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Waterman CF ~ A Classic Pen You Should Own


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25 replies to this topic

#1 OldGriz

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 17:17




This is not a current Waterman offering. The CF was introduced sometime in the 1950s and, I believe, discontinued in early 1980s.
This is a used FP/MP set that I purchased from DocNib in the Market Place... I have always wanted to try one of these pens and now have one...
For some reason, they do not seem readily available on eBay or other markets so I consider myself lucky to get this set.

First Impressions 5/5

I received this pen from Doc Nib the other day .... to put it mildly, I am extremely impressed...

Appearance 5/5
The pen is a classic black CF with a gold cap that has a split clip...
The section is extremely modern in appearance with it's semi-hooded nib and gold swallow tail piece in the section.
The barrel has a nice taper ending in a gold tassie that looks like a Parker 61 without the jewel.
All in all a very very attractive pen.

Design 5/5
This is a thinner pen than I am used to, measuring .414" at the body/section joint and only .275" just behind the nib where I hold the pen.
Overall length is .260" capped, 4.800" uncapped and 5.845" posted.
At first glance I was expecting this pen to not be one of my most comfortable writers. My first choice pens are Parker 51s and Vacumatics. This pen is decidedly thinner... in fact a whole lot thinner when you consider that the area on a P51 where I hold the pen is about .365".
I was very surprised when I found this pen to not only be comfortable, but comfortable even after writing with it most of the day.....

Nib 5/5
This was the real high point of using this pen....
The nib is solid gold and a fine. Not around a fine... but a real true fine as I like them....
It is also extremely smooth... there is absolutely no drag or tooth to this nib whatsoever. You would be hard pressed to find any factory nib that is this smooth...
I would say you would be hard pressed to find a nib from any of the nibmeisters that is much smoother than this.
CF nibs are purported to have some flex to them, but I can't see on this nib... I also don't want to put a lot of pressure on it to find out.

Filling System 2/5
The low mark here is not because of the fact that it is a C/C pen. The mark is because you can no longer get cartridges for this pen.
You need to refill the carts that you can find.
I was lucky, Doc sent me a box of Waterman Blue/Black cartridges and the pen had the original empty factory cart in the pen. I filled that one with Waterman Black ink and am saving the others.
According to Sam at Pendemonium Waterman still have converters for this pen... I believe they are called the Lady Waterman converter... I will be getting one.

Cost and Value 5/5
I paid $55.00 for this pen from DocNib in the Market Place ... definitely worth every penny paid. I received the FP/MP in the original factory box....
He originally had it marked $75 then I grabbed it when he reduced the price ... but then what do you expect from The Griz... rolleyes.gif

Conclusion 27/30
Unfortunately, this pen is no longer made.
IF you can find one, I would definitely say grab it....
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#2 French

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 20:02

another nice review, Griz. I wasn't at all suprised when you caught the pen as soon as the price was reduced, in fact, I would have been disappointed if you paid full asking price.

Congratulations on another fine addition to your pen chest.

French

#3 Gehaha

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 20:50

Hello OldGriz,

thank you for the review!
This was my first "worthy" pen. My father gave it to me in 1978 when I was seventeen (I think as a birthday present?!). Later he also introduced me into the world of Lamy and Kaweco.

My C/F is sterling silver with 18k OB nib. I am glad, that I still have some of the original cartridges - what a poor idea to stop production....Waterman/Sanford angry.gif
When I was seventeen I could not really estimate the gift - today I know what I got....
I'm not a native speaker of the english language. My apologies in advance when I'm causing trouble by bad grammar, wrong vocabulary, misspelling - friendly correction always welcome!


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Anne Frank, "Diary" (14 years old)

#4 BobR

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 02:40

Great review and great pen! Mine is definitely a plainer "user" model but everything you say is true. My nib has a bit of springiness to it that gives me extra enjoyment.

#5 Richard

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 02:50

Excellent review of a wonderful pen. I have converters in all three of my C/F pens, making them quite enjoyable to use. There are some wicked gorgeous C/Fs out there, if you're lucky. My coolest C/F is this silver moiré model:


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#6 sandeep108

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 06:27

Hmmm... this looks exactly like the Waterman I have just got serviced/cleaned. Except my cap and barrel are the same - a lacquered flat brownish/rust colour. But the clip and the nib section is exactly the same. So these are known as CFs? Any links to how I can learn more about the pen I have?

#7 Maja

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 08:13

Thanks for the excellent review, Tom.... and thank you also for choosing a "vintage" pen to review!
I only have one C/F, a red one with a steel cap, but it's a nice pen with a cool.gif nib design.
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#8 Juan in Andalucia

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 10:46

QUOTE(OldGriz @ Jan 14 2008, 06:17 PM)  



This is not a current Waterman offering. The CF was introduced sometime in the 1950s and, I believe, discontinued in early 1980s.
This is a used FP/MP set that I purchased from DocNib in the Market Place... I have always wanted to try one of these pens and now have one...
For some reason, they do not seem readily available on eBay or other markets so I consider myself lucky to get this set.

First Impressions 5/5

I received this pen from Doc Nib the other day .... to put it mildly, I am extremely impressed...

Appearance 5/5
The pen is a classic black CF with a gold cap that has a split clip...
The section is extremely modern in appearance with it's semi-hooded nib and gold swallow tail piece in the section.
The barrel has a nice taper ending in a gold tassie that looks like a Parker 61 without the jewel.
All in all a very very attractive pen.

Design 5/5
This is a thinner pen than I am used to, measuring .414" at the body/section joint and only .275" just behind the nib where I hold the pen.
Overall length is .260" capped, 4.800" uncapped and 5.845" posted.
At first glance I was expecting this pen to not be one of my most comfortable writers. My first choice pens are Parker 51s and Vacumatics. This pen is decidedly thinner... in fact a whole lot thinner when you consider that the area on a P51 where I hold the pen is about .365".
I was very surprised when I found this pen to not only be comfortable, but comfortable even after writing with it most of the day.....

Nib 5/5
This was the real high point of using this pen....
The nib is solid gold and a fine. Not around a fine... but a real true fine as I like them....
It is also extremely smooth... there is absolutely no drag or tooth to this nib whatsoever. You would be hard pressed to find any factory nib that is this smooth...
I would say you would be hard pressed to find a nib from any of the nibmeisters that is much smoother than this.
CF nibs are purported to have some flex to them, but I can't see on this nib... I also don't want to put a lot of pressure on it to find out.

Filling System 2/5
The low mark here is not because of the fact that it is a C/C pen. The mark is because you can no longer get cartridges for this pen.
You need to refill the carts that you can find.
I was lucky, Doc sent me a box of Waterman Blue/Black cartridges and the pen had the original empty factory cart in the pen. I filled that one with Waterman Black ink and am saving the others.
According to Sam at Pendemonium Waterman still have converters for this pen... I believe they are called the Lady Waterman converter... I will be getting one.

Cost and Value 5/5
I paid $55.00 for this pen from DocNib in the Market Place ... definitely worth every penny paid. I received the FP/MP in the original factory box....
He originally had it marked $75 then I grabbed it when he reduced the price ... but then what do you expect from The Griz... rolleyes.gif

Conclusion 27/30
Unfortunately, this pen is no longer made.
IF you can find one, I would definitely say grab it....


Great review. I saw a NOS CF in a shop which I couldn't afford at the time. When I got to the shop months later it was gone. headsmack.gif




#9 goodguy

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 11:06

I know for a while these pens are great writers but do to the fact you cant get refiles for this pen I rather not have one.
Respect to all

#10 wspohn

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 15:01

OK, a few additions.

First, the converters are available. You can track them down through Waterman, or you can get them off Ebay. Usually about 5 quid - see item 110212001370 for instance.

Cartridges are also available, but from another Waterman model I don't recall at the moment (I don't use cartridges).

The reason these pens are not too common is that they weren't marketed on this continent as much as in Europe. There are a couple of dozen on Ebay now - a working knoledge of French can be an asset.

The only weak point is that the nib is slightly prone to corrosion if left with ink in it for long periods, so insist on seeing a nib pic before buying, and flush yours out before sticking it in a drawer.

They were styled by GM stylist Harley Earle and have always struck me as one of the most stylish pens, comfortable in the hand (even large hands like mine). A truly elegant pen, with one of the most intriguing nibs around.

I'm up to almost 40 of them. The cream is probably the Crocodile in both GP and sterling, but they also made many very small production patterns that will take a long time to find (I have a gold Moire in my pocket today - like the silver plate one Richard posted.

Oh yeah - and I don't think anyone else needs to start collecting them any time soon - OK? unsure.gif

Here's a couple of farly rare ones:


Bill Spohn
Vancouver BC
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#11 garyc

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 20:17

Fantastic, I have literally just snagged one on eBay for the equivalent of about $35 plus postage. Looking forward to getting it.

#12 wspohn

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 21:46

You should be careful. There is a good nib (with metal surround) and a cheap nib (with plastic - usually white, sometimes black) to stay away from.

Bad nib:




Good nib:


Bill Spohn
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#13 Farace

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 02:19

QUOTE(wspohn @ Jan 15 2008, 04:46 PM)  
You should be careful. There is a good nib (with metal surround) and a cheap nib (with plastic - usually white, sometimes black) to stay away from.

Bad nib:


Is the nib different, or just the surround? The "bad nib" shown here is 14k, and the pen, while not the top of the range, isn't one of the bottom-line ones, either, with the visibly riveted clip. I can't imagine Waterman would make a bad nib out of gold. (I just sold that pen on eBay, and I'd sure not want to think the buyer bought a "bad" pen. It's a made-in-USA version.) I'd certainly agree it doesn't look as good as the metal surround, but is it actually bad, or just aesthetically bad? The nib itself looks identical to OldGriz's.

Edited by Farace, 16 January 2008 - 02:20.

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#14 jonro

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 02:27

I was wondering what the CF was about. Thanks for an interesting review.

#15 wspohn

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 02:37

QUOTE(Farace @ Jan 15 2008, 06:19 PM)  
Is the nib different, or just the surround? The "bad nib" shown here is 14k, and the pen, while not the top of the range, isn't one of the bottom-line ones, either, with the visibly riveted clip. I can't imagine Waterman would make a bad nib out of gold. (I just sold that pen on eBay, and I'd sure not want to think the buyer bought a "bad" pen. It's a made-in-USA version.) I'd certainly agree it doesn't look as good as the metal surround, but is it actually bad, or just aesthetically bad? The nib itself looks identical to OldGriz's.



No, Tom got the 'good' nib. The second rank nib is gold but a slightly different design and the surround is plastic, not metal. The feed is usually better on the more expensive version as well.

The cheaper model writes pretty well, but if one is going to invest in a CF, given the small price difference, one would be well advised to seek out the better one, that's all.
Bill Spohn
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#16 wspohn

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 02:49

Here is one of the top models, the Sterling Crocodile:


Bill Spohn
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#17 goodguy

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 03:16

QUOTE(wspohn @ Jan 15 2008, 03:01 PM)  
OK, a few additions.

First, the converters are available. You can track them down through Waterman, or you can get them off Ebay. Usually about 5 quid - see item 110212001370 for instance.

Cartridges are also available, but from another Waterman model I don't recall at the moment (I don't use cartridges).

The reason these pens are not too common is that they weren't marketed on this continent as much as in Europe. There are a couple of dozen on Ebay now - a working knoledge of French can be an asset.

The only weak point is that the nib is slightly prone to corrosion if left with ink in it for long periods, so insist on seeing a nib pic before buying, and flush yours out before sticking it in a drawer.

They were styled by GM stylist Harley Earle and have always struck me as one of the most stylish pens, comfortable in the hand (even large hands like mine). A truly elegant pen, with one of the most intriguing nibs around.

I'm up to almost 40 of them. The cream is probably the Crocodile in both GP and sterling, but they also made many very small production patterns that will take a long time to find (I have a gold Moire in my pocket today - like the silver plate one Richard posted.

Oh yeah - and I don't think anyone else needs to start collecting them any time soon - OK? unsure.gif

Here's a couple of farly rare ones:


Thank you for the info.
I will concider buying one just to see if I will like it.
Respect to all

#18 sandeep108

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 06:14

Here is a picture of mine. It seems to have an ultra fine nib. 18kt and 750 is engraved on it. It writes fine - without any skips/blots/leaks but being used to broad/medium nibs, this fine nib seems a bit rough or has a bit too much bite, it is not as smooth as I would like it to be. Since it is new, maybe I ought to write with it some time before I get it smoothened/adjusted.

My pen has a factory fitted sac convertor (it has 'waterman' engraved on it) and works well in filling ink. And why is my 'swallow' portion in gold? All the pictures here seem to have it in silver/steel.

All in all it seems a very nice pen, light and easy to carry around in the pocket.

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Edited by sandeep108, 16 January 2008 - 06:44.


#19 garyc

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 13:12

The C/F I bid on has an 18K nib, so I guess I'll be getting one of the better models.

The description on mine says (roughly translated from the French): The cap is tarnished a little on a side and like often on the cf, the white wings on each side of the nib are oxidised"

Do these 'wings' typically suffer from oxidation in anyone's experience?

Also, is there a source of CF compatible fillers in the UK, I'm guessing mine will come without cartridge or filler.

Edited by garyc, 16 January 2008 - 13:14.


#20 sandeep108

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 14:11

As I noted, mine has gold 'wings' and are absolutely untarnished even after all these years. A relative may have just tried it and found the fine nib a bit scratchy and left it around. Since it was lying around with other pens in a case, the lacquer has come off in some spots. But the gold/brass clip, ends of cap and barrel are absolutely shiny like new. I got the inside filler sac changed to a nylon one from my local pen guy. The original one was atrophied.

I am sure a bit of buffing/polish will get your pen looking good.






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