Modern Waterman Pens - The 1990s

Here are some notes about Waterman pens made through the 1990s.

Le Man 100

The Le Man 100 was introduced in 1983 for the company's 100th anniversary. I believe it was discontinued around 2000, except for the precious metal versions, which lasted at least through a 2001 Waterman dealer catalog that I have (I have also heard from J.M. Lewertowski that the Man 100 was never technically discontinued; a tiny trickle of the sterling silver is still made available for the Asian market as of 2006. Fascinating!).

There are two main nib designs: a simple two-tone nib imprinted with "Waterman / Ideal / Paris / 18k 750 / France" and a fancier one with a globe on it. I think they changed over to the globe design around 1989 (does anyone have firm documentation?)

Identifying characteristics: tubular shape, 1-2 cap rings, 2 end rings, washer clip, a ring on the section, and gold plate at the end of the section where the nib is inserted. Large. Has 18k 2-tone nib, in 2 variants (Ideal and Globe).

The standard version is your basic black with gold trim. I do not know if any other solid colors were actually made.

There are at least three precious metal finishes:

  • Sterling Silver: in a fluted/pinstripe engraved pattern, with gold trim. The sections can be matching or black, with the silver section being the earlier one.
  • Sterling Silver: in a smooth finish, with matching section. Made from 1985-1987 and considerably rarer than the normal fluted sterling version.
  • 18k Solid Gold: cap, barrel, section, everything made from 18k gold. I think this had to be special-ordered and had an MSRP in the $12000 ballpark. These were so expensive than stores did not have them on display (for all the obvious theft concerns, I imagine). Instead, Waterman made brass gold-plated mockups for display purposes; if a customer wanted one, he would place an order for the real thing. These "official fakes" are engraved "SPECIMEN" on the side to distinguish them from the real thing.

There are two finishes based on the black pen that are done up to look like the black chased hard rubber pens of yore. They are:

  • Opera: a standard scalloped chased design
  • Harlequin: a diamond/checkerboard design

The Harlequin is considerably harder to find than the Opera, at least in the United States.

Of note is the "Patrician" sub-range, which is the Le Man dressed up to look like a 1930s vintage Patrician. They were produced for a short time, 1992-1994. The finishes are different and quite a bit more colorful, and the cap band features a fancier design:

  • Patrician Blue
  • Patrician Red/Orange
  • Patrician Green

There are also several that were made entirely of wood. Three of the finishes were released as limited editions (or so I've heard):

  • Briar Wood Limited Edition (1987)
  • Macassar Wood Limited Edition (1987)
  • Olive Wood Limited Edition (1988)

More common are the three "Fontainebleau" wood finishes. I believe the timeframe for these is the early 1990s. These are also made of wood, but are stained rather than natural wood:

  • Fontainebleau Havana Brown
  • Fontainebleau Green
  • Fontainebleau Blue

Additionally, there is a Rose Wood pen, but this was only a factory prototype and never entered general production.

Finally, let's talk about the Limited Editions. I know of several, but there may be ones I am missing:

  • 100th Anniversary (1983): Not exactly a limited edition, but some of the first-year Man 100s came in special boxes with 1883-1983 on a sash covering the little rubber band thingies in their standard case. The nib also includes the 1883-1983 inscription.
  • Sterling Silver Limited Edition (1985): I don't know much other than a passing reference to the fact that 5000 were made.
  • Bicentennial of the French Revolution (1989): This is a black Le Man with a special emblem on the clip and with packaging commemmorating the French Revolution
  • America 1492 (1992): Sterling silver godron cap and section with a briarwood body. Italian market (or at least the packaging is Italian). I don't know how many were made, but less than 1000 (the photos I saw showed a 3-digit xxx/xxx number on the plaque in the box).
  • Etoile Limited Edition (1993): This is a sterling silver engraved (pattern is similar to fougere) pen with matching satin sterling section. It comes with a pin made from a nib (but curiously not the same nib on the pen itself). Only 1000 were made and I believe all went to the Italian market, as the packaging is all in Italian.
  • FIFA World Cup Soccer (1998). A solid blue pen (with black blind cap and section). Made to commemmorate the French World Cup victory in 1998. I do not know how many were made, and the photo I saw didn't show clearly if there were any Wolrd Cup-specific markings or if it is just a blue pen.

Le Man 200

The Le Man 200 is a smaller and thinner version of the Man 100. Introduced in 1985 and discontinued in the late 1990s or early 2000. Same tubular squared profile (but smaller and noticeably thinner), two cap rings, two end rings, and similar other trim. If you own both, it is easy to tell them apart based on size; if not, know that the Man 100 has a finned feed while the Man 200 has a flat feed.

There are two solid color finishes, with matching sections:

  • Black
  • Bordeaux/Cordovan

On the fancy side, there are the Night and Day finishes, which is a metal overlay with long vertical cutouts, giving the appearence of black stripes on a metal pen. There are two finishes:

  • Day: gold
  • Night: silver

Many of the patterned finishes are called "Rhapsody" - I'm not sure if this applies to all patterned finishes or what the proper nomenclature would be. These were introduced in 1989. Regardless, it only refers to a subset of the Le Man 200 line, almost identical except for the finishes (the other differences are in the section; the regular one has a single gold plated ring where it meets the barrel, while the Rhapsody has the ring split into two parts so that they form a ring when screwed in). I think they were introduced around 1989-1992, with different finishes coming in at different times.

The Rhapsody Marble finishes are a color/black swirled marble finish. There are three colors that I know of (introduced 1989):

  • Rhapsody Marble Blue
  • Rhapsody Marble Green
  • Rhapsody Marble Orange/Brown

The Rhapsody Mineral finishes are more celluloid-like and look like dark gem-like flakes in stone. There are three finishes (introduced 1992):

  • Rhapsody Mineral Red
  • Rhapsody Mineral Blue
  • Rhapsody Mineral Green

Finally, there are the "Caviar" finishes, which look more like lizard skin. I am told they were introduced towards the beginning of production (1989), but have no firm documentation. There are at least the following:

  • Caviar Blue
  • Caviar White


The Gentleman was the top-end pen that preceeded the Le Man line (and coexisted with it for a while). It is a slender metal tubular pen. First introduced in 1974. They were discontinued around 1996/1997 but remained in the supply chain for a few years more.

The Gentleman is made of lacquer over brass and has a single cap ring. There are three rings (more like ridges) on the cap tassie and two similar ones at the end of the barrel opposite the nib. The disc-shaped jewel is black/gold with the Waterman "W" logo.

The nib is an Ideal 18k single-tone nib and the section is trimmed with gold. The barrel and section match colors.

I know of at least the following finishes (gold trim unless otherwise specified):

  • Black
  • Bordeaux
  • Sterling Fluted
  • Gold Plate Fluted
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Lacque du Chine (chinese lacquer, amber flake on black)
  • Silver Barleycorn
  • Gold Barleycorn
  • Brown Marble
  • Grey Checker
  • Brown Checker

There is also at least one limited edition:

  • Sterling Silver Limited Edition (1987): Made for Franklin Mint, with miniature gold coins set in the clip and cap tassie. Silver body has Godron pattern. Comes in Franklin Mint packaging.


These were 1990s vintage pens. I am not sure when they were introduced or discontinued.

They are lacquer over brass with 18k nibs and quite slender. Identifying features: There are 3 rings on the cap lip (with black lacquer between them) and two rings on the top of the cap (also with black between them) plus a washer clip that is kind of like a third ring. The most distinctive feature is the section, which ribbed to appear like a hand grenade or corncob.

This pen is frequently mistaken for the Executive, which does not have the grenade-like section.

I know of at least the following finishes (all gold trim):

  • Blue Marble
  • Red Marble
  • Green Marble
  • Tortoiseshell/Thuya
  • Brown Marble
  • Black
  • Gold Plate Fluted
  • Silver Barleycorn
  • Gold Barleycorn
  • Silver Fluted
  • Stainless


Another 1980s-1990s vintage skinny metal Waterman. I think they were introduced around 1985 (though anytime in the early 1980s would be right, I think).

These pens are slender lacquer over brass, with only one thin ring at the cap lip and 18k single-tone nibs. The section is fluted, with lots of thin lines running lengthwise.

I know of at least the following finishes (gold trim):

  • Burgundy
  • Stainless
  • Fluted Silver GT
  • Brown Marble
  • Tortoiseshell
  • Black GT
  • Gold-plated Moire
  • Blue Marble

Maestro / 1900

This pen is known as the Maestro in most of the world and as the 1900 in Europe. I think it was introduced around 1995 and discontinued around 1998 (anyone have documentation?)

These are lower-end skinny Waterman pens with gold-plated steel nibs. The section has four rings/ridges where it meets the body; this is the easiest identifying characteristic.

I know of at least the following finishes:

  • Metallic Green
  • Metallic Blue
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Stainless
  • Gunmetal
  • Fluted Goldplate
  • Chromeplate
  • Gloss Burgundy
  • Matte Burgundy
  • Matte Black
  • Matte Blue


This pen looks an awful lot like a cheaper Laureat, but with ridges on the blind cap and the squared part of the section. Introduced (probably) in the late 1980s, definitely available by 1990. Made of lacquer over brass with a fair amount of plastic.

I know of at least the following finishes:

  • Brown/Tobacco Marble
  • Green Marble
  • Red/Sienna Marble
  • Bright Blue Marble
  • Dark Blue/Grey marble
  • Grey/Dark Green Marble


A low-end all-plastic pen with black plastic trim and gold-plated nibs. They came in colorful plastics. The nicer ones had gold and plastic trim while the cheaper ones had plastic trim rings with a gold-plated clip.

I know of at least the following finishes:

  • Expression Blue (blue swirl)
  • Expression Red (red swirl)
  • Expression Safran (ivory swirl)
  • Florentine Blue (blue marble)
  • Florentine Aubergine (purple marble)
  • Florentine Orange (red/orange marble)
  • grey marble with red tirm
  • red pastel swirl with blue/red plastic trim
  • chrome with red plastic trim
  • impressionistic blue/green with black/green plastic trim
  • fluted chrome with black/gold trim
  • royal blue with black/gold trim
  • red with yellow trim and section
  • green with white plastic trim
  • light green with black plastic trim
  • yellow with black plastic trim
  • smooth chrome with black/turquoise trim
  • midnight blue with orange plastic section and trim
  • scalloppd red/black with black/white plastic trim

I assume the more hideous ones (of which there were many) were sold mostly as school pens.

Lady Charlotte

A small clipless women's purse pen. The barrel end matches the main barrel and it has a fluted section. Gold-plated nib.

Known colors:

  • Green Lacquer
  • Red Lacquer
  • Blue Lacquer
  • Black Lacquer
  • Fluted Silver Plate
  • Black/White mix (like splatter paint)
  • Red Marble
  • Blue Marble


The Anastasia features a paintng on the cap; the specific painting varies by color. There is also a painted band on the body and a fluted section, topped in plated gold. Gold-plated nibs. First released in 1995 and discontinued in 1999

Known colors (Anastasia):

  • Red (portrait of female Russian monarch)
  • Green (two people)
  • Royal Blue (woman in chariot)
  • Light Blue (?)

There are also the "Reve Latin" variants which I think are Iberian / Latin American market only (I have a Portuguese catalog showing them). The colors are (Reve Latin):

  • Reve Latin Ocre de Napoles (orange with a crown in a field of blue)
  • Reve Latin Azul Faianca (blue with white portrait on black field)
  • Reve Latin Vermelho Volcano (red with black pattern, no portrait)

Lady Patricia

A fun blinged-out women's pen, following the small and clipless style of the other Lady pens. Introduced in 1987. The Patricia is distinguished from the others in that the pattern is made up of colorful faceted squares covering the pen, mosaic-like, in a spiral. Has 18k gold nib.

Known colors:

  • Gold squares on black
  • Gold squares on blue
  • Gold squares on burgundy
  • Gold squares over gold

Lady Agathe

The most blinged-out of their women's pens, the Lady Agathe has a resin body and cap with a gold-plated fluted section and an 18k gold nib with a heart breather hole. The cap button has the Waterman globe in gold. They come in a matching holder/case made of the same resin and trimmed in gold. All colors are combinations of geometric flakes in random arrangements. I am not sure when they were introduced or discontinued, but they definitely existed in 1993 and 1996 (based on catalog presence).

I am told that the Lady Agathe is quite rare, and true enough it does not turn up on eBay as often as the other Lady pens.

Known colors:

  • Blue/Topaz mineral-like
  • Rubine/Blue mineral-like
  • Magenta/Bronze mineral-like
  • blue/brown wavy lines
  • fluted gold?
  • fluted silver?

Expert (original)

The predecessor to the current Expert (which is constructed out of metal and has a very different nib), made of plastic. I do not know when they came out but 1995 sounds right. Discontinued and replaced by the Expert II, which now just goes by Expert

Distinguishing features: plastic body, plastic cap jewel with embossed W, a cap band with the W (but not the full word Waterman). Shape is generally same as current Expert (II) but the nib is very unusual and has a large long breather hole (the Expert II nib is very conventional).

Known colors (gold trim):

  • Dark Green
  • Light Green
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Grey
  • Burgundy

There is one Special Edition for the original Expert: the Cinematographie 1895-1995. This pen is red or black with gold trim and has a medal on the clip, a film sproket hole pattern on the cap band, and is packed in a film-reel-style tin.

  • Cinematographie 1895-1995 Special Edition (Red)
  • Cinematographie 1895-1995 Special Edition (Black)

Laureat (I/II)

Waterman must have sold a lot of these because I get tons of identification requests and it often winds up being this pen. It is quite distinctive with a prominent black band between the barrel and cap when the pen is capped. This comes from the section, which has a straight full-diameter part, as well as some ribbed bits on the grip.

I don't know when they were introduced or discontinued, but would guess they came out in the early 1990s (or even late 1980s) and were discontinued by the early 2000s. It's the quintessential midrange 1990s Waterman.

There are two variants: the older ones had a squared off clip, while the newer ones are more rounded. The newer ones also have the trim rings moved to the section and blind cap instead of being on the barrel and a slightly fanicer-looking nib.

Laureat II colors:

  • Blue Marble
  • Grey Marble
  • Green Marble
  • Red Marble
  • Black
  • Red speckled with transparent red section
  • Blue swirls with transparent blue section and chrome trim ("Maritime")
  • blue marble with chrome trim
  • Brown speckled with transparent brown section
  • Red Woodgrain
  • Blue Woodgrain
  • Brown Woodgrain
  • Red Ebonite-like
  • Brown Marble

Laureat I colors (am probably missing lots):

  • Stainless
  • Blue/Grey Marble
  • Dark Green Marble
  • Red/Black (flame-like)
  • Blue CT
  • Black
  • Gunmetal