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Conway Stewart Belliver Bracket Brown Review



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Good evening fellow FPN'ers.

 

Having dipped my toes in a couple of posts so I am going to have a go at a review of a little pen I have just acquired, the new Conway Stewart Belliver in Bracket brown.

 

Having looked at a lot of other reviews, they all seem to follow a similar formula so will "sort of" follow the same but with my own flavour. As with my writing, I will go off at tangents, nothing new from me then... :-) The post has a fair number of pictures to support my ramblings. I hope someone finds it of some value.

 

Purchase Experience: 10/10

Purchased online from "Andy's Pens" based somewhere in Kent, England. Gave the guy a call to check stock, no problems, however, no nib available. CS apparently were awaiting new nibs, but was informed that if I still want one the whole pen/nib will come direct from the factory. Ok for me, no problemo. Three days later, It was delivered!

 

Opening the box and first impressions: 10/10

Ok already getting cheesy, 10/10 again. But for real, it is an experience getting one of these. The box is perhaps a quarter size of the CS Winston box but no less plush. It was a box within a box within a box, plus a little surprise, a 2014 pocket diary from Conway Stewart. Nice touch, but will be saving it as a keepsake/memento. It has a nice signed booklet from the factory. In other words, a real person has made, assembled, packed and proudly signed their name to the final touch before boxing. That is a nice sign of assurance to me. Love it already. Time to see the pen.

 

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The pen itself (just looking at it): 9.5/10

At this point, after peeling back the multiple levels of security to get the the prize, there it is, sat nestled in it's felt groove shining. I mean REALLY shining. A sort of deep translucent multi hewed, oh hang on... It looks little smaller than I expected. Hmmmmm. Nope, stick with it, size IS deceiving and lets pick the thing up and have a proper look now shall we?

 

post-86436-0-23955600-1396047864_thumb.jpgpost-86436-0-42680000-1396047877_thumb.jpg

 

The pen in the hand: 10/10

Well what can I say, it feels just perfect. Smaller than I expected, but I am starting to love it already so have marked it back up to 10. It is VERY shiny and the colours have a depth that is beyond belief. I expect the shine will wear off in time but for now I am enjoying it. I will compare the size later with a popular well known pen :-) The weight is just right as well. Anyone looking for a balanced pen, this is the one. Can't tell posted, I never post pens I always hold the cap in one hand. Sorreeee.

 

Taking the cap off: 8/10 then 9/10 then....

Warning fellow CS pen addicts, warning. I mentioned awaiting a new nib from CS and they meant NEW nibs indeed. This is neither the standard all yellow gold nor the limited edition two tone gold but a BRAND NEW nib series from the look of it. This is NOT the nib in ANY of the CS advertisements that I can find. This is a two tome, looking very much like a MB149 nib but without the breather. It has grooves which may be stamped in that flow from the pen body to the nib and separates the two gold tone. It is also unbelievably shiny. This playmates is going to be a marmite experience for many, love it or hate it. It looks less mechanical and sort of flows. it gives a classic pen more of a vintage look and feel and to me it does enhance the overall vision. BUT. I don't like surprises.

 

Size: 9/10

Sorry. I expected it being a tad longer and a tad wider in girth. Not measuring the pen or looking long and hard at the specs or size guide or doing a 300 mile round trip to handle one, I drooled and pressed the button. My fault, but I stand by it, it is gorgeous. I will ramble more later. How big IS it? About the same size as a TWSBI 540. (check my pictures). Ever so slightly thinner section, length, mmmm same-ish. I have largish hands, not panicking yet, but grumbling to myself.

 

post-86436-0-42680000-1396047877_thumb.jpgpost-86436-0-53329100-1396047891_thumb.jpg

 

Stop rambling and fill the pen! 10/10

Cartridge/Converter. Screwed tight in place, will never drop out, love the design, simple and effective. Other Manufacturers please take note and think long and hard about it, this is the way to fit a converter properly. Easy to fill, so loaded it up with Waterman Havana brown to do some basic tests and see what this thing can do.

 

Havana Brown in this pen: 2/10

Move on please. This is not for this pen. Ever. It put ink on the paper and that is ALL I will say on that matter.

 

Inking the pen after a good clean: 10/10

That's better. Loaded up with Diamine Teal and offered the nib up to some cheap copy paper and scribbled some lines, did the "quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" thing (I bet that poor fox is getting tired of it) and it sort of just worked. No drama, the usual feathering and bleed thru as expected but in general, erm, nice....

 

Offering the pen up to some better paper: 10/10

Rhodia lined pad, the flip over type. Oh... Now we are in business. Will try and describe this. Nib touches paper, nib glides. REALLY glides. A little feedback, a slight spring (I have a light hand) almost imperceptible spring to be honest, a slight softness but ooooh so silky smooth. What did I say about the new colouring of these nibs and surprises? WHO CARES!!! Wow. Silky, butter, cheesy (oh thats me sorry).

 

Pic with writing sample supplied is on Oxford Black n' Red

 

post-86436-0-85007600-1396047905_thumb.jpg

 

The writing experience overall 10/10

This is where I just start writing glowing stuff about this (little pen). It is designed to write with this little fella. It is a no-nonsense, no frills writing instrument. It lays ink down with a little line variation, has enough feedback for a light writer AND fits quite comfortably in large hands just as the TWSBI does. I did some fast large signatures to try and defeat the flow. Not a chance. The Belliver kept up. This is a pen to write pages and pages with and will keep on going till the ink runs out.

 

Sort of overall impressions after use: 10/10

For anyone put off by the usual high end monster pens, this is ideal, it is NOT an oversized behemoth. It is a REAL sized or realistic sized pen.

For people with small hands. Perfect.

For people with Huge hands. Please try before you buy. I am happy, others may not be.

The nibs are new. See if CS publish any pics and see if you like them. I do, it is going to be a battle of taste on this one. They write amazingly, just amazing.

Nib width. The nib is the italic medium. This is ALMOST the same as the TWSBI 1.1 or the Lamy 1.1 italic in width.

Paper. It needs good paper to get the best out of it. Heck it deserves it. Don't spend £300+ for a pen and write on toilet paper, please go for the experience, it is worth it.

Ink. Experiment. I have read multiple times on these forums how ink performance differs from pen to pen and vice versa. It really is true. Diamine performs badly in my CS Winston IF nib, but is tamed with Aurora black! The Belliver with the IM nib LOVES Diamine ink. It did not like Waterman brown, it turned the pen into a fire-hose and just threw inconsistent lines all over the page. Very messy. Yours might like a different tipple. Take your time and find the one that the pen likes.

 

Urban Myth

I have also read CS nibs have had flow issues and many people have had theirs tuned to suit them. Or the ink they like. I personally (thats me and nobody else) think that the nibs are just fine, just find an ink that works and enjoy. The nibs are damned good. True, some nibs may be in need of a tune or even a full swap. Ever seen a car costing £20,000 broke down on the hard shoulder? Yep, me too, it happens.

 

Customer Service: 10/10

Ahhhh I had to slip this one in. It was delivered within the week. Can't fault that.

 

Pictures:

Please find attached a set of snaps to support my ramblings. They DO NOT convey the depth of colours or the weight and feel, the ones found on the CS site are far better. What the online marketing pictures DO NOT show is the real size of the pen. The size chart CS have online is great if you have another CS pen yourself to compare it to. I decided to pose the pen with a very popular modern pen the TWSBI 540 with a 1.1 nib to let people get a sense of the size comparison.

 

I hope you guys find the review useful.

 

D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never try and teach a pig to sing: it wastes your time and annoys the pig

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Glad you like it, was fun doing it. I will do some more reviews in the future, I have a number of pens I have used over the years that could do with a little "airing".

 

D.

Never try and teach a pig to sing: it wastes your time and annoys the pig

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Nice review. Concidentally, I'm waiting on delivery of a Bracket Brown Belliver as well. Not sure what to think about the "new" nib. I prefer the more classic looking version, but if it writes well... who cares?

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@dneal.

I was very unsure myself, but it does enhance the Belliver. If your Belliver is in transit it "may" come with the classic nib, I was waiting for mine as the nibs had not been delivered at the time, so I really don't know.

 

Full agree with "if it writes well" etc, they were my own thoughts and I was pleasantly surprised. Get the pen/paper/ink combination right and you won't even see the pen. Mine just writes so smooth.

 

Update: Just retrieved the pen from it's case to have another look and indeed it does work with the Belliver. As yet I have not heard if this is the new standard nib or the new limited edition nib. Have looked on the CS website and cannot find any reference to it. When yours arrives please let us all know on here what it shipped with. Lets compare notes :-)

 

I will see if I can manage a clearer shot of the nib later on today. It just shines so much!

 

D.

Never try and teach a pig to sing: it wastes your time and annoys the pig

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For anyone interested, I have attached a couple more close-ups of the new CS "Marmite" nibs.

 

I should have done this earlier but still getting to grips with macro photography (HDR stuff is my bag).

 

Vey very much like the Mont Blanc 149 bi-colour nib (I need to verify that statement by looking online and checking now unless someone can confirm it for us) as I don't have one. <sigh>

 

D.

 

post-86436-0-83674100-1396084450_thumb.jpgpost-86436-0-19019900-1396084463_thumb.jpg

Never try and teach a pig to sing: it wastes your time and annoys the pig

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Erm, ok, maybe more like the Pelikan bi-colour gold nib, I was hasty mentioning the Mont Blanc. I have just had a look and the resemblance is closer to the Pelikan nibs. Hmmmm. I wonder where the nibs are coming from...

 

Maybe a Conway Stewart expert could pop on here and enlighten us?

 

D.

Never try and teach a pig to sing: it wastes your time and annoys the pig

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I thought Bock made the nibs for CS...

 

On a different note, an alternative to the Waterman Havana Brown (which I'm not fond of either) would be GvFC Hazelnut Brown or MB Toffee Brown. They're very similar, with the MB having a slightly more reddish tint.

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For anyone interested, I have attached a couple more close-ups of the new CS "Marmite" nibs.

 

I should have done this earlier but still getting to grips with macro photography (HDR stuff is my bag).

 

Vey very much like the Mont Blanc 149 bi-colour nib (I need to verify that statement by looking online and checking now unless someone can confirm it for us) as I don't have one. <sigh>

 

D.

 

attachicon.gifnib1.jpgattachicon.gifnib2.jpg

Nice review Diver. I am also not sure I like the "new" nib, as, like you, I don't like surprises. I have 3 CS pens with the standard gold nib, one with the two-toned gold/silver nib. The new nib looks a bit too busy and maybe, to my eyes, the silver portion detracts from the rest of the yellow gold trim on the pen (nice close-ups of it though). But the pen itself is beautiful. I think if I had not just gotten a Belliver Borealis, this would have been a candidate. P.S., could you explain please what you mean by CS "marmite nib?

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@Warblerick.

 

Re: CS Marmite Nib...

 

A little humour on my part I am afraid. Marmite is a sort of blacki-sh yeast extract sold over here (similar to the Australian Veggie-mite) that people spread on their toast/bread. Very tart and bitter in taste, rich in vitamin B etc etc. There was a humorous television advertising campaign for it a couple of years back, as people either love it or people hate it. As the new Conway Stewart nib (CS) doesn't have a name that I know of, I just called it a Marmite nib in fun. People will love it or they will hate it, depending on taste.

 

For the record, "she who must be obeyed" loves the taste of Marmite, yours truly hates it.

 

If the nickname sticks, that will be no nice free gifts from Conway Stewart for me. Ever. :-)

 

D.

 

PS. I like the nib.

Never try and teach a pig to sing: it wastes your time and annoys the pig

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Just a little update on my thoughts regarding the new nib, which I am sure a number of people will come across in the near future. It was the surprise of the change in design that took me aback a little. It doesn't mean it looks bad, not in my eyes, but it doesn't look like what I expected it to after drooling over the pictures on the Conway Stewart website. I have not heard of anyone else that has this nib as yet, I do find it strange to launch a complete (cosmetic) redesign without announcing it in six foot high letters. I have looked, but maybe in the wrong places.

 

To really put it into perspective (my perspective anyway), after a couple of pages scribing with the pen, I did find the appearance of the nib/pen did sort of disappear and just concentrated on the content of my writing with the odd flourish from time to time to play with how the nib actually works.

 

I do appreciate fully that if it doesn't look right, teddies will be thrown out of prams at delivery time, or people will be praising the new design. For example is the silver portion on the nib silver, white gold, palladium etc? Haven't got a clue.

 

All I can say is it writes as good as or better than I had hoped and am very pleased with it.

 

I would be nice someone from Conway Stewart came on here and added a comment or two, but the pen is now mine and it is not going back for a nib exchange, respray or whatever they do.

 

I do ask one question. What nibs going forward will be going on the Churchill Bracket Brown's.....

 

More ramblings Later. I have to mow the lawn now.

 

D.

Never try and teach a pig to sing: it wastes your time and annoys the pig

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Just a little update on my thoughts regarding the new nib, which I am sure a number of people will come across in the near future. It was the surprise of the change in design that took me aback a little. It doesn't mean it looks bad, not in my eyes, but it doesn't look like what I expected it to after drooling over the pictures on the Conway Stewart website. I have not heard of anyone else that has this nib as yet, I do find it strange to launch a complete (cosmetic) redesign without announcing it in six foot high letters. I have looked, but maybe in the wrong places.

 

To really put it into perspective (my perspective anyway), after a couple of pages scribing with the pen, I did find the appearance of the nib/pen did sort of disappear and just concentrated on the content of my writing with the odd flourish from time to time to play with how the nib actually works.

 

I do appreciate fully that if it doesn't look right, teddies will be thrown out of prams at delivery time, or people will be praising the new design. For example is the silver portion on the nib silver, white gold, palladium etc? Haven't got a clue.

 

All I can say is it writes as good as or better than I had hoped and am very pleased with it.

 

I would be nice someone from Conway Stewart came on here and added a comment or two, but the pen is now mine and it is not going back for a nib exchange, respray or whatever they do.

 

I do ask one question. What nibs going forward will be going on the Churchill Bracket Brown's.....

 

More ramblings Later. I have to mow the lawn now.

 

D.

Thanks again for your musings Diver. And for clearing up that bit about the "marmite" nibs. If this is a brand new nib design for 2014, it seems they should have used it for the photo-spread of the new 100 series (a half page ad in the newest Pen World magazine shows the regular nib). And as you said, the Belliver Bracket Brown photos also showed the old nib, so it's no wonder you were surprised. Does the new nib have anything on it with regards to its size, as the old ones do (IM, F, etc.)?

 

If you cross-posted your original review back to the Conway Stewart forum, perhaps Mary Burke could chime in.

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Ahhhh. I havent cross-posted before so I need to work out how to do that. Maybe the moderator on here could that for me? Sorry, still very much a newbie.

 

There is a discreet "M" stamped on the cheek of the nib, it is hard to see it without a loupe, plus the nib is so shiny but it is there! Will have a look to see if there is any indicator to designate italic.

 

D.

 

 

Never try and teach a pig to sing: it wastes your time and annoys the pig

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Update number.... Oh I have lost count. Note to self, do a full and proper review next time.... But I am enjoying this.

 

I digress. A lot.

 

The designator fo the nib size is indeed stamped on the cheek of the nib (or wing or side whatever terminology fits). Have taken a snap and the IM mark can be seen clearly. I had to look a couple of times with the loupe indicating it is time for a trip to the opticians, but there it was right next to the M....

 

Serves me right for rushing a review out.

 

post-86436-0-09443800-1396116382_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

Never try and teach a pig to sing: it wastes your time and annoys the pig

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Quick note for forum moderator. Is it possible to move this thread/chain to the Conway Stewart Forum please? I have searched the FAQ for help and cannot find the section I need. I just presume it needs a moderator to action. I think it would live best in the Conway Stewart forum as the subject arisen re: new nibs, is worth getting attention in that forum.

 

Many Thanks.

 

Dave.

Never try and teach a pig to sing: it wastes your time and annoys the pig

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raging.dragon

I thought Bock made the nibs for CS...

 

On a different note, an alternative to the Waterman Havana Brown (which I'm not fond of either) would be GvFC Hazelnut Brown or MB Toffee Brown. They're very similar, with the MB having a slightly more reddish tint.

 

P.W. Akkerman Bekakt Haags is also in the same colour range.

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raging.dragon

Quick note for forum moderator. Is it possible to move this thread/chain to the Conway Stewart Forum please? I have searched the FAQ for help and cannot find the section I need. I just presume it needs a moderator to action. I think it would live best in the Conway Stewart forum as the subject arisen re: new nibs, is worth getting attention in that forum.

 

Many Thanks.

 

Dave.

 

Well, I'm not a mod, but I created a post in the CS forum asking about the new nib design, and linking back to this review.

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/263742-new-cs-nibs/

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Hi Diver. Thanks for the review. Very nice photographs. Good nib shots.

 

 

One thing: I always feel uneasy if in a review about every thing scores 10/10. That might mean the pen is really super-duper, or that the reviewer got carried away.

Now you have a Winston with IF nib. How would you rate your Winston as compared to this one???

 

You have filled the pen with the converter. Did you write with it until empty? Any flow changes during writing?

 

Thanks again

 

D.ick

~

KEEP SAFE, WEAR A MASK, KEEP A DISTANCE.

Freedom exists by virtue of self limitation.

~

 

 

 

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