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Fountain Pen Review: Waterman Hemisphere


Introduction

Once a prominent force in the fountain pen market, Waterman are looking to get back on track with the Waterman Hemisphere; a mid-tier fountain pen that builds upon their entry-level additions such as the Waterman Allure. The Waterman aims to combine high-end aesthetics, build quality and writing experience with affordability. 

Specs

  • Weight: 27g
  • Nib Material: Steel
  • Length (capped): 14cm
  • Length (uncapped): 12.5cm
  • Trim: Chrome
  • Barrel Material: Resin
  • Nib size: Medium
  • Ink refill: Converter & Cartridge
  • Ink colour: Black 
  • Pen colour: Black 

Aesthetics

The Waterman Hemisphere comes in various colours and designs including matte black, stainless steel and chrome plated. Rarely does every variant of a fountain pen look good, yet each of the different Hemisphere editions look as premium as the next. The modern-looking Hemisphere has a few subtle additions that further add to the high-end aesthetic; the engraved clip alongside the engraved scrollwork on the nib really help to cement this pen as a higher-end fountain pen compared to their previous instalments such as the Waterman Allure.

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Some variants of the Waterman Hemisphere come with a 23 karat gold trim, this sleek and reflective incorporation makes the Hemisphere look far superior to the other variants, as well as many rivals. Like most Waterman fountain pens, the Hemisphere comes in a silky, smooth packaging box. The hemisphere itself lies in a bed of velvet; Waterman's decision to direct some of their effort towards the packaging, results in a much more satisfying unboxing experience for the consumer. 

Overall, with it's sleek shape, minimalistic design and classy features, the Waterman Hemisphere's aesthetics suggest it is much more premium than the price tag suggests.

Construction Quality

Like most Waterman products, the Hemisphere is well constructed and seems to be designed with longevity in mind. Depending on which edition you buy, the material of the barrel differs; the most common barrel material is stainless steel. The stainless steel body feels robust and strong, it's therefore going to take some extreme action to break the Hemisphere. Additionally, the 23 karat gold nib feels strong and bouncy; whilst the clip is securely attached. Furthermore, like most of Waterman's fountain pens the cap is tight fitted meaning the ink won't dry out without any human error. 

Unlike Waterman's entry level fountain pens such as the Expert, the editions of the Hemisphere which feature a lacquer coating the barrel are scratch resistant. Therefore, without scratches being very prominent or removing the coating, the Hemisphere can survive a long time without looking raggedy. 

Ergonomics

Waterman's Hemisphere is strangely on the heavier yet thinner side of most fountain pen's. It's heavy nature gives it a premium feel but after writing with it for longer periods of time it can become quite uncomfortable and tiring due to how heavy it is. Furthermore, because of how thin the pen is, it can be awkward to write with for those with bigger hands.

The Hemisphere's balance is well distributed along the pen; even when the cap is posted, the Hemisphere does not feel top heavy at all. The Hemisphere's grip section caters to the majority of writers due to its length, width and it's sleek design. 

Writing Performance

The Hemisphere sports a standard sized, stainless steel nib. The Hemisphere produces neither a fine or bold line, instead opting to cater to the majority of people by being an average sized writer. The nib is sturdy with a nice bounce to it; you can expect to see no hard starting or skipping with this pen.

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Furthermore, Waterman have found the perfect balance of wetness for this pen, it produces clean and sleek lines whilst drying quickly to avoid smudging and smearing. It's also worth noting that the Hemisphere performs well on every type of surface, no matter the paper quality. Additionally, unlike other Waterman fountain pens such as the Expert, the Hemisphere's nib doesn't get blocked by ink. This means you don't have to worry about constantly cleaning it out in order to maintain a good writing experience and due to the tight fitted cap you don't have to worry about the ink drying out.

Maintenance

The Hemisphere supports both a standard ink cartridge refilling system, as well as being converter friendly. The Hemisphere comes with a blue ink cartridge inside its packaging, meaning you can start using it straight out of the box. Furthermore, the Hemisphere supports the use of universal ink cartridges; this further adds to the easy maintenance of the Hemisphere, as you can find suitable ink cartridges at most high-street stationers and online retailers.

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A drawback to the Hemisphere is the packaging does not include a converter. This means that if you wanted to fill your pen from a specific ink bottle then you would have to invest further money into the pen. The converters are readily available in Waterman's online shop. Another drawback is the fiddly process of disassembling the pen; if you want to clean out the pen, this can result in a long and frustrating experience. 

As with most Waterman fountain pens, the Hemisphere comes with a three year warranty meaning if anything happens to your pen, you can exchange it for a new one. This peace of mind when buying a non-budget fountain pen is invaluable. 

Value for Money & Conclusion 

Waterman's Hemisphere is priced at around the £65 price mark at most high street stationers and online retailers. The Hemisphere is aimed at the more premium market and for those who prefer a pen that's abit more luxurious than a fountain pen. For those looking for the best writing experience possible at this price range, it'd be wise to pursue other options. However, for those who place more emphasis on aesthetics over functionality, then you should seriously consider the Hemisphere. The sleek, classy design suggests this pen is much more luxurious than it really is. 

 

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