You won’t have seen this one very often unless you’re in the Antipodes, and even then, in this splendid Tiger’s Eye pattern it must be very rare. It will look familiar though because it resembles the Executive 60. That pen appears with two medium bands or one broad band, whereas the 62 invariably has two bands, I am told. Strangely, Jonathan Donahaye found a black one with no bands at all.
I think it’s most likely that, like the Executive 60, the 62 comes with either the Duro nib or the Manifold.
I’m not sure I follow the thinking behind Conway Stewart’s decision to create special pens for export. As they were so similar to the mainstream pens – in many cases differing by only a barrel imprint – there probably wasn’t a large cost implication. De La Rue, for instance, appears to have exported the same pens as they sold in the home market, at least until they established an Australian factory, and even then I’m not aware of any special models.
With thanks for photographs to a generous collector.
11 thoughts on “Conway Stewart Executive 62”
Conway Stewart’s export variations were largely confined to the size and configuration of bands according to local preferences. North America seemed to favour fewer but wider bands (as in Dinkie 579 vs the UK Dinkie 526) while Australia (post-war at least) seemed to prefer more and narrower bands (two smaller bands on the 62 compared to the broad-banded 60 and three bands in a 58 configuration on a 23 as opposed to the single broad band of the 27). Pre-war of course there was the 217 for the Australian market which had a single very broad band, just to show that no Conway Stewart theories are absolutely watertight! However, the fact that most of these variants were fairly short-lived compared to the ‘parent’ version probably means that the sales achieved were not sufficient to justify the different models. There are also several instances of boxed sets with identical contents given different numbers in Australia compared to the UK – maybe just to signify they were supplied in a different style of box?
Mention of Jonathan’s black bandless variant of the 62 gives me scope to repeat my words of warning ‘never believe a dealer’s suggestion that a Conway Stewart pen is a rare bandless variant of such and such a model’. It is well documented that Conway Stewart sold unmounted versions of all caps as replacements for broken originals at a lower price than banded replacements. If you pay extra for a rare bandless variant, you are almost certainly buying a pen with a replacement non-original cap! Jonathan would not have known this as the information didn’t become available until after his untimely passing.
Thank you so much for your comprehensive comment! Your comments are always highly informative.
It is also interesting to see the 62 pictured with what seems to be an 18 pencil. I think it is unlikely these were ever originally intended to be sold together as a set. One of my (many) pet hates is how dealers put together ‘sets’ just because colours and/or boxes happen to match, irrespective of the historical accuracy of such things, in the hope they can ramp up the selling price. Even the most respected dealers can be guilty of this! My Australian colleague Doug Wilson (the Conway Stewart boxed set guru) would be in a better position than me to comment. He may say I’m completely wrong, but I trust his judgement!
Don’t start me off. Oh, too late – you already did! Andy Russell, as always, is spot on and I share his annoyance at some of the “crimes” we see marketed as vintage CS sets, especially when you look at the insane prices that are sometimes asked.
Conway Stewart’s numbering system was far from logical but there was a thread of structure in there and it is possible to to separate right from wrong with a little research.
Steve Hull’s “Fountain Pens for the Million” and Andy’s own “50 Years of the Dinkie” are the go-to reference documents which have been the bibles of my own long, long research into the subject. I am always ready to share my opinions on sets and there will be a web site one of these days…
One of the hardest things, when someone is glowing over the “set” they just bought, is to tell them that the pen and pencil were never a match and neither of them were ever sold by CS in that box / pouch / case.
During the correspondence between Andy and myself in recent years, we have been able to document quite a few of the red herrings caused by the use of different boxes / numbers in the Australian and New Zealand markets. We know there were other local characteristics evident in South Africa and North America. It is a minefield but it can be navigated if you look for advice. As with life in general. if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Can you explain what you mean by the red herrings caused by the use of different boxes / numbers in the Australian and New Zealand markets.?
A good example is Set 20 versus Set 11. One of the versions of Set No. 20 containing a 550 pen with a 25 pencil was marketed in UK in a decorative box with the two front corners chamfered. The same pen and pencil were marketed in Australia in a box that looked identical and had similar patterns but had a No. 11 sticker on the base instead of a “20” sticker.
On closer examination, the “11” box was marginally bigger, has white innards instead of gold and has a black bottom surface instead of gold.
Why? Maybe an Aussie said “There have been so many variations of the “20” set so why don’t we try to differentiate this one”. But, if so, why would they just fiddle around with it instead of going for a bold change?
Another example upon which I cannot yet expand is the Set 12. I have an outer box with a No. 12 label but it’s empty. It would take a set about the same size as the “11” but there is no information about what that would be. Andy is adamant that no No 12 was marketed in UK and certainly there is no reference to it in the extensive archive material we have checked. The outer box is typical of the ones used in Australia so, it’s fair to assume it was an Australian set. If anyone has a CS set box with a No. 12 sticker on the base, we need to talk!
Thank you for that information. Very useful. Are we discussing boxes and sets as supplied by Conway Stewart, whether to the UK or Australia, and not changes made subsequently by dealers?
In these instances, as originally supplied by CS to Australia. There are known boxed sets (and boxed single presentation pens) that were almost certainly put together in locally made Australian boxes, but these only seem to relate to the very early days and very late days of production. Such an early Dinkie set is pictured in FYOTD, and I seem to remember once owning a set comprising an 84 pen and matching 90 ballpoint from c1960 that had no UK equivalent. These differ from the ‘official’ Conway Stewart boxes significantly – simpler pen trays, often different fonts and boxes totally unlike those used in the UK market.
As well as the special sets being made for Australia, Doug was also able to identify CS sets intended for the South African market. Again, several of these are pictured in FYOTD. We have not yet been able to assign set numbers to these as we have yet to find any original South African price lists with associated pictures.
Hard to continue the theme without being able to post photos. Picking up on the 84 + 90 recalled by Andy, I own a set with an 85L pen and a 90 ballpen. I thought at first it was one of the aforementioned “crimes” but it is not. The set is one of a clearly identified Australian series called Companion Sets from the early 60’s and it is a No. 44.
This opens a whole new area of complexity! I will be posting about some Conway Stewarts from Australia but they will mostly be individual pens, not sets. All this information is very valuable and I appreciate you both taking the time to explain.
Thank you for the clarification, Andy. That’s exactly what I wanted to know.