Conway Stewart released The Celebration LE Series in Churchill and Wellington models in late 2010. One hundred of each of the fountain pens was made. I had admired these pens, particularly the Wellington, for some time. This week, I was able to acquire a Celebration LE Wellington, and here are my impressions:
Appearance & Design (9.8/10)
The Celebration Wellington design departs from the standard issue Wellington in several respects. Most obvious are the engraved pattern and the red, white and blue rings inlaid on the cap. In addition, while the standard Wellington has two gold bands near the open end of the cap, the Celebration LE has no interruption of the engraved wave pattern. Last, the standard Wellington has a pointed dome end to the barrel, while the Celebration LE has a flat end on which the issue number – 43/100, on mine – is engraved.
Personally, I do not find the bulbous shape of the Wellington cap particularly attractive. On the other hand, I do find the inlaid bands on the cap, contrasting with the black background, most appealing.
I am very fond of black pens with engraving. The wave pattern on the Celebration Wellington is very attractive. I found it difficult to photograph. Comparing the Wellington engraving to that on the Waterman Man 100 Opera and Arlequin, I noted an interesting difference: The Wellington waves are engraved with lines and lie on a shiny background while the Waterman approach was to engrave the background and leave the waves shiny. The resulting effect is that the Wellington is more reflective while the Watermans have a more matte overall appearance.
Construction & Quality (10/10)
The Celebration Wellington appears well-made in all respects. Materials, fit and finish are flawless. Some have expressed the wish that Conway Stewart had chose ebonite rather than resin for the Celebration Series pens. I have no strong feelings in this regard.
Weight & Dimensions (10/10)
Although the Wellington appears to be a significantly larger pen because of the cap size, un-posted it is close to the same size as the CS Belliver, which I find one of my most comfortable pens to write with. Both these models are very well-balanced when used un-posted, which is my preference for pens of this size.
Closed 140 mm
Posted 178 mm
Barrel incl nib 129 mm
Cap 65 mm
Barrel Diam 13.5 mm
Cap Diam 16 mm
Weight 38 gms
Closed: 132.5 mm
Posted 165 mm
Barrel incl nib 126.5 mm
Cap 58 mm
Barrel Diam 13.2 mm
Cap Diam 15 mm
Weight 30 gms
For further comparison, here the Wellington is shown with the CS Belliver, Pelikan M800 and Waterman Man 100 pens. I find this size and weight pen very comfortable in writing, although a bit larger than I prefer for carrying in a shirt breast pocket.
Nib & Performance (10/10)
The Celebration Wellington was made available with the full range of Conway Stewart round and italic nibs. Mine came with a Fine round nib. I purchased all my other modern Conway Stewart pens with italic nibs, all of which I have had customized with the exception of my LE Excalibur, which I ordered with a IB nib I found I liked right out of the box. The Celebration Wellington Fine nib is a very smooth, moderately wet writer with very consistent ink flow and is so nice I am going to keep it without modification, even though most of my writing is in italic script. I would note that this Fine nib writes a thicker line than a Waterman Fine or even a Pelikan Fine. It is much thicker than the vintage Conway Stewart pens I have with Fine nibs.
I have found modern Conway Stewart nibs slightly to moderately springy. In general, I like their feel when writing. The Celebration Wellington's nib is slightly springy.
Filling System & Maintenance (10/10)
This pen has a Cartridge/Converter filling system. In general, I have preferred piston fillers, but I have found the CS Converters to be very reliable and easy to clean and operate. As delivered, there was some residual dried ink in the converter. This rinsed out easily with tap water. I then filled it with Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo ink. It filled completely on the first attempt and wrote well from when it was first put to paper.
Cost & Value (10/10)
The suggested retail price of this pen is quite expensive by my standards. I do recognize that its special design features add significant value. In any case, I was able to buy mine at a substantially reduced price. It had been inked at least once but shows no other signs of having been used. I feel I got an exceptional pen at an exceptional price.
Conclusion (Total Score: 9.7/10)
I loved the appearance of this pen from the photos I had seen, and its appearance in my hand was even more pleasing. The only surprise was how beautifully the Fine nib performs. This is clearly a special pen I am very happy to have in my collection. It is such a pleasure to write with, I expect to be using it much more regularly than I would have anticipated.
Edited by dms525, 25 October 2012 - 23:03.