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Archive for January, 2010

Waterman Carene

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. This road to disaster was started by my husband. Yes, he had good intentions when he asked me what I wanted for Christmas. After a moment of thought I told him: I wanted a nice loupe so I could look at fountain pen nibs and do some alignments and adjustments. You see where the slippery pavement starts, don’t you?

Three weeks ago, with my brand new loupe in hand, I decided to check out the nib on my beloved Waterman Carene. I had bought the Carene back in the summer, a NOS pen in excellent condition, a rich metallic brown with a medium nib to die for. The Carene drank Waterman Havana Brown and looked sharp doing it. It went formal with Private Reserve Midnight Blues and into stealth mode with Aurora Black. As much as I love my other pens, this one quickly became my daily pal, my constant companion. It dressed up, it dressed down. I wasn’t afraid to take it anyplace.

However, the nib did tend to skip on initial down strokes. I suspected it had the baby bottom curse, the tipping on the tines a little too fat and rounded to allow the nib to make good contact with paper. Decided to check it out myself. Sure, I couldn’t grind the nib down myself, but I could at least confirm my suspicions, right?

My Belomo loupe in one hand, Carene in the other, I raised both to make a meeting and .. dropped the Carene flat on the floor. It must have landed nib downward, because the nib was bent like a hooked nose. I was in shock. So much in shock that I fell further along that slippery road to hell that started with my husband’s kind intention. I tried to adjust an inlaid nib myself. Amateurs do not fool with the inlaid nibs on Waterman Carenes. The nib on a Carene is attached to the section by little grips set into the section. Glue is also involved. Adjusting them is a tricky business, not meant for a mortal like myself.

I made it — worse. Looked at the sucker and thought, Lewertowski sells new sections and nibs for $70 plus $20 shipping to the United States, so my bargain $130 pen would become.. well, a $230 pen. I put the pen down and had a glass of Martini & Rossi 1738. It helped my nerves but the pen was still shot.

The Carene is now safely in the hands of nibmeister Michael Masuyama of Mike-It-Work in Peachtree City, Georgia. He told me in a pleasant email that he thinks he can adjust the nib. The cost will be around $40.00 plus the $15.00 handling fee he requires for shipping the pen (priority, insured with delivery confirmation) back to me.

I should have the Carene back in three to four weeks. I miss it terribly. I’ve also learned a lesson–keep a tight grip on a pen when looking at it with a loupe, and think twice before you make a really dumb mistake.

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