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Waterman Man 100


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20 replies to this topic

#1 Catsmelt

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 20:25

1) FIRST IMPRESSIONS

From Rick Connor's website (http://www.rickconne...rman.leman.html): In 1983, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the original U.S. firm, Waterman offered the new Le Man 100 as its flagship pen. It is commonly supposed to resemble an old-style 1920s Waterman, but does so only if you squint very hard. The Man became a workhorse for Waterman's designers; it appeared in numerous guises, from the plain black-plastic-over-brass model seen here (the most common variant), to models resembling older Watermans (like the black chased Opera, the ornate Patrician, or the Rhapsody with its faux ripped hard rubber finish), to examples made from exotic dyed woods and even solid gold (made on request and sold for over $10,000 per copy).

The Man 100, I believe, is the first fountain pen I bought for myself. This was back in the mid-80s at a pen store on India Street in San Diego after rediscovering some fountain pens that my grandfather had. It must have made an impression on me because I gradually purchased the entire set (BP, MP, RB). The pen came with the (still) typical Waterman packaging: blue box, papers, one converter and one cartridge of Florida Blue.

2) Appearance and Finish

This is a tough one as this is a rather post-hoc review... I'd say that with moderate use and three moves, the pen has held up rather well. Very little surface scratching, no brassing to speak of, the clip has yet to be bent out of shape -- so I guess that speaks well for the durability of its construction. The only QC related issue is on the nib where the engraving is not centered on the slit. It looks off-kilter and would bother most people. It doesn't affect the writing at all.

3) DESIGN / SIZE / WEIGHT

The design is abely described by Rick Connor above, also I've included pictures of the pen. It has a vintage "vibe" to it, but only in the way a PT Cruiser's got the same vibe for vintage automobiles. The finish is a glossy lacquer on brass. The fixtures are gold plate, I believe; speaking of which, the amount of gold-stuff on the pen is right at the border of being "too much" for me. Hasn't crossed that line, though.

The dimensions of the pen are:

Capped: 5 5/8" (14.3 cm)
Uncapped: 5 3/16" (13.3 cm)
Posted: 6 11/16" (17 cm)

The weight of the pen is 1.2 oz. I haven't written with a heavier pen, but I would consider this heavy. Unposted, it is still a comfortable pen. However, when the light cap is posted the center of gravity changes so much that I find it uncomfortable.

And speaking of capping and posting, the cap snaps on securely and easily on both ends of the pen -- note the brass ring on the end of the pen where the cap doesn't merely get a pressure-fit when posted, but "snaps" into place.

4) NIB DESIGN AND PERFORMANCE

The nib is a beautiful two-toned nib of 18K gold. This particular nib is extra fine, and as it happens it's nearly spoiled me -- I have yet to find an XF that matches this nib's performance with respect to smoothness and wetness (for an XF). There is a slight amount of flex, but I doubt anyone would call this a flex or semi-flex pen. I'm not sure of the proper terminology, but I would call it "soft." If I had any gripes about the pen, it would be directed at the offset nature of the engraved lines on the nib. They are slightly off-center and do not meet squarely at the nib slight. But it's a slight gripe.

5) FILLING SYSTEM

This is a cartridge/converter pen, accepting all current Waterman cartridges and coverters. Nothing more to add, really.

6) COST / VALUE

I don't precisely recall how much I paid for this -- I would guess around $160 - $180 new. I see a fairly wide range of asking prices for the Man and in sum I would say that the value of the pen has appreciated fairly well. The pen continues to work quite fine and nothing has gone wrong with it yet. The cap still snaps securely leaving me with little worry about an accident. The lacquer has also held up very well over time and many moves with little attention paid to its protection.

7) OVERALL OPINION / CONCLUSION

I'm glad I bought this pen -- and perhaps I'm lucky because I purchased such a great pen whilst invested with such ignorance. As with most later Watermans, these are fairly heavy pens. As I've become more familiar with fountain pens, my preference has tilted towards the lighter pens. Still, I keep coming back to this pen.

Attached Images

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#2 CharlieB

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 20:55

Great review of a great pen! I have several Man 100s, and I consider them my primary daily users. The size, weight, durability, elegance, and functionality of this pen is hard to beat.
CharlieB

"The moment he opened the refrigerator, he saw it. Caponata! Fragrant, colorful, abundant, it filled an entire soup dish, enough for at least four people.... The notes of the triumphal march of Aida came spontaneously, naturally, to his lips." -- Andrea Camilleri, Excursion to Tindari, p. 212

#3 Catsmelt

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 21:44

QUOTE(CharlieB @ Sep 1 2007, 04:55 PM) View Post
Great review of a great pen! I have several Man 100s, and I consider them my primary daily users. The size, weight, durability, elegance, and functionality of this pen is hard to beat.


Thanks, Charlie. I agree with you about the pen. Even when nostalgia can make one overlook a beloved pen's flaws, there really aren't any with this pen.


#4 FrankB

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 22:56

This is a nicely done review. Thank you.

I will add my agreement to your assessment of the qualities of the pen. I have a Man 100 and the Opera variant, both with factory stub nibs. I like the Waterman stubs and their near flawless performance. After many years, my pens do not show much wear despite being used often, though not daily. I also feel they are a great value in fountain pens.

#5 phillychuck

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 10:43

I have a Man 100 -- same polished black model. But my feed is not ribbed, but solid -- any ideas. Did Wartman change designs of their feed for the 100 over the years?

#6 CharlieB

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 12:50

Mine are all ribbed.
CharlieB

"The moment he opened the refrigerator, he saw it. Caponata! Fragrant, colorful, abundant, it filled an entire soup dish, enough for at least four people.... The notes of the triumphal march of Aida came spontaneously, naturally, to his lips." -- Andrea Camilleri, Excursion to Tindari, p. 212

#7 Catsmelt

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 12:53

QUOTE(phillychuck @ Sep 2 2007, 06:43 AM) View Post
I have a Man 100 -- same polished black model. But my feed is not ribbed, but solid -- any ideas. Did Wartman change designs of their feed for the 100 over the years?


I really couldn't tell you about that. All the feeds I've seen are ribbed. Did you buy yours new or used? I'm thinking it could be a post production run repair or a non OEM part?


#8 John Cullen

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 14:08

HI Great idea to do a review after owning and using the pen for a few years. I always wonder how snap caps will hold up down the road, and it is nice to hear that the Man 100 holds up well. I imagine there are many different snap mechanisms and the different ones have different life spans and different possibilities for repair.

Another Waterman I will be interested to hear about from people who have used the pen for years will be the Edson. It is really interesting to go back on alt.collecting and read some of the threads on the early Watermans. There were several people who made bold predictions that the Edson would not hold up over the years. Maybe they meant sixty years rather than ten or fifteen----or however long the Edson has been around---but it will be interesting to see if their specific predictions will come true. As you might imagine, some people were very critical of the quality of the Edson and predicted an early demise of the pens.

jc

#9 phillychuck

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 20:00

QUOTE(Catsmelt @ Sep 2 2007, 08:53 AM) View Post
QUOTE(phillychuck @ Sep 2 2007, 06:43 AM) View Post
I have a Man 100 -- same polished black model. But my feed is not ribbed, but solid -- any ideas. Did Wartman change designs of their feed for the 100 over the years?


I really couldn't tell you about that. All the feeds I've seen are ribbed. Did you buy yours new or used? I'm thinking it could be a post production run repair or a non OEM part?


I bought it new -- in 1990, and no modifications.

#10 LouisA

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 14:57

QUOTE
I'm glad I bought this pen -- and perhaps I'm lucky because I purchased such a great pen whilst invested with such ignorance. As with most later Watermans, these are fairly heavy pens. As I've become more familiar with fountain pens, my preference has tilted towards the lighter pens. Still, I keep coming back to this pen.


Exactly the same story for me. First fountain pen I bought, bought in ignorance and it has been the best buy, best pen, I have ever had.
I use a fountain pen because one ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to write a few reasonable words with a fountain pen.

#11 scribe75

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 16:42

Phillychuck - I have one Man 100 and one Opera both with ribbed feeds. I also have one Gentleman, circa 1985/6, that has the solid feed you described. There is no preceptible difference in inkflow, performance is excellent. The Gentleman has a slightly more flexible nib (all mediums). I do not know why there was a change in the feed design at that time. The Gentleman and the Opera were the first two I bought when "getting into the game." What luck! I return to them time and again to ground myself.

#12 westlake

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 02:06

I recently acquired 3 Man 100 -- an emerald Patrician, a blue briar woody pen, and a back one. I have to say I love these pens. They are fantastic in nib performance and balance.

#13 shawk

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 20:52

QUOTE(phillychuck @ Sep 2 2007, 04:43 AM) View Post
I have a Man 100 -- same polished black model. But my feed is not ribbed, but solid -- any ideas. Did Wartman change designs of their feed for the 100 over the years?


Philly: you might have a Man 200 (I just bought one on eBay). I also have a Man 100. They are identical, except the 200 seems to have been left in the dryer too long: it's about 95% of the 100 in every dimension. And the feed is solid, like the Gentleman.

#14 bizerkel

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 19:02

I also bought the Man 100 as my first FP, though likewise ignorant. I love it.

My only complaint is that the cap doesn't snap on securely on the nib-end. Posted, it's fine (though like others, I find it too cumbersome to write with posted).

It really is a great writer, though.

Joel

#15 LouisA

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 20:01

I have both a Le Man 100 and 200 and on both the cap snaps with a nice "SNAP" on the nib end. The cap will twirl but it is on securely. On the 100 it snaps onto the end very nice but on the 200 it is a very tight fit and I have to give it a hard push to snap it on. I have three Montblancs and three Sailors but I find my two Le Man are my favoite pens.
I use a fountain pen because one ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to write a few reasonable words with a fountain pen.

#16 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 22:20

I bought one man 100 to my father as a present for him, it is his favorite pen. I will myself buy a man 100 patrician in blue with a medium nib.
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#17 Mescof1

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 05:17

I really like mine. One of my favorite pens, and I've been carrying it everyday since R. Binder worked over the nib. It's loaded with Waterman Blue-Purple and writes great.

Mescoff

#18 seryvlk

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 10:15

Man 100: although it is the heaviest of my pens, it has always been a pleasure to write with. Good balance. Outstanding nib (F), smooth and well inking.
I have it for over 10 years, for years it was in daily use.
Compared to other pens of mine, this has a tendency to leak into the cap, despite the very solid construction; used it always with a converter. Also, the plating of the golden trim ring ending the section, has partly pealed off. Perhaps it did not like MB Permanent I fed it so much...
Back to the construction, I think it is worth mentioning it. The black lacquer barrel contains in inner brass barrel, and the screw is combined with a rubber o-ring. Theoretically, this construction should protect the pen from changes of pressure/temperature but again, mine, fitted with converter, tends to leak into the cap.

Overall, I consider Man 100 a very reliable and durable pen which even after the years, is a pleasure to write with. Performance of the Waterman nib is outstanding. (Even compared to my Sailor and Pelikans.)

#19 Sagar_C

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 12:46

How much does a Man 100 polished black cost now?

#20 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 20:05

How much does a Man 100 polished black cost now?

near 250-300€ sometimes less on ebay
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time






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