A Black Plastic Waterman Fountain Pen from France

I used to have this really wonderful and stylish black plastic Waterman fountain pen I bought in Paris. It had an orange clip and cost about US $5 (30 francs, I think.). It was cool because it looked good–the plastic was a kind of nylon-like softish plastic with a matte finish. And it wrote pretty well. I liked to use it as my main writing utensil.

But I lost it. I’d picked up another one at some point and given it to my father, and one day over at his house on Lakeview, I quietly lifted it out of his lazy-susan pen tray. (I still need to tell him about that.)

I was happy again. But one day, after telling my students how much I liked the pen and how they weren’t made any longer, it disappeared from my classroom.

Now I’ve been looking for one of them again, but I don’t know what they’re called. I’ve got a standing search on eBay for ‘plastic Waterman’, but I’m not too hopeful.

Anybody know where to buy another one? Or at least what they’re called?

17 Comments

  1. Hi,
    sorry to have come here a year late 🙁
    As for identifying your Waterman, I suggest that you head over to fountain pens network (located at http://www.fountainpennetwork.com) and ask in their forum. It is a huge community of pen collectors, there are knowledgeable people on every fountain pen ever made out there under the sun 🙂 Another option is jetpens.com – also friendly forum.
    Have you tried Waterman’s website? It would take some time searching through all the pens, but might be worth it.
    But I believe they might take older models off their website…
    Anywayz, wish you good luck in your searches 🙂

  2. I think I know the fountain pen you are talking about. I you are interested I can send you a photo of mine. I think the name of the pen was something like jiffy (?).
    Maybe I can try to investigate on that.
    I would like to buy a new one and I am afraid that the only way will be to buy a used one. I haven’t seen those pens for a long time

  3. lizzy, thanks for the info! I googled ‘jiffy’, but didn’t find anything. I tried ‘jif’ and found some older pens that didn’t look anything like what I had.

    But yes, if you have a photo, I’d sure love to see. Thanks! 🙂

  4. Hey, I think I have a few of the pens you are talking about… I work for a French company, so I go to France usually once or twice a year. I would usually buy a few inexpensive plastic fountain pens from the local Auchan store (sorta like a big supermarket). Anyhow, I have three plastic watermans: blue with yellow clip, red with blue clip, and black with red clip. I’ll try and take some digital photos of them and email to you… I love the black/red combo also. I’ll look for some more when I’m in France this April…

    Thanks, Brian

  5. Brian, wow, that would be really cool.

    The one I had was a matte black one with a light orange clip. The plastic had a kind of soft feel to it, as if it had been made of nylon or something.

    I was told that they were pretty common in France, so I didn’t think I’d have trouble finding them again. However, I suspect that they’re no longer being made.

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time to post! 🙂

  6. i also had a black waterman pen with an orange clip and steel nib. i also had a white one nad a periwinkle blue that had a white clip. a friend in collegfe brought them back from me when she went home for christmas to paris. she said they were “like bic pens” over there. several years ago, i called waterman as i had lost them all and they sent me a couple for free. i guess they really were cheap pens. they are all lost now, and i am wondering if you ever found the name of the pen. i am trying to find them again.

  7. right after i posted last time, i emailed waterman here in the US who emailed her counterpart in france who, 3 days later, fed-exed me 2 Jiffie fountain pens at no charge. exactly as i remember them. but i can’t find them to buy online.

    • are you still there? i would really like to identify and find the pen you mention. i also had it and lost it, and never managed to find it again: e-bay or whatever
      many thanks

      • Yes, still here! I am also still looking for a pen like this. I haven’t even been able to find an image of it anywhere.

  8. Hi Erin
    If you’re still there and still looking, you may find these two links with images interesting:
    http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/230204-waterman-inexpensive-fountain-pen-to-identify/
    http://dirck.delint.ca/beta/?page_id=8627
    I have a black version of that pen with an orange clip and a white version with a black clip, both purchased some time in the 80s and used quite extensively. Over time, ink seems to have eaten through the outer coating of the plastic on the grip section of the black one. It is now quite porous, making the nib quite loose and basically unusable. The white one is in slightly better shape but also deteriorating to the extent that I’m reluctant to use it. Would love to find a new one but no luck so far. They were great little pens while they lasted.
    Dean

    • Dean, thanks! That’s helpful. I actually bought the ones I had in Paris (at some department store) in the late 80s and early 90s. I liked them, but like a couple other Waterman pens I have, I had trouble with ink flow.

      From what I’ve read online (and most of the information seems to come from the fountainpennetwork forum), the pen was called a JIF or JIFFY. I recently found a good substitute–the very popular (and for good reason) Lamy Safari. That’s a fantastic everyday fountain pen.

      Thanks for the info. I appreciate it.

      • Jif, Jiffie, Jif 2 … it seems there were lots of variants and they were pretty ubiquitous. I got mine in a bookstore in Hong Kong. My Lamy Safari, which is more or less the same vintage as the Waterman, is still going strong – which I guess is one reason for its popularity. Doesn’t have quite the ‘softness’ in the hand of the Waterman, though. After a longish hiatus from fountain pens, these days I’ve been seeking out some of the old Sheaffers and Parkers I grew up with. Surprising how many can be found quite cheaply as new old stock, and also very usable as everyday pens.

  9. Dear All, I just came back from Paris and could not find those colorfull (White, black, orange, blue, green) plastic Waterman Fountain Pens any more. This is my third unsussefull time.I bought them in bunches for presents ages ago (arround Year 2000). Recently a friend of mine -who introduced me to those pens- knowing I was traveling to Paris ask me for some. I have to recognize that I have not done a thorough search, but looking at pens stores, supermarkets and duty free (where they were very popular then) I have not been able to get one. At a pen store in Saint Michel the vendor shoed me a Japanise black one but at an order of magnitude cost (about 300 euros). It seems to me that they are out the market. If someone find one, let me know. It seems that those pens have have become Colector´s item…Best regards.

    • Hi there! I am still on the lookout for those pens, but I haven’t traveled far to look for them. From the comments on this post, I’ve learned two things: I’m not the only one looking for them and they’re not (easily) found in Paris.

      I will keep looking from time to time, though. 🙂

  10. Just found one NOS on eBay.fr! Looking for three years, decided to browse there today on a whim. They’re still out there.

    • Hey, Dean! That’s sorta exciting to hear. Post a pic of it if you ever come back, haha. I’m going to check out the French eBay, too.

      Edit: What were your search terms? Or what’s the pen actually called?

  11. Here’s a new listing for one with a yellow clip (I got orange) from the same seller:
    http://www.ebay.fr/itm/NOS-Waterman-Fountain-Pen-Black-w-Yellow-Clip-Fine-Nib-France-1980s-/142478888716?hash=item212c674f0c:g:5~AAAOSwr3BZlbEQ

    It’s the second-generation pen (Jif 2?) with the newer logo on the clip and a slightly different cap clutch and section. The section of my old pen (Jiffie?) disintegrated over time, so the redesign might be a good thing. Maybe I’ll stick to cartridges to avoid immersing the section every refill.

    In case you miss the listing, these were my (probably overkill) search terms:
    waterman (jiffie,jif,plastic,plastique,école,school,1980,1980s) (fountain pen,stylo plume) -ad

    Good luck!

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