Sheaffer Touchdown TM

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 pen, is a hybrid of two typical Touchdown models. In dark green, it has the 3/8″ gold cap band of the Touchdown Valiant and the open two-toned nib of the Statesman. Either way, it’s a handsome Touchdown, in very good condition. It has a fresh Touchdown filling system and fills very well. Yes, it shows some microscratching from wear, but that is typical, given the softer plastic used in these pens. The trim is clean and bright, the two-toned nib bright and shiny. Like all Touchdowns, it’s 5.3″ long and a touch slim, .4″ across. And, like almost every Touchdown I’ve used, it’s a great writer, smooth, fast fine/medium.

Price: $59