PenHero 365: Waterman Skywriter

by Jim Mamoulides, January 11, 2010

Waterman Skywriter
Waterman Skywriter fountain pen open

If you spend enough time collecting pens, you will eventually run across many examples of the Waterman C/F, or "cartridge filler" pen, introduced in 1953. This was one of Waterman's signature designs, and was in production for more that 25 years. The pen introduced the classic Waterman open clip design topped with the Waterman globe logo. The C/F had a distinctive shape to the cap and barrel that carried over to other pen models, such as this low end lever fill pen called the Skywriter.

Waterman Skywriter
Waterman Skywriter fountain pen open

Waterman used the Skywriter name on two previous models, the first was an all-plastic pen made by Waterman for Aiken Lambert, and it was the last pen made under the Aiken Lambert name before the company was merged into Waterman in the late 1930s. The next Skywriter was a low end metal cap and plastic barrel pen similar looking as the Sheaffer Tip-Dip Craftsman pen, and probably is a late 1940s / early 1950s model, but one that precedes this version.

Waterman Skywriter
Waterman Skywriter fountain pen cap top and imprint detail

This version of the Skywriter has the overall shape of the C/F and the design includes the unique clip with the Waterman Globe logo as the fastener at the top of the cap. It has a standard open nib, rather than the interesting semi-inlaid nib unit from the C/F, and obviously cheaper design, but in an unusual touch for any pan, the model name "Skywriter" is stamped across the nib face in logo form.

The cap and barrel are obviously injection molded plastic and indicate cheap manufacturing principles as there are visible seams along the barrel threads and sprue bumps that are not completely trimmed off. The barrel has a prominent Waterman Skywriter imprint on one side and "Medium", indicating the nib size, on the other. The fit and finish of all the parts show the same lack of attention to detail.

Waterman Skywriter
Waterman Skywriter fountain pen closed beside a Waterman C/F set

This Waterman Skywriter is a light weight slightly smaller than standard size pen, weighing 0.4 ounce and being 5 3/16 inches long with the cap on and 5 11/16 inches with the cap posted on the end of the barrel. It's a straight forward lever fill pen, so it fills easily, dunking the nib in ink and flipping the lever. It's about as simple as a fountain pen gets.

Waterman Skywriter
Waterman Skywriter fountain pen nib and cap top detail

The medium nib is gold plated stainless steel and writes a nice, wet line. At least this aspect of the pen shows Waterman's attention to good writing nibs. Since it is a smaller pen, I like writing with it better with the cap posted.

I find the Skywriter more of an interesting footnote than as a collectible. It's a definite cheapie with a cool name and it's better looking than other 1950s cheapies, but frankly, there are less classy Wearevers that are just as nice writers. You can read more about the Waterman Skywriter here: Waterman Skywriter c1950-1953.

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