The Cross Townsend

The Cross Townsend is a pen steeped in tradition and legend. A simple design has birthed a cultural icon of a pen renowned for quality, reliability and value for money. President Barack Obama wrote with one. So did I. Here’s my thoughts.

Design (7/10)

The Cross Townsend comes in more flavours than an old fashioned sweet shop, and I happen to have what is in my opinion the most beautiful – the quartz blue! Although it is sold at a premium compared to the plain black or steel versions, it’s well worth it. You already know how much I admire the blue on my Omas, and the same stands here. The Townsend has a professionally suave feel; at home, in a boardroom and a display cabinet (on which note, the box for this pen is absolutely stunning!) This being said, the pen isn’t as imposing as you might think, due to its slim figure. Nonetheless, it’s a pleasure to behold.

Townsend, with Montblanc 144 for size comparison

Writing (7/10)

The nib on the Townsend is a workhorse in the purest sense. A little flex, not too juicy, not too dry. I could happily write for hours with this nib. Admittedly, the body is slightly too slim for my hands, but I can still comfortably write for extended experiences, especially capped, which makes this one of the longest pens I own. I’ve never had flow issues, and the American medium nib tends to run broader than its European counterparts.

townsend writing

Function (5/10)

This pen is too slim for my hands. It is also too long. Whilst this certainly gives points for design, it does mean that this pen can be disproportioned, especially posted. My biggest complaint is that this is a C/C only pen, and Cross disappoints on this count. The converter is small, and often takes several attempts to actually fill fully.

Overall (6.5/10)

The legacy of the Townsend precedes the pen, and it’s certainly an all round good choice – especially for people out for a functional EDC, and who aren’t that interested in spending money on an exceptional pen. I paid just over £200 for this model new, but I’ve seen functional second hand Townsends for less than £25. I appreciate the design and function, and it certainly writes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do anything else for me. I appreciate the design – but I can’t say I would buy it again.

By Oliver Jack Bennett

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6 thoughts on “The Cross Townsend

  1. To be honest, I bought this pen a while back and it was the wrist decision I ever made. I had to get a second mortgage on my house to get it and all! Frankly, this review is a shambles! How dare you call the nib on this pen a “workhorse”! I think “donkey” would be a better word… SAD

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    1. Hello Geoffrey, thank you for your comment! I do apologise for your experience with the pen, but for us, the pen writes beautifully, smoothly, and without any problems – even when writing for extended periods of time (an hour or above)! Indeed, the pen can be somewhat expensive – but that’s the beauty of this hobby – ultimately, you can get a whole range of pens, even brilliant ones for a very modest sum! To some, this pen is worth it, to others, it is not. We only try and give you our honest opinion. As always, write on!

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  2. The Cross Townsend Medalist was my first “grown up” fountain pen, thus I have a certain sentimental attachment. I’ve had no issues with medium nib, but my extra fine nib requires more cleaning and maintenance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s really great, Melinda! It does write beautifully across the paper, and it was my first modern gold nibbed pen, so I also have some sentimental attachment to it. Glad to hear that you like the pen!

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