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Townsend tuxedo silver & rhodium



Stylo
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There is tuxedo/silver and a tuxedo/rhodium model. The look nearly identical, at least on my monitor. Has anyone seen both in person? Is there something different besides the finishes?

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  • Stylo

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  • tutelman

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Blade Runner

Hey Stylo,

 

Correct me if i'm wring, but I thought there was only one Tuxedo: silver plated furniture and a rhodium plated nib, I believe that rhodium plated nib is a steel one.

 

The Townsend is a very nice pen. Wonderful balance, fit and finish and have a buttery smooth nib.

 

Regards,

J

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They seem to have their own separate product numbers too. For an example of a site that has both, see the listing at Bertram's Inkwell on the second line. They are priced the same. What is confusing though is that some sites, such as the Cross store of penhero.com, lists very different prices for these two pens. It is very confusing, to say the least.

 

Note that when you go to the cross site, only the tuxedo/silver is shown. But I somehow eventually stumbled upon the tuxedo/rhodium, which I had to relocate by using google: Tuxedo/Rhodium Plated. The model number is 556-2. It is mentioned that it is not available for purchase :blink: Here is the link to the Tuxedo//Silver Plated, whose model number is L556. You can buy this one :)

 

I wonder whether this just a name change between the old and new models? Note that Penhero has some closeouts for "old models" that look identical to the new ones. Is this all just reflecting the transition from the old made in U.S.A. models to the new Far East made ones? Perhaps there are slight physical differences or legal reasons to distinguish between old and new? it all looks very mysterious to me :)

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By the way Jeen, are your "buttery smooth" nibs fines or mediums? If you have both nib sizes, could you comment on the differences? Thanks :)

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Blade Runner

Stylo,

 

You might want to PM Penhero (leader of the Cross forum) for the answer.

Mine are 18 and 14c mediums, both buttah. The 14c nib writes a little finer than the 18c one. I've heard fines are also very smooth as well.

 

Regards,

J

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There are two finishes in the Tuxedo model.

 

556-2 is the Cross Townsend Tuxedo with Rhodium plated cap and appointments

L556 is the Cross Townsend Tuxedo with silver plated cap and appointments

 

Visually, the pens are just about indistinguishable. My guess is the silver plate pen will be more likely to tarnish over time.

 

In 2005, these pens were shipped with Rhodium plated stainless steel nibs. The fountain pen retailed for US $120, the Selectip for US $95, and ball-point for US $72, both versions having the same prices.

 

In September, 2005, Cross dropped the silver plated model and upgraded the Rhodium plated model's nib to a Rhodium plated solid 18 karat gold one. Prices were increased to US $220 for the fountain pen retailed for, the Selectip was dropped, and ball-point for US $90.

 

The Tuxedo is gone in the 2006 catalog.

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Thanks a lot for your explanations Jim! This also exlpains some of the strange pricing discrepencies I have observed for this particular model.

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  • 14 years later...

I know this is a 14 year old topic, but I have an update. Way back in March 2006, PenHero said there were two Townsend Tuxedo finishes, the 556-2 in rhodium and the L556 in silver plate. Well I just bought a Tuxedo fixer-upper on eBay and did a little research.

 

In addition to the two finishes mentioned by PenHero, there is a model with a sterling silver cap. From the images available in the AT Cross Image Library on the Internet, you can see photos of the three discontinued styles. It appears the sterling model (556) came with the two-tone nib and that the black band near the top of the cap is broader than the 556-2 and the L556.

 

The 556 fountain pen was discontinued 12-31-2003. The 556-2 and 556L were discontinued 12-30-2005.

 

Anyway, I think I lucked out and bought myself the 556. I cant wait to fix it up and try it out.

 

Heres the link:

 

https://www.mycrossbiz.com/image-library/image_lib.asp?func=navigate&imagecat=1&go=getdiscontinued&brand=1&segment=1&line=11

Edited by tutelman
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  • 4 weeks later...

Oh, come on. You've got to give us a writing sample. Is the nib as buttery smooth as you expected it to be?

 

I took my Townsend to the pub today, but I suspect I drank more than it did.

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