Sheaffer Touchdown


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, a hugely successful next act from Sheaffer.

About This Pen

This Touchdown could not be more typical: well-used, very good condition, excellent writer. It’s a Statesman, but before I’m told “no, it’s a Valiant”, it has a Valiant cap. It’s in Persian Blue, has some nicks and evidence of wear but restored very nicely. There is a very small professionally executed personalization, initials RWS, on the barrel above the imprint. The imprint is complete. The chrome trim is clean and complete. The Touchdown mechanism is strong and provides a full fill of ink. Finally, the reason everyone buys a Touchdown TM — the nib is a wonderful two-tone 14k, writes a wet, smooth medium line. A user you needn’t worry about and will enjoy forever! (since you asked, the Valiant would have had a Triumph nib…the nib and gripping section were more likely to be original to this pen than the cap so it’s been decided to be a Statesman with a Valiant cap, not a Valiant with an open nib. You have to love Sheaffer arcana…)

Price: $55 Sold

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