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Waterman Phileas Fountain Pen Review (Rollerball, Ballpoint, Mechanical Pencil)

Updated on January 7, 2015

Waterman Phileas

Waterman Phileas collection was aptly inspired by a protagonist from Jules Verne's “Around the World in Eighty Days,” one named Phileas Fogg. Montblanc, a German company known for its high-end writing instruments, too offers a Jules Verne fountain pen, a model from its writers edition.

The difference between the two is principal: Waterman aimed to create an affordable, function oriented yet not without its flourishes item; Montblanc offer a luxury limited edition, outfitted with 18K gold nibs carrying an elaborate engraving.

Phileas features a two-tone stainless steel nib, gold plated, and an Art Deco streamlined design (rendered with a particular care in the Charleston collection) reminiscent of a cigar.

Waterman capitalized on this association by adding a gold plated label near the crown; the similarity to branded rolled tobacco may invoke some ironic overtones – can writing be in any way similar to puffing smoke? (We can't certainly tell.)

Waterman Phileas Fountain Pen
Waterman Phileas Fountain Pen

Phileas pens are no longer in production today (the plastic finish might be the culprit, as the company shifts towards the more durable lacquer) , though it's relatively easy to find new or used items online.


The dark marble colors, purple, malachite green and burgundy red, bring to mind cosmic whirlwinds, or perhaps deep underground lava swirls. Either way, this pattern imparts an impression of constant motion and unrest.

Overall, Phileas fountain pens exhibit an expressive, even intense design, that unfolds, and emphasizes the powerful contrast between the visuals and the bright gold plated bands and clip. An opposite aesthetic in that regard is championed by the transparent Carene, the calm Serenite, or the playful, light Audace.


The line includes roller ball, ball point pens and mechanical pencils, which accord surprisingly well with the barrel design: the conic three dimensional tips come either in black or gold tone, and blend well with the primary pattern. These items usually cost below the $50 mark.


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