Anyway, the review...
Found this pen in the Camberwell Trash & Treasure Market (also known as 'flea-markets') just today. Pen was in good-condition and wrote well (I brought a bottle of ink along so that I could test any pens I found) and so...I bought it. For $50.
To be honest, if I hadn't noticed the hexagonal "W" Waterman logo on the clip of this pen, I probably would have ignored it. Visually, this pen was incredibly plain. Everything about it was plain, the barrel the cap the nib...it has barely any decoration. In-fact, if I didn't recognise it at once as a Phileas, I probably would never have bought it. There was nothing about the pen that screamed "I'M PRETTY-LOOKING! BUUUUUUUUUUUUUY ME!!"
The Phileas was black plastic. I thought it might be dark green, but after a bit of pictorial searching, I realised that Waterman never made a solid green Phileas and that the only pen that matched what I had was jet-black...which was SORT of what my pen looked like. Perhaps my eyes were playing tricks on me. The pen was smooth and possesses two bands, one on the end of the barrel and one at the top of the cap, around the clip. It's smooth and lightweight and comfortable for writing with.
Size & Weight
Pen is 5.5 inches capped which fits perfectly into my hand. It's the same size as all my other pens and since it's made out of plastic, it's nice and light and comfortable to write with. I can post the cap without feeling the tines being levered away from the paper.
Nib design & Performance
The nib was a FINE and made of steel with gold-plate on it. The nib itself is quite unremarkable. It has a fan-design engraved into it, just under the end of the tines (the nib doesn't have a breather-hole) and under that, it has the hexagonal 'W' Waterman logo. Under that is:
F (for fine).
Even though I did buy this pen second-hand, the nib was in excellent condition. Smooth and strong but rather worn-looking. The nib's gold-plate looks like it's wearing off and it's starting to show the silvery appearance of steel, not that that really bothers me. Steel is just as good as gold.
I was fortunate that when I bought the pen, it still had a Waterman cartridge fitted into it...this also meant it took about half an hour to wash all the blue ink out of the feed, cartridge & nib...but at least I could use the pen right away.
From what I've read, the Phileas is a c/c (cartridge & converter) fountain pen. The lady I bought the pen off, didn't have it's converter, just the empty cartridge. I flushed it out and refilled it (with a syringe), with black ink. The cartridge doesn't leak, holds a generous amount of ink and still has it's little agitator-ball rattling around inside, for good measure.
[Side-note: Does Waterman make converters for the Phileas? I'm pretty sure they do. Are they just regular Waterman converters that I can buy at any pen shop? Because I want to get one for this pen]
Mrs Stall-Lady was very hard to beat down on her price. She put it up for $60 and try as I might, I could only get it down to $50. But, I consider myself lucky. I got myself a wonderful Waterman Phileas second-hand for $50 which works the moment I use it. It's got a strong, good-quality nib with a thickness that I like and is light and easy to use. This same pen was selling at Pen City in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, for $120!! Yeepers! I got it at less than half-price!
I think it's wonderful value for money and I'd recommend it to anyone.
I didn't find the Duofold that I've been hunting for for so long, at the flea-market today, but I did find a wonderful fountain pen 'in the wild', from a good maker. It's a quality writing-instrument with a strong, smooth nib and is light and comfortable to use. I love it!
I did want a Phileas in marbled blue, but black will suffice.
Edited by Shangas, 09 December 2007 - 08:04.