The Cross Townsend is a rather iconic model of pen, recognized in many corporate circles as a status symbol of sorts. Several of our U.S. Presidents have even signed bills into law using this model of pen. And it makes sense, it’s a very stately, professional looking and feeling pen. So today, I’ll give you some of the highlights of what the Townsend is all about.
We have 7 finishes available at GouletPens.com, two of them with stainless steel nibs, and five with 18k gold nibs. Here is the breakdown:
|Lustrous Chrome (steel nib), $140|
|Medalist (steel nib), $190|
|Black Lacquer with gold (18k nib), $320|
|Black Lacquer with Rhodium (18k nib), $320|
|Quartz Blue Lacquer (18k nib), $350|
|10k Gold (18k nib), $410|
|20th anniversary Platinum Plated (special edition, 18k nib), $450|
All the Townsend pens have a smooth resin grip, with a very slight taper towards the tip. There’s almost no step at all so it’s comfortable to hold no matter what kind of hold you have on the grip.
It’s a medium-weight pen at around 35g (without the converter). It’s just slightly heavier than the Pilot Vanishing Point, Lamy Studio, or TWSBI 580AL. Posted it feels really nice, only 21g of weigh in the body. A lot of the weight is in the cap, but the cap posts low on the body of the pen so it maintains its balance well. If you have smaller hands or grip really closely to the nib, you may notice a bit of back-weight when posted but it’s pretty manageable.
There are fine and medium nib options in both the stainless steel and 18k gold nibs. These nibs write differently from each other. All of the nibs are pleasantly smooth, which I was encouraged to see. The steel nibs are fairly wet, not quite as gushing as some of the steel nibs on the other Cross pens (like the Botanica I reviewed last week).
The gold nibs are wetter though, especially the medium, which is honestly more like a broad (and even writes sliiiiightly stub-like). The 18k gold is a bit soft, you can feel the nib bouncing a bit as you write. You can get a little line variation out of it if you want, flexing up maybe a nib size or two broader than its resting position. I wouldn’t go nuts doing this, but it’s there.
The cap is a snap cap with a push-to-post on the back that actually snaps into place. It’s very firmly in place on either end, and while the cap is initially a little tight even, this is something that breaks in slightly over time. One thing worth pointing out on most of these pens, since they are such shiny metal pens, they’re somewhat of fingerprint magnets. If that kind of thing bothers you, then you’ll want to stick with the black or blue ones, don’t get the shiny metal ones.
The Townsend, like all Cross pens, uses proprietary Cross cartridges (one black one is included with the pen). If you want to use bottled ink, then you’ll want to use the green Cross Townsend converter. Cross doesn’t normally include a converter with any of their pens, however we’ve elected to go ahead and include one as a free add-on when you buy one from our store. It’s an $8 converter that I just don’t feel you should have to pay when spending this much on a pen. You’re welcome 🙂
Because you have both stainless steel and gold nibs, and regular as well as special edition models, the prices on the Townsend range pretty broadly. The lowest price one starts at $140 and the top-end 20th anniversary finish goes for $450. These definitely aren’t something I’d recommend as a starter pen for most people, but if you’re going for a stately, clean, and wet-writing fountain pen, these might be for you.
What do you think of the Cross Townsend? Let me know in the comments below.