Waterman 42 1/2 V (1920s)

The little brother of my 12 1/2 VS, I got this on eBay on Fountain Pen Day last year, but it leaked ink everywhere when I tried to fill it. Clearly it needed restoring, but I never got around to it until recently:

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Cute little vintage ringtop.

And what a process it was! I had to take it apart. Even though I was carefully following Richard Binder’s great guide on Waterman repair, it was a very difficult endeavour. The pen stayed in a dismantled state for weeks until my O-rings arrived, because I didn’t have the technique nor equipment to make a cork seal. 

Anyway, that eventually was solved, and after a few tests with water to check if the seal was tight, I inked it up and it was ready to go.

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From today’s inking.

Or so I thought… one tine was chipped. In fact, it was missing the tipping on one side, and looked like it had had the very tip broken off, since the edge felt sharp and looked uneven.

So I got out my whetstone, dismantled the pen and evened it out (my first gold nib grind!), then put it all back together.

It’s a beautiful pen, with a body in great condition, and apart from the steep learning curve for repairing these, it was almost fun! It is a petite pen, though, a good deal shorter than the Pelikan M3xx series.

Finally, here’s a writing sample. The nib is really flexible and the feed is so good that it absolutely gushes ink, though it writes like a regular italic nib when unflexed. It managed to cause my Fabriano paper to feather, though I think that is the ink’s fault.

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Diamine Steel Blue…

If you see one on the second-hand market, I highly recommend jumping on it! They can be had restored at fairly inexpensive prices, and date from the era before lever-fillers were invented.

4 thoughts on “Waterman 42 1/2 V (1920s)

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  1. Nicely done! I purchased an eyedroppered Waterman that was shipped with ink. This is the seventh time this has happened, so I’m starting to get a bit frustrated. Of course ink got everywhere inside the packaging, and I had to clean it thoroughly. I know to avoid water around black hard rubbered pens, but I couldn’t see how to avoid it. Now the finish on the rubber seems to be oxidized. Would you recommend using a reblackener dexodizer? Will a bit of black coloring always come off every time it’s inked? Thanks in advance for answering any questions, and congrats on your restoration. It’s gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Sorry I took so long to reply, I was doing some reading, and I don’t know for sure if a reblackener will work for you. I do think you might have some luck with sonicating the pen in a cleaner, and if not, it would just be a “simple” case of staining in the rubber…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries. Thanks for the response! I tried sonicating it. The problem is that both pens were shipped with ink in them, and it leaked everywhere. As I was cleaning it off with water, I realized that the black rubber was pretty oxidized and brown looking. I’m more concerned about protecting the pen from further oxidation rather than for aesthetic reasons. I’ve hard that reblackening pens is controversial, and if you leave the oxidiezzd rubber as a layer between the blackening agent and the pen, I can see how it would cause a major problem. The question is which reputable seller has a reblackener that will bind preferentiall to the rubber to protect it.

        Either way, thanks for your response! Any guidance is all is much appreciated.

        Liked by 1 person

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