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Master

Maker: Waterman.

As with so many of my entries for this maker, much of what I have to say about his pen is tentative, speculative, or both, for want of hard data in a language I read.  I certainly welcome any informed additions to what follows.

In my previously-written entry for the Super Master, I wrote the following:

Returning to the name for a moment, the question is begged; what’s so super about it?  The Master was a similar pen made in the previous decade, perhaps slightly larger and having a rather simpler clip.  I suspect that this expansion of the name is merely reflective of a reworking of the model’s shape than an improvement, although it might also indicate a change from the older Waterman proprietary cartridges to the international pattern, or even the sort of sop to the impecunious that Sheaffer frequently got up to….  The last possibility is pointed to by the fact that the Master is known to have had a gold point.  If I ever get my hands on a Master, I may be able to comment more sensibly.

Well, I now have one in my hands, and can comment only slightly more sensibly.  The Master is a slightly larger pen in terms of circumference, which means one cannot exchange major components between the two models, but it is also very slightly shorter when cap is attached at one end or the other.  Also, it does indeed have a gold point, and for all that it is the same slab-sided shape as that found in the Super Master, it is a much nicer thing to write with.  The greatest surprise it holds is that it is extremely springy, which was not something pens of its era inclined towards, and is certainly not something expects in a point of that configuration.  Note that this is not, in the context of fountain pens, the same thing as “flexible“; while the tines do indeed have a lot of elastic deformity, the geometry of the point doesn’t allow them to separate a great deal.  It is comfortable, but not given to flourishes.

Update:  A recent discovery of some documentation reveals that this model was introduced right at the end of the 1970s, rather than in the earlier part as I had previous been speculating.

Production Run: c.1979 – c. 1983 (first date relatively certain, second madly speculative).

Cost When New: No data available.  Probably something in the area of a modern $100 to $150.

Size: 13.3 cm long capped, 15.0 cm posted, 12.6 cm uncapped.

Point: 18K/750 gold. Later production may have switched to plated steel.

Body: Brass, with various finishes.

FillerCartridge, capacity approx. 0.6 or 1.4 ml (international pattern), converter of 0.8 ml provided.

Waterman Master. The discoloration of the section is something I’ve seen on other examples, so it’s probably a materials defect. Wasn’t everything to be known about plastics already known in the ’70s?

The Master wears its cap. With or without, there is very little “branding” on this pen; the maker’s name appears only once, in very small letters on the barrel trim ring.

 

 

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