The Phileas fountain pen, by Waterman. I’ve written with a Phileas since 1998, with only brief breaks due to ‘broken/lost pen syndrome’. It is a workhorse of a basic fountain pen which writes better with bottle ink in a converter then from an ink cartridge. Once upon a time you could buy a Phileas at Office Max, but they’ve stopped carrying Waterman pens.
Naturally, I only found out that they had stopped carrying Waterman when my current Phileas disappeared. Lost pen syndrome. After some futile hunting around town, I turned to the internet and found the Fountain Pen Hospital. Not only will these folks sell me a new pen, they will repair broken ones! Though at the bargain basement price of the Phileas, it’s less expensive to buy a new one. The repair service does tempt me to consider investing in a better pen – at least until wisdom reminds me that I lose more pens then I break. And that I already have Waterman formulated ink (which always bemuses me – it seems a little like buying Honda brand gasoline), thus insuring that should I ever turn to another brand I will be forced to re-invest in ink and converters.
I endured my most recent bout of lost pen syndrome for about two weeks – five agonizing days of ball points and pencils until my beloved and wonderful husband (who values fountain pen induced sanity in his wife) bought me a three pack of — get this — disposable fountain pens. Something about typing that makes me dizzy. Disposable. The Pilot Varsity, available in blue, black, turquoise(?!) and purple ink. If this thought doesn’t make you dizzy, Atlas Pens will customize Varsity with your logo, and Ben has figured out how to refill them.
Anyways, after a tension filled weekend (UPS Tracking has a lot to answer for), the delivery man arrived this afternoon. Anna’s Phileas 4.0 has arrived! Note the gift wrap – “For all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals”.
Although I’d be afraid to touch it it’s so good-looking.
The Phileas is a workhorse, indeed. Did you know that you can buy an xf nib from Waterman? It’s not scratchy at all – it’s a delight.
I’ve noticed that fountain pens do seem to write better with their own brand of ink – maybe there’s something magical going on in the feed? It’s not a bad thing – collecting ink is a nice hobby in itself!
Thanks for the trip down memory lane – in college, I used fountain pens exclusively (I think I had a Schaefer??). I had a needle/syringe with the sharp end clipped off the needle and it worked really well for refilling cartridges. Of late, I’ve been using Uniball Signo Gelsticks for the convenience – and because I don’t write anywhere near as much as I did in college.
I’ve never tried the waterman xf nib – this one has f, instead of the usual medium that came with the big box pens — it is definitely a smoother write.
I sort of imagine that brand inks are probably designed to be the best viscosity for their brand nibs, but it still strikes me as funny/odd. *lol*
Just don’t try the turquoise from Waterman’s. It smells like liquified, charred sneakerbottoms.
Beautiful color, but oh man…
If you want a real workhorse of a pen, try a Cross. You can put a Cross down for a year, and when you pick it back up, it’s ready to write when you are. The F point is a real, and a smooth fine, and it never, ever gets finicky. I use an inexpensive (comparatively!) Cross pen (don’t leave home without it!)for everyday throw-in-my-bag use, and it’s a delight.
I so identify with your lost pen panic. I have had the same mont blanc fountain pen for over a decade, which is a very, very long time for a woman who loses her cell every other month. I loved the pictures, and the prose in praise of the waterman! xxoo, BL
Congratulations on your new pen. My first “real” fountain pen was a Waterman. I’d had a couple Sheaffer’s, but they always ended up leaking, so I treated myself to a Waterman as a souvenir on a trip to Boston while I was in college. I loved that pen, but I have to say, I’ve come to love my Pelikan more–I absolutely love the springy metal nib. Although I keep a Lamy Safari at my desk at work . . . it’s not so pricey that I need to worry about it disappearing (grin).
For ink, though, I’ll use almost anything–either the same brand as the pen or not. Trying a bottle of ink is a relatively inexpensive way to try out Mont Blanc or Cartier or whatever. Levenger is my current favorite, for the variety of their colors and the good quality of the ink. I really do love fountain pens, even if I don’t use mine as often as it deserves anymore. Still, I did take lots of pictures for the “P” of the ABC-along!
Just a note… I use a Waterman, several Parkers, an Indian Wality, a Genius and a Regal and several of those brands don’t have their own ink. As long as the ink tests to a neutral ph, you can use any ink in any pen. I actually have learned to hate Waterman ink in the waterman because Noodler’s flows SO. MUCH. BETTER and dries a lot faster. (I’m a leftie. I don’t try to drag through wet ink, but it happens.) Funny enough, the waterman ink left works great in the Regal because the nib is very fine in the Regal, even for a F. If you love your waterman ink, I’m not saying not to use it, but don’t let it hold you back from trying other pens and other ink.