Waterman New Look

1949
About This Pen

In late 1939, French industrial capacity was almost entirely converted to the impending war effort.  After German troops invaded France in 1940, all industrial output either ended or, in Vichy, was diverted to support the German war machine.  From then until late 1945, metal parts for new fountain pens were basically nonexistent.  Pens were still made, but with leftover parts; no new models of note were introduced.

After the war’s end and the Gaullist government’s assumption of power, industrial nationalization, the Marshall Plan, the return of thousands of working people to good health, and the continent-wide reawakening all contributed to the rebooting of French industry, including less essential goods like fountain pens.  In 1947, the fashion industry also came alive, and the rage that year was Dior’s all new lineup,  the “New Look” by Harper’s Bazaar.  The name inspired a wave of fashion, and JIF/Waterman, casting about in early 1949 for an identity for its new pen, named it the New Look!

This is a celluloid pen, 13.5cm long and thicker than French pens had been for some years, with the first of what would become many French pens’ clips gracefully arching over the pen’s crown.  It is a beautiful pen, in dark red, fitting nicely in the hand.   JIF continued using this style on numerous models through the 1960s, even with the change to plastic barrels.  This pen is in my collection, where it is emphatically not for sale.

This pen is in the Europe, Britain, Asia collection.