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Sheaffer's early and TM Touchdowns


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24 replies to this topic

#1 sheafferkid

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 04:34

Well everyone, here is my first review. I hope it turns out ok. I apologize for the bad pictures. One day I will get a nice camera and setup to take better pics. Here goes...

The Pens

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 rolleyes.gif ) is that the TM set is marked TM in the box.

IMG_1314.jpg

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.

IMG_1315.jpg

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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.

IMG_1319.jpg

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.

IMG_1320.jpg

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.

IMG_1321.jpg

Total: 30/30 (no, really, they are fantastic pens!!)

Well, there we have it. My first review. I hope you enjoyed it!

Evan

Attached Images

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Edited by sheafferkid, 12 July 2007 - 22:26.

Sheaffer all the way!

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#2 burmeseboyz

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 14:33

30/30? I expect nothing less from sheafferkid. But they do look like great pens. I have a few snorkels and they're all fantastic writers with the triumph nibs (gold and silver alloy). Thanks for the photos and great review.
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#3 amh210

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 15:37

Good job on the review!

I hope you enjoy writing with at least one of the pens!

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#4 artaddict

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 17:58

Nice Review! thumbup.gif
Makes me want the TM.
I love the touchdown filler too (like you).

Edit: We need more reviews of vintage pens!

Edited by artaddict, 11 July 2007 - 17:59.

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#5 sheafferkid

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 18:03

Thanks everyone! I filled the early one this morning with Noodler's BB Black, and the TM was already filled with Waterman Blue. It writes very nicely. Puts out a nice amount of ink that I really like. I know I'm biased, but 30/30 is really what I would give them. I really can't think of a reason why I wouldn't like them. I might favor the early one just a smidgen more, but that is because I think I like a tad fatter pen, even though my hand can't tell a large difference. But it might be the fact that I got the early set yesterday, so its always exciting to have a new pen and pencil.

Evan
Sheaffer all the way!

#6 rroossinck

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 20:06

Nicely done, Evan. Great review.

I just sold one of those '49 Touchdown fillers to Tom Pike! You're right...they're great writers!

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#7 sheafferkid

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 21:05

QUOTE(rroossinck @ Jul 11 2007, 03:06 PM) View Post
Nicely done, Evan. Great review.

I just sold one of those '49 Touchdown fillers to Tom Pike! You're right...they're great writers!


Thanks Ryan! biggrin.gif
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#8 Tom Pike

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 21:50

QUOTE(sheafferkid @ Jul 11 2007, 02:05 PM) View Post
QUOTE(rroossinck @ Jul 11 2007, 03:06 PM) View Post
Nicely done, Evan. Great review.

I just sold one of those '49 Touchdown fillers to Tom Pike! You're right...they're great writers!


Thanks Ryan! biggrin.gif


Yes indeed, Thanks Ryan!

I love the one you sold me! clap1.gif

Guess I've got a dozen or more now that are keepers. I'd agree with Evan, these are 30/30 pens, and generally greatly undervalued (whch is very good for those of us that enjoy them!)

Cheers,
Tom

#9 sheafferkid

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 21:53

QUOTE(Tom Pike @ Jul 11 2007, 04:50 PM) View Post
QUOTE(sheafferkid @ Jul 11 2007, 02:05 PM) View Post
QUOTE(rroossinck @ Jul 11 2007, 03:06 PM) View Post
Nicely done, Evan. Great review.

I just sold one of those '49 Touchdown fillers to Tom Pike! You're right...they're great writers!


Thanks Ryan! biggrin.gif


Yes indeed, Thanks Ryan!

I love the one you sold me! clap1.gif

Guess I've got a dozen or more now that are keepers. I'd agree with Evan, these are 30/30 pens, and generally greatly undervalued (whch is very good for those of us that enjoy them!)

Cheers,
Tom


Awesome! What kinds do you have, Tom? Yay! I'm glad someone agreed with the 30/30. I didn't want to sound so biased! And yes, it is very good that they are undervalued!!

Evan

Sheaffer all the way!

#10 donwinn

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 21:55

I have a touchdown in green, and it is a nice writer. Not a Triumph nib, but nice nonetheless. I have a lever fill green Sheaffer, and a cartridge fill green Sheaffer also, and on the way are two snorkels. One is a gray Statesman, the other, I don't know. Bought it on eBay by accident. It was described as a Parker 51, I entered a snipe, and when I won it, found that the description had changed to a Sheaffer, but the seller didn't know anything else about it. I don't usually bid on pens I am not familiar with, offered by people who know nothing but the brand name, but there you have it. I am enjoying the Sheaffers, but they still don't outnumber the Parkers.

Donnie

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#11 sheafferkid

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 21:59

QUOTE(donwinn @ Jul 11 2007, 04:55 PM) View Post
I have a touchdown in green, and it is a nice writer. Not a Triumph nib, but nice nonetheless. I have a lever fill green Sheaffer, and a cartridge fill green Sheaffer also, and on the way are two snorkels. One is a gray Statesman, the other, I don't know. Bought it on eBay by accident. It was described as a Parker 51, I entered a snipe, and when I won it, found that the description had changed to a Sheaffer, but the seller didn't know anything else about it. I don't usually bid on pens I am not familiar with, offered by people who know nothing but the brand name, but there you have it. I am enjoying the Sheaffers, but they still don't outnumber the Parkers.

Donnie


Ah! I saw the same Snorkel disguised as a "51" on the bay. You'll like it!

Evan
Sheaffer all the way!

#12 burmeseboyz

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 22:01

Sheaffer Statesmans are awesome pens. I have one with the silver alloy triumph nib and it looks and writes beautifully.


Sheafferkid: Why did Sheaffer moved away from the snorkels to the touchdowns? I much prefer the cooler filling system of the snorkels. Was it because of the more complex mechanism or the ink capacity?
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#13 sheafferkid

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 22:05

QUOTE(burmeseboyz @ Jul 11 2007, 05:01 PM) View Post
Sheaffer Statesmans are awesome pens. I have one with the silver alloy triumph nib and it looks and writes beautifully.


Sheafferkid: Why did Sheaffer moved away from the snorkels to the touchdowns? I much prefer the cooler filling system of the snorkels. Was it because of the more complex mechanism or the ink capacity?


You have it backwards. smile.gif The Touchdown came first in 1949, and the Snorkel came out in 1952. Technically, the Snorkel is a Touchdown, but with a tube to draw in the ink. Hope that helps.

Evan
Sheaffer all the way!

#14 Tom Pike

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 22:08

QUOTE(sheafferkid @ Jul 11 2007, 02:53 PM) View Post
Awesome! What kinds do you have, Tom? Yay! I'm glad someone agreed with the 30/30. I didn't want to sound so biased! And yes, it is very good that they are undervalued!!

Evan


Hey Evan,

I do have a bunch, mostly the lower models, but somewhere in the hoard are one Signature, and couple of NOS pieces (a Special, and a Sentinel). The one I just got from Ryan (a lovely pen at a great price) is a Crest. I really like them in black for some reason, especially the models with metal caps. Your's look terrific!

These really are great pens - easy to restore and maintain, and they almost always write like a dream. Probably the coolest one I own has a flex stub nib. It's not a lot of flex, and not a lot of stub, but it's still a lot of fun to use (and of course, black). It was an eBay gamble a few years ago (fuzzy picture lottery) that paid off really well. The Flex Stub label from the barrel came with it, stuck on the fold-back display box that carried the pen.

Now, to find a Masterpiece or two... Were TD's produced in a Masterpiece (14K barrel and cap) model?

Cheers,
Tom

#15 sheafferkid

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 22:33

QUOTE(Tom Pike @ Jul 11 2007, 05:08 PM) View Post
QUOTE(sheafferkid @ Jul 11 2007, 02:53 PM) View Post
Awesome! What kinds do you have, Tom? Yay! I'm glad someone agreed with the 30/30. I didn't want to sound so biased! And yes, it is very good that they are undervalued!!

Evan


Hey Evan,

I do have a bunch, mostly the lower models, but somewhere in the hoard are one Signature, and couple of NOS pieces (a Special, and a Sentinel). The one I just got from Ryan (a lovely pen at a great price) is a Crest. I really like them in black for some reason, especially the models with metal caps. Your's look terrific!

These really are great pens - easy to restore and maintain, and they almost always write like a dream. Probably the coolest one I own has a flex stub nib. It's not a lot of flex, and not a lot of stub, but it's still a lot of fun to use (and of course, black). It was an eBay gamble a few years ago (fuzzy picture lottery) that paid off really well. The Flex Stub label from the barrel came with it, stuck on the fold-back display box that carried the pen.

Now, to find a Masterpiece or two... Were TD's produced in a Masterpiece (14K barrel and cap) model?

Cheers,
Tom


Wow! Very neat! Signatures are very nice. One day I will hopefully find a Signature or Autograph. Crests and Sentinels are probably my favorites right now. The Special was a Snorkel, right? Black and metal capped pens are fantastic looking. I will be looking for a gold capped black Vacumatic "51" next. Wow, a Flex Stub! Never seen one of those before! TM Touchdowns were produced in the Masterpiece model, but the early was not. There was a model called the Crest Masterpiece, but that was just a solid gold cap, not barrel. The TM was produced in the Triumph (14k gold filled cap and barrel) and the Masterpiece (solid 14k gold cap and barrel.) Thats what I will be looking for next: either a Triumph or Masterpiece TM.

Evan

Sheaffer all the way!

#16 burmeseboyz

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 23:16

QUOTE(sheafferkid @ Jul 11 2007, 10:05 PM) View Post
QUOTE(burmeseboyz @ Jul 11 2007, 05:01 PM) View Post
Sheaffer Statesmans are awesome pens. I have one with the silver alloy triumph nib and it looks and writes beautifully.


Sheafferkid: Why did Sheaffer moved away from the snorkels to the touchdowns? I much prefer the cooler filling system of the snorkels. Was it because of the more complex mechanism or the ink capacity?


You have it backwards. smile.gif The Touchdown came first in 1949, and the Snorkel came out in 1952. Technically, the Snorkel is a Touchdown, but with a tube to draw in the ink. Hope that helps.

Evan


Oh gotcha thanks. So Sheaffer moved from snorkels to cartridge pens. I guess that explains why Sheaffer stopped making snorkels. They're really neat. I only wished that they made more demonstrators... ones that don't cost an arm and a leg now.
Everyman, I will go with thee
and be thy guide,
In thy most need to go
by thy side.

-Knowledge

#17 sheafferkid

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 00:15

QUOTE(burmeseboyz @ Jul 11 2007, 06:16 PM) View Post
QUOTE(sheafferkid @ Jul 11 2007, 10:05 PM) View Post
QUOTE(burmeseboyz @ Jul 11 2007, 05:01 PM) View Post
Sheaffer Statesmans are awesome pens. I have one with the silver alloy triumph nib and it looks and writes beautifully.


Sheafferkid: Why did Sheaffer moved away from the snorkels to the touchdowns? I much prefer the cooler filling system of the snorkels. Was it because of the more complex mechanism or the ink capacity?


You have it backwards. smile.gif The Touchdown came first in 1949, and the Snorkel came out in 1952. Technically, the Snorkel is a Touchdown, but with a tube to draw in the ink. Hope that helps.

Evan


Oh gotcha thanks. So Sheaffer moved from snorkels to cartridge pens. I guess that explains why Sheaffer stopped making snorkels. They're really neat. I only wished that they made more demonstrators... ones that don't cost an arm and a leg now.


Glad I could help! Yes, being a somewhat avid collector of Sheaffer's, especially Snorkels, I wish I could find a nice demo Snorkel. Even a PFM demo! Maybe even one of the very sought after Vacuum-Fil demonstrators! One day...

Evan

Sheaffer all the way!

#18 Guest_PeteWK_*

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 16:19

Hi Evan. Great Reviews! I would make one observation, though. I'm pretty sure the groove you spoke of and the cap clicking on it is actually shrunken plastic and shouldn't be there. None of my pens of that vintage have anything but a smooth barrel.

PeteWK

#19 Univer

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 17:09

Hello Evan,

Nice review! I freely own up to being one of the heretics who prefer the Touchdown filling system to the Snorkel. Beyond the gee-whiz factor, the Snorkel seems a little bit fussy and overengineered to me. Don't get me wrong: I like 'em both. But the elegant simplicity of the Touchdown gives it the edge, in my book. Nice to see these models getting their due, and nice to see the two versions side by side.

And among the Touchdowns, I have a special fondness for the 1949 "fat" model. The combination of substantial girth, light weight, great nibs, and brilliant filling system works beautifully for me. (My 1949 Autograph TD is among my favorite pens.)

Given that this is a one-year-only model, it doesn't seem to generate a great deal of collector interest. I think they're well worth seeking out.

Cheers,

Jon

PS I also paused a moment over the posting "click." All of my barrels are smooth as well - except for one TM Sentinel that sports a very well-defined posting ring.

#20 Univer

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 17:09

Eek...the dreaded double post (server problem). Apologies!

Edited by Univer, 12 July 2007 - 17:22.







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