Raspberry Marbled Conway Stewart 75

Conway Stewart made many pens in this style, some smaller, some larger, many more expensive but all to the same exacting standards of quality.

The 75 is a rather odd range of pens. There are blues, reds and greens in both muted and bright colours. This raspberry marble is considerably brighter than the burgundy version. The intent was, as ever with Conway Stewart, to please all tastes, even the most conservative who chose black.

The quality is apparent in a variety of ways. Most readily evident is the fact that the pen, sixty or seventy years old, looks new. The barrel and cap are free of scratches or bite marks and the chromium plating remains bright. Out of sight and unobserved by the writer, the pressure bar is of the swing type, more efficient in filling the sac with ink than a J-bar. This is a technique developed by Waterman and doubtless Conway Stewart had to pay a royalty for its use. Quality comes at a cost which they were clearly ready to pay in those years. It makes the later cost-cutting and decline in quality all the more regrettable.

When we talk about the quality of British pens we usually place Conway Stewart third behind De La Rue and Mabie Todd. Perhaps, in reality, we are talking about price rather than quality. Conway Stewarts, until the late sixties, were just as well made as those more expensive pens but they were targeted at a different, less wealthy market. I am equally pleased to repair Conway Stewart, Mabie Todd or De La Rue pens, the lever fillers anyway; I avoid the plunger fillers. I know that each of these pens will be a pleasure to work on because no corners were cut in their manufacture. There are never any nasty surprises.

In the heirarchy of post-war Conway Stewart pens the 75 is fairly far down. The choice of chrome plating rather than gold kept the price down and the pen is smaller than some of the more expensive ones. It has a decent nib, however, and many today might think that the chromium plating goes better with the bright red marbling than gold would.

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