Do you want to know how a sleek design, an engraved chrome cap and smooth writing make the Waterman Expert a tempting maven?
Malcolm Gladwell said it takes 10,000 hours for expert performance in almost anything in his book, Outliers. Let’s get started and I’ll save you 9,999.8 hours of reading and research by sharing my experience with this fountain pen.
My Short Video
Fountain Pen Design
Nib Width: 7mm
Nib Length: 20mm
Cap Band Width: 11mm
Total Weight: 31g
Cap Weight: 11g
The Waterman Expert Deluxe is a cigar-shaped lacquer bodied fountain pen with an engraved chrome cap.
I’m reviewing the black lacquer CT or chrome trim finish and the chrome is palladium plated on the cap, it’s gorgeous. I deeply enjoy the look of this pen with the five sets of engraved rings with tiered spacing toward the end of the cap. The spaces between each set of rings gets wider toward the end of the cap.
The pen clip is shaped like a classic men’s necktie, if neckties had a cutout in the middle of them. There’s also the Waterman “W” engraved at the top of the clip which leads your eye up to the beveled cap with a plain oval chrome button inset in the lacquer.
The plain oval button isn’t appealing to me… if anything, I’d have preferred the engraved W be within the beveled oval. As it sits, the oval is just a sort of odd waste of space.
The cap band has Waterman France and Paris engraved in either side. There’s a narrow black lacquer ring surrounded by chrome in the cap band which visually connects the black body with the cap.
The nib is stainless steel and I’m reviewing the F or fine nib. It’s also available in medium.
The plastic feed is an unusual shape with a rectangular cut-out on the underside, with the fins hidden under the stainless steel nib, only the very edges show.
The Waterman Expert Deluxe fountain pen uses a Waterman converter or Waterman cartridges, the writing sample on this page was created using Waterman Blue cartridges.
The grip section made of lacquer, the same material as the rest of the body.
All in all, this is one classy looking pen. The size is just right for a pocket or purse, it’s not a fat pen, more average in width. This fountain pen is classy enough for any business meeting without being ostentatious or overly attention-getting.
Fountain Pen Performance on Papers
Writing Sample on Clairefontaine 90g Graph Paper
The Waterman Expert Deluxe fountain pen is a great writer, not too wet. Using Waterman blue ink cartridges, it was delightful to write with. I was surprised by this since often stainless steel nibs aren’t as fun to use but Waterman has exceeded my expectations with this pen.
I write like a Porsche scooting up a hillside of switchbacks: quick and decisively.
(This is not to say my handwriting is top-notch, the appearance of my handwriting is more like a Yugo than a Porsche… practical, but not exceptionally attractive.)
Fast writing speed reveals the performance of a nib and feed assembly. It will fall anywhere on the spectrum from optimum, to teeth grinding annoyance, much like experiencing steering slop while driving quickly into a tight switchback.
If the nib and feed don’t work together effortlessly, it will show up in the form of ink starvation and skipping. This nib and feed assembly did an honorable job and I never had to slow down to pace the ink.
This fountain pen writes on notebook paper, heavy paper –Clairefontaine, and mid-grade paper well. There’s very minimal bleed-through on thinner notebook paper, but it is prominent enough that you wouldn’t want to use the backside of the paper once you’ve filled out the front.
Where the Waterman Expert Deluxe really is a maven is when considering its fantastic ink delivery characteristics. This pen never hard-starts/skips! Such a LOVELY find! It never choked, didn’t skip and I didn’t have to scratch on a paper to get it started after not using it for a day. I just pulled off the cap and got started. LOVE THIS!
By appearances, this could look like a special occasion pen, but it’s really an all-around daily carry. It’s insanely practical at a modest price point (comparatively speaking) and a reliable writer. Respect.
Okay, But How Does It Feel?
If there’s one performance drawback of the Waterman Expert Deluxe, it’s that it’s a little top heavy when posted. More on that later…
The size of the Waterman Expert Deluxe is its strength.
I enjoy the average width (although I usually prefer fat pens, this one feels great at a more average size.) The lacquer body and section feel great in the hand. I have to tell you, Waterman really knows how to make a pen. They just hit all of my desires like dragging a finger across a panel of light-switches. They create pens that feel great, look great and WRITE well. Amazing.
The section is a bit short; when writing, my thumb rests on the section ring where the cap snaps onto secure it closed. This isn’t annoying at all, the cap band is smooth and it’s not a huge, graduated step from barrel to section so it’s barely worth mentioning.
The Cap – Screw/Pull/Post and What That Means
When you post the cap on the back of the pen, the chrome cap doesn’t feel as balanced as it could and pulls away from the paper ever so slightly.
It was comfortable for me to write with the cap posted for up to 15 minutes before the added weight in the cap got irritating. If you leave the cap off while you write, this doesn’t matter to you of course.
What I loved about the cap is the satisfying click when you post it and when you cap it. You can hear it snap into place and it stays put as you write and you don’t have to worry about the cap falling off in your pocket or purse.
It’s funny, I wrote a few sentences before I figured out it snapped into place to post… Have you ever been too delicate with something new?
I didn’t want to shove it so hard that I scratched the lacquer body but it chattered so badly that I finally wanted a memorable writing experience more than I was worried about the finish so I shoved it a little harder and wow… it snapped right into place and was so much more comfortable.
Who is the Fountain Pen Good For? Is It a Good Overall Value?
The Waterman Expert Deluxe fountain pen is a gorgeous and classy ace of a pen that is fun to use. If you enjoy pull-off caps and consistent, excellent writing performance, then the Expert is for you. The feed flows well, I didn’t experience any ink delivery issues.This pen didn’t choke, even with super-fast writing.
The drawbacks of this pen are: it can feel a little cap-heavy for long writing sessions if you post the cap on the back and steel nibs aren’t generally my favorite because they don’t feel as luxurious as solid gold.
But this is a great pen and the ink delivery through that fine steel nib makes some more expensive pens stand up and salute. Thank you Waterman, for your excellent quality control.
If it’s been hard for you to find a fine nib that doesn’t choke under pressure, this pen is the Expert others could learn from. I’m impressed by the fine nib’s ability to deliver such consistent results without being even a hair scratchy or hesitant. Great Value.
Get the price of a Waterman Expert now on Amazon.