Sheaffer Touchdown Sentinel Deluxe

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

That’s a long name for a pen, for sure, but Sheaffer Sentinel Deluxes were a mid-range model of the 12-model deep Touchdown TM line in the early 1950s. This pen is identified by its stainless steel cap with vertical lines and gold cap ring, solid plastic barrel and section, Triumph conical nib, and, of course its Touchdown filler. In particular, this pen is a collector’s piece, because it is a salesman’s sample, with Sheaffer’s Rule of Four (“Large 14k Gold Point, Feathertouch Point for Every Hand, Screw Cap Humidor for Instant Writing, New-Matic Touchdown Filler) imprinted on the barrel. I’m sorry that this special imprint is quite faint to see against the solid black plastic, but it is there. The pen is in excellent, very clean condition, with no visible flaws or points of wear. The nib is a dream, fast, smooth, wet fine/medium. This is a special pen for writers and for collectors.

This pen is not for sale.