Waterman Exception Slim Celadon Fountain Pen Review

For the first Waterman review on the blog, we started off with the high-end Exception level of writing instruments. So, what is celadon? In ceramics, celadon is a type of glaze that is usually pale jade in color. Used as a lacquer color on the pen barrel and cap, its creamy, opalescent shade is elegant and contemporary.

If we are to talk about the Exception, we have to talk about the rule. Most pens are cylindrical or rounded in shape. Some have faceted sides, but none quite like the Exception, which has a quadrangular shape. Imagine a rectangular box in three-dimensional space, round the corners and edges and you've got the overall shape of the pen.

The design stays true, through and through. The cap barrel and front section all offer the boxy shape. The cap only fits on to the top of the pen with a satisfying click by putting it on so that the shape aligns with the rest of the pen. The cap posts on the back securely in such a way to match up with the rest of the pen's shape. The pen is never out of aesthetic alignment.

The lacquered brass and silver-plated trim offer a nice heft to the pen. While they call this a "slim" model, the width at its thickest point (the bottom of the cap) is a shade under a half inch, which really isn't slim (like a Cross Classic Century, for example). The black front section is contoured to match the quadrangle, which is aesthetically pleasing, but not kind to the fingers. The front section was crafted with looks held in higher regards than ergonomics.

The Exception uses a rhodium-plated, 18k (750) solid gold nib. The pen fills by cartridge or converter (both options provided in box). The tip is smooth and the ink flow is fairly good. There is not much flexibility, but some line variation is possible. The pen becomes a bit unruly with the cap posted on the back, extending to 6 1/2" in length.

  • Writing Quality : 18k solid gold nib writes smoothly with a good flow. Grip section is a bit uncomfortable and writing posted adds to that discomfort. (grade B-)
  • Aesthetic Quality : Unique quadrangular shape and pearl-like lacquer looks elegant and modern. The light jade isn't for everyone, though. (grade A-)
  • Utility : The snap-click cap only caps and posts a certain way to become unified with the rest of the pen's shape. Consider that you will have to write with cap in your other hand. (grade B)
  • Price : Goldspot a special deal on the Celadon finish. The fine point comes in under $300 while the medium point is offered at $307.95. While being a more generous offer, the cost for a lacquer finish pen with an 18k nib is a bit higher since it is a Waterman. (grade B-)

Final Grade : B
The design, while unique and stylish, seems to have been constructed on the basis of favoring form over function. For the money, go with a Waterman Expert instead.


  1. Nice looking pen, I love the color and the design, but agree, probably not the most practical design.

  2. Thanks for the comment, OSG. This is one of those pens that looks a lot nicer than it is practical. If you're an executive and you get one of these as a gift, you're sure to be impressed. For someone who is looking for an everyday writer, they aren't going to feel comfortable with it.

  3. I read your post recently and fell in love with the color of this pen and so I purchased it. I give it an A+. This is my 4th Waterman, in my collection of over 20 fountain pens. I love this the most. It find it to be perfectly weighted a true dream to write with and it glides across my Graphic Image journal. I have been collecting for over 20 years and I now have a new favorite. Waterman fountain pens are my favorite.

  4. I have a Water Man set of some 34 years old.. I want to sell it.plz contact if interested email : imtiaztaj669@yahoo.com

  5. I have the standard blue version (which I love) and of the pens I own this is by far the best for writing. Perfectly weighted the cap off, it is the easiest to control and seems to automatically make me write well with no effort!

  6. I have the blue version and it is the best writer, by far, of all my pens. Perfectly balanced with cap unposted, writing well with this pen is effortless!

  7. This pen is not designed for posting - hence the discomfort issue. When you write unposted it's perfectly comfortable. I have the Exception and rate it as one of my best pens.

  8. "•Utility : The snap-click cap only caps and posts a certain way to become unified with the rest of the pen's shape. Consider that you will have to write with cap in your other hand. (grade B)"

    Erm....nope. No need to have the cap 'in hand' - just put it on the desk!