I recently posted about our Catalog #70 sale (10% off remaining items), which includes three Waterman Ink-Vue demonstrator fountain pens. There are a variety of filling mechanisms available on fountain pens and these Ink-Vue demonstrators are designed to show off Waterman’s vacuum-fill mechanism, their answer at the time to Parker’s Vacumatic-fill pens. The Ink-Vue employs a lever near the bottom of the pen which is unfolded and then pumped. Each stroke depresses a press-bar which in turn evacuates air from a diaphragm (aka bladder or sac), creating the vacuum needed for ink to be drawn into the barrel through a center filler tube. Just like the Parker Vacumatic-fill, several pumps are needed to completely fill the barrel. It is an efficient system (although certainly not as efficient as Sheaffer’s one-stroke vacuum-fill mechanism). The Ink-Vue also helped to satisfy the pen-using public’s desire at the time for more complicated filling mechanisms. Collecting demonstrators is both rewarding and challenging as they are not plentiful, especially in wonderful condition.
Although clear bodied fountain pens today are often called demonstrators, the Waterman Ink-Vue demonstrators are true demonstrators. These pens were often used in stores to show potential customers how a mechanism worked, and the clear/translucent bodies showing off ink also appealed to a lot of individuals.
Waterman also produced, in addition to these vacuum-filling Ink-Vues, CF demonstrators to show the cartridges, including pens with glass cartridges inside. One might wonder what the appeal of a cartridge-filling demonstrator is, but when it is a glass cartridge, it certainly becomes more interesting! Add an Ink-Vue to your collection!