Initial Impressions - 10 out of 10.
The first impression when a pen arrives is all about the box, in my case it's the biggest piece of presentation eye-candy that I have encountered during my 30 plus years of pen collecting. I acquired this pen from Bill Riepl's clearance sale about four months ago (and with a little help from a treasured friend on the forum).
First off we have the outer layer, plain and understated:
This gives way to the rather magnificent inner box:
Which in turn, houses the main event:
The package includes a handmade cigar, a bottle of CS ink, a small volume of "Quotable Churchill" and the paperwork. As packages go, this one hits the spot as well as anything that is designed to appeal to more than just one person can. Attention to detail is evident at each layer of the reveal.
Appearance and Finish – 10 out of 10.
I really like the slightly conservative appearance of the Claret finish and the effect that different light conditions have on it, the silver furnishings on this pen add to the overall look and I prefer them to gold. It makes a statement but whispers it in an authoritative yet reassuring sotto voce rather than screaming "Look At Me". It is one of those pens that when used will earn you an instant double-take from people who are in the room. I was at a conference in Bristol yesterday and amongst the sea of disposable ballpoints in the lecture theatre, the Churchill seemed to speak rather eloquently. I am not entirely sure whether the woman behind me gasped in awe when I started taking notes or whether it was the PowerPoint slide of the revised timescales for the project we were working on, but will give the CS Churchill the benefit of the doubt on this occasion.
Design, Size and Weight - 10 out of 10.
Despite having fairly slender hands, I am not a small man and not of a slight build (6 feet 2 inches tall in the old money or 186 cm in the new currency). Even with that apparent mismatch this pen is the perfect size for me. My ideal choice of size is for the medium to large of the Danitrios (the Densho and Takumi rather than the Mikado or Genkai), the MB 146 or 149 and the Waterman Edson. The girth, weight and balance of the Churchill are fantastic (I do not post the cap) and writing for extended periods is no problem at all.
For those who wish for such details, here are the weights and measures:
Weight Capped – 28.0 grams
Weight Uncapped – 16.9 grams
Length Capped – 14.6 cm
Length Uncapped – 13.9 cm
Length Posted – 18.0 cm
Barrel Diameter – 14.5 mm
Average Section Diameter – 11.5 mm
The Filling System – 9 out of 10.
In this particular pen it is a cartridge/converter. There are "purists" who will leave the room to be violently sick at this point, but as far as I am concerned it is a practical and eminently sensible solution. I can fill it from a bottle or I can use cartridges, I understand the allure that the piston filler or eyedropper have for some but I fail to see why it should cause a pen which is to be used in a working environment to be marked down. My only very slight concern is that my weapon of choice is the Italic Broad (IB) nib which means that I would have liked to see a greater ink capacity, however in a previous career that would have been viewed as a self-inflicted injury and the minor complaint treated with the disdain it so richly deserves. The pen is also available in some finishes as a lever-filler if that if the sort of option that will sway your decision as to whether or not to purchase.
The Nib – 10 out of 10.
The nib is not only one of the most attractive that is in the modern arsenal of the pen manufacturers, it is also (in my experience) one of the best. Previously I was totally besotted with the factory stub on my Danitrio Tamenuri Takumi, if this has not put it into second place, it has at least given it cause to lie awake at night wondering if it is still the "special one" in my life. It is a complete joy to write with; it can be left unused for a few days and will then start laying down a perfect line without skipping so much as a millimetre. The line, the degree of wetness and the responsiveness all seem to have been custom made for me (and all this from a factory nib that has not been tweaked in any way, shape or form).
Cost – 10 out of 10.
I managed to get this pen on a clearance sale from Bill Riepl and despite the Pound Sterling's recent attempts to align itself with the Zimbabwean Dollar it was still a great deal.
Overall – 59 out of 60
To say that this pen is a completely revelatory experience for me would be something of an understatement. I had long laboured under the misapprehension that Conway Stewart were just one of the brands that other people used when I was at school and was genuinely put off trying their products manufactured since the re-launch of the company. That mistake was entirely engendered by a false impression formed during my early years in the UK's educational system and that had simply stayed with me through ignorance on my part. This is a pen that can be used in pretty well any situation and that will set you apart from the crowd at meetings (and the meetings that I attend at my workplace are heavy with fountain pen users), it will give the MB crowd something to think about and spotting these beauties in the wild will be a new sub-hobby of mine.
In short I am completely won over by the CS Churchill and would recommend that anyone who gets the opportunity to try one out, should grab it with both hands.
Edited to conform to the 6 scoring categories suggested by Myu here...
Edited by I am not a number, 06 February 2009 - 02:05.