One of the traps Waterman pens offer to the newly infatuated is the apparently long-running Ideal model. The word appears frequently on both the barrel and point of pens from the company’s earliest days up to the 1950s, and on some points made in the 1980s in an act of conscious centennial nostalgia. Forums see frequent pleas along the lines of “I have a Waterman Ideal that I want to know more about.”
There is no such thing.
Well, that’s a little too positive. There is, in fact, something that we can call the Waterman Ideal Pen, but it is not what we modern folks think of as a pen. When Waterman started out, the pen was just the little metal bit that went in the ink. The rest of it was the pen holder. Waterman’s Ideal Pens follow that usage, and it was one that they never quite let go of.
Many of the later appearances do away with the word “Ideal” from the barrel of the pen, and it is found only on the point itself, where it is perfectly appropriate.
So, don’t be fooled; you may have an Ideal pen, but that’s not the model you’re looking for.