Conway Stewart

Chatterley Luxuries and Pen Time are Authorized Retailers of Conway Stewart Pens and Accessories.

Since 1905 Conway Stewart has been renowned over the world for creating luxury pens.

Each Conway Stewart is made in England at the workshop by hand, using traditional techniques, combining timeless designs with British craftsmanship and only the highest quality materials, including hallmarked solid 18ct gold and sterling silver.

Conway Stewart pens have graced the finest hands. Distinguished users include Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, US Presidents, British Prime Ministers and many Heads of State.

 

Heritage

In 1905, Mr. Frank Jarvis and Mr. Thomas Garner formed Conway Stewart at 13 Paternoster Row London EC1, next to St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Today, this area is known as Paternoster Square having been redeveloped after its complete destruction during the Blitz of World War II.

Jarvis and Garner had a single aim, to produce elegant, timelessly beautiful, yet functional writing instruments – a principle that Conway Stewart holds true to this day.

Although there is much debate regarding the origins of the Company’s name, it is believed that the name “Conway Stewart” derives from a popular vaudeville act of the day. Conway and Stewart were supposedly a comedy double act who appeared at Collins Music Hall in Islington.

From 1905 the Company became one of the era’s leading purveyors of fountain pens in England and upgraded its facilities numerous times to meet expanding demand. Becoming a limited liability Company in 1909 and moving to 31/32 Shoe Lane London in 1919 and to 75/82 Shoe Lane in 1923, where it occupied six floors and employed over 500 people. In 1935 Conway Stewart listed its shares on the London Stock Exchange, raising further capital for expansion and development.

Conway Stewart pens have been associated with many of the most famous moments of 20th Century British history. During the huge growth in letter writing during the First World War (1914 – 1918) the pens played a significant part in those cherished letters that passed between soldiers at the front and loved ones at home. Conway Stewart pens were also used throughout World War II (1939 -1945) by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Indeed, although the factory was bombed and slightly damaged during the Blitz and a significant portion of the factory converted to munitions manufacture, pens were still produced throughout this period in a limited range. We remained under ration control until the late 1940’s. In 1951 they moved the factory to Mile End London (36/44 Copperfield Road) and the modern post war era of Conway Stewart started.

Conway Stewart has made many British pens of iconic status. We introduced such timeless classics as the Conway Stewart Dinkie “the smallest practical fountain pen ever made” (launched in 1922) and still being made in the same traditional way at the factory today .This was the world’s first pen to be made in volume in colored resin and began a historical connection between Conway Stewart and the use of exciting vibrant colors, a part of the heritage that they continue to this day. Other major product developments included the introduction of Universal and Pixie pens (1922), Dandy pen (1924) a name we still use and the Scribe and International pens (1933). The Conway Stewart Duro pen also first appeared in the 1920’s and remains highly regarded for its classic profile and understated elegance; and, the No. 58 (1949) which was introduced as “the finest pen ever produced by Conway Stewart”, was the first of the great post-war Conway Stewart fountain pens.

Other famous pens include the Conway Stewart 100 introduced in 1954 (and recently re-introduced to celebrate their centenary year) and the beautiful flower pattern pen of 1955 (the Company’s Golden Jubilee) known as the Conway Stewart No 22 “Floral”, which is today produced in solid gold and hand painted enamel. Another classic pattern, the herringbone (in green, red and blue and the ultra-rare silver and even rarer gold) was introduced during the years 1957/58. The Cracked Ice and Tigers Eye patterned pens introduced in the 1950’s still excite everybody who sees one for the first time and are eagerly sought by collectors around the world, who willingly pay hundreds of times the original cost to acquire them.

In the 1960’s the Company continued to produce, however, the advent of the cheap “biro” and ballpoint pens and mass production in lower cost countries began to alter the market for quality fountain pens dramatically. The use of fountain pens, like mechanical watches, began to wane, a trend that the quality conscious consumer of the 21st Century has now significantly reversed, but at the time had a devastating impact on traditional producers. As a result in 1975 the Company stopped production, however, the trademarks, designs and archives were maintained intact and interest in the Company, its beautiful pens and its history remained very high. Following, a significant investment in research and development a new era began with a focus on making pens for those who appreciate traditional craftsmanship, objects of timeless beauty and utility and the pleasure of using a fine pen, as well as, for the growing number of pen collectors around the world who treasured the Conway Stewart name and all that it stood for as Britain’s greatest pen maker. Thus a new era of Conway Stewart was born.

In the 1990’s, the Company launched a range of pens made from solid gold “the Elite Collection” to show piece the work of English master craftsmen in various fields, including hand painting, enameling and engraving. These fantastic pieces which can sell for £10,000 ($18,000) and more continue Conway Stewart’s tradition of excellence and are fitting companions to the pens of earlier generations. After significant research Conway Stewart was also the first modern day pen maker to reintroduce the use of casein as a material for making pens. Casein made from milk protein particles (confusingly known as nibs) are dyed and then laid down under high pressure to form slabs from which the components are eventually formed. Each slab has to be cured in preservative for five to six months before “weathering” for a further two months before any parts can be made. This lengthy period rewards the eventual owner with a material that has warmth and luster that cannot be achieved in any other material. We also launched in 1996 the Churchill pen range to celebrate the life of Sir Winston Churchill and his prolific interest in writing and literature throughout his lifetime.

To celebrate their Centenary in 2005 we have launched the new One Hundred Series in various handmade resins and the stunning Silver Duro pens which are made from pure English silver over-laid with resin veneer and echo the great designs of the Edwardian era. Indeed today, the Conway Stewart range of (350) different pens in 7 different styles and over 50 colors and the Company continues to expand its range and sales worldwide. Indeed, the pens made today at the workshops are just as treasured as those made over the past one hundred years.

Owners of modern Conway Stewarts are in excellent company, as Conway Stewart pens have always been the preferred choice of the most discerning and famous people from around the world and this tradition continues to this day.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh were presented with two Conway Stewart pens from “the Elite Collection” to commemorate their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Recently Prime Minister Blair presented Russian President Putin a Conway Stewart Churchill Burgundy Fountain pen on a state visit to Russia and French President Jacques Chirac was given a Brown Marble Churchill to celebrate his 70th birthday. Conway Stewart was the official pen chosen by the British Government for the G8 Summit at which Prime Minister Blair presented a Conway Stewart No 58 set to each of the G8 world leaders. We are suppliers to No 10 Downing Street the official residence of the British Prime Minister, as well as, the British Royal Palaces.

President Bush and President Clinton both own a Conway Stewart.

Many current celebrities also enjoy Conway Stewart pens including Rick Wakeman, rock star and pen enthusiast, who has a large collection of Conway Stewart pens of which he is justifiably proud.

Handcrafted by master pen makers the rich heritage of Conway Stewart rests in your hand every time you use one of these beautiful British pens. Conway Stewart strives to continue heritage, to make the most beautiful and elegant British pens and to give pleasure to those who appreciate the art of fine writing or who wish to give or receive a gift that will provide a life time of pleasure.

In 1905 when Conway Stewart was started Jarvis and Garner had a single aim, to produce elegant, timelessly beautiful, yet functional writing instruments, today one hundred years later we still hold true to these original goals.

Luxury, history and enchantment combined – we hope you will agree.