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Thin Model (Touchdown)

Maker: SheafferFor general comments on the mechanism, jump back to the Touchdown page.

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The Thin Model was essentially a pure design exercise.  The big internal change had happened in 1949, but that left the outside of the pen looking essentially the same as those sold since the end of the Second World War.  This could hardly suit the forward-looking nature of the time, and so a much more slender profile was offered.  It still looked like a linear descendant of the Balance, but where that line drew inspiration from Zeppelins, the Thin Model was looking in the direction of jet propulsion.

The Thin Model line are possibly the most resistant pens Sheaffer ever made in the area of posting the cap on the tail; have a look at this ad, and see how Vivian Vance has to screw it onto the back of the pen… if you can stand to watch such things.  I seriously recommend against the attempt.

Production Run: 1950-1951.

Cost When New: See individual models below.  Prices went up slightly mid-way through the run; I’m sticking with the initial price, as the increase mainly means that the modern equivalent remains more or less stable throughout; for modern values, try this calculator.

Size: Plastic caps- 13.4 cm long capped, 15.7 cm posted, 11.8 cm uncapped. Metal caps (including all-metal body)- 13.3 cm long capped, 15.7 cm posted, 11.8 cm uncapped (the results for “posted” are extra-long due to my unwillingness to gouge up barrels by firmly thrusting the cap onto the tail– see the note above).  Admiral and Craftsman, which follow previous body styles more closely are 12.7 cm long capped, 14.9 cm posted, 11.1 cm uncapped

Point: See individual models below.


FillerTouchdown, capacity approx. 0.8 ml.

Models in ascending order of cost:

Craftsman: Open 14k gold (marked 33), plastic cap.  Cost when new, $3.75.  The Craftsman had not been brought into the previous Touchdown line, and it had languished through 1949 with a lever for filling.  The body shape is actually more in line with the previous “fat” models, but the inner mechanism is the TM style with a narrower sac.

Sheaffer Craftsman TD, green

Craftsman TD, brown. This would be the last appearance of the “wire rim” on the cap, which is a bit of a shame.


Admiral: Open 14k gold point (platinum masked “Feathertouch”), plastic cap.  Cost when new $5.00.  Like the Craftsman, the Admiral had not seen the new filler mechanism until the appearance of the Thin Model.

Sheaffer Admiral TD, burgundy.  Note that the band is now different from that on the Craftsman.


Statesman: 14K open point with platinum mask, plastic cap. Cost when new $10.00.

Sheaffer Statesman TM TD. This is the last appearance of a gold point for the name, as the Snorkel Statesman has a palladium point. Notice that the body hardware is the same as on the Valiant.


Valiant: 14k gold triumph point, plastic cap.  Cost when new $12.50.

Sheaffer Valiant TM TD


Crest: 14k gold triumph point, gold-filled brass cap.  Cost when new $21.00.

Sheaffer Crest TM TD


Triumph: 14k gold triumph point, gold-filled brass cap and barrel cladding.  Cost when new $25.00.  The threads and trim ring are also gold-plated.

Sheaffer Triumph TM TD; the first example of the slightly confusing use of the previous line name to describe a model, but it’s certainly not the last.



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