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Maker: Waterman.

The Phileas was an entry-level offering from Waterman, which while perhaps a little stylistically odd for some tastes was universally praised for writing qualities far above its station.  The stylistic oddity lies in an aggressive pursuit of Art Deco styling.  Personally, I find it pleasant if a bit whimiscal, but I can see where it might be a little much for some folks.  This pen also appears under the name Kultur, in which it loses some of its Art Deco touches in favour of a more modern colour palate.  Since the name was openly borrowed from the protagonist of Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days, Art Deco is an odd choice, since Verne wrote the book in 1873; not only well ahead of Art Deco but at least a decade before the appearance of the Art Nouveau style it was a reaction to.

Apart from slightly madcap styling, the Phileas suffers a little from its materials, being somewhat over-given to collecting scratches.  This material issue is likely what motivated its removal from the line-up when the decision was made to take Waterman in an up-scale direction; clearly no one was going to pay a vastly higher price for this pen than was being charged for it, and to enhance the materials would both cost extra on the production side and muddy the waters in which the Expert was cruising (it already being the higher-end mounting for the same sort of point).

To lend the pen some weight, in keeping with modern expectations about quality, there is a short brass tube in the barrel of the Phileas.  This insert also manages to make it difficult to use cartridges not made by Waterman, as it milled slightly too narrow for most other makes.  It is possible, with some struggling or luck, to knock out the insert, or you can follow my course and stick to the converter.  The Kultur, with a trim level of lesser gravitas, does not suffer from this handicap.

Production Run: 1994 – 2009 (although it seems that it may have hung on a bit longer in Europe than in North America)

Cost When New: $35 – $45, depending on where one got it (for current value, try this calculator).

Size: 13.7 cm long capped, 14.9 cm posted, 12.7 cm uncapped.

Point: Steel, with plating.

Body: PVC.

Filler: Cartridge (international pattern, see caveat above), capacity approx. 0.6 or 1.4 ml.  Sold with converter, 0.7 ml.

Waterman Phileas – with the cap posted, it is slightly less flamboyant than otherwise

It may have been at the low end, but Waterman did not cheap out on the packaging. Notice the curious little “shin guard” trim at the end of the barrel.



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