The C/F should have been the pen to pull Waterman from the quicksand it had been slipping into gently over the previous decade. The shape of it was designed by Harley Earl, the chap whose ghost was being used to flog Buicks right around the most recent turn of the century, and he provided Waterman with a shape that was slightly ahead of its time, more in keeping with the slenderness of pens in the 1960s. It also had an extremely smooth profile, breaking away from the Parker-inspired fascination with hooded pens with a flush-mounted point prefiguring by half a decade the inlaid points Sheaffer would adopt. It also eschewed the silhouette-roughening notion of a filling mechanism, rendering Waterman the first major pen maker to adopt a disposable plastic cartridge; the name of the pen is a contraction of Cartridge Filler, which suggests that Waterman may have extended its corporate imagination to the ultimate in hiring a clever designer to give their pen shape.
Sadly, Waterman ceased to be much of a concern in 1954, although we find production of the C/F continuing in the hands of two different French firms. Bic stepped in to buy Waterman’s US operations, and from what I can discover apparently kept production of their pens, including the C/F, running for at least a few years. The other French maker is of course Waterman-JiF, the autonomous French breakaway, which kept the pen in production until the early 1970s.
Production Run: 1953 – c. 1972
Cost When New: In the first year, depending on the trim level, from $5.95 to $15.00 (for modern value, try this calculator). Later French production saw a complexity of different finishes including full-body gold cladding, for which I have no price data.
Size: 13.4 cm long capped, 14.7 cm posted, 12.2 cm uncapped.
Point: 14k gold (except for the $5.95 version, which had steel), inset.
Filler: Cartridge, capacity approx. 1.2 ml.