The Best Cross Fountain Pen is the Townsend — One of the Finest Pens in the World

Cross has to be included in any discussion of the makers of the best fountain pens in the world. 

If you’re going to select a fountain pen from the extensive line of pens offered by A. T. Cross, pen aficionados generally agree:  get the Townsend.

And, when you get it during the holidays, Cross is offering a limited-time deal right now:  get free shipping on any order over $90.  The code to use is ABFSHIP12.

Some of us still enjoy writing…

Due to the proliferation of touchscreen devices both for personal and business use, the act of writing, of flowing ink onto paper, is becoming rare.  Still, at times there is no substitute for taking out a pen and setting down your thoughts:  when you want to send a romantic note to someone you love, when writing a special thank-you card or a letter of condolence, when signing the contract for your first house, or even when you get started on that novel set in the 18th century — a project that just doesn’t feel right if executed by pecking away on a plastic keyboard.

Sometimes a pen is the tool you need.  And a fountain pen is the king of pens.

Cross is well-known for making practical, dependable, affordable, attractive pens of all types — rollerballs, ballpoints, and fountain pens.  At the high end of pen craftsmanship, you’ll find the Townsend — a line of top-rated pens from Cross that currently includes 7 models, each with 3 different writing tip options.  This review focuses on the Cross Townsend Fountain Pen.

Customers have been buying, using — and praising — the Townsend model for over 20 years.  It’s a design that has stood the test of time.

On the Fountain Pen Network forum, experts on many brands of fountain pens have said the following about the Cross Townsend Fountain Pen:

“…one of my best writers… Great balance and the body is about as tough as they come, though it looks very elegant.”

“[I have] a Cross Townsend Medalist with 23k Gold Nib.  …It writes beautifully….  Very smooth, fantastic nib and pen!  A bit underrated amongst the pricey pens!”

“The [Cross] Verve and the Townsend are both fabulous pens!  The Townsends are built better…”

“My second favorite Cross pen series [after the Pinnacle] is the Townsend — ballpoint, pencil, rollerball, fountain pen — beautiful lacquers (especially the Lapis Lazuli, Jade, and Anthracite), nice weight and balance.”


Some of the best fountain pens in the world are the Townsend line of Fountain Pens made by Cross -- this is the Black Lacquer Townsend Fountain Pen with an 18-karat gold nib.

Cross Townsend Black Lacquer Fountain Pen with 23-karat Gold-Plated Appointments. Click to see it.


If you’re in the market for a top-of-the-line fountain pen that incorporates the finest materials and workmanship yet won’t break the bank (especially with the holiday deal I mention above) I’d recommend the Townsend.  Of the Townsend models, my favorite right now is the Black Lacquer 23k gold-plated fountain pen (pictured above).   Click here to check it out at

You can get the Townsend Black Lacquer/23k Gold Plated Fountain Pen with a fine or medium nib.  The hand-finished 18k gold nib is designed to adapt to the writing style of the person using it.  The specially-formulated ink that Cross uses in its high-end fountain pens flows smoothly and dries quickly.  You can fill the pen by using Cross’s fountain pen cartridges — which make the pen as easy to refill as a ballpoint — or you can insert a converter available from Cross that enables the pen to be filled with bottled ink.  It comes with a lifetime warranty.  And you can have it engraved.

This is an heirloom-quality pen that will be a pleasure for anyone who appreciates the act of writing to own and use.  It also makes a very special gift.

Free shipping deal for a limited time

And remember that right now, when you place an order for more than $90, get free shipping from Cross using code ABFSHIP12.  This is a limited-time holiday offer than ends December 25, 2012.  Enter the code when you check out.

The A. T. Cross Company is the oldest maker of fine writing instruments in the United States

When you buy a pen from Cross, you know that you’re buying a writing instrument from a company that has specialized in making the best-performing pens for 166 years

To put that in perspective, the Cross company was founded by Richard Cross in Providence, Rhode Island in 1846 — the same year that the Smithsonian was established, and the first successful sewing machine was patented.  Richard Cross eventually passed the company on to his son, Alonzo Townsend Cross (hence the formal name of the company:  A. T. Cross).  Cross, now a brand with international scope, remains America’s oldest manufacturer of fine writing instruments.

You may not be aware, however, that Cross has diversified into other high-quality products, including their own line of watches, as well as business and personal accessories such as wallets, leather-bound journals, passport cases, cuff links, reading glasses, pen cases, and card cases.  You can see all these items by browsing their site, which functions smoothly (as you might expect) and offers a number of helpful navigation options.

If you happen to be shopping for a high-end gift for a professional, man or woman, you can’t go wrong by getting something from Cross.  (Heck, if they’re an engineer, get them a mechanical pencil.)

Many of Cross’s products can be included in the category of “best stuff.”

Which brings us back to the Townsend Fountain Pen.  If you’re going to write, you may as well use a high-quality tool to do it — one that will last for decades, be satisfying to use, and even impress bystanders.  😉

Here is what some of the Cross customers who own a Townsend pen have had to say in their reviews:

I purchased my Townsend over 30 years ago.  I have used it daily so of course the soft 18-karat nib has long adapted to my personal script.  As recommended, I never allowed anyone else to use the pen so as not to alter the characteristic wear of the nib.  This lasted until I married.  Funny how marriage can change a man, if not the pen.  It writes as smoothly as ever.  The black lacquer with gold trim seems to make a statement of subtle elegance.  Along with my watch, money clip, and ‘gentleman’s’ pocket knife, I never leave home without it.

This is a wonderful pen! It is an absolute joy to write with, and makes me want to take up calligraphy. It was expensive but worth it.

My son bought this pen for me with his first pay check when he was just starting high school, twelve years ago.  This is a very special pen not just because it was a very significant present for me but along with that sentimental value goes the excellent quality of this product.  I use this pen every single day since I got it.  Still looks like new.

So get your own and write with distinction.  Sign your name with style.  Better yet, get two, and give one as a memorable gift.   (The recipient will probably write you a thank-you note on paper.)


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