Waterman Corinth c1950-1951

by Jim Mamoulides, May 23, 2017

PenHeroWaterman Corinth c1950-1951

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Waterman's 1950 Executive pen

Waterman introduced the Taperite line in 1945 as its answer to the Parker 51. The Taperite pens have long tapered sections that end with a small 14 karat gold nib. These pens also had slip on caps, like the Parker 51. Alongside the Taperite line, Waterman also offered the same models with standard 14 karat gold nibs, often referred to as "Standard" models in advertisements. These pens sold for the same price and gave Waterman an offer for those customers who preferred a more traditional pen.

PenHeroWaterman Corinth c1950-1951

Waterman introduced the Corinth model in 1948. This pen had Astralite caps, Waterman's name for a polished stainless steel cap, enhanced with a gold plated clip and trim. The first Corinth had radial lines engraved in the cap starting below the clip and extending above the cap lip, with no engraving between the clip and an engraved star at the cap lip. Waterman updated the Corinth Astralite cap in late 1948 with a new engraving pattern of longitudinal pairs of parallel lines with two pairs of ring engravings forming a cap band near the cap lip.

PenHeroWaterman Corinth c1950-1951 pen and pencil

Waterman updated and enhanced the Corinth model in 1950 by changing the cap to 1/25 14 karat gold filled. The new cap has tight continuous longitudinal engraved lines from the cap top to a thin band at the cap lip. This new Corinth was known in Canada as the Executive.

PenHeroWaterman Corinth c1950-1951 nib and cap detail

By the fall of 1951, Waterman made another change to the Corinth model, widening the cap band and renaming the 1/25 14 karat gold filled pen to Gold Corinth and adding a polished Astralite cap with the same engraving and naming that pen the Corinth, returning the Corinth name to a stainless steel cap pen after a year.

Pick your instrument by touch

PenHeroWaterman Corinth c1950-1951 cap top detail

An interesting feature of Waterman cap tops is they were designed to enable the owner to tell which instrument they were selecting by touch, with a rounded fountain pen cap top and a concave pencil cap top. This difference is also easily visible in selecting an instrument from the pocket by sight.

Identification guide and features:

This Corinth model was short lived, being offered from the fall of 1950 to the fall of 1951. It was sold in both Standard and Taperite versions in Maroon, Slate Blue, Grey or Jet (black) for $8.75, and with a matching "Selfeed" Metermatic pencil for $5.00. Sets came in a Royal Blue display box. Waterman traded on its earned reputation for excellent nibs and touted in advertising that its pen points were hand ground.

PenHeroWaterman Executive Advertisement, Toronto, Canada, 1950

  • 1/25 14 karat gold overlay metal cap
  • Plastic barrel in Maroon, Slate Blue, Grey or Jet (black)
  • Gold filled clip with WATERMAN'S stamped on the face
  • Pull off cap
  • Taperite and open nib versions sold for the same price
  • Taperite pen has unmarked 14 karat gold nib
  • 14 karat gold nib stamped WATERMAN'S over IDEAL over 14K over MADE IN U.S.A.
  • Nine different nib grades offered, including Gregg Steno, accountant, fine flexible, medium flexible, left handed, extra fine, medium firm, stub, and broad
  • About 5 1/4 inches long with the cap on and 6 1/4 inches with the cap posted on the end of the barrel
  • Lever filling mechanism
  • Fountain pen sold for $8.75 and the matching "Selfeed" Metermatic pencil for $5.00
  • Pen and pencil sets were sold in Royal Blue flip open display cases

PenHeroWaterman Corinth c1950-1951 set in box


This Waterman Corinth is the Standard model with a large open nib. In fact, the nib looks huge on the pen. I had the great fortune to find a near mint set to review and it even had a pliable and usable ink sac still in it. The pen is well balanced and large enough to write without the cap posted. The cap posts snugly on the end of the barrel, but feels a bit long in my hand. I prefer writing with it unposted. The cap snaps onto the section quite securely when putting the pen away.

The pen fills easily with a single pump of the lever and the nib wipes clean and is ready to write immediately. This nib appears to be the fine flexible, but is only has moderate flex, not like the contemporary Eversharp flexible nibs. Writing has a little feedback, as opposed to glassy smooth, and is quite wet. It has good line variation with a little downward pressure.

The pen is a little larger than contemporary pens at about 5 1/4 inches long with the cap on and 6 1/4 inches with the cap posted on the end of the barrel. The cap is not overly heavy and is quite attractive. The fit and finish is top notch. I can see how Waterman Canada decided to call this the Executive pen.

I pocketed the pen and pencil to try out the cap top feature and can say it was very easy to tell the pencil from the pen by simply touching the top of each cap. That is actually useful.

PenHeroWaterman Corinth c1950-1951 nib detail

I've seen a lot of Waterman Taperite pens and many of them have not aged well other than having superior nibs. The plastic used can warp and crack. Finding one like this set, in exceptional condition, really shows how nice these pens were. If you are looking for a high quality open nib pen from the late 1940s to early 1950s, don't overlook the Waterman Standard pens. This set is a keeper!


Fountain Pens of the World by Andreas Lambrou, © 1995 Zwemmer, London, United Kingdom

LIFE, August 30, 1948

LIFE, November 29, 1948

LIFE, May 28, 1951

Profile: Waterman’s Taperite, Richard Binder, October 2, 2016, © 2016

The Star Weekly, Toronto, October 21, 1950

The Star Weekly, Toronto, November 25, 1950

The Star Weekly, Toronto, December 8, 1951



Comments on this article may be sent to the editor, Jim Mamoulides Bibliography

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