Waterman Charleston

This pen is very dear to me as it was one of my first two gold nibbed fountain pens. I bought it in the winter of 2006 and received it in the spring of 2007. The delay was because what was meant to be my first gold nibbed pen, a Parker 100, had been returned to sender and so I had it shipped to a friend in the states who then brought it back to the Czech Republic (where I was living at the time) after her Easter break.

What were my initial thoughts? Well I really liked the design a lot and enjoyed how it looked very Art Deco and classic. It is something of an homage to Waterman’s Hundred Year Pen and the look of it really appealed to me. The price-point was, and is pretty good for a gold nibbed Waterman. The fit and finish of the pen out of the box was very good. The only complaint I had was the trim ring at the end of the cap came off and stuck onto the body when I first uncapped the pen. It was easily threaded back in place and has remained there ever since. The pen seems to be made of a rather dense injection molded plastic. It feels pretty robust though and similar to the hard and dense resin of the TWSBI Diamond pens. You can see a few small seams here and there and I imagine they could have perhaps done a better job of buffing them out. Still, the pen is pretty slick.
When I bought mine they were available in black, yellow, blue and ivory with gold or chrome trim. Mine is black with chrome trim and a broad nib. Worth noting is that this is my very first broad nib. When I got it I only used bottled Waterman inks and I remember having some issues with the nib skipping and being a hard starter at the time. Since I used it heaviy and it was in almost constant rotation for the first two years I had it the nib has been seriously broken in. It’s wet and smooth and pretty magical in fact. It’s my favourite broad nib in my collection. The nib is perhaps a little dis-proportionately small for the pen but at the time it didn’t bother me and I guess it still doesn’t. It’s meant to emulate a classic pen and back then number 2 size nibs were most common so I suspect the proportions are fitting.

The pen posts very well and has great curves–it’s super comfortable to write with for long sessions. It’s a great pen and I’d buy it again. I still cruise eBay from time to time hoping to score a deal on a yellow or ivory. One of these days.
Thanks for reading!


  1. Franz

    The pen’s shape is very nice to look at. And the trim rings are cool. I’ve never seen the Hundred Year Pen, I’ll check it out for sure.

    And thanks for sharing your first gold nibbed pen. I believe my first gold nibbed pen was a Pilot Vanishing Point, so the nib is definitely smaller than the Charleston’s. =)

  2. Gerald Taylor (Post author)

    Thanks Franz! Yeah, the VP nib is definitely smaller but also a great first premium pen. 🙂

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