Got a new end of line Cross Townsend (old version) from PenHero. At the price they were selling it and the dollar exchange rate could not resist it!
Build / finish 5/5
Very good. Nice and weighty for its size. I like a metal in small pens as plastic is far too light for my liking. I want to know I am actually holding something. Despite other reviews, sellers websites and Cross's literature the Townsend is not a wide body pen. It is however just on the bigger than slim side to please those who prefer bigger pens. The additional length adds to the size and weight to have a nice balance in the hand. I find that shorter pens are bottom heavy and do not rest comfortably between thumb and forefinger. The laquer seems solid and thick. (The tortoiseshell laquer on my Sonnet is very thin and fragile and flaky/scratched). On the Townsend some may find they prefer writing unposted as the cap is quite heavy. The cap snap fits very solidly.
The score reflects my personal taste. I have the steel nib. At first it wrote poorly and dry and I was most unhappy. But then I remembered the soapy wash through and did the business. After a good soap and a few days inking and lubrication the nib now writes well and noticeable better quality. I have a medium nib that I would say is on finer side of medium. It is not a dry writer not as wet as I usually like for colour saturation. However any wetter and I expect small fonts such as for form filling may lead to less legible writing so I expect most would be happy with it.
Am I glad I bought it? Certainly yes at the price I paid and I will be giving it a trial for long term regular use at work. I have been using a Sonnet non-stop for about 8 years possibly more and will "rest" it from the battlefront for a while. I would not pay current prices for one (in the UK it is £140 - yes nearly $280. That's ludicrous!). Moral of the story is to keep looking for those bargains!
Edited review after a bit of use:
Not happy with the nib anymore. With Waterman Blue-Black it is not wet enough for me. Maybe later I will bring it back into rotation with a different colour ink.
Edited by Armchop, 10 January 2007 - 21:59.