I first learned about the Cross Townsend while reading a review on the Pen Addict. The shiny, luxurious, and executive styling really caught my attention. About a month later, I found the Townsend for a great deal on Amazon, so I decided to pull the trigger. After filling the pen with ink and writing a few pages, I could tell why so many people, including Presidents, highly recommend the Townsend. It performed flawlessly right out of the box. No tweaking necessary.
The Cross Townsend comes packaged in a blue and white box with the Cross logo written across it in silver. It is elegantly displayed and held in place with a white ribbon. Inside the box, you’ll find the Townsend, ink converter, proprietary ink cartridge, and instruction manual.
The first thing you’ll notice upon opening the box is that the Cross Townsend is really shiny! I’ve owned quite a few chrome pens, but this is one of the shiniest. As with the majority of chrome pens, this one is a fingerprint magnet! The Townsend has a comfortable plastic grip section allowing you to write with little slippage. Its chrome barrel is etched with a subtle line pattern, which gives the pen a clean and sophisticated appearance.
The Townsend has a sturdy cap to protect the nib from damage. It snaps tightly, so you won’t have to worry about the cap coming loose in a pocket or purse. The Townsend, like other Cross fountain pens, use the Cross proprietary converter or ink cartridges. The Cross ink cartridge worked quite well; however, I prefer using my own bottled ink. Its clip is adorned with the Cross logo and fits tightly to a pocket. The medium stainless steel nib is adorned with the Cross logo and a beautiful etched design. The company offers both stainless steel and gold nibs, so they range in price from $140 to $450.
If you’re looking for a clean and wet writing experience, the Townsend is for you! I’m just amazed by how well this steel nib performs. During my testing, I used Levenger Regal and Cross black ink. Ink flow was very consistent, so with little pressure, I am able to put down a clean wet line. There is minimal line variation as it is not a flex nib. I haven’t experience any start up issues, even when ink has sat in the pen for a few weeks. I’d compare the Townsend’s buttery smooth nib to the Faber-Castell Ondoro.
Weighing in at 35 grams, the Townsend is slightly heavier than the Pilot Vanishing Point. It feels quite balanced writing unposted, but top-heavy while posted. Perhaps the length is throwing it off for me? It's one of the longer fountain pens in my collection at 5.9 inches. Nonetheless, the Townsend has not caused fatigue during extended use.