My Waterman Harmonie: A Closer Look

I had a little fun with last week’s post that featured three of my newest (all used or new old stock) Waterman pens. This isn’t a brand that was on my radar until I picked up my first used Waterman, a Phileas, from The Gentleman Stationer. I’ve since acquired five more (two more Phileases, two Hemispheres, and one Harmonie) and they’re some of my favorite pens. Their looks don’t knock me out, but their nibs do. I haven’t met a bad one yet.

Waterman Harmonie

This particular one, the Harmonie, might be my favorite of the bunch. It’s a little unfair to review this pen because it’s been discontinued (a shame), as has the ink I’ve filled it with— Sailor Jentle Grenade (a shame x 1000), but I still feel the need to tell the tale of this pen. It’s one I write with every day, even if it’s just to jot down a few notes.

This Waterman Harmonie popped up on SBREBrown’s “For Sale” page awhile back, and though he noted that the nib wasn’t perfect— a bit of the plating had peeled away— I was interested. Great price. Discontinued pen. Cool looking lacquered finish. Those Waterman nibs. We had a brief and cordial email exchange, and the deal was sealed.

Waterman Harmonie

This was Stephen’s first university pen, and that also upped my interest in acquiring it. I’m a big fan of Stephen (AND Azizah) so owning a Doc Brown souvenir was the proverbial icing on the cake…or the tipping on the nib, I should say. Stephen and Azizah put a tremendous amount of work, heart, and passion into their pen review videos, blog posts, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter posts. I’ve learned so much from both of them, and consider them friends, though we’ve never met. Plainly put, I admire them which makes me admire this pen just a little bit more.

Waterman Harmonie

As I said, the nib is not cosmetically perfect but that doesn’t affect its performance in the least. There’s just something about this pen— the way it fits my hand, the quality of this wonderful medium nib— that improves my handwriting. Very little pressure is needed to lay down a solid, wet line. It’s just perfect in terms of flow and smoothness. Who cares if the plating isn’t perfect? Not me.

Waterman Harmonie branding

I do like the subtle checkered pattern on this lacquered pen. Branding is quiet and tasteful. The open clip, a Waterman trademark, and looks great on this pen. Even though I keep saying that I’m not wowed by the looks of my Waterman pens, I think this one is unique and quite attractive.

The section is narrow, which, I’m guessing is one of the reasons why Stephen was looking to sell off this pen, even though it held some fond memories for him. For my considerably smaller hand, it feels just fine.

Waterman Harmonie

Maybe Waterman isn’t one of the first pen brands to pop into your head when you think of affordable, great writing pens. (Of course there are expensive Watermans, but I haven’t found the need to explore that tier as yet.) Though many models have been discontinued, they’re worth a look if you stumble onto one for sale online from a trusted seller or vendor, or in person at a pen show.

Consider yourself warned—while at the DC Pen Show, I call dibs!

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Here’s a link to Stephen’s video review of this very same pen—> Waterman Harmonie video

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The Watermen and the Sailors: A Love Story

Waterman Hemispheres & Harmonie
Waterman Hemisphere Stardust Gold, Waterman Hemisphere Ombres et Lumiéres, Waterman Harmonie

Once upon a time, there were three Waterman pens— two Hemispheres and one Harmonie— the Watermen. Despite having good looks, they felt empty and lackluster.

Until they met a trio of Sailor inks.

Sailor inks & Waterman pens
Sailor Jentle Apricot, Jentle Grenade, Yama Dori

That’s when things got interesting. And hot. They couldn’t stay away from each other.

Waterman pens & Sailor inks

The uniquely lacquered body of the Waterman Harmonie made a perfect match for the magnificent color and sheen of Sailor’s Jentle Grenade. What a couple.

Waterman Harmonie

The Waterman Hemisphere, in Stardust Gold, and Sailor’s Yama Dori made a striking pair. The Hemisphere’s medium nib laid down a generously wet line of that deep, rich blue-green-sheeny ink.

Waterman Hemisphere Gold Stardust

And the Waterman Hemisphere Ombres et Lumiéres, with its distinctively patterned body, was totally smitten with the drop dead gorgeous Jentle Apricot.

Waterman Hemisphere Ombres et Lumiéres

The well-matched couples traveled snuggly in their pen cases, venturing out to cafés and to work and to relaxing times on the patio. They never bickered, never wished for other partners. They were cozy and content, spending hours together writing letters and filling journal pages.

Sailor inks

The Watermen were very, very happy with their Sailors. ARE very happy with their Sailors.

If only their love could last forever. But soon, there will be no more Jentle Apricot, no more Jentle Grenade. All they’ll be able to do is remember the good times, and try to go on. Which they will, but it won’t be the same.

Waterman pens

At least for now, they have each other.

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Having a little fun with these favorite pen and ink pairings tonight. I’ll do individual reviews of these wonderful Waterman pens in the future. They’re all excellent writers, super smooth, really superb. And these Sailor inks are AMAZING. I mourn the day that my stash of Jentle Apricot and Jentle Grenade is depleted. But for now, I’m appreciating every single precious drop. Which sounds like a life lesson, doesn’t it?!

A Pen With Personality: The Waterman Phileas Fountain Pen

Waterman Phileas x2

If you were trying to set up the Waterman Phileas on a blind date, you’d probably say that it has a “great personality”— which is code for “not that great looking.” With its “marbled” plastic body, gold furniture, and art deco trim, this isn’t a pen that catches your eye. Some may even consider it a little bit ugly.

Art Deco trim

I met The Gentleman Stationer at the DC Pen Show, and though we didn’t chat for long, I could tell he was a good guy. So when he put a handful of his “surplus” pens up for sale, I took a look, liked the price of the Waterman Phileas he’d listed, and decided to go for it. Up to this point, I didn’t own any Watermans so that was some of the draw— the chance to try a new-to-me brand at a good price.

Green Marble Waterman Phileas

And like I said, when the pen arrived, its looks struck me as unremarkable, and sort of not my style. No chatoyancy, no gorgeous swirls, no rich colors. Oh, well, I thought, it’s only $35. Since the body on this one is green simulated marble, I inked it with Montblanc Irish Green and sat down with it and a piece of Tomoe River paper. Despite the “meh” looks, the minute that nib hit paper, I was a smitten. As I doodled and scribbled, I fell deeper in love with this Phileas, so much so that it actually started looking kind of cute. That funny looking pen shot an arrow right through my ink-loving heart.

Waterman Phileas two-tone nibs

I’ve had this green Phileas continuously inked since it arrived in November 2014. It’s become a go-to pen for letter writing and journaling, or just doodling to take the edge off of a stressful day. So, yeah, smitten. Who woulda thought?!

Blue Waterman Phileas

A few weeks ago I noticed a sale going on at Bertram’s Inkwell, so I took a look (despite my vow to rein in pen purchases this year). And well, whatta ya know, a blue marble Waterman Phileas was listed—again for just $35. I’d made that pen-buying pledge so I mulled this over for awhile before ultimately deciding to buy. (Bert offers a 30-day/100% purchase satisfaction guarantee, so that pretty much clinched the deal.) Even though I already own the green version, the fact that the Phileas is a discontinued Waterman model made this find all that much more appealing.

Writing samples

When the pen arrived, I noted that what is called “blue marble” is actually quite purple. I think Wahl-Eversharp’s Everberry ink—a nice purply blue—would be a great match, but for its first fill I went with Sailor Yama Dori. That ink’s not really a match, but it’s a color I love and use often for letter-writing (especially during this InCoWriMo month). I wondered if the first nib was a fluke, but no—this one is just as nice, though maybe a touch finer. That’s kind of nice—the fact that they don’t write exactly the same even though they’re both medium nibs. Both are phenomenally smooth—kind of “soft” feeling. I don’t mean that in the sense of flex (NOT like the softness on my Visconti Opera Elements nib), but in the way it glides over paper. Whispery. So nice and yet so hard to describe.

Waterman Phileas x2

Some quick research reveals that the Waterman Phileas model is from the late 1990’s and is no longer produced. That’s too bad because this pen would be absolutely perfect for a fountain pen novice—a really lovely nib at a great price. (Prices are kind of all over the place on these, no doubt due to the fact that it’s been discontinued.) If I make it to the DC Pen Show in August, I plan to keep my eyes open for some of the other colors—red marble, grey marble, and black—or other nib sizes. I’ve read that the broad nib is particularly glorious.

Uncapped Waterman Phileas

The cap snaps on and off and posts well. The filling system is cartridge/converter, which is fine by me—easy to clean and maintain. I do like the looks of the two-tone steel nib that sports just a hint of that art deco vibe. The pen is light (24g; 17g body, 7g cap), but not overly so—sort of “just right” in hand. It almost feels like it disappears, but again, I think that’s because the nib puts you in a little trance. Well, it puts ME in a little trance.

We all know that saying, “Not everything that glitters is gold.” The Waterman Phileas has taught me that the opposite is also true—not everything that’s gold (or super smooth steel) glitters.

Waterman Phileas x2

Just like that blind date with the great personality, you’ll soon find that there’s something very interesting going on under the unassuming surface of this pen. The Waterman Phileas—the more you get to know it, the better it looks.