Sheaffer Sentinel Deluxe Touchdown “Rule of Four”

1950-52
About This Model

Sheaffer phased out its Balance during the years after the end of WWII. It had been a great, long, ride since 1929, but America demanded new technology in everything and Balances, whether lever-fillers or vacuum-fillers, were no longer sexy, no matter how well they worked. So, from 1946-48, while Balance inventory was sold off, Sheaffer developed its new technology, the Touchdown pneumatic filler. It is a simple, effective mechanism: extending the Touchdown tube brings air into the sac, compressing it pushes the air out, allowing ink to fill the sac. Although it was an emulation of a 1920s Chilton mechanism, the Touchdown filler was both an improvement and inexpensive to produce. The Touchdown appeared in 1949, with the “Fat Pen”, and its TM (Thin Model), which appeared in 1950 in a range of models and features. The “Fat Pen” only lasted one year, but the TM sold well, to be discontinued just two years later with the introduction of the Snorkel and Tip-Dip, which also both used the Touchdown mechanism. The mechanism lived on, through the 1960s, in PFMs, Dolphins and Imperials.

About This Pen

This Touchdown Sentinel Deluxe is destined for a Sheaffer collection, not daily use. It is a “Rule of Four” pen, a sales prop, with Sheaffer’s Rule of Four (“Large 14k gold point”, “Screwcap Humidor”,”New-Matic Touchdown Filler”, “Sure Grip Spring Clip”) printed on the barrel. Finding a Rule of Four pen in any condition is an infrequent occasion, but finding one that is stickered and probably unused definitely qualifies as rare. This one has both a price sticker lodged under the “Sure Grip Spring Clip” AND a decal describing the fine nib on the gripping section. Since it is a Sentinel Deluxe, one of the higher models, it has a chrome cap and the Triumph gold nib, and it writes a wonderfully wet and smooth fine line. A special pen for a Sheaffer collection.

Price: $150 Sold