Views about Pens

October 2005

IWaterman's "Exception" is an exceptional pen!

Waterman ExceptionPreviously in talking with pen store owners were was some careful optimism for the new line of pens - the Exception Line that Waterman had scheduled to be released in the Fall 2006. Today I had my change to try various pens out while visiting Vancouver Pen and optimism has really risen. This pen is a winner on a number of fronts.

The Exception line has two sizes (large and slim) and three different versions: lare gold/black, large black with fine pin-stripe and plain colours. The large size pens are about 5 9/16" in length and a 1/2" width barrel. The smaller size is 5 3/8" in length with a 7/16" width barrel.

The pen has a square shape and despite what your first throught may be, it actually sits nicely in the hand. I like the solid weight and found the pen had good balance. According to the promotional material, the square body shape is to symbolize symmetry. They may have that point but the rest of the pen's mecnhisms are more impressive.

My only word of caution with this pen is the way the cap sits on the pen. It was pretty embarassing how the cap kept falling off the pen and clanking down on the glass counter top when I took it for its test ride. My first reaction was that this factor along was enough to rule this pen out for me. But after a couple of visits I am drawn to the pen. I will see how this issue "rests" with me.

As we know, the pen is really all about the nib. On this point the Exception is a real winner. I found this to be a very smooth writing pen literally gliding across the paper. The nib is in solid 18 karat gold and two-toned (rhodium-plating highlight used on the globe and the edge of the nib. I was impressed at what a great line of ink the Medium nib laid on the paper.

Right now the Exception is only availabe in stores with a fine and medium nib width. Waterman notes in their promotional material the pen will be availalbe in 7 nib widths. So at this point it appears the mass shipping is in Medium and Fine.

The folks at Vancovuer Pen have ordered the pen with a Broad nib, it is on the way!. If you are wanting something other than the Medium/Fine selection this is a good ready to not rely on on-line sources but go into a store that handles such a request.

More about the pen. I found the clip to be a solid good size. Large and with a distinctive look. A little more of a squared off end than the previous Le Man Series.

The fountain pen takes a cartridge or a converter and the pen body and pen nib section uses a bayonet mechanism rather than the traditional screw with threads. One twist is all that is needed. Of course I will have to use the pen for a while to know whether I like or dislike this feature.

The Waterman Exception web site is still active. It gives a good overview of the product although works best if you have a high-speed internet connection. .

Bravo to Waterman. Great new line. I liked the roller ball pen which has the same look as the fountain pen.

I will be adding this one to my collection.



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Glenn Marcus • New Westminster, BC Canada •