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Waterman Charleston review (my first)


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18 replies to this topic

#1 extrafine

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 21:35

I bought a Charleston after trying it in a pen store and not really wanting to let go of it. I didn't, at the time, know what it was, but found that it made my normally crappy writing better, so I ended up buying it :-).

A few comments:

1) Lots of people I see on the forums complain about the small nib. I find that that's what makes my writing better: I can - and naturally tend to - hold the pen as close as I can to the nib. The larger the nib, the larger and shakier my writing ends up being. With the Charleston (fine point), I can make reasonably nice small letters. This is actually the best thing I can say about the pen, and is *the* reason why it has become almost a daily writer.

2) The pen has a funny shape when capped: as if the cap belongs to another pen!

3) The cap doesn't post terribly well: you have to almost force it on.

4) The nib is nice. A bit toothy on some papers, but varyingly so. It feels as if it has a personality-of-the-day, almost. Usually, I find toothy nibs highly annoying, but not this one. I rather like it, except on the occasional papers on which it's really exaggerated, on a day when it's in a bad mood.

5) The "mood" tends to be influenced by the ink. Amusingly, it does well with Waterman blue cartridges, which I normally hate in other pens for not flowing well enough.

6) Flow is great. I like Visconti ink in it, although as mentioned above, Waterman ink works well too. I haven't tried any others, but I have the feeling that this is a pen that will take almost any ink without problems.

7) With the Waterman ink, it's a good "Moleskine" combination, I find. No feathering, not overly toothy.

Overall impression: if the strange shape (which I don't), and (in my opinion) and the fact that the cap doesn't post well, this is a great pen if you don't mind a little bit of tooth (my Pelikan is smoother, as are my vintage Sheaffer snorkels and most Parkers I've tried) - but most other pens have more tooth, annoyingly so. "Good for me, but not for everyone."

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#2 Celticshaman

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 21:49

Thanks for the review.We can never have enough reviews!

JD

#3 Ghost Plane

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 22:57

Sums up my experience except I obviously hold the pens further back than you do and ran into a comfort problem with the thread location. That and the M nib is why I ended up selling mine. Also it feels really light once you own a Carene.

#4 LegalLefty

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 00:23

I love my Charleston. It was my first fountain pen, and I often return to it as the "go to" pen. It looks classy in a shirt pocket with any suit I wear, it writes nicely, and I like that it is not so heavy. I've got some heavy pens, but I don't take them to court for a long day of note-taking. Good review.

Edited by LegalLefty, 10 June 2007 - 00:24.


#5 Opus104

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 02:41

Great review. I agree with the feel and looks - I find the pen pretty classic. I do have a slow starting issue. I actually had to exchange it once already due to slow starting and skipping. My medium has no tooth at all. It is really smooth.

#6 extrafine

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 04:23

So much encouragement :-). I'll try to do it again on other pens eventually!

#7 RLTodd

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 04:55

Agree for the most part.

(1) no problem with nib size, or threads on section.

(2) have a medium nib and it is smooth with good flow.

(3) flow to paper line width seem to vary a bit with different inks. fineer with waterman brown, thicker with private reserve american blue.

(4) agree, does not post well at all.

(5) find it well made but not precision fit between trim and plastic. I think they cut corners on the clip manufacture.

(6) in todays market, unless the plastic starts shrinking, I think it is a good value for the money.

(7) I would buy another one, although I think I would go with the fine nib instead of the medium.

(8) nib is stiff, my preferrence.
YMMV

#8 extrafine

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 03:36

As a followup, I find that I like this pen more and more as time goes on. I can get really good "character control" when writing with this pen. I really like the feel of it on paper.

I'm still afraid to "lose" it due to the cap having a tendency to come unscrewed, and as a result I tend to overtighten it a bit, and will surely wreck the threads. I'm trying to develop a good habit of putting my hand on the entire pen to take it out of my pocket, rather than just the cap.

#9 Shelley

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 03:44

Hey extrafine as an idea try getting a pen pouch for the pen, it will not fit in your shirt pocket well but it will fit in your jacket and pant and means that the cap will not need to be screwed up super tight (which, I agree, can't be good for the pen).
Also this will cusion the open somewhat if it decides to take adive.
Glad to find that you like your pen though - the best pens are the one that you like to use!
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#10 extrafine

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 14:34

That'd be a great idea... except I don't wear a jacket :-). Or a tie. And this despite the fact that I do legal work!

I think I'm resigning myself to wrapping my little finger around the body as I pull it out. I think I'll eventually develop the right motion.

You have me an idea, though - maybe I should do like when I was in school and start keeping pens in a "pencil-case"... which also helps keeping others' paws off them if they on the desk.

#11 RyanL27

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 18:50

Great review.

I was given a black Charleston for my graduation this year, and I'm quite pleased with the pen. Mine had a Medium nib with flow problems, but I sent it to Deb Kinney for a cursive italic grind. With Deb's work, the pen is a superb writer with excellent flow.

I actually like the shape of the pen/cap combo - it's a classic pen to my eyes. Also, I think the barrel band is a very nice touch.

You're right about the cap not posting well, but I find the pen to be very comfortable unposted ,which is how I prefer to write.

All in all, I like this pen. It's too bad I had to send it out for nib work, but the result is a great, dependable daily writer.
"I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them."
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#12 Garageboy

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 03:34

I love mine in yellow. Nice weight, nice size!

#13 HLeopold

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 17:36

QUOTE(Garageboy @ Jun 21 2007, 10:34 PM) View Post
I love mine in yellow. Nice weight, nice size!


I bought the Ivory one for myself and the Yellow for Diane. Love the pen, but it does seem to have a flow problem, on downstrokes it skips when I first start writing a letter, I think it may be a case of “baby-bottom,” mine has it, Diane’s works perfectly. I think I may have to send it to someone and have it fixed (and get the medium nib trimmed down to a fine at the same time.)

The looks remind me greatly of the 40’s 100 Year pen, which I expect was the idea.
Harry Leopold
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#14 sandeephegde

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 05:51

Hi;

I am Sandeep Hegde, from Mumbai, India. The review of Waterman Charleston was very informative. This helped me in my buying decision on my first Waterman Charleston Black. Thanks FPN members.


Edited by sandeephegde, 24 January 2009 - 06:02.

Sandeep Hegde
Mumbai, India.

#15 TMac

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 16:35

QUOTE (sandeephegde @ Jan 24 2009, 12:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi;

I am Sandeep Hegde, from Mumbai, India. The review of Waterman Charleston was very informative. This helped me in my buying decision on my first Waterman Charleston Black. Thanks FPN members.



You will enjoy the Charleston. I purchased a black Charleston 2 months ago and have used it every day. It is a great daily writer.

#16 JRBell

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 22:12

My wife gave me an Ivory Charleston for my birthday last August. At first I thought the med. nib was too broad, but when I found I could get a very nice fine nib effect by writing with the nib upside-down, I like the variety. I have no problems with the flow, weight, size, posting, etc, etc. I really like the pen.

Jim


#17 morgan097

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 01:12

Now for comparison, get the original pen on which the Charleston was based, the pre-war '39 or '40 (lucite) 100 Year Waterman with flexible nib, and experience what was possibly the best writing instrument ever produced.

But avoid the later, notoriously brittle celluloid versions because the ends will almost certainly have crumbled over the years.

#18 drajaygill

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 07:00

I bought a Charleston Ivory about 2 days back. I think it is a great pen. Mine has no probs what so ever and I notice that my handwriting gets a 'flourish' when i hold the pen from further back.. Nice weight and balance..
(Yeah, the cap looks as if its not fitting well (as pointed above as well), that's the idea behind the design, i guess..

Regards,
Gill
India

Edited by drajaygill, 01 August 2011 - 07:02.


#19 bk123

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 09:11

I bought a Charleston Ivory about 2 days back. I think it is a great pen. Mine has no probs what so ever and I notice that my handwriting gets a 'flourish' when i hold the pen from further back.. Nice weight and balance..
(Yeah, the cap looks as if its not fitting well (as pointed above as well), that's the idea behind the design, i guess..

Regards,
Gill
India

Congratulations drajaygill on your purchase!
Actually I too am looking for a Ivory Charleston. Where did you get it?if you don't mind can you give the shop or site address from where you have bought it.

Thanks,

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