I’ve talked about my Waterman Serenite Fountain pen before, both on Instagram and on this blog but now that I’ve got it working properly, I thought I would go into a bit more depth on this pen.
I’ve had my Waterman Serenite over 10 years now and it was a present for having completed my post-graduate degree at the time. I was so excited to receive this and as you can probably imagine, I inked it up immediately upon arrival with the stock provided cartridges that came with the pen. At first, it wrote smoothly but after a few lines, the nib dried out and forcing ink through the pen by turning the cartridge converter ended up dripping ink all over my page. The nib was rewetted, but once again it only worked for another few lines and ran dry again. It seemed as though it would only work if I forced ink through the pen every few lines, so it ended up being extremely disappointing.
A few years later, I learnt a bit more about fountain pens and realised that I needed to clean my pen before I inked it up. So I flushed it with some soapy water, rinsed it dry and tried again. Once again, the pen ran dry after a few lines and I put it away again, not to be touched for another few years.
After that, I watched videos on flossing the nib, gently bending the tines to make the pen run wetter and after having sprung a few nibs by over bending and then learning a bit more patience, I had a go on the Serenite. I flossed the nib with a brass shim and the first few times it was so tight that I couldn’t get the shim through the tines. This might explain why the nib was so dry. Fighting my natural impatience, I put it down and re-flossed over a few days to ensure that I didn’t get impatient and spring the nib. After a few days, I was finally ready to ink it up and test it out.
I had also learnt a bit more about inks by this time and I inked it with a well behaving ink – Sailor Bungubox Tipsy Purple, that might work better than some of the drier inks I’ve used in the pen in the past. After over 10 years of sitting in various desk drawers, I am pleased to say that I finally got the pen working this year.
The nib writes well, reasonably wet now after all of the adjustments, which I’m happy about. There is a marginal bit of hard starting, but its very slight and not consistent, so I can live with that. It’s a reasonably smooth nib – on par with my experience with the Omas Alba medium, although the lines produced by the Waterman seem crisper than that of the Omas. Its an extremely firm nib, don’t expect any springiness to this at all.
The pen sports a converter and the screw mechanism for the converter is the same bit of silver that is used to screw the lid onto the pen. It turns one way for the lid and the other way for the nib. I’ve not had any issues accidentally unscrewing the nib when taking the lid off and I like that they have used the same mechanism.
The pen is postable, but being rather on the heavy side, I typically don’t post. I tried once and introduced a microscratch into the silver at the back of the pen, so I don’t recommend doing it.
In terms of cleaning the pen, I’m not sure if its because the pen has had a bit of a rocky start with a novice (I may have left ink in the nib to dry at one stage as well) but it took an extremely long time to clean. I soaked and sonicated this nib over a period of a few weeks, on and off, wicking the excess ink out into between and still it had ink in it. After a few weeks of doing so, I finally gave up and let it dry to put away. I’m pretty sure most of the ink that was stuck in the pen must be gone by now, the colour of the water is very minimal now and I’m sure its mostly from initial mistreatment rather than an underlying issue with cleaning.
Overall, I’m glad I persevered with this pen and finally got it working. It wasn’t a cheap initial purchase and it always made me feel bad thinking that it was just sitting there not being used. Having now had more experience with fountain pens, I think this pen has a bit more style than writing substance. The writing experience is fine, without being extraordinary, which is not to say that there is anything wrong with it. It has sentimental value for me and the looks of the pen certainly makes up for it.
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