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Conway Stewart Excalibur


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#1 dms525

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 01:48

The Conway Stewart Excalibur – Wellington Limited Edition

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On New Year's Eve, I visited the web sites of some of my favorite pen vendors and found that Todd (www.isellpens.com) had placed the new Conway Stewart Excalibur on sale. One of the two he had came with an Italic Broad nib. That eliminated my second thoughts about purchasing it. Actually, it pretty much eliminated my first thoughts as well. I was left with my impulses alone. So, a beautiful Wellington has joined the Bellivers and Model 100 in my Conway Stewart collection.

Appearance & Design (1-10) – Pleasing proportions with an unusually-shaped cap 


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The Wellington is a handsome pen. It appears generally cylindrical, but closer inspection reveals a convexity to the upper portion of the cap. As usual, the coloring of the pen is more striking “in person” than in the photos. It is not simply black with a red swirl. There are gray highlights which appear deep in the pen's body that give the surface a feeling of three dimensionality. The color, which is named “Red Knight” on the Certificate of Authenticity, is not as striking as some of CS's other resins, but it conveys subtle exceptionality underlying a conservative surface. It reminds me of a white car with red upholstery I once had. 7.5

Construction & Quality (1-10) – Flawless, but not made to post

I cannot find any thing to fault in the quality of construction. However, the shape of the barrel and cap are such that the cap will not stay on when you attempt to post it. This is not a problem with performance, as the size of the pen and its balance are near perfect for writing un-posted. However, assuming this is not an idiosyncrasy of this specimen, the Wellington would not be a model for some one who needs to post their pens. 9.5

Weight & Dimensions (1-10) – Substantial size. Comfortable weight

The Wellington is a tad longer than the Belliver and about the length of a Pelikan M800 and a bit larger in diameter than either. It is a bit heavier than an M800. It is not so large that its size is a distraction from other visual attributes. I find this size and weight most comfortable for writing, although I more often carry smaller pens to work, just because they fit better in my shirt pocket. 9.0

Nib & Performance (1-10) - Wet and smooth, with better than expected line variation


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The pen was purchased with an Italic Broad nib. Conway Stewart's italic nibs have been described as more like stubs than cursive italics, and the one on this Exalibur fits that description. I rinsed the nib and converter with filtered water with a few drops of dishwashing soap, then pure water, before filling it with MB black ink. It writes with wonderful smoothness and excellent ink flow. I prefer a “crisper” nib, since I do use most of my pens for italic writing. The nib is too broad for my regular cursive scrawl. These are not faults; the nib is flawless for what it is. But I will probably have it crisped up a few notches by a nib meister, as I have had done with my Bellivers. 8.0

Filling System & Maintenance (1-10) – Cartridge/Converter filler
The installed converter works smoothly and provides consistent ink flow. Since I rotate the pens I use frequently, and, because of the special nib on this pen, I won't use it as an everyday pen, the lesser capacity of the converter compared to a piston filler is not an issue for me. I gather that nib swapping is not encouraged by Conway Stewart. In fact, I haven't a clue regarding how one removes the nib. I regard this as a disadvantage of CS pens relative to those whose nibs can be easily changed. 7.0

Cost & Value (1-10) – An expensive pen, but got at a good price

For what I paid, I feel I received good value. 7.0

Conclusion (Final score: 8.0/10) :thumbup: – The Excalibur is a handsome pen that is a good size for me. It writes flawlessly, and I'll enjoy it even more after I have the nib customized. The quality of construction supports my positive estimation of Conway Stewart, and the physical characteristics of the Excalibur will have me looking again at Wellington's when new releases appear.

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David

Edited by dms525, 08 January 2012 - 01:53.


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#2 watch_art

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 02:44

WOW that's a good lookin pen! Thanks for sharing!

As for swapping nibs - looks like the whole unit should screw out - like a Pelikan.

Here you can see the lip of the unit housing.

CS Excalibur LE nib_1175_edited-1.jpg

fpn_1432247667__cropped-20150427_0641231 sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#3 Postscript

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 03:12

Bought one too, directly from CS. Love it as it is my 2nd Wellie; and have loaded it with red ink to match the swirl.

Awesome pen! Thanks for the review,

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#4 Ghost Plane

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 14:01

I can't believe I missed an IB nib on sale :crybaby:

#5 Xof72000

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 14:49

Waouh ! Tremendous nib ! :thumbup:

Concerning the colour of the pen, sorry to disagree with you (but everyone has is own beauty value :rolleyes: ) but I really don't find it handsome... Nothing to do with the gorgeous colours of a Wellington or a Churchill model for instance. Are they in lack of inspiration ?

#6 jandrese

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 15:42

Nice, thanks for sharing, love that nib. Good call on the cartrige/converter filler, which is probably the best choice for CS. The red veins in your pen are exactly like those in my Chruchill, the main color of mine is green instead though. I'm not sure these materials are exclusive to CS, but their fit and finish is always superior.

#7 Toolattack

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 15:59

A great looking pen and the BI nib really adds something - congratulations!

#8 breaker

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 18:20

nice review and pics!
thanks!
Cogito ergo sum

#9 floydee1

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 18:55

....As for swapping nibs - looks like the whole unit should screw out - like a Pelikan....


Very true. The nibs ARE easily swappable. You can simply unscrew the nib/feed unit. I've initially swapped nibs on my CS Celebration Coronet (eyedropper version) from a fine to an italic fine.

Edited by floydee1, 08 January 2012 - 18:58.


Nervous? No, I'm just thinking...

#10 dms525

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 23:34

Thanks, everyone, for your comments.

GB: I'm trying to be sympathetic, but, given your legendary collection of CS italic nibs, it's a bit of a struggle.

W_A & floydee1: Thanks for the information regarding nib swapping. May I ask where one can purchase additional nibs for CS pens?

and Xof72000, While I agree that this is not CS's most beautiful effort, it is rather nicer than photos can show. I'm quite pleased with the pen, over all.

David

#11 Mary Burke

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 17:39

Hi David,

Thanks for the great review. I have posted the link on the Conway Stewart Facebook page ;)

With kind regards,

Mary Burke

#12 SHK

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 21:02

Thanks for your review and I like your IB nib.
Looks great :thumbup:

#13 mongrelnomad

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 10:02

Beautiful pen! My Wellington (Classic Claret, I think) is one of my best writers - the size, balance, weight and EF nib just seem to work beautifully together. In all, the Wellington is IMO CS's best pen. I only wish it came with some filling mechanism a bit more exciting than the c/c...

This is also the first set of photos I see of the Excalibur that begins to put across the resin's true qualities. It is a problem of the company's resins that they cannot be photographed...

(Also, I believe the nib can just be screwed out and replaced. I just did so on my Churchill, replacing the IM with an EF nib bought from the factory.)

Edited by mongrelnomad, 11 January 2012 - 10:04.

Too many pens; too little writing.

#14 raging.dragon

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 10:28

(Also, I believe the nib can just be screwed out and replaced. I just did so on my Churchill, replacing the IM with an EF nib bought from the factory.)


The nib unit screws out on my Belgravia as well.

Edited by raging.dragon, 11 January 2012 - 10:29.


#15 dms525

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 01:25

Thanks for the comments on the pen, photos and review.

David

#16 lewis

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:58

Nice review and a stunner of a pen. I've not seen this one before.
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