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Blog

Filtering by Tag: Waterford

Waterford Eclipse Review

Fr. Kyle Sanders

During one of the special Pen Addict sales on Pen Chalet, I picked up the Eclipse as an add on with the on-sale Sailor Pro Gear. That was right before the 2014 Dallas Pen Show, so it came during the great pen purchasing fall of 2014, where somewhere around 12 pens entered my arsenal in a four month period. I quite enjoyed my time with this pen, but now it is time to part as it has been given away to Joe Kardia. Before it left my hands, I wanted to share with you my thoughts. 

To be honest, Waterford isn't a company most associate with fountain pens. The mother with the Waterford crystal in her China cabinet was always the envy of her neighbors. (To brag) that was my mother, and due, in no small part, to me. At the age of 16, I joined a student ambassador program called People to People, which gave high school students international experience to broaden their perception of the world, which for teenagers prior to social media was quite small. People to People has programs all around the world. It took me to the British Isles: England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Our first night in Ireland was spent in Waterford. We took a tour through the crystal factory and ended in the 'gift shop,' i.e. how much can you spend in one purchase without breaking the bank. I was on a mission to get some crystal for my parents, so my mom could be the envy of the neighborhood (my estimation at 16, not her express intent). I searched around the entire show floor for various possibilities that would fit the budget. I settled on a while wine glass for her and a martini glass for my dad.

At the time my pen collecting was merely in advertisement pens from businesses and hotels. Fountain pens existed merely in cartoonish form to me. As I return to that memory of searching for the best gift for my parents, I do remember seeing a case with pens in them. I know I would have only glanced over them after seeing their prices, which were around $100 and higher. I might have, channeling my father, asked, "Who would pay so much for a pen?"

Things are different now that I'm a pen addict. Had I the full Waterford offering before me now, I'm not sure which pen I would have chosen. Nonetheless, I'm glad this one came before my desk, reminding me of a great and memorable trip. 

Form

In the pen community, I have perceived a small bias against black pens, with the exception of the Lamy 2000. Black pens are seen as overly simple and don't hold the popularity of the dazzling acrylics you find in many pens today. The black pen subconsciously reveals that the user is unfamiliar with the best of what fountain pens can offer in pen body materials. The 2k is the exception, in part, due to its macrolon body. Many people will overlook a black bodied pen because they assume it's marketed toward the executive rather than the aficionado (I grant some people like shiny things). Black is simple, elegant, and professional. I don't say all ths because I wear black most days. I think most would overlook this pen simply because it's black. If you have this bias ( I have my own biases) I ask you to suspend it and take this pen for what it is. 

What it is not, is cheap looking. It would easily look comfortable in the hand of business executive, if Montblanc hadn't cornered that status symbol market. It is a classy looking pen using the simple color scheme of chrome and black, reminiscent of the silver cufflinks and black suit of a smartly dressed man, or the silver necklace, bracelet, and earrings paired with an elegant black dress of the chic woman. If only Bond were Irish! It's classy yet simple. It desires no ostentation.

The barrel is black lacquered brass, polished to a shine. The butt of the pen a has chrome cap, which looks like it could be a piston mechanism, but alas it isn't. I don't mind this little deception because it fits in well, giving some symmetry with the cap.

The cap is the most interesting part of the pen. I know Waterford isn't foreign to engraving design as I remember seeing on some of their crystal fourteen years ago. None of my pens have this kind of design work on them, making this a unique pen. I would call the design metallic plaid (after further research I found that it's called guilloche but metallic plaid sounds more manly). The pattern is set into the chrome giving the cap an interesting tactile experience. The clip looks like an elongated shield with a concave indentation in the upper half. 

"Waterford" is engraved on the bottom band of the cap. It would have been nice to also have a pen model engraved as well. On the finial is something reminiscent of Montblanc, a star. It seems this pen will live in the shadow of its French rival. Deeply engraved is a sea star keeping with the aquatic theme of the company's branding. I bet it would look awesome with different color inks sitting in each of the reservoirs. 

When uncapped, you can see the chrome threads. It helps distinguish the grip section from the body. I've always loved the little flair at the end of the section. The Eclipse has a larger one than most, but it doesn't detract from the sleek look of the pen. 

I would have preferred an all silver colored nib as opposed to the two-tone. The injection of gold seems out of place. Engraved on the nib is the date Waterford was founded, 1783, under which is the Waterford seahorse logo. I like the seahorse. It reminds me of my short time in the crystal factory as well as the symbol of nurturing fatherhood. 

Function

The brass body gives the pen a subtle weight, not as heavy as a brass pen from Karas Kustoms though. It balances well in my hand when it isn't posted. When I post it, it become too top heavy. I'm okay with not posting. Even though my hands are small, I think it would fit unposted in larger hands as well. 

eclipse_cartridgeconverter

The cap screws onto the body without any hiccup. In fact, it's a pleasure to cap this pen because it feels so smooth. After I showed it to a pen friend, he said it seemed to be triple threaded. I can neither corroborate or deny and only speak as the plebeian who enjoys capping and uncapping this pen. 

It is a cartridge/converter pen. The accompanied converter fits well without any leakage. If you like large ink capacities, this isn't your pen. Personally I don't mind converters. It means I can rotate through all of my pens quicker.

The clip isn't very springy, but I've never had a problem putting it in or taking it out of my breast pocket. It did have trouble clipping to thicker materials, though. 

Feel

Like I said earlier, it's weighted well when uncapped, and it feels great in my hand. It's never gotten uncomfortable or weighty with long writing sessions. I really like the grip lip as a place to rest my fingers; it's both my style and my practical preference.

The nib is smooth and wet. Even on rougher paper it retains its smoothness. The wetness is an opportunity to show off a more shaded ink (which after writing this whole review, I wished I'd used a more shaded ink). It breaks up the dark color my fine nibs put down. 

Finances

I purchased this pen at Pen Chalet for $97.20, but they no longer have it in stock. You can find it on Amazon for $95.99, sitting right below $100. It's certainly classier than your cheaper TWSBI's, and Waterford produces a finer materialed pen than the Pilot Metropolitan or Lamy AL-Star, or even the Conklin Duragraph. It sits below the price of cheap, gold nibbed pens. I think this is a great and more cost effective version of the style of Montblanc. Yes, it doesn't have the gold nib or the piston fill, but it fits in well with the executive look without breaking the bank. If someone wanted a Montblanc, but cheaper, I would send them towards the Eclipse. 

Is the Writing Reverenced?

I'm smitten with black pens. This is one is no different. I love to look at and run my fingers over the guilloche pattern on the cap (metallic plaid still sounds better). It's weighted well and writes wet and smooth. 

Reverenced

Paper: Nock Co. A4 Notebooks
Ink: De Atramentis Charles Dickens

Fountain Pen Day Giveaway 2015

Fr. Kyle Sanders

I remember the first time I realized there was a group of people like me who liked fountain pens. It was at a time in my life when I couldn't go out and do things like normal 20-somethings because of a freak basketball injury that left me immobile for 3 months. Moving from freedom of movement to dependence was not an easy thing, especially for someone who had never been seriously injured before.  

It started with videos from Brian Goulet about his products and the Fountain Pen 101 series. I realized from the comments on his videos there were others like me. Youtube, as it does, then led me to S.B.R.E Brown with his analysis and shenanigans. Comments on his videos led to the Fountain Pen Network. I realized, then, how much of a newbie I was as guys and gals talked pens that cost more than my annual income at the time (which in seminary was quite meager and rightly so). I found a place I could geek out in and learn safely. It is from there that I grew deep into this online fountain pen community. I am grateful for this community both in the mere pleasure of sharing a mutual love of something but even more so in the genuine friendships that have arisen from all quarters. 

Now we have a day (thanks to Cary) we can call our own, a Fountain Pen Day, which is only solemn in some quarters but those quarters have hymns, incense, and ritual to honor the gift of this community we love. Yes, it says Fountain Pen Day, as if we honor these little pieces of beauty and utility, but, in essence, it is a communal celebration of what fountain pen people mean to each other (or at least that's the meaning I pass along to you). 

So in honor of this community that has give so much to me in genuine pastime, friendships, and support, I offer as tribute one of my fountain pens, an unused notebook, and some samples of inks.

Whatcha get:

  1. a Waterman Eclipse Fountain Pen with a Medium Nib
  2. a Furrow Books Great Plains Notebook from the Kickstarter with guidesheet
  3. three ink samples of the winner's choosing from my collection

How ya win:

  1. You make a comment about your experience of the fountain pen community
  2. You make only one comment
  3. On Monday. November 9, at 9 am CST I will close the bidding.
  4. I will choose a random number via a generator. 
  5. I will post the winner on the blog and he/she has a week to respond to me before I randomly choose another winner. 


Pens - How I Let Things Flow

Fr. Kyle Sanders

flow_page1

For two years or so, I have gone from full on digital guru amongst my friends to the largest proponent of analog gear. It started with my first fountain pen, then a second, then a third. My equipment continued to grow so much so that is seemed obvious for me to begin sharing my experience of these writing tools. 

It seems appropriate that, before I continue with other topics like reviews or other creative endeavors, I share should with you how I use my pens paper, and ink on a daily basis. Today, I will start with my fountain scribal workflow. 

1) My Daily Carry

This has different connotations in different areas of the internet world. For me, it is the two pens that are always with me, sitting in my breast pocket ready to be used at a moment's notice. 

flow_dailycarry

Around the time I started in regular ministry as a priest two years ago, I started carrying around a fountain pen in my pocket. For about a year that was just one pen, the Monteverde Jewelria Mini, with a fine nib. I lost one and purchased another and lost it as well. It still is one of my favorite pens, but I couldn't stand losing another so I haven't purchased a third. For nearly a year now, I have been rotating my daily carry fountain pen. 

I have a few requirements for this particular pen in my scribal workflow. First, it must have a fine nib because my normal handwriting is small, and the fine nib works well on all assortment of paper, qualities good and bad. Second, it needs to be durable. I don't want a pen in my pocket that can't handle an accidental fall. Thirdly, it needs to be insulated. What I mean by that is in the South and due to my body heat a pen close to my chest can evaporate into the cap the water component of the ink, leaving the dye alone in the feed, which make things difficult to clean. Pens with cartridge converters or sacs are preferred over piston fillers. Finally, it can't be too large because some the clerical shirt manufacturers make shallow breast pockets making it difficult to hold something like a TWSBI VAC 700.

About eight months ago, I was convicted by someone (I don't remember who) that fountain pens are not the best in all situations. So I began carrying either a ballpoint, rollerball, or gel ink pen in my shirt pocket as well. This leaves me with two pens on me at anytime for any occasion. 

Currently using - Lamy AL Star Fine Nib  with Lamy Choral and Retro 51 Tornado Eisenhower

2) Homily Prep

flow_homilyprep

I have one pen that is never rotated and is always in use. That is my Sheaffer Triumph Desk Pen. I purchased it on eBay for a steal of $30. It has a gold nib and write a fine somewhat boxy line. I use it as my main creative instrument as I'm preparing my homilies. It takes down all my thoughts and seems to organize them in a cogent pattern. It is definitely one of my favorite pens, and so is always in use. 

3) Desk Pen

This describes not a species of pen, as above, but rather its use. This pen rotates as ink is used up (I don't like to waste ink.) It's role in my scribal workflow (sorry, I love that phrase!) is to man all normal pen duties at my desk: signing checks, free-writing, Bullet Journaling, brainstorming, note taking, letter writing. 

Currently using - Edison Collier Medium Nib with P.W. Akkerman Hopjesbruin

4) Thank You Pen

I am very grateful to have generous parishioners, and so I find myself regularly writing thank you notes. That regularity seemed to warrant a dedicated pen. This role requires a stub or italic nib for pretty characters. 

Currently Using - Online Calligraphy Pen .8 mm Stub with J. Herbin Perle Noir
From left to right: Edison Nouveau Premier, Bülow X-30, Edison Collier, Online Calligraphy

From left to right: Edison Nouveau Premier, Bülow X-30, Edison Collier, Online Calligraphy

5) Meeting Pen

As in any office, I have meetings. I like the idea of assigning a separate pen to take notices within a meeting. This separates and highlights the notes within my Bullet Journal and of course it gives me the opportunity to ink up another pen. 

Currently Using - Edison Nouveau Premiere 2014 Summer Edition Fine Nib with J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen

6) Delivery Pen

As a priest, I'm preaching often. I have found that handwriting my homilies helps me to remember the flow of the homily as well as helping my internalize how I want to say each sentence. I usually deliver the homily from a full written text, as opposed to an outline. One of the important things in that regard is readability, so I write larger characters than I normally would. To help make those characters pop out I use a broad or sub nib. Because of this, one of the most important things I do end up looking the best with those big, bold lines. 

Currently using - Bülow X-30 Fine Nib with Franklin-Christoph Black Magic (yeah, I know, a fine nib, but that FC ink spreads so wide it turns the fine nib to a broad.)

7) Computer/Phone Pen

flow_computerpen

I'm blessed to have two desk in my office. One is dedicated to normal everyday work and the other hold the later technology, the phone and my laptop with its accessories. I have a notebook dedicated to my notes from phone messages and notes take from whatever I'm doing on my computer, and a notebook always needs a pen. For over a year, my Carbonesque Pilot Vanishing Point stayed here, that is until I let a bride use it without proper caution and the nib wasn't the same (yes, that's the pen I had Mr. Masuyama work on at the Dallas Pen Show). Now I rotate when ink runs out.

Currently using: Yellow Vanishing Point Fine Nib with Aurora Black
The Visconti is to the right of the G-2

The Visconti is to the right of the G-2

8) Home Office Pen

Most of my fountain pens remain in my work office, but I assign a pen a month at a time to reign as my home fountain pen. It is used all over the house, but sits at my desk. 

Currently using: Visconti Rembrandt Medium Nib with Montblanc Alfred Hitchcock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9) School Pens

I have a third office at the high school where I have been assigned as chaplain. Last year, I dedicated two pens each with one of the school colors (yellow and green) to that office. 

Pelikan M215 Green Demonstrator Fine Nib and Mandarin Parker Urban 125th Anniversary Medium Nib

Written with:

Esterbrook J 9556 Nib with Sheaffer #42 Washable Blue

Sheaffer Calligraphy Pen Medium Italic with Sheaffer Blue/Black

Waterford Eclipse Medium Nib with Mix of Sailor Jentle Blue and Chesterfield Ruby

Zebra Sarasa Clip .3mm Red