Waterman’s 52

late 1910x-1920s
About This Model

Waterman's Ideal pens, from the late 1910s through the 1920s were among the first fountain pens that had mastered great writing ability with a reliable filling system that didn't leak.  Of black hard rubber and available in a wide range of sizes and styles, the Ideals were elegant pens that carried highly flexible nibs for business and social writing.  Today, their solid construction is manifest in their relatively high availability, and their highly flexible nibs are prized among those with calligraphic skill. Their submodel names were numbers, increasing with increasing girth, and other indications for shorter models and overlays. Today, the plain or chased 52 is the most common, with the higher numbers found in decreasing frequency.

About This Pen

I don’t usually wonder about a particular pen’s history, but how did this otherwise typical Waterman’s 52, imprinted “made in USA”, find its way to a parking lot flea market in Brussels, where I found it in October 2022? It is personalized for J. Driesen; was he a WWI soldier or member of the peace efforts that brought an end to WWI?
The pen is a typical 52: black hard rubber, discolored except under the cap. Overall, discoloration aside, it’s in very nice condition. It carries a silver accommodation clip, which normally replaced a lost clip, but in this unusual case there are no marks where the clip would have been, making this a relatively rare unclipped pen. The clip feels like sterling and has a silver mark, but does not have Ideal or Silverix clip markings. The nib is an Ideal, has some nice flex, writes well, but is not a full flex. It even writes for this overhanded lefty!

Price: $175