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Conway Stewart - Marlborough Vintage Limited Edition


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#1 markos741

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 16:22

A few days ago, i received a package soaked with ink (caused by some broken ink bottles inside the box) , that contained my Marlborough Vintage. I was terrified, but fortunately, when I opened the package the pen was safe in its box. The Dutch shop I got the pen from, was kind enough to replace the broken bottles for free, with the next shipment (I am not sure if I should mention which shop in the thread, but I would like that, since they have always answered my questions, and provided an excellent service).

But let's get to the point.

First of all, the box. I haven't uploaded a picture of this, because it is the same box you get with your Winston Chartwell. Amazing box and contents, but the same, so if you are interested you can check out how it looks at my Chartwell post. http://www.fountainp...imited-edition/

General Considerations
CS.Marlborough.Vintage1.jpg

As soon as I got the pen out of the box, I automatically compared it to the Chartwell.
My first impression was of a very nice looking pen, but small, and extremely light. I thought it would have been a bit bigger (haven't seen it live before) so I was kind of disappointed at the beginning. Now, ironically, these very features are the ones that have made this pen, one of the pens I carry in my everyday pouch.

[ Excuse the inky nail! I know it looks disgusting, but it's only ink I couldn't get off! :) ]

CS.Marlborough.Vintage4.jpg

The pen, because of its size and weight, is very easy to carry with you, and it fits perfectly in a shirt's pocket.

CS.Marlborough.Vintage9.jpg

I have compared the length of the pen with a MB 149, and surprisingly, they have almost the same length. In fact, it is even bigger than the Sheaffer Legacy, but because of the latter's inlaid nib, one tends to hold it nearer to the nib and the top part of the barrel protrudes a bit farer than the CS does, even though the Sheaffer is a shorter pen. So it is the Marlborough's design, I guess, that gives the feeling of a smaller pen while it is not that small at all.

CS.Marlborough.Vintage3.jpg

CS.Marlborough.Vintage6.jpg

Posted, it is enormous! But because it is made of ebonite (very light), it is ideal for long writing sessions, even when posted.

Materials

CS.Marlborough.Vintage7.jpg

The barrel is made of high quality ebonite, which is extremely light. The silver bands you see, are indeed made of sterling silver. Not, just silver plated, but the entire band is made of silver.

The nib, is made of 18K gold and it is not only a smooth writer, but it is quite flexible too. The feed keeps up very well, even when you flex. If you see railroading while doing that, it means that the pen is almost out of ink. Otherwise it keeps up perfectly.

CS.Marlborough.Vintage8.jpg

The lever

I got the lever filler, but you can chose a cartridge converter, or eyedropper as well.
I ordered the lever because I thought that it makes perfect sense on a vintage model. After all that's the pen's theme.
In fact, I think I was right. I love the way the pen looks, and using the lever is quite fun. Of course I sacrificed the quantity of ink that the eyedropper would carry, but since I got the fine nib, which consumes less ink, no problems here. Well, let's face it. I would have gotten the lever filler anyways, it is way too fun :)

If you get the lever, and it is your first one, don't panic if after filling it remains a bit loose. That's what most levers do.

Overview

The Marlborough Vintage is a model that comes in four different colors, limited to 300 pens for each color. You can also chose from three different filling systems (lever, cartridge/converter and eyedropper).
It comes in a very elegant, very big and luxury box, with some cool contents and of course the famous Churchill's cigar.
The pen's barrel is made of high quality ebonite, and the bands are made of precious metals. In the case of the black model (the one I got) the bands are made of sterling silver.
The pen has a 18 karat gold nib, which is quite flexible and smooth. The feed keeps up very well, even when you're flexing.
It is a very light pen, ideal for long writing sections, but if plan using it for that, you may consider the eyedropper which holds a bigger amount of ink.

The pen's dimensions in numbers:

Cap: 64 mm
Barrel from top to the nib: 126 mm
Posted: 180 mm
Cap diameter: 15 mm
Barrel diameter: 13 mm
Weight: 18 gms (as opposed to the 54 grams of the Chartwell!)

Conclusion

If you want a very elegant vintage-looking and fun pen, I suggest you take a look at this one. Its materials, looks and feel make it one of the most beautiful pens of this kind.

P.S.
If you want to see a different picture or ask about something I didn't think about, please let me know, and I'll post it.

Thanks for reading!
- Markos

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#2 mongrelnomad

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 17:50

A great review, and a great intro to the pen. I have its brother...

Funny - your pic posted shows one of my main criticisms of the pen: it doesn't post comfortably. The friction is too tight and it's obviously not particularly happy. Perhaps it's an optical illusion created by the bands which feeds into the brain, but it feels like a short pen without the cap on...
Too many pens; too little writing.

#3 markos741

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 18:01

A great review, and a great intro to the pen. I have its brother...

Funny - your pic posted shows one of my main criticisms of the pen: it doesn't post comfortably. The friction is too tight and it's obviously not particularly happy. Perhaps it's an optical illusion created by the bands which feeds into the brain, but it feels like a short pen without the cap on...


Thanks, you're very kind!

I believe that it is meant to post like this. That way, it leaves the upper band and the lever uncovered. If it posted more comfortably it would cover the design. In fact though, when posted the length is enormous and not very well balanced, but because of its very light weight, it doesn't bother the writing.
I agree that it looks a bit short without the cap. That was my first impression and feeling as well. After using it a bit though, I liked how it felt and as you see in the picture with the MB 149 and the Sheaffer, it is not that short at all. Of course if it was half an inch taller, I wouldn't mind at all, but even like that it is a comfortable pen to use, even for someone with bigger hands.

As always, of course, one has to see and try the pen for himself in order to see if it feels right.

Btw, its brother is a great pen as well! :)

Edited by markos741, 13 June 2012 - 18:02.

- Markos

#4 markos741

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 18:49

UPDATE: Writing Sample

[ Not very legible but you get the point :) ]

CS.Marlborough.Vintage.Writing.Sample.jpg
- Markos

#5 myn

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 00:29

Great review. That's one beautiful pen.
"Minds are like parachutes. They only function when open." James Dewar
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#6 stevlight

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:07

This is on my list--hope I can save the money before they are all gone.
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#7 stevlight

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:12

Can you show it posted with the MB 149 posted next to it?--Thanks
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#8 Doug C

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:40

I have the same pen with the lever fill, in the lighter woodgrain ebonite.

It is great to see it in the black since this is really what I wanted. I just couldn't get a pen in ebonite (my favorite pen material) without seeing the variations in the body. I also prefer the sterling silver trim. Had I had the funds I would have gotten one in both colors.

No matter; I love the pen. I have the fine italic. Of the 3 CS pens I have, 2 of them have the FI and it really is a great nib. I tend to have small writing, and it works perfectly, allowing words to be legible but giving it a little bit of character...

VERY nice pen. Enjoy it.

Edited by Doug C, 14 June 2012 - 02:41.

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#9 markos741

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 03:10

Can you show it posted with the MB 149 posted next to it?--Thanks


CS.Marlborough.Vintage-MB149.jpg
- Markos

#10 markos741

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 03:17

I have the same pen with the lever fill, in the lighter woodgrain ebonite.

It is great to see it in the black since this is really what I wanted. I just couldn't get a pen in ebonite (my favorite pen material) without seeing the variations in the body. I also prefer the sterling silver trim. Had I had the funds I would have gotten one in both colors.

No matter; I love the pen. I have the fine italic. Of the 3 CS pens I have, 2 of them have the FI and it really is a great nib. I tend to have small writing, and it works perfectly, allowing words to be legible but giving it a little bit of character...

VERY nice pen. Enjoy it.


I was thinking of getting the woodgrain ebonite myself since it looks great with the whole vintage theme, but at the end I got the black one. I prefer black pens with silver (or platinum) trims, but variation is fun as well.

Your pen is also a beauty, so enjoy it!

P.S. "Had I had the funds I would have gotten one in both colors". I guess, we all feel the same :)
- Markos

#11 stevlight

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 10:31

Thanks for the pic!
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#12 picautomaton

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 10:38

όμορφη πένα.

Enjoy in good health!
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#13 Silent Speaker

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:29

UPDATE: Writing Sample

[ Not very legible but you get the point :) ]

CS.Marlborough.Vintage.Writing.Sample.jpg

That's quite a degree of flex (that I was not expecting). Tell me, does it require 'substantial' pressure in order to attain?

(fantastic pen!)

This is on my list--hope I can save the money before they are all gone.

Ditto (many, many times over)

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

I wonder what differences there are between the eyedropper version and the c/c version? What internal difference is there?

#14 stevlight

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:31

I wonder what differences there are between the eyedropper version and the c/c version? What internal difference is there?


I can just tell you that my CS37 from Andys pens is an eyedropper and has a rubber ring to seal it and it does not take a cartridge or convertor. I do not know if this is the same.
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#15 markos741

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:32

UPDATE: Writing Sample

[ Not very legible but you get the point :) ]

CS.Marlborough.Vintage.Writing.Sample.jpg

That's quite a degree of flex (that I was not expecting). Tell me, does it require 'substantial' pressure in order to attain?

(fantastic pen!)

This is on my list--hope I can save the money before they are all gone.

Ditto (many, many times over)

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

I wonder what differences there are between the eyedropper version and the c/c version? What internal difference is there?


The nib has a great soft feel. It flexes with very little pressure. Maybe it's the 18k gold nib, which is a softer material than the 14k (just guessing here)
I don't know if there is a technical difference between the eyedropper and the c/c (other than the better sealed barrel of the eyedropper) but the eyedropper holds a much bigger amount of ink than the c/c of course, as the whole barrel is used as an ink tank.
- Markos

#16 Ghost Plane

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 14:03

CS nibs in general feel "soft" to me. I have mostly IB nibs, with an IM and IF just because. But I would not call them flex nibs and caution users not to spring them. :headsmack:

#17 The Good Captain

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 14:20

CS nibs in general feel "soft" to me. I have mostly IB nibs, with an IM and IF just because. But I would not call them flex nibs and caution users not to spring them. :headsmack:

My four are all just M but do have that slight spring which makes using them a real treat. They certainly aren't 'flexible' though!

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#18 breaker

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 21:57

nice review and pics!
thanks!
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#19 ArchiMark

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 02:21

Excellent review, writing sample, and pics, markos....thanks for sharing.....

Very handsome looking vintage style pen.....

:thumbup:

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#20 Ghost Plane

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:52

Rats. Now that I know it's longer than the 149 posted, I have to take another look at this. :gaah:






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