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The Conway Stewart 100 "Peppered White"


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#1 KendallJ

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 00:12

Most of you know my recent enfatuation with Sheaffer pens. My pen box is full and surprisingly my expensive pen taste feels satiated. My "last" modern pen arrived today (at least the last "really expensive" modern), a Conway Stewart 100. I had been curious about this pen since I had seen the Churchills at the Detroit pen show, as well as Bill Reipl's wonderful pics of the resins. So I finally broke down and ordered one.

1. Overall design 5*

If Mont Blanc is Rolls Royce, Krone Fashion pens (not the LE's) are Lamborghini, OMAS is Ferrari, Pelikan is BMW, then the place reserved for Conway Stewart is surely Jaguar. Each company expresses its design philosophy in a unique way, and for Conway Stewart, the essense of CS is "refinement, with a bold element". With Jaguar, everything is refinement, but the single bold element is the line fo the car. With CS, the lines are classic, and the bold element is the variety and selection of striking celluloid resins. From Nebula Posted Image to MeteorPosted Image, HeatherPosted Image, Coral GreenPosted Image, Flecked AmythystPosted Image and the Whirls,Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image these are not sedate resins.

[color samples courtesy of Richardspens.com]

The 100 is an enlarged version of the 58 which as far as I can tell dates back to the 50's and has not changed in styling whatsoever. From its Vacumatic-style jewel and clip, to the triple cap band, torpedo shape, flat section face, and stepped cap profile this is a classic pen in every sense of the word.

Posted Image

I actually ordered the resin version that was for me most sedate, "Peppered White". What I expected was White resin chunks, with black chunks interspersed. What I got was a pleasant surprise. The white is a wonderful milky translusence, and the "black" is really pearlescent midnight blue. For those of you who know my penchant for blue pens, this turned what I thought woudl be a great resin into something spectacular. Because the blue is so dark, the pearlesence shows through only at some angles, and at others the midnight blue is flat and borders on black. In addition, there are hints of black interspersed within the white resin making for a great marbling effect. So what I thought would be a sedate resin has turned into a bold but refined one!

2. Size / Weight 4*

The resin is definitely celluloid and carries the familiar celluloid odor. It makes for a very lightweight pen. The pen is quite large, close to my Legacy 2 in size, but much lighter. This is comfortable pen in the hand, and even for its size would be comfortable for the long haul sessions.

3. Nib 4*

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Nothing fancy. All function, and what great function it is. The pen is a fine, but lays down a big, juicy, smooth medium line. Single tone gold, even down to the iridium tip, with the classic Conway logo as its only ornament. Smooth as slick and well machined, and for the money I would expect it to be.

4. Filling Mechanism 5*

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I generally have fickle relationships with filling mechanisms. I hate convertors for their, well, boringness, but like the fact that I can use the pen with a partially extended piston. I love pistons for the capacity, and elegance, but hate that most will not allow you to write with them in anything but the fully retracted position. I love sacs for their simplicity, but don't care for the weeping from thermal expansion and pressure changes. I think I have finally decided on the filling system that has the best of all worlds, and it is the one I ordered with the Conway. The CS has an piston system, but whose nob is hidden under the blind cap. It is actually an embedded convertor so the body of the pen is not the resovoir. Capacity, simplicity and the ability to extend the piston partially, this is the one. This pen and one of my Krone's share this system and frankly it is my favorite, and farely rare.

5. Fit / Finish 5*

Here Conway excels, and there is no doubt about it. I think next to my Nakaya, this is the best F/F pen I have. Some examples of the attention to detail.

a. Resin finish is magnificent, rivalling the smoothness of my Nakaya urushi.

b. Pen is engraved on the barrel in a "vintage" tradition, and the engraving is top notch. Pens like Conklin try this element, but I find the engraving to be cheap.

c. The translucense is used wonderfully. For instance, there is no inner cap. Instead a machined lip mates with the pens section face. What this allows for though is a ghostly nib profile to show through the cap. The translucense is also used to show the piston knob in the same fashion. The embedded convertor however, doesn't dirty the color fo the pen by allowing off color ink to show through the barrel. Just really stupendous!

d. Finally the nib is machined wonderfully.

Posted Image

6. Overall value 3*

At $330 (that's Pam Braun's price, retail is more like $375), this is not a high mark in the value category. You have to be a style maven to justify the price I think, but if you are this is a wonderful and beautiful pen.!

Edited by KendallJ, 25 August 2005 - 01:33.

Kendall Justiniano
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#2 Roger

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 01:28

Good review, Kendall, thanks.

I generally have fickle relationships with filling mechanisms. I hate convertors for their, well, boringness, but like the fact that I can use the pen with a partially extended piston. I love pistons for the capacity, and elegance, but hate that most will not allow you to write with them in anything but the fully retracted position. I love sacs for their simplicity, but don't care for the weeping from thermal expansion and pressure changes. I think I have finally decided on the filling system that has the best of all worlds, and it is the one I ordered with the Conway. The CS has an piston system, but whose nob is hidden under the blind cap. It is actually an embedded convertor so the body of the pen is not the resovoir. Capacity, simplicity and the ability to extend the piston partially, this is the one. This pen and one of my Krone's share this system and frankly it is my favorite, and farely rare.

That system is very much like the integrated converter of some of the Stipula Etrurias. My 991, for instance, is like that but the blind cap is not removable. The end of the large converter couples with the filling knob and for all practical purposes you are using a Pelikan-like piston filler with the added ability to substiitute an International converter or cartridge.
Roger
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#3 Karin

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 08:58

I got a big surprise when I tried to fill my Waterman Liason. I guess this is the integrated converter that you guys are talking about. I couldn't figure out how to fill the pen until I turned what I thought was a piston and found the converter. It's a really cool design.


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#4 KendallJ

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 11:41

I have not seen the Liasons, but I'm not sure if it is the same set up. Can someone confirm?

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#5 southpaw

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 19:15

Kendall,
Thanks for another great review. Nice pics, as well. One question - where's the writing sample to show us that juicy line? :D
southpaw
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#6 Carrie

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 21:20

Please, please, reviews like this need to carry a health warning (or bank balance warning), I'm sitting here in serious danger of drooling all over my keyboard ;) I would love to even just see a modern Conway Stewart "in the flesh".

#7 KendallJ

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 01:35

Kendall,
Thanks for another great review. Nice pics, as well. One question - where's the writing sample to show us that juicy line? :D
southpaw

Woops, right here.

Carrie eat your heart out... ;)

Posted Image

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#8 Richard

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 01:19

Great review, Kendall. As a Conway Stewart retailer, I sometimes find myself trying to explain to people that today's Conway isn't the Conway of two or three years ago. The current owner, Glenn Jones, is serious about making quality pens and providing top-drawer service -- that's why I decided to throw my hat into the ring.

One thing, though. The color chips you've used are from my site. I made them, and I hold the copyright on them. I certainly don't object to your having used them here, and I hope you'll feel free to use my images again; but please remember to attribute the sources of any images you borrow.

My favorite Conway Stewart resin color? Heather. Posted Image
Click to send email: richard@richardspens.com
Posted Image

#9 KendallJ

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 01:36

Richard -

I have been impressed with the pen thus far, and I can tell the workmanship is 1st rate. Frankly, your decision to carry steers my towards brands (as it does for Jim M, and Pam B.) because I know you want to stand by the product.

My only complaint was that the pen took a while to ship from the factory. I know partly due to the custom nature of the pen options.

I've put in a reference to your website. Hope that suffices - Apologies.

Heather is a great resin. It's my wife's name too!

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#10 Blade Runner

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 18:44

Nice Pen & review Kendall,

If I were to get a CS this would be it. Unfortunately it exceeds what I'm willing to pay. Will look out for a nice used one.

Regards,
Jeen

#11 wimg

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 19:46

Kendall,

Having been absent for some time from the board, I did miss this review, so thanks Jeen for bumping it.

Thank you Kendall, for this wonderful and detailed review of this pen, including the pictures that actually show what you're talking about.

I've always been wondering about the modern CSs (I own a vintage one), but after this I would surely not hesitate to get one, once my collection of Etrurias is (near) complete.

Thanks again!

Warm regards, Wim

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#12 Stompy

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 21:35

Carrie, I've seen the swirl pattern "in the flesh" and it is amazing.

I've got a modern black and white CS 58 in Casein, unfortunately it's got a hairline crack in the cap and this reminder of it's delicacy makes me scared to use it.

I am so looking forward to Sunday, and my first pen show. CS are a sponsors, so I'm optimistic that they'll have a selection to look at.

#13 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 08:28

I want the same pen in classic green smile.gif
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#14 belfast-popeye

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 11:05

Sorry for digging up an old one here but when i searched for Conway peppered white came up with this. In this review Kendall's CS peppered white has an extended converter system accessed under the blind cap. I have just received a peppered white (second hand) which does not have a removeable blind cap, the barrel is unscrewed from the section to reveal a bog standard converter. Anyone know if this is correct or is it suspect??
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#15 Ghost Plane

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 13:07

I'm not familiar with the 100s, but many modern CS pens come in a variety of fill systems from button to c/c to lever fill. Check the CS forum or PM Mary Burke, who is one of the distributors for the company and can verify filler systems available.

#16 MikeF

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 13:22

I got a big surprise when I tried to fill my Waterman Liason. I guess this is the integrated converter that you guys are talking about. I couldn't figure out how to fill the pen until I turned what I thought was a piston and found the converter. It's a really cool design.


Karin :bunny1:


It's not the same thing. In the Liaison, when you turn the bottom cap, the nib/section assembly come out of the barrel, and allow you to insert a cartridge or a convertor. In this case, the bottom cap comes out, and allow you to turn the convertor screw.

BTW, I do have a resin made CS based on the 100 model, which I like a lot, but uses a removable c/c or cartridges.

Edited by MikeF, 19 February 2011 - 13:23.







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