The Waterman eyedropper-fill safety pens were produced around 1905 to 1935. Safety pens have nibs that can be extended and retracted by turning a knob at the bottom of the pen’s barrel.
These vintage safety pens are all eyedropper-fill – there are no sacs or any other system aside from the barrel that you fill with ink directly past the retracted nib. Ink is dropped into the open end to about one-half inch from the top. Waterman recommended wiping any excess ink from the joints. To extend the nib, the cap is placed on the back of the pen and turned (clockwise). To retract the nib, turn the posted cap in the other direction (counterclockwise), then recap. Waterman recommended screwing the cap on firmly, which would prevent ink from leaking, regardless of how the pen was carried (hence, the “Safety” pen — no ink would leak as it could from a slip-cap pen, especially if the cap slipped off!).
Another advantage of this design is when the nib is retracted into the barrel, it is housed in the moist barrel – this prevents it from drying out and giving hard starts or skips. As such, these pens were always ready to write. One must always remember to retract the nib before replacing the cap!
Waterman manufactured a variety of sizes and models, some small, some large, some with bands, others plain. They also produced accommodation clips to fit the 12, 13, 14, and 15 models, before “rivet” clips were readily available..