Waterman Carene Stub Gets a Forever Home2009/10/13
For weeks I have been in fountain pen nirvana with my latest acquisition, a previously owned Waterman Deluxe Carene Stub*. I am ruined.
What does that mean to a pen collector? Nearly every pen in my drawers, pen wraps, pen cases and milling about forlornly on my desk is a fine or extra-fine. Oh, yeah, I am in deep “dirt” now. Few have received more than a passing glance since the Carene arrived and they are already way past being jealous. Not only are they bereft, they are suffering from dried ink syndrome. For the uninitiated that means ink has dried in nibs and feeds requiring lots of extra effort to get the sulky little things clean. It is my punishment for ignoring them you see. Each will make me pay for my dalliance but I tell you it has been worth it.
The first surprise about the Carene was that this medium weight pen is as comfortable to use as any feather weight model. Good balance is what makes the difference. It’s a very sturdy, well-finished pen that tolerates casual use. Not careless but casual. It will go along for the ride, tossed in my purse without benefit of a case or wrap, showing not a hint of pique at such rough treatment. But that isn’t even the best part.
The stub nib is amazingly good fun to use and brings out the italic side of my handwriting. I received a lovely reply to my first letter penned with the Carene. My friend wrote, “your handwriting has changed a bit. It sort of looks like Leigh’s.” That’s quite a compliment as Leigh was the previous owner and one of my favorite handwriting artists. My writing might resemble Leigh’s writing if she wrote with her opposite hand on a bad day and in a cast to boot but I loved the compliment anyway.
One caveat about the Carene. The unique nib will leak on your finger if you touch the upper tips of the nib where they meet the section. The upshot is that you can’t hold the pen low and close to the nib, well, unless you want inky fingers. I haven’t found the hold to be uncomfortable but have forgotten a few times and earned a nice ink splotch on my index finger along with a few chuckles from observers. I like to make people laugh so it’s fine with me but it might not be appropriate in a business meeting.
Anyway, I wanted to share my excitement over a terrific pen and nib. It isn’t right for everyone but it sure is right for me. In fact I would take a second one should the opportunity come my way.
Oh, if you are wondering about the lack of photos, click the small image above. No way could I have done a better job of showing off this stub than Leigh has done.
*Stubs and italics both have a straight edge that produces a thick vertical line and a thin horizontal line. If you don’t write really small, the stock stub is a great way to put a little pizazz in your letters without having to practice a great deal. If you have small letters, then you might need a custom ground nib to get one sized correctly for your handwriting. Want to create a great signature? A stub nib might be just the thing.