What Perfect Hard Rubber Should Be

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We get a lot of pens across the bench. Pens of all ages, and in all sorts of conditions. It’s always easy to remember the horror stories, and the warning examples. But when a good one comes along, a really good one, there’s nothing like it.

AA Waterman

AA Waterman

Hard rubber is a contradictory material. It is much stronger than you would think. We’ve literally taken a hammer to a (previously damaged) barrel, as a means of stress-testing it. And had it bounce off. A half-dozen times. But soak it in water, or leave it in the sun, and it turns olive-brown. If it does crack, it is very difficult—almost impossible—to repair.

AA Waterman

AA Waterman – imprint detail

But when it is cared for, it will last nearly forever. And so we come to this lovely, incredible, pen.

The Arthur A. Waterman Company operated at the same time as the better-known L. E. Waterman. And, for all that LE were, and are, known for producing outstanding pens, AA made better ones.

AA Waterman - nib detail

AA Waterman – nib detail

This is what chased hard rubber should look like: smooth, and so shiny you can see yourself in it. The chasing should be clear and crisp. Pair that with a nice flexible, responsive nib, and we have one of the best examples of one of the best pens ever made.

And then we give it back.

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