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Help: Waterman No.12 Or Conway Stewart No.85L

waterman conway stewart

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6 replies to this topic

#1 rra

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 01:22

Hello,

 

I need help to make up my mind.

 

As a first vintage pen, buying with the consideration of writing with a flex nib, which one should I go for: Waterman no.12 (eyedropper) or Conway Stewart No.85L?

 

I recently used Noodler Ahab and was much impressed by the way it improved my writing. Now I would like to have a proper vintage flex nib pen.

 

Please help me decide between the two option above. Your opinion would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks, 

 

RRA.



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#2 Matth13

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 05:52

If you are looking for flex, the Waterman's No. 12 would be the better bet. Many of the vintage Waterman pens can be found with moderate to full flex nibs. It should be noted that not all of the No. 12 pens will come with a flexible nib.

#3 rra

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 20:20

From the writing sample of the seller, both pens have medium flex nibs. With an eyedropper on a roughly a hundred year old pen, I am wondering if the Waterman will end up as a collectable item rather than a usable item. On the other hand, the seller is also all in praise of the Waterman nib. The nib wants me to go for it, whereas, the construction hinders me a bit. Do you think I am needlessly concerned about the filling mechanism?

 

RRA.



#4 sombrueil

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 20:52

If you love the nib, you will find a way to write with it. Otherwise you won't. That is how flex is, at least for me. 



#5 Matth13

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 23:42

Pens that are filled via Eyedropper are nice because they require little maintenance. There really is no filling system in the pen, so there is nothing that will break or fail. The waterman 12 will be totally usable, provided you treat it well. I have had great experiences with most of my vintage Waterman pens (especially the nibs). If both nibs seem to deliver the same writing performance, then it would come down to aesthetics. If you intend to carry the pen out of the house, the Conway Stewart may be the safer bet. Being a newer pen with an internal filling mechanism and updated feed, it will be more forgiving on the commute.

#6 Cepasaccus

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 16:22

Don't know anything about the Conway Stewart, but a Waterman should have a screw cap sealing the nib and a spoon feed to be usable. I have a 12 with tapered cap and old feed. The cap could fall off if really used and the buffering capacity of the feed is nearly zero, which means very often blue fingers. The most practical and affordable Waterman's pens are the safety pen 42 and the lever filler pen 52 from the 1920s. I am sure there are no. 12 out there which are as reliable as a 52. It is just that they are IMHO less common.



#7 SNAK

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 12:15

I have 3 x Conway Stewart 85L vintage pens and also various vintage Waterman #2 nibs on 52's and 12's. My eyedropper Waterman has a screw cap rather than slip on cap, but still I wouldn't be carrying a vintage eyedropper pen out and about, as the simple feed tends to easily leak when jostled. But eyedropper pens, because of their simple design, have such good and wet flow of ink that I really enjoy writing with them. 

 

If you are after flexy and expressive nib, I would definitely go for the Waterman 12. All of my CS85L pens have nibs that are made of 14K gold that is not as springy as Waterman #2 nib's 14K gold. CS85L's nibs tend to be soft, as in bendable, but they don't always bend back i.e. lacks springiness. Whereas when Waterman's #2 is flexy, it is really bouncy flex and a lot more suitable if you are after flex writing with responsiveness. 

 

I love my CS85L's due to their form factor (size, length, barrel diameter, and weight; they just fit my hand perfectly), but I don't collect them for their flex nibs. Waterman's #2 nibs are well known for their flexibility (if you find a good one) so I'd say go for the Watermans. Just my two cents from someone who owns and enjoys both. I hope it helps.







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