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Waterman Phileas


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Does anyone have any experience with this Fountain Pen? I currently own a Pelikan 200 and I just ordered a Waterman Charleston. I'm looking for something to carry on a daily basis and if I lose it I won't tear out my hair. Any other pen recommendations in that price range?
Great pen for your mission.

Get the converter tho would be my suggestion.

I understand Waterman is discontinuing this model.
A Caran d'Ache Ecridor. Steel nib, but a better writer than many gold ones. Very solid rhodium coated silver-plated brass body, made to last for decades.
I'd go with your first impulse of the Pelikan 200. Maybe buy a backup one for office one for home and travel.

Get a pen you'd have fun writing with. Buy a good one so if it breaks you'll fix it. www.nibs.com will fix it for you.

That's the end of my advice and now it's time I share my fountain experience...

My instrument of choice is the pilot vanishing point. http://www.nibs.com/PilotVanishingPointPage.htm There are other places to buy them but I like the people at nibs.com because they do custom nib work and put up with my non-collector status. They actually state that they TEST THEIR PENS WITH INK which is a testament that they want to you to use their pens.

The best part about the vanishing point pen is that it operates just like a ball point. It's an engenious little device that has a door to keep the ink fresh and is always ready to lay ink with just a press of a button. I like to low-key use of classic writing when surrounded by ball pointers. I'm less likely to leave the delicate nib exposed like with cap pens.

The vanishing point flows very well, you can swap out thicknesses of nib assemblies from wide, medium and fine. I've got a medium and a fine. It is possible to use cartridge ink instead of the included adapter.

This pen is made to be used regularly which I have done since 2001. I sent my fine point back to namiki in New York to adjust the flow. No charge just postage. I also blew out the little door by over-zealously cleaning (exploratory surgurey) and they fixed it no charge. Each time they polished my workhorse to like new beauty.

The thickness of the pen is medium, not as bulky as a wateman. I rest my index finger on the pen clip and it aligns the nib perfectly for writing. I don't have to do the "roll the pen in the fingers" before writing. My graduate advisor also really liked it. I thought my degree was in the balance when I loaned it to him...



Moderator Emeritus
The Phileas is a fantastic value in a nice traditional-looking pen (my Phileas is actually on my desk as I type - its the pen that got me hooked on fountain pens).

I second the converter suggestion - the Waterman converters are quite good.

Also, Waterman nibs tend to run a little on the wide side, so you might want to take the trouble to get a fine - depending on your preferences.
The Phi leas is a good value without a doubt. I have many expensive pens in my collection that preform no better. My daily carry pen is an amber Pelikan 200 with a "Binder Italifine" nib. I keep it filled with Noodlers Verdun Bulletproof ink. It is a good writing pen, which is cheap enough that I won't cry if it is broken or lost.
I do love my VP, and the Phileas is a good writer BUT my vote for a pen that satisfies your requirements would be a Lamy Safari. I've got the metal version (AL Star) with a fine nib, and it always starts and is a good writer. I wish more pens had the same sort clip that it has. It won't win any beauty contests, but has survived a lot of abuse that I don't expose my VP to.

Wayne, waiting on his Binderized F italic VP nib
I've got about ten FPs including the Vanishing Point, Parker 51, Namiki Falcon, Pelikan m215, Parker 75, Montblanc 146 and the Phileas. The Phileas is my least favorite (although it is the cheapest). It looks and writes reasonably well for the money, but nothing to get excited about. Also, it's by far my worst starter and if I haven't used it in a few days, I have to wet the nib to get ink to flow.

Actually, it's now on permanent loan to my mom!

So, unless you're on a very tight budget (IMHO) there are better choices. The other pens I mention above are all excellent and the first four are in the $50-$120 range.

The Waterman Phileas was my first venture outside of Sheaffer country -- and I must admit I'm rather fond of it, though I find it to run a bit to much with the medium nib, making a thicker line than I'm accustomed to. When writing I'll usually just use my Prelude.


Moderator Emeritus
I've got a few demonstrator Phileas pens. I like them, but they are all medium nib and I prefer fine nibs.

I got a Waterman Phileas for my birthday this year. The box was marked "fine point" but it was actually a medium. I went to Office Depot where it was purchased to exchange it for a fine, but all stock was medium no matter what the boxes were marked. I went to both locations in town and the same story. Anyway I sent it in to Waterman and they very kindly replaced the nib with a fine at no charge. Great customer service! I love my Phileas!


Moderator Emeritus
Why Waterman only sells this with a fine nib in North America is beyond me - the fine is definitely the way to go - most decent pen shops will switch it for no charge or - as was mentioned, you can send it to Waterman who will do the same.

There may be online vendors who can sell it with a fine nib.
Yeah, the stroke on my Waterman is a leetle bit large for my liking. But I can live with it. (Too cheap to switch nibs.)
The Phileas can take a Pilot G2 gel ink refill as well, FYI. i was thinking of picking one up for that purpose alone.

The Phileas can take a Pilot G2 gel ink refill as well, FYI. i was thinking of picking one up for that purpose alone.

Someone who knows more about this than me, feel free to correct me, but it's my impression that gel ink should never be used in a fountain pen as it's much too viscous. I think it would seriously clog up the pen.

Tony Miller

I dragged up this older thread simply to comment on what a great find nibs.com was. I didn;t know of them till I saw this thread and was very pleased with how they do business. I bought a Namiki VP from them today (grey model) along with some ink. They went to great length to ask questions on nib width, how hard I press when writing, ink flow, daily writer, etc.... Yeah, I could have saved a few $$ on eBay but then would have got some clerk grabing a sealed box of a shelf and mailing it off. Great service!

I do also own a Phileas and enjoy it. A nice medium priced pen I would not feel too bad about if I lost it. Of course I'd miss it more if it had a fine point but the medium will do.

Next I need a Monteverde Artist with the clear body.

Any other great pen sellers I should know of?

I have spent WAY too much money at Joon here in NYC. The problem is my favorite guy left! The nerve!

I would recommend the Faber Castel line. Although I dont like fountain pens (I use the rollerball and pencils), my have purchased quite a few for my dad and friends as gifts and the LOVE them. THey have different levels of pens depending on your price level. My favorite writing utensil in the world is the Graf von Faber Castel "Perfect" Pencil set. It gets more attention when UI pull it out than any pen I have ever owned.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Moderator Emeritus
I do not have a tremendous amount of experience with fountain pens but these folks were very patient and helpful with me on a recent visit to the shop.
Joon is top notch - very reasonable prices for a B&M.

Going back to the Phileas nib issue - you can get a fine nib - not sure what it costs (sometimes a pen shop will switch it for you for free if you ask nicely when you purchase). The fine nib makes the pen a much better pen for daily/regular use.
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