Friday, March 18, 2011

Conway Stewart "Nippy" No. 3 - From Dave's Mechanical Pencils

Last month, I won one of the giveaway items from Dave's Mechanical Pencils. Dave's excellent blog on mechanical pencils and leadholders is now five years old (congratulations Dave), so he generously held several drawings to give out some goodies. What I received is a 1960's Conway Stewart "Nippy" No. 3, which features 1.18mm lead, gold plating, and a some classy iridescent green marbling. It was difficult to capture the imprinting and shimmer of the pencil, so the below images are the best I could do. Conway Stewart is located in England, and the company is well known for making quality writing instruments, especially fountain pens. 

The Conway Stewart in its new home. 

This iridescent marble pattern is found on many classic writing instruments. I think it looks great on this pencil.

The "Nippy" is quite small, but it is not too small and feels comfortable in the hand. Here is the pencil between a Parker 51 and a Rhodia Bloc 11 pad. 

This pencil has a twist mechanism to extend the lead. The leads are rather small, but I don't think I will use them much either way, because I imagine that it might not be as easy as I would like to acquire additional leads with the atypical 1.18mm size. The leads also had some aging on them - either mold or some sort of other patina. There is no eraser on the pencil, which is fine; I typically have a separate rubber or plastic eraser with me if I am in pencil mode. 

While I typically go for pens over pencils, it is easy to justify making some purchases after reading some of the reviews at Dave's Mechanical Pencils. 

For more information on this pencil, head over to Dave's review of the Conway Stewart "Nippy" No 3. 


  1. Glad you liked the Nippy No 3.

    The "aging" on the leads you mention is very typical on many, or most, vintage leads. I've never really thought much about it. Hadn't considered the possibility of it being a mould, but I suppose it could be. I'd always thought it was just some sort of packng residue or something, but now I think about it that doesn't make a lot of sense.

  2. You can get 1.18mm leads from Cult Pens online if you can't find any locally. Nice review.

  3. Stationary Traffic - thanks for the tip! I want to make sure I can put this pencil to use.

  4. Kiwi-d - I don't know what it is, but it does not seem to affect performance.

  5. We do have some short 1.18mm leads at Cult Pens, but you can get full-size ones in the US - look for Yard-O-Led refills.

  6. Good to know. Now I know where to go!