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Posted 24 January 2006 - 05:34
I thought it would be worthwhile doing a review on the original Conway Stewart 100's and 58's. These of course can now be found in the modern version and reincarnation of Conway Stewart's offerings.
It should be noted both of these pens are over 50yrs old and have stood the test of time. What is also interesting is that you can find these for well under 50% of what you have to pay for a modern version.
In the pic I have included a Parker 45 for size reference.
Both of the pens are plastic and are lever fillers. The levers, clips and cap bands are gold plated. The nibs are 14ct gold. These samples have all of their trim in mint condition (lucky me).
The caps are screw on and hide fabulous "duro" nibs. The nibs being duro's are certainly larger and appear to be of better quality than say a CS #3 nib. They are both very smooth (no catching) but do create some drag (tooth ?) which I like. There is some flex but as I write quite lightly I don't bend them too much. These examples are what I would call F/M fine medium.
The internals are basic, rubber sac, pressure bar connected to lever. The feeds are ebonite and the nibs are the std press fit into the section. So if you pick up a vintage CS they are a doddle to repaire.
I particularly like the 3 bands on the caps and the clips which show off the diamond shield with the CV logo.
The #100 was only made in black, the #58 came in numerous colours and patterns, the rarest of which is the silver herringbone (about 4 exist).
The 100 I use un-posted as it is long enough to do this, the 58 seems to want posting (for my hand anyway) and is better ballanced as such.
Overall they are both very nice sturdy dependable pens and quite frankly I prefer to own the "real-deal" than the modern version. No disrespect to all you modern CS lovers.
Posted 24 January 2006 - 08:18
Thank you for a great review. Those old CS pens are great value for the money (I have about half a dozen of them)...and their flexy nibs are indeed fun to use!
Posted 24 January 2006 - 09:45
Well, Maja, that's a kind way of putting it: I once found a CS 60 that had no visible brassing, and I immediately flicked it on as a rarety
Wow, those are in great shape, Gary! I can't even see any brassing, as is (well, in my experience anyway) not all that uncommon in a some of the older Conway Stewart pens.
But maybe I'm prejudiced about CS, having been an English schoolboy in the '50s, and in the schoolboy snob world, CS definitely ranked below Parker. I now see that they are good pens, at least as good as Esterbrooks, but with prettier colours and nicer basic nibs. CS also had a totally incomprehensible policy on model numbering, which probably reflects a chaotic production strategy.
Posted 24 January 2006 - 22:49
Brassing is definitely common amongst vintage CS's so to find some perfect ones is a real bonus.
The BHR versions also often show signs of oxidising (turning brown) and some plastic pens still had BHR cap tops which also discolour although this doesn't distract as much.
My joy is in restoring them.
Posted 28 January 2006 - 20:53
Sorry for the late reply! Ok, so I was right about brassing problems in vintage CS pens; I didn't want to come right out and say it as I have not seen as many in person as many other people, but still....
I didn't realize that CS pens were considered below Parkers in some circles, Michael (although I can sort of see why); maybe I am just a sucker for beautiful pens, but the patterns on many vintage Conway Stewart pens are almost breathtaking (and the modern ones too, for that matter)