. INTRODUCTION: This 58 is the first “vintage“ FP I bought. The moment I first saw the pictures of this iconic Conway Stewart, I was impressed by the classic old-fashion design. When I found one in near mint condition (at about 120 UK pounds) I was happy. The overall aspect is a high quality one. Inside its cardboard box (even this near mint), there was the FP and the original warranty sheet. The pen has even the original price tag (32 shilling and 6 pence), useful for dating purposes (until 1952 the price has been 31/6)
. Appearance & Design (10-10) – This Conway Stewart pen has a classy and traditional appearance. It shows the classic glossy black with yellow gold plated accessories and a yellow 14 Kt. gold nib. A good example from the fifties. Construction appears solid (the FP body and cap are made in celluloid, and even the filling lever is thick and sturdy). The imprint is very readable “Conway Stewart 58” and “MADE IN ENGLAND” in two rows (late production – perhaps after the 1954). The design is today unusual, being rather short and quite fat (12.7 cm long and 1.3 cm large), approaching the size of the Sailor Professional Gear FP .
. Construction & Quality (9-10) – The pen appears quite delicate, since it is celluloid and more than fifty year old. In the hand the feeling is warm, and the overall feeling is really pleasing. I can’t see any manufacturing flaw and only few very light scratches (I would define this pen as a new old stock; I see no signs of use – e.g. the dreadful posting rings- but there are the unavoidable signs of time). I imagine that the surface be delicate and I prefer to lay down my pen on a microfibre cloth than in its own original box. The gold layer appears heavy on the clip, the rings and the lever, without evident brassing. When dismantling the cap (warning, you need a custom modified screwdriver) the clip appears substantial, and the heavy plating is appreciable on the entire surface of the clip complex.
. Weight & Dimensions (9.5-10) – The size and the weight of the pen are exactly what seen in the specialized literature. Closed it measures 127 mm, I don’t know (and i don’t want to know…) how long it may be when posted. The diameter is about 13 mm at the largest point and the weight is comfortable even if unposted. I feel ok with the balance in my hand (I have average hands). As above, I would relate the overall size to the Sailor Professional Gear, even if the 58 is a trifle thinner. It managed well even in long writing sessions.
. Nib & Performance (9-10) – The nib appears to be the original Conway Stewart Duro 58. It appears as a Medium size. The tines are in superb shape and well aligned. This translates in good performance and smoothness. Iridium on the tips (or whatever white metal it may be) had been employed unsparingly. The feeder is flat (ebonite ?). Other than smooth, my nib writes with good flex . It has a quite wet behaviour with the Diamine Mediterranean Blue ink I employed until now. The nib writes medium as expected (actually on the medium/broad side), being able to put down good variability both on xerox paper and on high quality Fabriano Fabria paper 100 gr/sqm. The nib is able to write smoothly as a fine one when turned 180 °.
. Filling System & Maintenance (9-10) – The filling system is a classic lever-filling one. The lever has to be pulled at 90° and then repositioned along the body for a complete sac filling (one movement appears to be sufficient). Today the lever-filling system seems completely outdated. I had suspicious expectations about this, nevertheless the lever is a simple and straightforward method to charge the pen (and not a flimsy one…)
. Cost & Value (10-10) – I saw many samples of CS 58 on eBay and vintage pen websites. Prices are quite variable from few UK pounds to some hundreds, depending on both the condition and the finish. I believe I paid a fair price for my NOS sample. The signed for, international parcel arrived safely in three days from Great Britain to Italy (Royal Mail and Poste Italiane were the carriers) at a cost of 10 UK £. I think this is not only a delicate collection piece, but also a good deal for a good daily writer.
. Conclusion (Final score, 56.5/60) – The overall feeling is good after some (even long) writing sessions. The pen seats well in my hands, I always had some”warm” impression and the old nib performs flawlessly. My expectations have been heavily exceeded, because I did not plan a nib so good and smooth. Even the size, the weight and the feeling of celluloid are on the pleasing side.
I believe to employ this pen more and more in the future. For the next weeks it will find place on the breast pocket of my white working dress, helping me in writing prescriptions.
I do not see absolutely any space to sell this pen in the future.
To be heavily recommended if you can find one !
Greetings from Italy !