Thursday, 10 October 2013

Waterman 'torsade'

This is a lovely little pen I picked up at the big braderie (car boot) at Houilles, near Paris. It wasn't a great day for pens; nothing vintage and nothing very classy. It was a better day for notebooks and paper, to be honest, and I did get a nice Harris tweed jacket for 2 euros which when I got it home proved to sport a discreet Harrods label in the lining. But not much in the way of pens.

(Real frustration; seeing a lovely 1970s Pelikan box... and finding out it had nothing inside it.)

But I did find this one, which seems to be a Waterman 'torsade', though it's something of a mystery as to exactly where in the Waterman range it fits. (The cap top has the rounded W logo which looks very seventies, rather than the later calligraphic W with a loop at the top, or the W-in-hexagon which I find on most modern Watermans.) Oh, and it takes Waterman cartridges.
Torsade? since it's a French pen, lying on a nice piece of toile de jouy
 It's a tiny pen, really petite - 11.5cm capped. The clip (folded metal) is elegantly simple and completely plain, the end of the barrel slightly tapered from about a third of the way in, and the chrome bright. On the cap, just below the clip, is the word 'Waterman' in that rather rounded script that makes me think of bad science fiction TV, and under that, 'made in France' in a more classic typeface.
Rounded and very 60s/70s 'W' logo
But the first thing you notice is that wonderful shimmering effect from the twisting facets that run almost the entire length of the pen before they fade out on the tapered portion of the barrel. As you look at the pen it seems to spin gently. The facets seem soft, not sharp, and the whole pen has a lovely gentleness to its outline. (Chrome can often be a rather severe material making pens look more like the kind of thing I fear in a gynaecologist's hands than the kind of thing I want to write with, but here, it's just pretty and shiny)

Now; further mystery. Searching for 'torsade' on the web shows me chrome and gold plated versions, even gold nibs; but none which, like this one, have hooded nibs. I thought hooded nibs went out of fashion in the 1960s?

So I'm really not sure what I've got here. But whatever it is, (1) it cost a euro, and (2) I like it.

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