(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
The Conway Stewart Churchill Peppered White is a bespoke pen--only eighteen were made. Vanness Pen Shop had one of the eighteen, and Brad purchased it (at a discount) for me to review on The Pen Addict.
Packaging is, of course, not the most important factor when reviewing a pen. But, when you’ve purchased a special pen, presentation can make it feel even more extraordinary. Conway Stewart definitely knows how to present a pen. The Churchill comes in a handsome leatherette box with a black velvet interior. Included are a certificate of authenticity, a user guide, cartridges, and a pen cloth to remove tarnish from the silver fittings.
The Churchill is an oversized pen, measuring 5.7 inches/146mm capped; 5.4 inches/138mm uncapped; and 7.1 inches/181mm posted. Unposted, the pen feels wonderful in the hand with excellent balance. Posted, the pen is ridiculously long and feels more like a wizard’s wand than a fountain pen. Actually, my Professor McGonagall wand is better balanced than this Conway Stewart pen is posted! The pen weighs 35gm total.
Although the barrel and cap are made of acrylic, both have brass fittings which gives them heft. The barrel screws onto brass threads, and the finial is attached to a brass piece in the cap. I like the fact that there is added weight near the grip because it makes the pen more comfortable.
The cap has a large, engraved black finial. The clip and cap ring are solid sterling silver. I love the shape of the clip which ends in a diamond, and the raised Conway Stewart logo looks classy. The cap ring has no branding, but the silver content is engraved in small letters.
The body of the pen is acrylic with a black grip and black finial at the bottom. Both ends are adorned with silver rings (two near the grip and one near the bottom).
The acrylic is called “Peppered White,” which is an apt name. It has white, gray, and black flecks and an occasional blue fleck.
My pen is fitted with an 18k gold two-tone fine nib. It has a simple design without any scrollwork. There’s a tiny British flag engraved underneath the breather hole, and the gold content and nib size are engraved near the base of the nib.
I’ve found the nib to be smooth and wet and unyielding. It’s definitely a Western fine with no flex or bounce. Although it writes well most of the time, occasionally it skips on downstrokes. Nevertheless, I really enjoy writing with this pen.
The Churchill is a cartridge/converter pen. I’m a little disappointed that a pen of this size and price point isn’t a piston filler, but the converter works well and supplies an adequate amount of ink to the nib. I definitely prefer a cartridge/converter over a lever filler (some modern Conway Stewarts are lever fillers), because lever fillers can be difficult to clean.
I am really pleased with my Conway Stewart. It’s a gorgeous pen with presence. The size and weight are perfect for me, but if you prefer small, light pens you won’t want this model.
Vanness only had one Peppered White in stock (and I now own it), but you can purchase this bespoke pen directly from Conway Stewart for $478.80.
(This pen was purchased at Vanness Pens with a reviewers discount.)
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