebra G is as about a smooth a dip pen nib as you will find (and it is my favourite) it might be a tad big.
There is a great description of the various flexible pointed pens here...
http://www.designing...hoosingpen.html
Many of them can be purchased here...
http://www.blotspens...opperplate.html
you cant go far wrong with a Leonardts Principle, whether or not it will fit your feed is another matter!

#15 Linda Medley

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 01:37

BookCat, I have experience with both; and I recommend that you do get a Desiderata. Of all the vintage Watermans that I have, only the Artist's nibs (longer tines than a regular #2 nib) flex as wide as a G-Nib, and the Artist's can cost a pretty penny (I lucked out; one of mine came on a 52 1/2v, and cost only $25). They're hard to find, as well. 

 

I think the Desideratas are an excellent alternative to vintage super-flex pens, and will save you money in the long run, if you're looking for a writer and not a collectible; G-nibs are inexpensive and will likely be the only part you need to change out. Vintage pens can be costly to repair. And if you end up not liking the Desiderata, I'm sure you'll be able to find someone who'll buy it from you.  :) 

 

It's a shame the shipping to the UK is so expensive...maybe you could find somebody else in the area who also wants one, place a group order, and get lower shipping...?



#16 PrestoTenebroso

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 02:45

For a long time I've wanted a full-flex vintage pen. I have an Eversharp Skyline with a medium flex nib (gifted by a FPN member) which I love, but would like to go one step further. I've looked at the fleabay prices for Waterman 52's and other vintage full flexes and they are just too expensive. However, I can afford one of the plastic bodied Desiderata pens.

 

Does anyone have experience with both types: vintage and Desidarata? How do they compare? I realise that the latter is basically a dip nib with an ink supply and I have very little experience with dip nibs. But the price is so tempting.

 

Thanks :bunny01: :bunny01: :bunny01:

 

I know both vintage and Desiderata. 

I know I am probably the last guy in the world who can be trusted to be objective, but I want to point you to the FAQ page on my website if you haven't seen it already. I've gone on the vintage flex search before, and I like my own creations better than what I was able to come up with via the internet. 

 

I have a waterman "frankenpen" I was able to cobble about for next to nothing, but when I factor the money and time I spent to get to being able to get that vintage flex, it was hardly worth the effort, buying stuff sight unseen. And now that I have my own pens custom made for a user-friendly flex nib, and I don't have to worry about breaking it? I RARELY use that Waterman anymore.



#17 PrestoTenebroso

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 03:02

Thanks Teahive, that's very useful information.

 

Farmboy, at the moment a Waterman 52 in good condition is going for £200-£300 plus. I just don't spend that much on pens.

 

I've just tried to buy one (Daedalus) and was so shocked at the shipping cost that I changed my mind. Maybe I'll just have to get used to the idea.

I'm sorry to hear about the sticker shock with regard to shipping costs.

 

When I first opened the webstore, the shipping costs were calculated automatically based on region and order, but when people started purchasing multiple items, the numbers started getting out of control (domestic orders were the worst hit), so now I just ship a flat rate. 

 

I chose the fee you saw because based on where most of my orders come from, this is the best "all around" shipping price I can find. The shipping cost includes all my packaging, the shipping boxes I buy and the time that goes into preparing each order. 

 

One other thing: out of that shipping cost comes all the things I mentioned plus shipping, which varies from country to country; for example, what may feel like highway robbery to a buyer in the UK is a bargain for someone who lives in New Zealand.



#18 Tootles

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 03:31

The best shipping price I have been offered out of the US was $6.95. Not quite sure how they managed that. Most of the time it's around 9-12 dollars, occasionally 14 or 15. Anything over that I don't buy.



#19 Berelleza

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 04:38

I don't have any Watermans, but I have some other vintage wet noodle nibs (Cadet and Duryea, a company or model I've not been able to find anywhere other than eBay for either pen, actually). While being wet noodles, and super easy to flex, they don't have the line width range a G nib, which is used in a Desiderata pen. However, both are very easy to flex. Very little pressure is needed to make thin and thick lines with either.

 

My Cadet and Duryea nibs start at a fine width and push out to about 2mm. They're small pens with small nibs, so I'm not sure how other vintage wet noodles compare. The Zebra G nib in the Desiderata goes from hairlines to about 4mm at max width. It does this consistently without railroading or skipping so long as your G nib is fully clean and you're going at a slow, even pace.

 

I love both, but I prefer my Desiderata (and G nibs in general) for their range of line widths. As for the G nibs being disposable, they do last a long time so long as you clean them. (I've actually had a Zebra G nib in a modified Noodler's Ahab since December 16th with only minor corrosion, and still working very well.) You can buy them in 10-packs, so those would last you quite awhile.

 

But only you can decide what it is you like and feel comfortable paying for. :) The Desiderata Daedalus is definitely affordable, and I would say it is worth a try.

 

Against my little voice in my head, I am ordering one Desiderata D.. I know I can make it with a $1.50  plastic holder and then some nibs from JetPensor eBay for a lot less, but a sac does save you a lot of problems and inky fingers, doesn't it? I have spilled a lot of inks on my desk while learning to use the dip nibs I still don't master. Would be a savior to have a Desiderata pen and a few G nibs... But... How long will they take to  be made? They are in pre-order! That is a very manual outdated way of doing business! .... Ohhh... I can't silence the voice....

 

One question, though.  While you cap the pen, does it keep moistening the nib or what? Does it have a feeder like regular pens where you attach the flex nib? I wonder.



#20 BookCat

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 04:51

The best shipping price I have been offered out of the US was $6.95. Not quite sure how they managed that. Most of the time it's around 9-12 dollars, occasionally 14 or 15. Anything over that I don't buy.

Would you pay $16 on top of something that only cost $50?

 

 

 

 They are in pre-order! That is a very manual outdated way of doing business! .... Ohhh... I can't silence the voice....

 

 

I thought that was weird too.

 

I don't doubt that they are lovely pens...but...(the voice in my head)....are they worth it???!

I'm confused.

I'm now looking at the similar, but cheaper, Ackerman pump pens. :headsmack:







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: flex, vintage, dip nib, desiderata, waterman 52



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