Waterman Ink Name Changes

Apparently, last October (2011) Waterman changed the names of their inks as a rebranding effort. The inks themselves are the same, it’s just the names that changed. This was a bit confusing because although the change happened a while ago, the information wasn’t passed down very quickly, and we (as Waterman retailers even) didn’t know about the change until we started getting in bottles with the new name and packaging.

So here are the new names. I will withhold any of my personal feelings about the new names because I’d really love to hear your own unbiased opinions. What do you think?

2017-10-11T14:38:07+00:00 February 11th, 2012|Ink Reviews|123 Comments
  • Frankly, I think it's stupid and the new names are pathetic! I will continue to refer to the old names with appropriate fountain pen user snobbery–pretending that Waterman didn't make such a misplaced marketing move. Are they trying to make them seem more friendly to the "new age" community or what??¬† (Intense Black my *bleep*! The stuff is a fantastic blue black grey-and "black" suited it fine!) And what the HELL is "Inspired Blue"?? South Sea Blue describes it PERFECTLY. Sheesh.

    BTW, thank you thank you for leaving the old (and perfectly fine and reasonable) names on the swabs! Helps when buying ūüėÄ

    *"Harmonious Green–" what the hell is a harmonious green? mutter mutter curse whine "Serene this!"…..

  • Jay Pulli

    The names have gone from Places to Feelings. Clearly not renamed to appeal to the dudes. Tender purple? Come on. Name it Exhaust Manifold Purple. ūüôā ūüôā

  • Jay Pulli

    Every time I see Serenity Blue I will think of George Costanza.

  • the new names are the fecal matter of unaltered male bovines

  • Jjjjjj

    Boo! I will decant if I have to!

  • Pinkys.Brain

    Hm, did I see traces of smirking in the video…?¬†

    I really do not like the new names as I think they went a "bit" overboard with them. As or the packaging: it reminds me of medicine.

    But as long as the ink stays the same I do not really care.

  • I'm really kind of dumbfounded by this name change.¬† To put it simply, it really just seems like a plain, old bad idea.¬†

    It would be one thing if some of these colors (really the ones Brian mentioned in the video) weren't standby colors in the fountain pen community.  Even though the ink itself is the same, I can't see Waterman Serenity Blue carrying the same reputation as Florida Blue.

    And it'd be another (better) thing if the new ones were actually good names, or even accurate/descriptive names.  Waterman red (see I'm rebelling?) is not audacious when compared to some other reds.  Havana brown is not "absolutely" brown.  Some of the colors are named too softly, and others are named too harshly. 

    That said, I do actually like the new packaging better.  I also like the new music Brian.  Great post, very helpful. 

  • More disturbing than the goofy names is the unprofessional way they let their wholesale customers and end users find out about them. I bet they would have cut the eye rolling significantly with a simple press release. Bewildering.¬†

  • chupkar

    Wow, that just seems…..a wasted effort. Not very good new names. If you don't notify people and make a big to do of it, not very effective rebranding effort. The loop thing makes me think of Komen (and they are fierce – Waterman could get nailed for that) and it's not like THAT makes anyone feel good about them. I could see expanding the black and red etc. names, but why mess with Florida, South Seas or Havana?? Perfectly exotic nomers. Way more descriptive. All in all, a strange (and probably expensive) effort that isn't going to net them anything.

  • anaximander

    These names are horrible. Waterman needs to take a good look at their marketing department and stop them before it's too late.

  • Rocky Huang

    Sounds like Waterman's marketing department is either trolling us or they really don't understand their target market. All these names are coming off cheesy no matter how I say them and I really can't take any of these seriously. I am sorry..

  • Kate Marshall

    Rocky, word to that. Besides, no one says "audacious" anymore outside of surfing movies set in 1991. 

  • Wouldn't that be bodacious? ūüėČ

  • MTruppi

    Garbage. Those names make no sense and are overall completely non-descriptive. Audacious Red is actually a pretty good name. But the others are just stupid. Absolute Brown? Harmonious Green, what does that even mean? The only mysterious thing about the blue-black is now the mystery of what color it is if you don't know already. Non-descriptive garbage.

    SERENITY NOW!

  • I think this is some sort of attempt to upmarket the inks by giving them names more akin to Iroshizuku names. They completely missed the mark, of course. The Pilot names translate to things like "Morning Glory", which are much more consistent with names like South Seas Blue than Inspired Blue.¬†

    The packaging went from bleh to ho hum in my book. In the end, I'll buy another bottle of Florida Blue if ever I finish my current bottle. It's good ink. The bottle is nice. The name and box aren't as important.

  • Jim Goodding

    I think it's kind of like deciding to change your kid's name. Everyone is going to be confused.  Brian: it's kind of like changing Joesph's name to Ralph. Poor Joseph (and the rest of the Goulet clan) wouldn't know which end is up.

    Which is more descriptive Blue Black or Mysterious Blue? Waterman needs feedback that we've come to know the names of their inks and changing them serves no positive purpose. It smacks of the Coke/New Coke fiasco a few years back…

  • Doug Fishback

    Don't forget to take your Waterman vitamin supplements, too: Vivacious C, Resolute A, Perspicacious B, and… of course… Tenacious D.

  • I dislike Havana Brown becoming Absolute Brown. It's definitely more "Havana" than "Absolute". It can't be "absolute" because there are strong red undertones in it. Burgundy – maybe, but it's not a "pure" brown.

    As for Serenity, Harmonious, Tender, Audacious, Inspired… ugh!

  • ¬†Haha funny and I agree!

  • ¬†Short of looking it up in a dictionary, I don't even know what "audacious" means.

  • Ryan

    I think they're attempting to compete with the more 'premium' inks that have come out in recent years. Whereas the house brand inks tend to have very straightforward names (black, blue, green, etc.), inks that are more expensive seem to have more descriptive names.

    It is possible that Waterman ink has been losing market share in recent years to lines like Noodler's and iroshizuku. The thing is, simply changing the name isn't going to cut it. I've always found Waterman inks to be acceptable but very safe and not particularly exciting. Name changes won't alter my opinion on their ink.

  • Soooo….I take it you don't like the new names? ūüėČ

  • Yes, I think 'feelings' was what they were going for.

  • dex138

    heh! ¬†knew someone would go there….eventually!
    but, seriously, this coming from a new guy to fountain pens, these new names? ¬†fail. All I hear about is how fantastic an ink Florida Blue is…… and they go and change the name? ¬† *headsmack*¬†

  • I know, right? Serenity now!

  • Tell me how you really feel! ūüėȬ†

  • Oh, I don't think that's necessary. The bottles are still great!

  • Smirking? Me? no…..surely you are mistaken….

  • I wonder if perhaps the names mean something a little different in French, and just don't translate quite as well in English? I'm glad you like the music, I thought it would be fun to mix it up ūüôā¬†

  • Yeah, I'm a little baffled by this myself. Apparently this name change was made 4 months ago, so I'm befuddled why it's just getting talked about now.

  • That's actually the first thing I thought of when I saw the new box….hence my 'ribbon' reference in the video. I'm sure they were going for emulating the loop in the "W" of Waterman's logo, but it really looks like the Komen ribbon, especially on Audacious Red.¬†

  • Well, if the sentiments happening worldwide are anything like the comments here, then I would be surprised if they didn't question their success with the name changes.

  • Cowabunga!

  • au¬∑da¬∑ciousadjective1.extremely¬†bold¬†or¬†daring;¬†recklessly¬†brave;¬†fearless:¬†anaudacious¬†explorer.2.extremely¬†original;¬†without¬†restriction¬†to¬†prior¬†ideas;¬†highlyinventive:¬†an¬†audacious¬†vision¬†of¬†the¬†city's¬†bright¬†future.3.recklessly¬†bold¬†in¬†defiance¬†of¬†convention,¬†propriety,¬†law,¬†orthe¬†like;¬†insolent;¬†brazen.4.lively;¬†unrestrained;¬†uninhibited:¬†an¬†audacious¬†interpretation¬†ofher¬†role.

  • I don't think you're alone in this thinking, Rocky!

  • archlx

    I agree 100%: renaming is a stupid idea. I like and often use South Sea Blue and Havana Brown. I promise I will never have Inspired Blue or Absolute Brown. In the future new boxes and bottles will be relabelled by myself with the old names. I have too many inks to learn and memorise this changes.

  • I agree about the ambiguous names being confusing to new people….I've talked about this a lot before with people by email and on FPN, and most people like names that at least allude to the color. I think these names are borderline. It's not like they just named it 'mysterious'….it's mysterious blue, so at least you know it's blue ūüėõ I think what's going to be more confusing for new folks is the fact that you have 10+ years of FPN posts and blog reviews using the 'old' Waterman ink names, and people are going to be looking for those inks. That's precisely why I did this post, to help publicize the change and make everyone aware that the inks are the same, but they will need to be searched for by their new names.¬†

  • I have no idea if Iroshizuku had anything to do with the change, likely not. It seems like they just wanted to go with a 'feelings/passion' theme, so they changed everything to be more, well, audacious ūüėȬ†

  • I think this is the bigger issue, it's not so much the names themselves, but the fact that they changed them at all. Any time you do a rebranding effort it is going to create confusion and it needs to be done tactfully. Judging from everyone's thoughts here, I would say that everyone was pretty caught off guard, even 4 months after the fact.

  • Clever ūüėȬ†

  • Absolute is a pretty strong word!

  • A lot of the appeal of the Waterman inks has always been that they are so constant and non-radical. I know several nibmeisters that use Waterman inks only for their testing. If Waterman has been losing marketshare in the ink community, it hasn't been because of the names, it's because they only have 8 colors whereas companies like Noodler's have hundreds, and they come out with new ones all the time. It's easy to forget about inks made by pen companies like Waterman, Lamy, Mont-Blanc, Sheaffer, Omas, etc, because the inks are always an afterthought for these companies. Boutique companies like Diamine, Noodler's, Private Reserve, Rohrer and Klingner, J. Herbin, and De Atramentis ONLY make ink, so they live and die by the success of their ink sales. That's why they are the ones that come up with the most innovative inks. Pilot's Iroshizuku is probably the one exception to that, which is why perhaps other pen companies are looking to follow their lead.

  • Freddy

    Sheer idiocy!   I am so glad I ordered a sample of the HAVANA brown from you about a month ago and liked it so much that the day the sample arrived and I tested it I immediately ordered a full bottle of HAVANA brown.  This is just an idiotic marketing disaster and others here have said it better than I.  I'd tell you what I really think but there may be children viewing this.

    By the way, thanks for the great video; I really liked the scrolling name changes at the end.

  • While Namiki/Pilot has been mentioned, I think it'd be better to compare/contrast what Waterman did here with what Pelikan did in 2010. Obviously Pelikan decided they wanted a slice of the "upmarket" pie too…but they created a separate set of colors to go with the slicker packaging and fancy names. If Waterman had done the same‚ÄĒeven on a limited-production basis‚ÄĒwould we be seeing such a negative reaction, or would people be drooling and pre-ordering full sets like they did with Edelstein? Hmm…

    Ultimately, I don't think this move is going to have much effect one way or the other. Waterman fans may protest, but they're not going to stop buying if the ink's the same. And I'm not going to start buying Waterman because there's been no substantive change.

    …in contrast, at least one bottle of Edelstein is on my "to-buy" list, and before that line was introduced I didn't even realize Pelikan made ink. Just my two bits.

  • Paul Jaeger

    The only thing inspired about this is evidently the blue. You know, that one that takes me away to a vacation on a south seas isle every time I write with it… No more vacations I guess. Oh crap…

  • Jmw19

    It sounds like the marketing department came up with these names at yoga class (nothing against yoga, it just sounds awfully touchy-feely).
    I think Waterman's trying to compete with Montblanc here – they changed their ink names a while back, but they also discontinued or replaced a shade or two, and changed the bottles slightly.
    Overall, it's not a huge deal, since the inks themselves are the same, but it really didn't need to be done, and definitely could have been handled better.

  • I appreciate your self-censorship, Joseph is in my lap reading as I type this! I am glad you like my video, I'm playing around more with that kind of stuff these days.

  • A few have compared the Waterman name changes to Irosizuku, and now Edelstein like you've done here. The main difference with these is that they created new inks, and changed a premium price. I don't think that the motivation of changing the names for the Waterman colors was to make them seem more 'premium', otherwise, they would have raised the price or changed the bottle or something like that to compete more with the premium inks. A 50ml bottle of Waterman is $10, and Iroshizuku is $28, I don't think any name change alone would put them in the same league.¬†

    I think the reason for the name change was to get people talking about Waterman inks again, and I'm guessing this has done that for them just judging by the sheer number of comments here! Now as far as if it will help them in the end, time will tell. I guess it depends if you believe in 'there's no such thing as bad publicity' or not ūüėȬ†

  • Well, I guess you could always just keep your South Sea Blue bottle and decant Inspired Blue into it! Then you can stay on vacation forever ūüėȬ†

  • I think that's the main argument here is that everyone was happy and familiar with the old names, and didn't think a change was needed. Waterman is probably hoping that the loyal Waterman ink users continue to use it, but that the new names will be more enticing to those who've never used it.¬†

  • Yeah, this is my biggest worry…there are hundreds if not thousands of reviews and threads out there about how great the Waterman inks are, particularly Florida Blue, South Sea Blue, and Havana, and new folks who see those reviews are going to be confused when they go to buy them and all of the names are different.¬†

  • Rebranding is expensive, and a big risk in any business. Waterman has a lot of brand equity built up in the old names, and it's going to take many years to get that back with the new names, if ever.

  • Scottdp

    Like a protester in Zuccotti Park, I'm repeating the crowd, but:

    Terrible. 

    What people appreciated most about the excellent Waterman inks is their constancy. The same quality for more than a hundred years. Waterman Florida Blue was one of the best trademarks in the pen-and-ink sphere. 

    The new names they chose are particularly awful. They are less evocative of the colors than the old names. Seen as a list, they also seem "tired"–something a marketing department would have come up with in the '70s, maybe. It is clearly a ploy, and too obvious. If this is innovation, it doesn't have a finger on the pulse of the iPad generation.¬†

    Also, why are all the names adjectives except for one noun ("Serenity")? Syntax error.

    Let's Occupy Waterman.

  • Carole

     "The Ink Formerly Known as Waterman" is what I call this bottled mess now.   It's time for a Waterman executive to go on national tv all over the world, and, with tears flowing like our dearly departed Florida Blue, beg our forgiveness.      Also, I think we need all of the commenters on this thread to send in a short video showing how they're coping.   I want to see 'archix' vehemently re-labeling the new bottles as they arrive.  Using capital letters, underlining FLORIDA  three times.  Take THAT, Monsieur Tendresse!  

  • There goes the tradition. They will always be known by the old names here

  • ¬†Haha thanks for the definition Brian. I meant to say that I didn't know what the word meant off the top of my head. English isn't my first language. They should have kept it simple.

  • ¬†Absolutely!

  • Melinda

    I'm not a fan of the change. The names sound really pretentious, and to me, that's not Waterman at all. I far prefer the classic names. I hope they don't end up changing the ink bottles! I love them.

  • clickie chick

    The names just sound forced, like a 12 year-old's attempt at poetry. 
    If I ran the zoo, I'd have kept the colors with descriptors the same (Havana Brown, South Sea Blue, etc.) and then upgraded the plain color names along the same theme (Jamaican Green, Port Purple, Storm Blue-Black, and so on).

  • mhosea

    Mixed reactions.  I'll take it case by case.

    Black –> Intense Black:¬† OK

    Blue Black –> Mysterious Blue:¬†
    What's mysterious about it?  Dumb name.  Undignified.

    Florida Blue –> Serenity Blue:¬†
    OK, I don't think it's "serene", but OK.  Florida Blue wasn't well-named to begin with.

    Green –> Harmonious Green:¬†
    What's a harmonious color?  Green is even a primary color.  It's not "harmonious".  Dumb name.

    Havana Brown –> Absolute Brown:¬† OK

    Purple –> Tender Purple:
    What's tender about purple, any purple?  Dumb name.  Undignified.
     
    Red –> Audacious Red:¬† OK

    South Sea Blue –> Inspired Blue:
    This is the worst change of them all because South Sea Blue was previously the best-named ink in the line.  It's a shame to replace it with a meaningless name.

  • Freddy

     Um, green is not a primary color.

  • mjrbb7

    Not feeling it at all.  Havana Brown is one of my all time favorite inks and I'll still buy it renamed but man, I agree with the below, all the names just sound forced.  Maybe instead of changing the names, they should have come up with some additional blends to gain more interest?

  • Manolid1

    I think it's a very stupid decision of Waterman to change the ink names after many years. Changing the packaging is fine, even though in my opinion, I liked  the old packaging more than this new one. If it works, Don't fix it.

  • StevenHorvat

    What kind of HIPPY talk is this…??? ¬†You got key names that represent an artistic and interesting taste of ink and color and then gone¬†muddling something that is just….CRAZY! I'm staying away from that company it's lost me as a customer for sure.¬†

  • archlx

    Not only Waterman, but you too are in trouble with this new ink names. What will you sell next week: South Sea Blue or Inspired Blue? Havana Brown or Absolute Brown? Think twice before giving the answer. ūüėČ

  • Noreply

    As with any change, there always be someone to complain things are not the same as before. This the nature of changes.

    I guess Waterman didn't advertise the name changes only because many bottles with the old packaging are still on the shelves of sellers. Some buyers, when they learn there is a new batch of ink, will be tempted to think the old batch is stale.

    Some of the new names are better than the old ones, especially in French, but others are complete misses.

    Here are my favourites with comments:

    Intense Black (I would have prefered Deep Black)
    Blue Black (nothing mysterious, so I prefer Blue Black)
    Serenity Blue (a lot better than Florida)
    Green (harmonious???, why?)
    Havana Brown (Absolute Brown is an awful name… is it made with vodka?)
    Purple (tender??? Regal Purple would have been better)
    Audacious Red (great name! describe it perfectly)
    South See Blue (so much more evocating than the very uninspired Inspired Blue)

  • Guest

     Get real and grow up!

    If a name change is enough to make so upset you buy ink, there is something very, very excessively wrong with you.

  • Hey now, keep this civil or I'll remove your comment! Everyone is entitled to their opinions about the topic at hand, but I won't tolerate personal attacks on my blog.

  • Beth Irwin

    I suspect a CEO's family member was imported as a "consultant" and paid an exorbitant commission, which required justification.

    Those of us who take the Waterman customer polls have noticed dumber and less focused questions with no comment boxes to be able to tell the out of touch pollsters that they're headed further and further off track with their uninspired marketing. I detect another once great company being ridden into the ground by attempts to squeeze out every dividend, rather than long term corporate growth.

    It begins when a company's "management" is arrogant enough to dictate what the customers want rather than asking. They then ride the honored name into the ground and walk away with huge bonuses blaming it all on the economy or whatever excuse justifies another pillaged piece of corporate history.

    I'm not happy with their uninspired nib and pen offerings these days either. Coming from a collector of multiple Carenes, that's not a good sign.

  • I really don't know anything about who came up with the name change or why, but I'm more than willing to bet that the response they've had here was exactly what they were shooting for :/

  • Well, if other folks are having the same reaction as everyone here, I'm guessing that word is going to get up to Waterman about the sentiments the grassroots community is having about these names.

  • Probably a lot of folks will always think of them by the old names.

  • I hope they don't change the bottles! That's one of the best things about the ink!

  • That would've been a good idea, I was thinking that myself about the names. I rather liked Florida Blue, Havana, and South Sea Blue, they were good as they were and were the most well-known. The others could have been 'upgraded' to things like Audacious Red and that would've been just fine.

  • Thanks for your feedback here. I happen to agree that some of the names are/were good, and some are/were ready for improvement.

  • Well, I know that changing the name on a label/box is a whole lot easier than creating a whole new ink. They were likely just going for a relatively simple way to spice up the brand…

  • I'm pretty indifferent on the packaging. I always thought the old packaging seemed a little outdated, and even with the redesign it still seems outdated, just different.¬†

  • I don't know exactly why they waited this long to really advertise the change. Actually, I still don't remember seeing anything public about it, I had to ask my Waterman distribution chain about it only after discovering the bottles for myself once they hit my shelves. What makes sense to me is to make the change, announce it, and make a statement saying that the new bottles will come to stores once the old stock clears out. This actually would have helped to spur sales too, especially with people that wanted to 'stock up' on the old colors! This is how it's been done with most other companies that are making changes to their products, which is why I was so caught off-gaurd with this one.¬†

  • I was sad to see them discontinue the Phileas as well, it was the only fountain pen that was in the 'student/beginner' price range. Now, their least expensive pen is the Hemisphere, which is $70 list (that's with the cheapest finish). Any company that actively works to discontinue their entry-level pens is clearly not trying to attract 'new' customers to their brand, or to fountain pens in general. What I see happening a lot with established pen companies (not just Waterman) is that they are aging with the baby boomers, getting into more expense LE pens and discontinuing the simpler, starter pens. This is a short-term strategy the way I see it, because once baby boomers start to cut back, there will be no one to fill in behind them and these companies will just start to drop out of the pen game. What's happened with most of them is that they've been gobbled up and purchased by larger corporations and become part of a 'portfolio'. Of course, what's more attractive to a large corporation is trying to make simple efforts to increase sales in the short term, rather than invest in long-term brand equity. The companies that are the most up and coming right now are new-comers like Noodler's and TWSBI, because they're more in touch with the actual users, and are focusing on lower-cost products that are getting a lot of new people into the hobby. This is what Waterman was many, many years ago, and they've gotten away from that. I hope they come back to it, but I'm pretty realistic.

  • mhosea

    I suspect what they're trying to do is sell more of their colors to the folks who are exclusively using a Waterman ink or two, like a guy at work I know who has a bottle of Waterman Black on his desk and confessed to me that he had never even considered using another color.¬† By associating certain feelings with colors, maybe they're trying to implant the idea that you should match one of their colors to your feeling.¬† This is fine in the abstract, but it overreaches because they don't get to define new associations.¬† Inkophiles in particular, probably have their own associations–both intuitive and considerably more nuanced.

  • Nicky

    OK, I'm just joining the chorus but I also dislike the new names. I understand a company wishing to be seen as keeping up with the times but there are myriad ways to do that which don't involve changing a well-known ink name to something less descriptive and marketable.

    Quick run down of ink names:

    Intense Black – I think this is the least worst. At least it's somewhat descriptive and sensible.

    Tender Purple РI think I hate this one the most. Tender is one of the last words I would have used. Vivid Violet might have been better. 

    Harmonious Green РActually, maybe this is the worst. I think they're referring to the fact green is supposedly calming but I find the name really jarring. It's like they're trying to force me to feel a certain way about the colour. 

    Audacious Red РSilly, but it doesn't annoy me the way some of the other new names do. 

    Mysterious Blue – I guess the mystery is why they chose this name? I think the mystery was meant to be "Is it blue? Is it black?" but well know it's blue-black so it's hardly going to take Agatha Christie to solve that conundrum.

    Serenity Blue – With this one I can at least pretend it's a reference to Firefly. ūüėČ Since it's one of their most well-known and reliable inks, though, it does seem quite the silly move to change the name.¬†

    Inspired Blue РNo, Waterman, calling something "inspired" doesn't make it so. 

    Absolute Brown РAn absolute step backwards. Havana was a much more descriptive and pleasant name. I feel like they're trying to assure me the colour is absolutely brown. 

    Overall, the whole idea to change the names was risky at best. Choosing such silly, uninspired new names made the whole thing very silly and pointless. 

  • Lbhajdu

    The new box looks like a box of
    condoms. Thank goodness they didn't change the bottle, am not crazy
    about the ink, but the bottle is nice. If they wanted more sales they
    should have made a limited edition color.

    Florida Blue was not the right name for
    that color, it's a good ink name but when you think of Florida Blue
    you think of turquoises or maybe blue-greed colors but the ink itself
    is a blue-purple (at least to me). It should have ‚Äúmajestic‚ÄĚ or
    ‚Äúroyal‚ÄĚ in the name. I think French people just like the way
    these words roll of there tung. Perhaps they don't even speak
    English. Europeans like the word ‚Äúcloset‚ÄĚ I'm surprised it's not
    in any of the names.

    Mysterious Blue ‚Äď I hope the name is
    not referring to quality control problems.

     

  • Thanks for the rundown on the names here, I think most probably feel the same way.

  • I edited your comment because there were a lot of extra blank lines that made it takes up about twice as much space, but all of your comment is still intact. Just a heads up ūüôā

  • Horacio Gonzalez

    Here in France, Waterman still sell the Kultur pen, a cheap clone of the Phileas. You can get it in any Carrefour for some 9‚ā¨, and it's a very nice entry level pen.¬†

    Maybe they do so because in France schools fountain pens are still very popular (and sometimes compulsory), but it's nice to be able to buy a Waterman for less yhan 10‚ā¨.

  • Beth Irwin

    I have to concur. Doubling the prices of Carenes, while offering less nib options and inconsistent color options such as white bodies only with caps cannibalized from other patterns, is a surefire way to drive customers away. While part of it is the terrible exchange rate between dollar and euro, the majority is profit gouging as you mentioned and an assumption that the company name will counter uninspired products.

    I have to agree. Dropping the Phileas was one of the dumbest product moves ever. Much like Visconti dropping the quality Van Gogh line that was serious value for money and thinking their reworked and rusting Rembrandts were an "improvement."

  • I'd noticed that some of the recent Waterman polls were really…out there. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

  • Yeah, this is going to be a tale told all too often, more pen companies are going this way than the other…this is common actually with a lot of different industries, it's the concept of disruptive technology. New companies like Noodlers' and TWSBI are introducing pens that are in the lower range, and the established companies drop their inexpensive pens and focus on more expensive ones. Eventually, the smaller, newer companies will gain a loyal following and begin selling nicer and more expensive pens. It's already happening. Just look at the VAC-700 that's coming out, and the Noodler's Ahab and Konrad flex (coming soon). The newer companies making good value products will win over the majority of the industry by volume, and creep up higher in price until they begin competing with the more established companies, only then the more established companies will have to backpedal to gain marketshare again.¬†

    The bottom line is that we're all looking for value, at any price. The companies that provide us with value will make us all happy, but that seldom comes from a rebranding/marketing campaign ūüėõ

  • I would love to see Waterman come out with a value pen in the US, but I don't see it happening. Unfortunately for us here, we're very spread out and there is a decline on the emphasis of handwriting in general, let alone with a fountain pen. Sigh…

  • Do you really think that existing Waterman customers are going to be happy with having the ink they've used for years and years suddenly called something else? I understand coming out with new colors that have more exciting names, but changing established names is a bold move.

  • You do quite well for English not being your first language!

  • mhosea

    No.  I should have begun with "Maybe" instead of "I suspect", but OTOH, I don't think my friend will care as long as it's black and Waterman, since he thinks that's what you're supposed to put in an Waterman pen.  

    Clearly one possibilities is that their marketing people are incompetent.  Honestly, I wonder if the names were invented by Francophones who had no knowledge of how ridiculous some of these names would seem in English.  What names are the French using, BTW?  Anyway, when thinking through a situation, I like to set explanations like that aside for the sake of argument and play devil's advocate, i.e., assume that they had good, if debatable, reasons.  From that point of view, their marketers must have known that inkophiles would hate the names and yet they still decided it was a good idea.  Why?  What would possess a person to name inks in this way?  Some of the names sound ridiculous if you think of them as describing the inks per se, but instead of it being, say, a harmonious green (two colors can be "harmonious" but any single color obviously can not) you could imagine somebody trying to plant the idea in your head that you should write with that green when you are feeling or want to convey "harmony", or write with that purple when feeling "tender" or want to convey tenderness, or that blue-black when you want to seem "mysterious" or are writing about mysterious things, etc.    If I accept this explanation for the sake of argument, then the worst of the new names seem overreaching and ineffective rather than just plain stupid.

  • Yoitzo

    Mysterious blue for blue black? Who's going to look for a blue black and type in "mysterious blue" in google? This is plain stupid! The new names (minus intense black and absolute brown) tells me NOTHING about the colors themselves! It sounds like some hippy smoked out a bit too much, randomly grabbed the mushiest names they could come up with and slapped it on the bottles. I really think this direction can only hurt their company and cause mass confusion. *sigh* Whatever happened to common sense… least they could've done is have a big release, explaining all these name changes.¬†

  • Yoitzo

    LOL! My boyfriend walked in on me while i was watching the video with my headphones and the first thing he asked was "WTF?! Why is Brian Goulet holding a box of condoms?!" 

  • Thanks ūüôā I'm better at writing than speaking.

  • Like you, I'm sorry to see Havana, Florida Blue and South Sea Blue retired. Yet, as long as the inks are the same quality, I don't really mind what a company does to its outward name & logo.¬†

    I'm wondering, though, even though the party line is the inks are the same, some folks on FPN are reporting differences. Are you going to do a comparison between old and new or do you feel that is not necessary? If you don't no doubt someone will, but I know you don't have any agenda to grind about it. 

    Thanks for the post!

  • StevenHorvat

    I am a grown up… unlike you who won't have the tenacity to use a real name other than guest. I have the checkbook I have the power and if I want to I won't spend any of my money to a company that I feel is not worthy. End of story, you need to grow up and get a real life of your own.

  • StevenHorvat

    Sorry Brian, I thought this was a mature crowd. I wasn't planning on being insulted like that.

  • Guest

    The box for Audacious Red (ugh!) doesn't look to me like a feminine protection product with donation from every purchase going to breast cancer research. I love Waterman ink and the repeated wavy lines were what said "Waterman" to me. They should have developed different hues of the colors if they wanted to come up with fancy names; otherwise, green is green, black is black, etc. Companies can sure make some stupid decisions when they want to improve brand recognition.

  • Lbhajdu

     Sorry about that I copy and pasted from MS-Word. I don't know why it does that, and when I noticed I was not able to reedit. Thanks for cleaning up.

  • Lbhajdu

    If they are losing market share to Noodler's. The fact that Noodler's offers waterproof ranges, high saturation colors and UV resistant colors may also play a roll.

  • Yeah, the names aren't exactly descriptive. Not that all inks need to be….just look at some of the Noodler's colors out there, or any of the Pilot Iroshizuku names. But still, I hear what you're saying.

  • Stuff happens ūüôā You're welcome!

  • I haven't come across these, but I'll check them out. I admittedly haven't tested all of the new inks yet myself to see if there are and changes, we've only started receiving new bottles in 3 of the colors. Once we get them all in, I will play with them and see if there are any distinct changes.

  • Rudi

    To be honest, as long as the formulations didn't change then I don't really care what they call their inks, but some of these changes are borderline stupid – some of these inks are legendary, so why change their names???

    Black –> Intense Black = OK, it needed a nameBlue Black –> Mysterious Blue = Big Mistake, IMO!
    Florida Blue –> Serenity Blue = unnecessary and stupid to change the name of a legendary ink
    Green –> Harmonious Green =¬†OK, it needed a name
    Havana Brown –> Absolute Brown = see my comments about old Florida Blue
    Purple –> Tender Purple = What, is it a purple bruise???
    Red –> Audacious Red =¬†OK, it needed a name
    South Sea Blue –> Inspired Blue = another mistake, just like Florida Blue and Havana Brown

    I really hope the formulations stay the same! Florida Blue and Havana Brown are two of my most favourite inks. Serenity Blue and Absolute Brown don't sound anywhere near as good, but as long as they look the same on paper then I'm happy. And I'll just keep calling them by their old names… ūüôā

  • I agree, a brand change with new inks would have been good, like Pelikan with their Edelstein inks. That's a lot to develop though, it seems they were just trying to revive the old inks. They certainly have everyone talking about it…. ūüėõ

  • Thanks for your thoughts Rudi. As far as we know, the inks haven't changed. We have gotten in all of the new bottles yet, but we'll test them as we do.

  • Rudi

    Thanks for that, Brian! Testing all the inks all over again is extra work for you, but I guess it has to be done. And it saves me buying crates and crates of (old name) inks now. But guess where I'm going to buy my Serenity Blue, Mysterious Blue and Absolute Brown (ugh!) inks from, when the time comes?

  • Haha, thanks for your loyalty despite your lack of fervor for the new names. We haven't yet gotten in bottles of the 'new' color names yet, but I'll test them as they come in.

  • Serenity Blue is the only one I like, and absolute brown is IMHO the worst. Seinfeld? C'mon, of course they are referring to Firefly and the Blue Sun company.

  • Duclebout

    These new names are TERRIBLE! Am I the only person who hears echoes of self-help gurus?

  • Ted

     For what it's worth, I still have a bottle of Waterman's "effacable" blue. It had a yellow label with blue writing. It's about twenty-five years old and half empty. I'm saving it because it has the old familiar aroma of Waterman inks.  For the record, I always thought the change to "Florida" blue was a silly one. As long as they don't mess with the ink they can call it what they want, but I wouldn't mind if they brought back that scent!

  • Steve

    Today, companies spend more time researching a new package design or a new name for an existing product than they do in developing a new product.  No wonder much of U.S. industry is in the doldrums.

  • While I tend to agree with you for the most part, Waterman is a French company!

  • Ted_1944

    I thought it was confusing when Waterman changed their Washable blue to Florida blue!! I still have an old bottle of "Washable blue". The label was bright yellow with deep blue lettering. By the way, it's still the same ink, except for the absence of that characteristic aroma. And, actually, I never thought of Waterman Blue Black as a real blue black, To me blue black looks like Parker or Pelikan blue black. (almost like a black tinted with blue.) Waterman has a teal cast to it that I love, so maybe mysterious blue is a better name after all! I've tried the "Serenity" blue cartridges, and they seem to be a little more saturated that my last few boxes of "Florida" blue. Same stuff, just a touch richer.

  • The ink hasn't changed from this most recent repackaging, just the name and (slightly) the label and box. As far as the color of blue black, it just varies so wildly from one brand to another it's hard to say what a 'true' blue black is really supposed to be! As for your cartridges, it's quite possible (probable, really) that your cartridges were a little older, and some of the water in the ink had evaporated out, leaving a darker and more saturated color behind. I know when we stocked Waterman cartridges (for a brief time) we were getting really old ones, that had obviously sat on a shelf at either the distributor or manufacturer for a while before even getting to us as a retailer, so I wouldn't be surprised at all if a little evaporation had happened. This happens with cartridges after a year or two, even when completely sealed.

  • Ted_1944

    Actually, I checked the cartridges and they were full pretty much up to the top, and the box had the new design. I've gotten slightly evaporated cartridges before, so I don't think that was it. Probably just the pen I put it in to test writing a bit wetter. Regardless, I still like it a lot.

  • parneodo

    Unhappy:
    I bought Serenity Blue thinking it was the bri ght blue on the box, but it turned out to be a dull gray blue, not at all like Florida Blue. I looked it up and saw your site, so I spent hours cleaning my refill cartridge and nib feed, using a syringe to clean it and dry it, but then when I filled it, I still got the same old dull blue. I want the old Florida Blue. What blue do I need?
    parneodo@yahoo.com

  • Serenity Blue is Florida Blue, the ink itself hasn't changed, only the name and packaging. Using the color on the box of any ink to gauge how it will appear on paper is a bad idea, they never match exactly (for any brand/color).

  • Another Steve

    Steve,
    You are exactly right!

  • musingcrow

    Thanks for pointing this post out to me Brian. I missed it somehow when you initially posted it.

    I was very shocked at this, in my opinion, very poor marketing decision on Waterman's part. My favorite ink, the one that I use daily, and the one I always have at least one pen filled with, is "South Seas Blue". I always thought the name really reflected the beauty of this ink. "Inspired Blue" really leaves me feeling uninspired and, had I never used the ink before, I would be far less likely to try it with the new name.

    I wrote a lengthy email to Waterman about my displeasure with what I considered this decidedly poor marketing change . Needless to say, they did need, nor not care for, my input. I never received a reply! That also did not endear me to the company either! Be that as it may, I will continue to use what I will always call "South Seas Blue"

  • C.C.

    I think it stinks. Florida Blue was just fine ~ Serenity Blue sounds too new-agey…and I loved the Havana Brown name. Absolute Brown is a totally uninspired name (now that we’re normalizing relations with Cuba and Cuba has more cache than just about anyplace else at the moment, I wonder if the geniuses behind this particular name change are having serious regrets. Dummies!)