I’m quite keen on Watermans and, interestingly, it’s reciprocal. My first fountain pen was Waterman Hemisphere that I had found on the street. On second thought, though, maybe I should blame them? If I haven’t found that pen I would never got into fountain pens and inks and I would have much more money. But maybe it was a fate and I was destined to get into this hobby, start spreading the word to the unenlightened, making converts? Who knows? Only time will tell.
Anyway I’ve received three Watermans from my family members and I acquired two or three of them. Exception Slim was a gift – unexpected and most welcome as I was always interested in this model because of it unusual and elegant design. There’s not many quadrangular pens on the market. Well, there is Nettuno Barracuda but in my opinion it looks really, really bad.
Even though at the moment Waterman isn’t the most innovative pen company on the market, their designers and engineers are not afraid of creating some daring designs interesting enough to capture pen enthusiasts attention. In my opinion they manage quite well to merge elegant classic look with intriguing lines.
Waterman launched Exception line in the last quarter of 2005. The Exception first came in two sizes of pen bodies and three different style versions. Night & Day Gold, and Night & Day Black, the Ideal Black – these are the large size pens. In 2006 Blue in the slim line was added, and a number of years later few other colors were added.
I believe it’s one of those pens that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to pull out in business meeting even if you care a lot about etiquette. Personnally I don’t care about business etiquette and I usually care yellow Van Gogh filled with orange or brown ink to my business meetings but it’s just me. I’m perfectly fine with others using black or blue so why wouldn’t they be ok with me using red or yellow, right?
I’ll say it loud – I love the design. It’s eye-catching and exciting while staying “classic” in a way. It feels good in hand. The question arises whether the pen is as exceptional as its name suggests ?
The pen comes in a large, elegant box in Waterman’s colors (blue + gold). Nice and impressive but as I always throw the boxes away I won’t really focus on it. Pen is much more interesting.
It looks good. Very good. It feels solid, strong and durable. And so it is. I’ve been using it occasionally for a couple of months and I haven’t noticed any signs of use. I enjoy design, substantial feel in the hand and the color – Emerald Green.
Color is nice but what makes Exception Slim a looker is its quadrangular elongated shape. It’s both interesting aesthetically and practical – no chances your pen will roll over from the table to the floor as many other pens with suicidal tendencies do.
I find its bigger brothers (Day & Night, Ideal) too big and a little ponderous while Slim is proportional but don’t be fooled – it’s not small pen.
The pen i made of lacquered metal. The threads are also made of metal, I guess they’ll last longer than me. The lacquer coating works fine and I haven’t noticed any chips.
Closed: 138 mm
Open: 129 mm
Weight: 45 g
We may like the design but without good nib even the nicest fountain pen won’t make writing enjoyable. Happily Waterman Exception’s nib is one of the smoothest fine nibs I’ve tried. Unhappily it’s fine nib and I dislike fine nibs because they are fine. I’m more into medium and broad. Anyway this one is rather juicy and I’ve never had a hard start or experienced any skipping with it.
The Exception uses a rhodium-plated, 18k (750) solid gold nib. There is not much flexibility, but some line variation is possible. One thing that annoys me with Waterman is the fact that – in theory – they offer all nib sizes. There is however one issue – in order to get something more exciting than medium and fine nib, you’ll have to send the pen to the factory.
Waterman designers are not afraid to make daring pen designs yet when it comes to filling system they’re pretty conservative. Really guys, there’s nothing exciting about c/c pens . It’s practical but boring.
So – is it worth the price? Difficult question to answer. Especially that it was a gift and all gifts offer great price/quality ratio.
Waterman Exception Slim is interesting pen with unique design. On the other hand it’s market price (+/- 300 $) isn’t exactly cheap. In this price range one can easily choose interesting pens from Waterman competitors. If I had the the money instead of the pen I would rather buy Conid Minimalistica or steel Lamy 2000. Or maybe some custom pen. This doesn’t mean however that the pen is not worth the price. It’s well crafted, comfortable and unique. Due to good distribution and the fact Waterman is part of bigger group they offer good service. Also in Europe you can check Waterman pens in most of B&M stores, see and try them before buying.
Anyway I wish I would get more gifts as this one But with broader nibs.
- availability in Europe
- good service
- design (some will like it, others won’t)