One of my recent acquisitions is the Waterman Carene. Actually, I got it a while ago, but since then there have been many exciting new launches (the Lamy Al-Star Vibrant Pink, Sailor’s Royal Tangerine, the 45 from Franklin-Christoph), and sometimes you can only handle so much excitement before you need to go home and take a breath.
Waterman is one of the oldest names in fountain pens, and the Hemisphere is one of our most popular pens for people wanting a conventional-looking pen, either as a gift or just out of personal taste (I love the Safari and I use them so regularly that I sometimes have to step back and remember that it’s a bit of a unique design when people come into the shop looking for their first fountain pen), however it’s the Carene that’s really caught my eye. The heart wants what the heart wants.
I’d been thinking about this pen for years, but only picked it up fall of last year. Strangely, it was Jon Chan, head pen clerk himself who stopped me from getting it – it has a very distinctive integrated, inlaid nib, and it otherwise walks a bit of a line between modern and classic – and Jon’s not particularly into the aesthetic.
It’s a polarizing pen if there ever was one, in the dramatics of the pen world – people either like the nib or they (really) don’t. It’s strange because Jon’s a real Lamy 2000 guy, and while that pen is not exactly similar, there are some similarities (black, snap cap, weird nib).
Actually the only other hesitation I had for it is that it’s a bit on the heavier side. It’s ironic that in the shop, people sometimes choose the Carene for a pen that you can bring to the boardroom or not feel too flashy with, but I like smaller and lighter pens – and flashy is not really a problem for my line of work.
But I got the pen, and while I had some debate over getting the Amber version, I stuck with the classic black and gold, and it’s fitting right in with the pen family. It turns out the weight isn’t as problematic as I thought, especially since it’s well balanced, and it’s a great daily writer. I find that I’m in a season of life that’s decently busy – new baby, new studio shop, moving – and I have less and less time to “play” or enjoy super broad and inky pens and beautiful new colours; this has been a terrific pen to get some writing done. I specifically got a fine rather than something broader because I wanted this to be an everyday writer for me.
One of my favourite things about this pen is the closing mechanism on it between the section and the barrel – there’s a double o-ring, so when you close it, it’s a soft feel before it closes tight, like IKEA drawers closing. A delightful secret between you and your pen (and now me and you).
Here’s a video I posted of it with the Sailor Grenade, that good old stalwart burgundy. Actually I’ve been meaning to try and take more videos with my camera, but I’m actually a bit shockingly tech illiterate for my age and I’ve been having a hard time getting to know new programs or putting music to videos or splicing clips together into one video. I think I sort of unintentionally took a break from “new” technology after I started the business, also because Jon has always been around to do things like install internet routers or learn new software programs for shipping, and now I’m…rusty.
The nib is 18k, but I don’t find it too soft. My favourite thing about the pen, other than how the nib looks, is the way the nib connects with the page – you can really feel it, without it being scratchy. You can sort of get a sense of it from the video.
In any case, it’s a great option for someone looking for a discreet yet classy pen, for the boardroom or the workplace. It’s a distinctive nib shape that I guess you either love or hate, and while normally I’m a big fan of classic nibs, like on Pelikan or Sailor, I’m all for this inlaid nib.
In other news, I continue my lifelong, tear-jerky fascination with the Olympics. I’m always a little late to the game because we don’t have TV, so it’s only after the social media worlds are inundated with news and announcements that I finally start to get into it. The luge! What an insane sport. The double luge! Don’t even know how to describe that one. In particular, I like to look up the slow motion re-plays of things like bobsled take-offs and explanations on how things are supposed to happen – although I looked up an lengthy article on the different jumps for figure skating, with slow-motion gifs, and they still all look exactly the same to me, except the back-flip, which doesn’t even help me since it’s illegal in the Olympics.
And then this morning! Drama and heartbreak with the Canadian women’s speed skating relay! Despite knowing basically about as little as possible about the sport as might be required to watch it – that they push each other’s bums, and they have extremely muscular thighs – it’s been a strangely emotional morning.
Currently eating: plantain chips
Currently reading: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
Current analogue project: organizing Caleb’s toys and art supplies into bins
Currently grateful for: cat purring, a little boy excited to share about his preschool adventures, sick babies for whom a cold is just a cold
Latest heard from the mouths of babes:
(Upon playing the children’s game, What Time is it Mr. Wolf, at Caleb’s suggestion, with Caleb volunteering to take the part of Mr. Wolf).
Mama: What time is it Mr. Wolf?
Caleb: I’m not a wolf, I’m Mr. Fox.
Mama: Okay, what time is it Mr. Fox?
Caleb: No, I’m just a regular fox.