Conway Stewart 205

The Conway Stewart 205 is a mystery pen in some regards. It isn’t specifically mentioned in Stephen Hull’s Conway Stewart book. It closely resembles the more common 206. In fact the only real difference I can see is that the 206 had a fixed clip whereas it seems likely that the 205 came with an optional washer clip. My one has no clip.

I’m particularly fond of these early-ish Conway Stewarts. This one probably went into production in the early to mid twenties, so it’s among that group of pens where Conway Stewart was getting into its stride with manufacture rather than outsourcing. In appearance and style it’s a real Conway Stewart with its domed, knurled cap and flange lever.

I like a light pen – the lighter the better – and the 205 is very good in that regard. I no longer post my pens but if I did this pen would still weigh very little in the hand.

By now Conway Stewart were making good, solid pens that were meant to last. Though it isn’t far short of a century old, I don’t treat this pen as a cosseted antique. It’s a pen to be used, to take advantage of its splendid Conway Stewart nib, just a hair thicker than fine, beautifully smooth from the decades of use. Most of the pens that I write about will be for sale. This one isn’t. I will never part with it.

I enjoy the smooth warmth of the BHR. The pen has been used so much that the barrel imprint has almost disappeared. No modern pen quite matches the comfort of this old pen. In some respects age brings benefit that new pens will take decades to acquire.

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4 thoughts on “Conway Stewart 205

  1. like you Deborah, I love these old BHR pens. In fact this No. is included on Jonathan Donahaye’s CS list, although he says no details available and gives this clipless form a red star – very rare it seems.
    It appears there is a fixed clip form of this No, designated as 205M, but few details available.

    1. I thought the “M” usually referred to mottled hard rubber.

      I suppose this pen doesn’t look much like what it did originally. There are faint remains of chasing but it looks now like a smooth hard rubber pen.

  2. The 205 number doesn’t ever appear in the UK price lists or advertising, which is presumably why it wasn’t noted in FPFTM. The pen as pictured is, to all intents and purposes apart from the number, a 200, which was the base clipless/mountless pen of the many pens within the 200 series. There are three possible reasons for the pen being numbered 205:

    1 It could be from a batch that was imprinted with the wrong number.

    2 The 205 number could have been used for this pen when it was issued as part of a set rather than sold separately.

    3 It could have been used as an export-only number.

    Examples of all of these ‘rarities’ are known elsewhere in the CS range.

    The washer clip theory is just about possible, but not likely. All these pens are shown with fixed clips until at least 1930, after which the style of the 200 series changes. The M does always refer to mottled smooth vulcanite as opposed to black (usually chased). It is the actual number that reflects the presence of a clip, or the number, position and style of the mounts, size of nib, etc.

    The earlier 200 series pens (from about 1917) were largely US made, this style (with the locking lever) is from the second half of the 1920s, and they were the mainstay of the range as production began at the new Shoe Lane factory.

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