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Conway Stewart Churchill LE - Claret


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#1 I am not a number

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 14:25

Conway Stewart Churchill LE (Claret)

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.

IANAN

Edited to conform to the 6 scoring categories suggested by Myu here...

Edited by I am not a number, 06 February 2009 - 02:05.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of nothing at all...

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#2 BadgerRed

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 14:43



Great review. Both text and pictures. thumbup.gif

I've always wanted to get a Churchill, but, haven't been able to convince myself to spend the money.

You may have changed that.
Thanks

#3 Ghost Plane

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 14:43

Has an attack of the vapors at the glory of that IB nib and immediately begins plotting ways to obtain one.

#4 Peter from Sherwood Park

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 15:26

Thank you for the review. This certainly is a classic-looking pen.

#5 Tangelfoot

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 15:50

How do Conway Stewart number pens it seems that it is backward 364/013?
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

#6 I am not a number

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 15:55

I don't really know, to me it says that of the 364 made, this is number 13. I don't have all that many LEs to compare against...
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of nothing at all...

#7 irishteamer

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 15:56

Thanks for the great review! It is a beauty! But... HOW WAS THE CIGAR?

#8 AndyH

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 15:59

Beautiful pen and great review IANAN!

Truly impressive, low-key, and understated.


I'm Andy H and I approved this message.

#9 bphollin

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 16:02

I'm curious about the coloration of the pen, IANAN. In the second photo the claret appears as a warm pink but in the other photos it appears much darker with more black coming through. I know the flash of my camera will make a deep blue pen appear bright blue in some cases. Can you clarify?

Thanks for posting this review. It is a stunning pen. I hope you meet others in the wild!

#10 mava

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 16:04

Wow! First IB writing sample I've seen. The Churchill is my favorite model from Conway Stewart. I guess I need to source a 3rd Churchill to have that juicy looking nib.

#11 MYU

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 16:10

QUOTE (I am not a number @ Feb 5 2009, 10:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't really know, to me it says that of the 364 made, this is number 13. I don't have all that many LEs to compare against...

Too bad you couldn't get Number 6. laugh.gif


Very nice pen--the depth of the acrylic is eye catching. And I really like your photographs, starting with the outer box and working your way in. That nib is impressive! Thanks for the review, IANAN. smile.gif

[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small


#12 Tangelfoot

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 16:11

QUOTE (I am not a number @ Feb 5 2009, 11:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't really know, to me it says that of the 364 made, this is number 13. I don't have all that many LEs to compare against...


Looking upon it again I could see it making sense the other way.


Nice pen.



Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

#13 I am not a number

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 16:15

QUOTE (bphollin @ Feb 5 2009, 04:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm curious about the coloration of the pen, IANAN. In the second photo the claret appears as a warm pink but in the other photos it appears much darker with more black coming through. I know the flash of my camera will make a deep blue pen appear bright blue in some cases. Can you clarify?

This will probably sound a bit dull, but it depends a huge amount on the light that the pen is under when it is viewed. Where it looks dark in the pictures, there was no additional lighting used, just what was coming through the window (UK overcast winter's day), in a well lit room it comes much more alive. Not much help I'm afraid, but that's about all I can say... If we get sunshine again I will try to take a comparison shot

Edit:

Here is the shot from Bill Riepl that sealed the deal for me...


Edited by I am not a number, 05 February 2009 - 16:58.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of nothing at all...

#14 jbn10161

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 16:15

QUOTE
The Nib – 10 out of 10

IANAN, excellent review and pics. Do you know whether CS manufactures their own nibs in-house? If not, do you know who makes them?

QUOTE
(and the meetings that I attend at my workplace are heavy with fountain pen users)

Lucky you. What type of workplace is that, if I may ask?
JN

#15 I am not a number

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 16:24

QUOTE (jbn10161 @ Feb 5 2009, 04:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
(and the meetings that I attend at my workplace are heavy with fountain pen users)

Lucky you. What type of workplace is that, if I may ask?

I work at a post-graduate only university which specialises in research and technology.

As for the nibs, having just spoken to Conway Stewart, it seems that they are made by Bock (which comes as a bit of a surprise* to me).

* Temptation to use "shock" for rhyming value successfully resisted.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of nothing at all...

#16 jbn10161

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 16:26

QUOTE (I am not a number @ Feb 5 2009, 10:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As for the nibs, having just spoken to Conway Stewart, it seems that they are made by Bock (which comes as a bit of a surprise* to me).
* Temptation to use "shock" for rhyming value successfully resisted.

Seems that Bock has quite a lock on the industry.
* Temptation to use "lock" for rhyming value unsuccessfully resisted.
JN

#17 I am not a number

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 16:34

QUOTE (irishteamer @ Feb 5 2009, 03:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for the great review! It is a beauty! But... HOW WAS THE CIGAR?

I'm saving it for best!
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of nothing at all...

#18 Opus104

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 17:18

QUOTE (I am not a number @ Feb 5 2009, 08:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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.



Excellent!! roflmho.gif

And am I an evil, opportunistic American to be taking advantage of this in my recent purchases?

Thanks for the review. These modern CS pens sure make for some enticing photo spreads.

#19 mava

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 17:18

QUOTE (Tangelfoot @ Feb 5 2009, 07:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How do Conway Stewart number pens it seems that it is backward 364/013?


It's actually a "384" which is Conway Stewart's color code for Classic Claret. More info can be found here: CS Color Codes

Generally Resin models are not labeled xxx of xxx as they are not limited editions. Of course there are limited edition resin models like the Duro Heritage and are labeled differently than the Claret.

This nomenclature was apparently made when there was a change in ownership. I have two CS Churchill's that are limited editions because they are made in ebonite: Red Ripple (now called woodgrain) and BCHR (Black Chased Hard Rubber). The former was a run of 500, the latter 300. I also have a Nelson in woodgrain using the nomenclature like the Claret which indicates it's not a limited edition...



#20 I am not a number

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 18:02

QUOTE (mava @ Feb 5 2009, 05:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's actually a "384" which is Conway Stewart's color code for Classic Claret. More info can be found here: CS Color Codes

With this and finding out that the nibs are made by Bock I am learning quite a lot today! Thanks mava...
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of nothing at all...






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