Thursday, June 27, 2013

Waterman Checking Pencils in Raleigh

George Rimakis had a few pencils in tow that I didn’t bring home with me, but we did spend some time taking pictures of them in my mobile studio:


These are checking, grease or crayon pencils – depending on your preference. The clipless example is unmarked, but the other one has both a Waterman’s imprint as well as the classy globe clip:


Notice how in that first picture, the top on the clipless one isn’t screwed all the way down? There’s a very good reason for that, having to do with a critical design flaw. These worked the same as other leadholders made by Eberhard Faber, Heath and others: as the mechanism is screwed farther down into the barrel, the prongs at the end are compressed against the barrel walls, clamping them down on the lead. But while Faber and Heath leadholders have metal barrels, these are hard rubber . . .


. . . and this happens all too often. I honestly don’t know what the good folks at Waterman were thinking when they cooked this idea up.

By coincidence, Joe Nemecek brought a couple similar pencils with him for me to shoot in Raleigh. One is identical to George’s example with the Waterman clip (but without the usual chunk missing from the barrel), and while the other one is unmarked, it’s clearly all Waterman:


Joe’s brown example should look familiar to Waterman devotees. The plastic and teardrop clip are both from the Waterman 94 line of the mid-1930s:


And by that time, Waterman’s R&D department had figured out that they needed to beef up the business end to keep it from exploding:

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