Do you want to discover one of my favorite cheap fountain pens?
Of course you do, it’s why you’re reading!
Waterman Kultur Phileas Fountain Pen Design
I was so excited to use this fountain pen. The shade of blue on the Kultur is just beautiful. It’s deeper than sky blue, but not a loud or garish blue. I’ve also learned to LOVE demonstrators. Demonstrators are just a category of pen that’s manufactured with translucent or transparent materials so you can see the inner workings of the pen. What’s marvelous about this blue model is that while the cap and barrel are transparent blue, the section where the ink fills the feed is clear and transparent so you get an even better look at the ink filling up the section.
Nib Width: 6mm at shoulders
Nib Length: 12mm
Pull/Screw Cap: Pull Cap
Posted Length: 142mm
Mid-Grip Width: 8mm
Cap Band Width: 12mm
Cap Weight: 6g
When you look at this baby in the package, you just want to take it out and write with it. It’s not an expensive looking pen, but it’s fun and classy, not gaudy. It really looks fun and stylish, if not a bit romantic, you can imagine writing poetry or lining your journal with your innermost thoughts using the Waterman Kultur Phileas.
The pack I bought came with one Waterman long ink cartridge which I’ve used in the writing sample below. This is the first fountain pen I’ve bought that arrived with a perforated hole at the top of the package to hang from display racks, most are boxed and stacked. I can understand why it’s shown in the clear bubble, you can’t get enough of the blue.
The pen, of course, is plastic. It has a black blind cap at the end of the cap, where the clip affixes. The clip itself is spring-loaded and quite usable if you plan to clip it onto a purse or in between buttons on your dress shirt.
One of my favorite features is the slip-on cap. I LOVE a pull off cap, you get to write so much faster than screwing it on and off.
The nib is stainless steel with a simple Waterman design pressed in it, and the nib itself is a generous size and scaled well to the rest of the pen, which is a slightly beefy pen. How I love a beefy pen. Because it’s plastic, however, it’s lightweight and won’t make your hand cramp.
There are some facets around the top third of the section that my index finger just misses in my grip. My thumb and index finger just graze it and it’s not at all obtrusive to writing. All-in-all, this is one nice looking pen for the money!
It’s sad that the brand seems to have discontinued this model, but it’s still readily available on Amazon in blue, red, and clear.
What’s interesting is the clear section, many demonstrators either tint the section so it obscures the ink, or they put an opaque inner cap or opaque section so all you can see is the cartridge. This baby shows you EVERYTHING. It’s all on display for you.
A few people complain about seeing the ink pool in the section and think something is wrong with the pen. I’ve read remarks that the ink “puddles” around the fins of the section and doesn’t look great. That’s how the section and feed work to keep up with you fast writers out there. It has to exchange air for ink in the channels of the feed and this pen does an attractive job of it. You can see the metal nib extending up into the section, and the ink pooling around it, at your service.
The blue was my favorite, but you can still get red and clear, and there are a few green that haven’t sold out yet too.
I received the fine nib, but it’s a wet fine and almost reads as medium on paper. The long Waterman cartridges hold a lot of ink, but rumor has it you can convert this to an eyedropper to hold an extraordinary amount of ink by putting silocon grease around the threads and just filling the body with ink since there aren’t any holes for the ink to escape.
There is a small flare at the end of the section which gives your fingers a point of reference that you’re getting too close to the nib and they need to pull back, otherwise they’re about to get inked. LOVELY design to this pen overall.
How Does The Nib Perform?
Okay, this is my first cheap Waterman. I really didn’t think it’d hold up against its more expensive peers.
I mean, it’s been discontinued from their lineup of models, so something is wrong, right? Well, I can’t find a reference to the Kultur or Phileas on their site at waterman.com, and I’ve read that they eliminated this model as a way to upscale the brand by only carrying higher-end pens.
The stainless steel fine nib is flawless for me. Not toothy, really smooth. Because it’s stainless, it doesn’t have the buttery “give” of a softer material like gold as you write, but it’s every bit as smooth as the other contenders for my favorite cheap pens.
The nib is a wet writer, and because of that writes a little wider of a line than many fine nibs. It is smooth using Waterman blue ink in the included long cartridge, what’s great is most of my testing was on standard notebook paper and an unremarkable journal paper, which helps solidify it as a favorite. You don’t need fancy paper, for a fancy feel.
I didn’t experience any hard-starts/skips, it wrote from the first letter to the last.
It has a reputation for drying out after only a day or so of non-use because the cap is not air tight but I didn’t experience that. I used this pen for three days before writing this review and in the mornings, when uncapping it, I never had to scribble to get it to start. I also didn’t leave it longer than one day capped though, maybe that problem arises after more than a day, not sure.
The Waterman Kultur Phileas didn’t bleed onto the back of notebook paper, or even show any ghosting on the back. It’s a solid choice for lots of notes on cheap paper.
The Cap – Screw/Pull/Post and What That Means
The cap posts securely, no chattering, not falling off. It’s a great size when posted or not, you can write either way.
The lightweight of the plastic means your hand doesn’t get tired and it’s well balanced.
Who is the Fountain Pen Good For? Is It a Good Overall Value?
Well, at the beginning of this review I promised you’d discover one of my favorite cheap fountain pens. Since using the Waterman Kultur Phileas, it has taken its rightful place at the top of my favorite pens under $50 list. The look of this pen is classy yet fun.
If you’re still reading, I’m guessing you’re as intrigued by this pen as I was. Go ahead, you won’t regret it. This is a great low-cost fountain pen with a huge cartridge so you won’t have to replace or refill the cartridge for many pages.
You can also get a converter for this entry-level pen, and with a three year warranty, Waterman still stands by it, even though they’re repositioning themselves at the higher end of the market by not carrying it anymore.
It’s a reliable, consistent writer with a smooth nib and a great value at under $25. If you don’t own a demonstrator fountain pen, this is your chance to get one at a remarkable price and own a pen that produces a wet line without bleeding through, even on cheap paper.
Get the price of the fountain pen now on Amazon.