Here we have two Touchdown pen and pencil sets in their original boxes. The early Touchdown set is black and is on the left, with the green TM set in its not so great looking box on the right. One difference about the boxes (besides condition ) is that the TM set is marked TM in the box.
Appearance Both: 5/5
At first glance, both the early and TM (Thin Model) Touchdowns look very similar. These two are both Sentinels, which is the model that had stainless steel and gold trimmed caps. The pens are quite sleek looking and have a very nice look to them. The caps have some vertical lines in a stepped pattern, with a White Dot at the top to signify Sheaffer's lifetime warranty. You will also notice the blind cap at the end of the pen to operate the Touchdown filling system. It is difficult to see without the pens being side by side, but the early Touchdown is a tad fatter than the TM.
Size/Weight Both: 5/5
Both pens are fairly lightweight pens when not posted, but when the stainless steel cap is posted, it ads a nice weight to the pen. The TM is a tad bit thinner than the early Touchdown, but my hand can't tell a huge difference. The TM is just a hair longer.
Filling System Both: 5/5
Both of these pens use the marvelous Touchdown filling system which was introduced by Sheaffer's in 1949. It is very simple to operate: unscrew plunger cap, pull out plunger, submerge whole nib and part of section in ink, press down plunger briskly, wait 10-15 seconds, remove pen from ink, screw plunger cap back in, and lastly, wipe off nib. The way the Touchdown system works is when you press down the plunger, the air pressure surrounding the sac becomes greater, forcing the contents of the sac out of the pen. Right when the plunger reaches the bottom, a hole opens up releasing the pressure and the sac fills with whatever the nib is submerged in. The Touchdown system replaced the Vacuum-Fil system which is also one of my favorites.
The nib Both: 5/5
Both of these Touchdowns have the conical Triumph nib, one of my favorite Sheaffer's design. It is a very stiff nib and can easily write through carbons, but is also very smooth. The early Touchdown's nib is a tad taller, and a little wider and gives the nib more of a stumpy appearance, but is still quite elegant. The TM's nib is a tad smaller, and thinner. The neat thing about Triumph nibs, is that they are duo-point nibs: the normal writing side writes a certain size and the upside down side writes about a size smaller. My early Touchdown has a fine nib on it, while the TM has a medium.
Cost/Value Both: 5/5
Because these are vintage pens, cost will vary. Luckily, I found these two for a good deal and so, to me, they have great cost and value. On average though, for the money, these are excellent pens.
The matching pencils Both: 5/5
The matching pencils to both the TM and early Touchdown are exactly the same. They have a nice heft to them and a nice size. They are quite elegant, with the two tone pencil tip. They take .9mm lead, and in both is 2B lead. The eraser is concealed beneath the cap.
Total: 30/30 (no, really, they are fantastic pens!!)
Well, there we have it. My first review. I hope you enjoyed it!
Edited by sheafferkid, 12 July 2007 - 22:26.