I bought this pen from an Ebay store at 37.50 euros including shipping. I was the only bidder of this item and thought I had bumped into a great bargain. The pen arrived today in a pretty blue presentation box. It is blue "marbled" colour, lacquer over brass with M-sized nib made of 18kt yellow gold. There is nothing amazing or extravagant in this pen, it is straight-lined and standard-sized, a bit on the heavier side in hand. It is certainly thinner in width than Philéas and the nib is smaller too. So I think this pen could be described as a utilitarian workhorse. It is NOT a cigar!
I would give it a rating of 5/10
Quite a few people, here and elsewhere, have told me that all modern Watermans are decent writers. I certainly love the way that my F-nib Philéas writes. It is not picky about different papers or inks and the Waterman piston converter is perhaps one of the best on market IMHO. I like its two-colour big steel nib, too.
Preface is certainly pickier about paper than Philéas. It didn't like the paper of my diary. Nib is definitely broader than my 18kt Sonnet which is also medium. The pen came with a converter (there was no cartridge in the box) so I filled it with Parker Quink Blue. Definitely a poor starter and I had to press really hard sometimes. I then tried some cheap A4 copy paper and it behaved rather differently, although was still a poor starter and had needed to be held in very narrow angle to write at all. I made a test on the same paper as my diary, and the results looked dim: My cheapest pen, Pakistani Parker 51-clone Dux 612 gave best results. Parker Frontier came second, no skipping and Sonnet 18kt came third (I've had sometimes problems with it on this paper). These pens fit all in the 'usable' category. But Preface refused at first to give any line, had to press really hard and the handwriting looks really awkward. Rating 1/10. Edit: After nib change: 8/10
Picture: 1.) Dux 612 2.) Parker Sonnet Chiseled Tartan 3.) Parker Frontier 4.) Waterman Preface
A writing sample
There must be reason why some pens live on and others fade into oblivion. Waterman has discontinued production of this model some years ago. I don't know if my Preface is a good representative of all Prefaces, it may well be that there is something physically wrong with the nib. But this individual specimen turned out to be a total disaster. It makes me wonder if there are any good gold nibs around in modern pens since the two 18-karat ones I own are definitely the worst writers in my collection. However, my Sonnet works, this pen doesn't.
Edit (Friday May 28th, 2006):
I just received a new nib from the seller. It is sized F (the original nib was M), but this new one writes perfectly! The changed nib size is not a problem for me, fine nibs are better for general writing IMHO. The nib is not as wet as my Philéas F, and has certainly more "tooth", meaning not as smooth-gliding as the previous nib, but doesn't have a baby bottom either No pen can ever replace my Philéas, though.›
Overall Rating 2/10 (given because of the nice presentation box)
After installing a new, flawless nib: 7/10
Edited by LapsangS, 28 April 2006 - 10:53.