Waterman Expert Fountain Pens Review: Lacquer, Chrome; Stainless Steel, Gold Plated Nibs
Waterman Expert comprises a collection of neat, lean fountain pens that radiate unmistakable masculine character. In that sense, it's one of the brand's most directly expressed gentlemen's lines, bringing to mind almost forgotten institutions and customs: gentlemen's clubs, gentlemen's shops, and so on.
The design aims to conciliate refined self-awareness (of appearance and fashion) and more predatory, aggressive qualities (which seem to underlie the entire Expert set-up). In other words, Expert fountain pens make an effective mix of civility and savagery – a pair of counterbalancing traits every self-respecting gentleman must have.
Dark and neutral tones – blues, browns, black, and white – dictate the palette; Art Deco inspired chevron patterns cover some of the more elaborate lines – here Waterman draw a stylistic parallel with Charleston and Phileas. The nib, stainless steel and 23K gold plated (two-tone) in separate instruments, is almost underwhelming in its simplicity.
On the other hand, the nib's straight rims bring the layout closer to a cold weapon, for instance a tip of a sword – once again evoking motifs of conflict and rivalry.
Expert consists of four main collections (not including rollerball and ball point pens, and mechanical pencil variations).
Deluxe stands out for its cap décor: strong horizontal strips that seem to exert a constant squeezing action. This line comes in calm milky white, or black lacquer finish, underlined by the logo bearing central ring.
Smart fountain pens feature a distinct lustre enhanced facade, which imparts a mysterious, seething property to the entire instrument – when in action, the movement of the barrel will increase the effect to an unpredictable scale. A powerful, risky design.
City Line restrains the raw force of Smart models with lighter grey, silver, and brown colors and a chevron pattern – yet, on the other hand, the intensity of this geometrical Art Deco motif fosters its own type of masculinity.
Essential opts for an industrial interpretation of the Expert design: a rugged chrome edition, and a completely black, as if raw-oil drenched, writing instrument.