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Cross Townsend

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#1 bdngrd



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Posted 12 July 2006 - 15:11

Cross Townsend - Carbonite

First Impressions 4.5 out of 5

This was my first higher quality fountain pen and I was quite geeked when I found a new one on Ebay for about half of its retail price. Much like any high school grad I got a century ballpoint/pencil set in black for graduation. I loved them, and used both throughout college and the early days of my teaching career. I saw a Townsend for the first time when I used my real estate agent’s to sign the paperwork to buy my first house. I was impressed with the pen and after I got hooked on FPs (another story) I decided to seek out a Townsend. It took some time, but I decided to go with the carbonite model, I have a few carbon fiber items in my life that have stood the test of time, (Ice axes, bicycle frame) so the carbonite seemed right. It came in the classic green plastic box and I inked it up right away. It was, at the time, the best experience I had ever had with a pen. It oozed quality, class, and distinction. Looking back now, I give the first impression a 4.5 only because I have come to love the cigar/Balance shape, and the Cross is not quite curvy enough for me now. (My taste has changed) I like the cap shape, but the end of the body is squared off instead of tapered. If the Townsed was going to keep the Century tradition, it too, should have had more of a taper, and graceful end.

Appearance/ Finish 5 out of 5
I was taken with the beauty of this pen, and still am after several months of use. The finish is glossy and the fiber provides a fascinating depth to the overall effect. The nib was very nicely sculpted and engraved with the Cross name and some flourishes. The furniture is very shiny and the silver compliments the carbon look better than gold would. In keeping with the Century traditions, Cross has kept a time honored look around, yet, I also would like to see Cross break out of their mold a bit. Don’t’ get me wrong, my heart skips when I pick it up, I just have started to see Cross as being a bit stuffy and unemotional. I suppose it works well in the business world, but somehow it seems like Cross is like your pal who would be a whole lot more fun to hang around with after he loosened up his tie and had a few shots of tequila. Still, a lovely pen and a trusted look.

Design/Size/Weight 5 out of 5

This pen is well designed, period. It is medium weight, well balanced, both posted and not. I prefer to write unposted, but I occasionally post this pen. It snaps into the posted position with a solid and reassuring “thunk” yet, I would have preferred a threaded section, as sometimes it can be nerve wracking to uncap a pen and shake some ink out. The clip is well-known, functional, and traditional. It is long, longer than a Wality 69 ED, and barely fits in my display case. Although long. It has a relatively slender build, perhaps more athletic and streamlined than rounded and voluptuous.

Nib Design and Performance 5 out of 5

The Townsend has a small amount of flex in it, bear with me, I’m a newbie and I suspect that there is a great deal more to this “flex” business than I can comprehend at this point. Let’s say the Cross feels more forgiving than my Laban Meno, Rotring 600, and Wality 69ED, and more like a Philleas or my Dani Cum Laude. It has a great feel. That is about all I have to compare it to, so that’s that. For wetness, it seems to write a bit more wet than others, but not so much that I have to wait for it to dry. Seems just right. It starts reliably, and after being unused for a few days it started right up on the first stroke. I have had much difficulty with other pens in this regard, so it speaks well to the Townsend to have this quality. This was out of the box with no tweaking, flossing, rinsing, ammonia or dish soap.

The Filling System 4 out of 5

This pen has a cartridge/ converter system, Yawn…. I suppose it works well, but, for such a techy-geeky thing, a cool system would make me more excited.

Cost 4 out of 5

I am not really sure how to rate this as I am new to fountain pens. I found another on the Pentrace board and bought it instantly for about half of what I paid for this pen when I bought it excitedly for half of its retail price. I now have two, all nitpicking aside, I really do like it, so I would say it is a fair price. For its retail price, however, I would expect a gold nib and a sophisticated filling system. That said, for its charm and sophistication the Townsend is worth the price. You get what you pay for.

Overall 27.5 out of 30

This is my first review, so bear with me, please. I tend to nitpick, so don’t feel like the rating is low. I really think this pen is the goods. I would not hesitate to give one as a gift, and I keep it in rotation. I don’t like to attract attention, however, so it rarely leaves the house. In my real life most of my FPs stay at the desk for writing tasks at home and only my most non- flashy pens see the outside world. It is still one of my favorite modern pens and gets used a lot. Although I use others a bit more and might gush about the beauty of colorful pens more these days, the Cross Townsend feels like a first love, a fond and faithful friend who has never let me down.
The Danitrio Fellowship

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#2 bdngrd



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Posted 12 July 2006 - 15:14

Sorry, I am having trouble with photos. Any help or advice?
The Danitrio Fellowship

#3 southpaw


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Posted 12 July 2006 - 16:30

Nice review - thanks for sharing. As to new and exciting designs from Cross, check out the Verve and the Apogee. Definitely out of the traditional mold.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

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