My Favorite Pens – The Waterman 0552 1/2 Overlay

On this weeks episode of My Favorite Pens, I focus on a Waterman 0552 1/2 smooth gold filled overlay. This pen has special meaning for me as it was a pen I saw at the Atlanta Pen Show many years back, when Lisa and I attended a show as dealers for the very first time. In that year we had one table, filled with about three or four slotter boxes of pens, some Proper Pads notepads, and a few other odds and ends. A far cry from the five bulging tables we occupy these days. Still, everyone has to start somewhere, and there it was. It was a good buying show and we managed to pick up a number of pens to be restored and sold later. It was not, however, a very lucrative show while we were there. At the end of the show, I spotted this pretty little Waterman overlay, and although the price was right, we just simply had not made enough money to justify buying it. We were saving money for Lisa’s impending move to Wisconsin and this was not a purchase to be made.

Waterman 0552 1/2

Waterman 0552 1/2

Lisa did however know the seller quite well, and after we got back contacted him about the pen. Unbeknownst to me, she purchased the pen and had it shipped to Wisconsin by the sellers wife, who I did not know. Since I was receiving a number of packages weekly for Lisa at this time, it was no strange occurrence to get yet another package, to which I just set it aside. The next time she called, she said to not bother with it, set it aside and she would open it when she next came up from Florida.

Skip forward a couple of months and it is time for my birthday. Lisa hands me a small package to open up and here it is the Waterman overlay I had lusted over at the show. I asked about it and she informed me not only was it here at the house the whole time, but it was hidden at the bottom of my sock drawer for the past couple of months to boot!

This particular Waterman overlay is a model 0552 1/2 and is marked as such on the barrel end of the pen. What does that mean? Well in the Waterman numbering system, 05 stands for Gold Filed Overlay, 5 stands for Lever Filler, 2 stands for #2 sized nib, and 1/2 stands for slender model. The numbering system took a bit of a change in 1917 and since this pen is also engraved “LRL 1917” can be a pretty good indicator that this is an accurate date for the pen. Anything prior to this would have been a 0512 1/2 PSF to designate the exact same pen.

While some people do not like personalized engravings on pens, I rather like and expect them on overlay pens. Without them they are naked. This one adds the bonus of being able to correctly identify the age of the pen as well.

Smooth overlays are a tough collectors item, and by that, I mean they are hard to find without any dings or dents. This has a few, but is in relatively good condition despite that. The nib is a New York #2 Waterman’s Ideal nib and has some nice flex to it. This is clipless example, which really exudes a sense of class and simplicity.

While the 1/2 sized Waterman’s pens can be a bit too slender for me, those with an overlay seem to be just the right size. That extra little bit of girth and weight provided by the overlay really makes the difference.

So, with the terrific story behind it, the beautiful engraving, and the lovely, nib, this particular Waterman 0552 1/2 is one of my favorite pens.

Ink it Up!