The first thing that made us decide to write a Waterman Hemisphere Fountain Pen review was its looks.
There’s something about the sleek profile and boldly etched nib that instantly draws the eye.
It’s probably not a great place to start if you’re looking for a starter pen, as it costs more than your average person will be willing to fork out for a piece of writing equipment. But if you’re looking for an upgrade, or seeking out a rare piece of equipment to add to your collection, you could do worse than going for Waterman pens.
We took everything about the Waterman Hemisphere apart, figuratively and literally. Keep reading and to find out more about this pen, from a detailed analysis of its writing capabilities to its impressive ink reservoir.
Waterman Hemisphere (Our Review)
- Elegantly slim design for a delicate lightness when writing and sophisticated silhouette
- Bold, gloss black lacquered barrel, sleek 23-karat gold plated trim, slim clip and broad ring that expresses cool, crisp style
- Smooth, consistent and skilfully crafted nib engraved with the iconic Waterman emblem
- Meticulously crafted in France to enhance your signature style
- Presented in a premium dark blue Waterman gift box; ideal for marking momentous occasions
This Waterman fountain pen sets itself above the rest when it comes to quality. These pens are made in France, which is often considered to be the homeland of quality pens. The design incorporates top-quality materials like stainless steel, gold, and lacquer to give you a pen that’s as durable as it is pretty.
This is because they manufactured the cap walls to be a bit higher than what you’d find in other pens. The cap is made from metal which keeps the back of the pen nice and heavy when posted.
Waterman products display a level of sophistication and detail that’s not present in most other fountain pens in their price range. At a glance, you would expect it to be in the same bracket as brands like Parker or Montblanc, but they cost less than a fraction of the price.
The Hemisphere Fountain Pen is pleasantly thin, which lets you find the point of balance with relative ease. This makes writing with the pen a pleasure, as it naturally tends to find the point of equilibrium, which allows you hours of writing without having to worry about your hands getting sore or the pen slipping.
We’ll confess, when we first started with the pen, we were expecting much less. A pen that looks feels, and writes like the Waterman Hemisphere will normally cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
You can pick up a Waterman Hemisphere for around $80.
- Medium nib
- Made with high-quality material
- Slim design
- Comfortable writing
- Rigid nib
- Converter not included
The Waterman Hemisphere uses a cartridge converter ink reservoir. Traditionalist writers will enjoy this feature because not only does it make filling and refilling easier, but you can also use bottled ink which adds that renaissance feel that fountain pens provide.
The Hemisphere is a lightweight fountain pen. We’ve had loads of arguments in the office about whether or not that’s a good thing. Really, it comes down to personal preference and style.
If you’re a beginner, you might think that a light pen is a better place to start, but that’s not necessarily the case. Heavier pens need less pressure while writing to draw the ink out of them, so they tend to be more comfortable for some.
Fortunately for the Hemisphere, the ink flow is exceptional. You don’t need to press down as hard as you normally would for unbroken flow as you would with other light pens.
In terms of performance, the Hemisphere is pretty close to perfect.
As a standard, the Hemisphere comes with a medium-sized steel nib. It writes well and the lines are far enough apart to give you some good line variation. This adds a flair to your writing that you just can’t get from rollerball or ballpoint pens.
While the steel option is a standard, you can choose the optional gold-plated nib for a little extra. This further protects the nib from oxidizing in the event that it’s exposed to moisture or corrosive chemicals.
If you’re feeling extra splashy, you can even opt for a pure gold nib. You need to be extra careful working with these that the tines don’t bend or break, but the gold makes the nib extra flexible, which allows for more advanced writing styles.
If your handwriting is small, consider using a fine or extra-fine nib, as the thin lines will give each of your characters a clear distinction. If your writing is a bit bigger, consider using the bold or italic options.
The one downside we have with the standard option is that there’s little flexibility, which limits your options in terms of style. If you’re willing to pay for the added gold trim, however, this is quickly solved.
The Waterman Hemisphere Fountain pen uses an ink cartridge converter filling system. These are reusable cartridges that you can fill either with a bulb syringe or directly from a bottle of ink, which gives you plenty of options when your pen runs dry.
To fill the pen, simply detach the cartridge from the barrel and fill it using a bulb syringe straight from your new ink. Alternatively, you can dip the pen into the ink below the line of the feed and use the screw mechanism to draw it into the feed.
Once you get the hang of writing with this pen, it’s an absolute joy to work with.
The flow of ink is consistent, but it is sometimes susceptible to clogging, especially if you’re using sub-par paper. Because the ink flows evenly, you can sometimes end with a film of wet ink sitting on the surface of the page.
This isn’t the end of the world, but if you don’t give it a couple of minutes to dry adequately, you’re going to end up with smudged, or worse, illegible writing.
You can also rest assured knowing that if you happen to leave your pen uncapped for a while, it won’t dry out. This is because the feed has thin air holes which limit the amount of moisture that can escape from inside the tube. Not only will this save you ink, but it will also keep your pen in working condition for longer.
Dry pieces of ink in the feed can clog the nib and stop the inner mechanisms from working properly, which shortens the lifespan of the pen and you’ll need to either thoroughly clean it out or replace it entirely.
Where Do We Stand?
There’s not much about the Waterman Hemisphere that we don’t like. It’s a treat to write with and comes at a surprisingly affordable price.
The choice of either gold trim or stainless steel nibs make it an instrument that works for all manner of writers, from calligraphers to powerful executives.
While it’s far from being cheap, the price tag on the Hemisphere is honestly too good to turn down. It’s hands down one of our favorite fountain pens of all time.
Any collector, no matter their budget, would be a fool to pass on the chance to own one of these fine pens.