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Cross Classic Century


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16 replies to this topic

#1 barny

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 04:45

Don't know if this is the right forum to post this topic. But I want to share this to Cross aficionados.

I found an article while searching about mechanical pencils and landed me at Dave's Mechanical Pencils page (http://davesmechanic...ry-pencils.html) try checking it out.

"Forever Classic
"An icon of American design and innovation. The choice of movers, shakers and ground breakers since 1946."
Does form follow function? Or does function drive form? Whatever your point of view, Classic Century delivers. Its sleek profile and patented twist-action barrel sparked a design revolution. Generations later passionate fans remain loyal to the iconic silhouette, while trendsetters appreciate its authenticity. Cool comes full circle."


Anyway, while reading Dave's page about the Cross mechPen I felt proud owning a cross classic (a ballpoint pen). Been with me for twelve years now (almost forgot I own one) and what makes me proud is not because it is a Cross per se... but it was still then --MADE IN USA-- with inscription in the cap and barrel. Haven't seen one with that inscription nowadays. Of course there is no problem with me even if it is now made somewhere else in fact will purchase an original Cross Classic mechPen made in ??? I don't know where...

Have you ever felt sometimes when you are asking a sales person where it is made and can't give you a direct answer? It's like they are zig-zagging from point A to Point nowhere? :hmm1:

#2 penrivers

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 05:33

China. There are some old threads about this topic in FPN.

#3 Mike 59

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 22:39

Hi, I did buy a Classic Century Mech pencil this year, and the build quality is fine.
I don't own a USA-made one to compare to, but mine is solid, and works perfectly.
I bought the frosted finish version, with 0.5mm leads.

Attached Images

  • century_pencil.jpg

Edited by Mike 59, 04 September 2012 - 22:49.


#4 barny

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 06:01

Hi, I did buy a Classic Century Mech pencil this year, and the build quality is fine.
I don't own a USA-made one to compare to, but mine is solid, and works perfectly.
I bought the frosted finish version, with 0.5mm leads.




Wow never knew there is frosted finish Classic. I think the only difference are the inscriptions -MADE IN USA- on cap barrel but with build quality they both are just the same.

Nice Cross MechPen thanks for sharing a pic!

#5 pajaro

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 12:46

One of my reasons for using one of the older Century Classic pencils is the .9 mm leads. .7 mm is the thinnest I can tolerate using, and the few .5mm pencils I have seem to cut the paper too easily. I also like the wider mark of the .9mm leads.
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#6 tonydent84

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:05


Hi, I did buy a Classic Century Mech pencil this year, and the build quality is fine.
I don't own a USA-made one to compare to, but mine is solid, and works perfectly.
I bought the frosted finish version, with 0.5mm leads.




Wow never knew there is frosted finish Classic. I think the only difference are the inscriptions -MADE IN USA- on cap barrel but with build quality they both are just the same.

Nice Cross MechPen thanks for sharing a pic!



I agree...I have the USA and Chinese made models and they seem to be pretty much the same thing. At least I don't realize a difference.
I no longer own any fountain pens... Now they own me.

#7 barny

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:02



Hi, I did buy a Classic Century Mech pencil this year, and the build quality is fine.
I don't own a USA-made one to compare to, but mine is solid, and works perfectly.
I bought the frosted finish version, with 0.5mm leads.




Wow never knew there is frosted finish Classic. I think the only difference are the inscriptions -MADE IN USA- on cap barrel but with build quality they both are just the same.

Nice Cross MechPen thanks for sharing a pic!



I agree...I have the USA and Chinese made models and they seem to be pretty much the same thing. At least I don't realize a difference.




Important thing now is I get it from a reputable or certified Cross dealer for its warranty and authenticity. Thanks!

#8 JonDoh

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 15:20


Hi, I did buy a Classic Century Mech pencil this year, and the build quality is fine.
I don't own a USA-made one to compare to, but mine is solid, and works perfectly.
I bought the frosted finish version, with 0.5mm leads.




Wow never knew there is frosted finish Classic. I think the only difference are the inscriptions -MADE IN USA- on cap barrel but with build quality they both are just the same.

Nice Cross MechPen thanks for sharing a pic!



Unfortunately, they are not the same. Aside from differences in craftsmanship (sharp edges on Chinese made ones for example) the ones now made in China are made from a lighter inferior metal. You may see a few pens marked USA that are as light. These pens were made in the two to three year conversion period where production of the pen parts was made in China, but the pen was assembled here. If you can find one that was truly made here and compare them the differences will become readily apparent the first time you pick them up.
It's not what you look at, but what you see when you look.
Henry David Thoreau

#9 Gcouch

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 17:09

Sadly, production has moved to China. Quality really has dropped off in the past few years, in my opinion. I own a few newer models, but most of mine still say MADE IN USA on the cap. Wouldn't trade them for anything; you just can't find qulaity like that any more. The move of production has stopped me from buying anything from Cross, save for refills. My business now goes to Lamy/Montblanc because I refuse to buy from Japan and China.
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#10 Mike 59

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:56

Hi All, I don't own any USA made Cross pens, but those I do own were probably made in the last 2/3 years.
They are; Century 2 F.P, Aventura F.P, Bailey F.P, Classic Century BP, Calais BP, & Classic Century pencil.
They are very well made, work perfectly, and I waited till I could buy most of them at around half price.
I can't compare to the USA products, but mine are absolutely fine, no complaints at all.

Edited by Mike 59, 08 December 2012 - 12:20.


#11 JonDoh

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 15:12

Hi All, I don't own any USA made Cross pens, but those I do own were probably made in the last 2/3 years.
They are; Century 2 F.P, Aventura F.P, Bailey F.P, Classic Century BP, Calais BP, & Classic Century pencil.
They are very well made, work perfectly, and I waited till I could buy most of them at around half price.
I can't compare to the USA products, but mine are absolutely fine, no complaints at all.


Notice the gap between the top and the barrel in the bottom photo? That's a signature problem of the Chinese made pens. I have the 18K Century and it suffers from the same problem as do every one I have seen. Comparing it to my US made Centuries, which fit tightly, the Chinese made ones also turn loosely and some don't catch once the refill has been extended, but keep turning. Still, I bought mine knowing its shortcomings because I always wanted one. To my surprise I got a refill that writes very smooth.

Sometimes you can find some NOS MADE IN THE USA and - USA - Cross pens on eBay. I recently picked up a - USA - Metallist. It was one of those hybrids where some of the components were made in China, but the pen assembled here. It is slightly lighter than my older pens, but put together much better than the current ones. There is no gap between the top and barrel and it turns very smoothly and firmly.

Edited by JonDoh, 08 December 2012 - 15:13.

It's not what you look at, but what you see when you look.
Henry David Thoreau

#12 pajaro

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:18

Sad to read about the issues with Chinese-made Cross pens. I had always thought that my USA-made Century ballpoints and pencils were models that other makers should aim to equal. My Century fountain pens are also quality pens. I have had these pens since the seventies. No issues with them.
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#13 Mike Schutz

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 00:45

All you have to do is run your fingers over the pens and you can feel which pens were made in China vs those made in USA.

How much more do they make on the ones made in China vs here? I'm not buying any more Chinese Crosses. I'll buy what I need on the aftermarket. This used to be a great brand.
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#14 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:26

I would personally appreciate it if all yall who have noted these Chinese pen deficiencies would get your nicest writing Cross and write Rhode Island and tell them.

They should know from customers if they don't already. Maybe yall will note deficiencies they are not aware of.

They deserve to know. If I had a data point on it I think would be helpful, I'd sure take the time to let them know.

Cross has "done me good" in my book. I'd try and treat them the same way back. :thumbup:

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#15 tonydent84

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:28

Bruce that's a good point. If customers share this information with Cross, perhaps Cross will make some changes.

But to be honest, I've owned Cross pens from the 1990s (still have a couple in my possession), and there's not much of a difference. They still have very high quality and perform very well. I love Cross pens. I have recently begun favoring Parker and Waterman for their ballpoints, but I still find myself using a Cross very often. In fact, I carry a Cross Classic Century mechanical pencil with me everywhere I go -- and I'm far from a pencil guy.

I got nothing against Cross. Good company, great quality.


Edited to change my position:

Come to think of it, there are some slight problems that the Chinese-made Cross pens have like what John Doe pointed out above with the gap between the cap and body of the pens. Also, I purchased a chrome Century rollerball not so long ago and it came with a free matching ballpoint and the conical tip of the ballpoint (the part from where the point extends) also had a slight gap there. I managed to somehow apply enough force to push it in entirely, but that shouldn't have been the case. I thought I might've ran into some flukes, but it seems to be that I'm not the only one with these problems. It could very well be a step down in their quality control.

Edited by tonydent84, 18 December 2012 - 09:38.

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#16 JonDoh

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 13:35

Bruce that's a good point. If customers share this information with Cross, perhaps Cross will make some changes.

But to be honest, I've owned Cross pens from the 1990s (still have a couple in my possession), and there's not much of a difference. They still have very high quality and perform very well. I love Cross pens. I have recently begun favoring Parker and Waterman for their ballpoints, but I still find myself using a Cross very often. In fact, I carry a Cross Classic Century mechanical pencil with me everywhere I go -- and I'm far from a pencil guy.

I got nothing against Cross. Good company, great quality.


Edited to change my position:

Come to think of it, there are some slight problems that the Chinese-made Cross pens have like what John Doe pointed out above with the gap between the cap and body of the pens. Also, I purchased a chrome Century rollerball not so long ago and it came with a free matching ballpoint and the conical tip of the ballpoint (the part from where the point extends) also had a slight gap there. I managed to somehow apply enough force to push it in entirely, but that shouldn't have been the case. I thought I might've ran into some flukes, but it seems to be that I'm not the only one with these problems. It could very well be a step down in their quality control.


Tony,

The gap problem is well documented. There was even a blog by a pen guy in the UK that put out a solution. Turn the pen and extend the cartridge into writing position. Then holding the pen point on a stack of paper push down on the top. You'll hear a click and the gap should be eliminated. Try this and see if it doesn't help. Not trying to beat a dead horse, but I can just see a huge difference in my 18K Chinese made pen and my USA Medalist from weight, to smoothness of how the pen turns, gap problem, sharp edges, etc. Still, I like the look of the 18K and always wanted one - it is what it is.
It's not what you look at, but what you see when you look.
Henry David Thoreau

#17 Bernie0104

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:52


Bruce that's a good point. If customers share this information with Cross, perhaps Cross will make some changes.

But to be honest, I've owned Cross pens from the 1990s (still have a couple in my possession), and there's not much of a difference. They still have very high quality and perform very well. I love Cross pens. I have recently begun favoring Parker and Waterman for their ballpoints, but I still find myself using a Cross very often. In fact, I carry a Cross Classic Century mechanical pencil with me everywhere I go -- and I'm far from a pencil guy.

I got nothing against Cross. Good company, great quality.


Edited to change my position:

Come to think of it, there are some slight problems that the Chinese-made Cross pens have like what John Doe pointed out above with the gap between the cap and body of the pens. Also, I purchased a chrome Century rollerball not so long ago and it came with a free matching ballpoint and the conical tip of the ballpoint (the part from where the point extends) also had a slight gap there. I managed to somehow apply enough force to push it in entirely, but that shouldn't have been the case. I thought I might've ran into some flukes, but it seems to be that I'm not the only one with these problems. It could very well be a step down in their quality control.


Tony,

The gap problem is well documented. There was even a blog by a pen guy in the UK that put out a solution. Turn the pen and extend the cartridge into writing position. Then holding the pen point on a stack of paper push down on the top. You'll hear a click and the gap should be eliminated. Try this and see if it doesn't help. Not trying to beat a dead horse, but I can just see a huge difference in my 18K Chinese made pen and my USA Medalist from weight, to smoothness of how the pen turns, gap problem, sharp edges, etc. Still, I like the look of the 18K and always wanted one - it is what it is.


I have a couple of the Chinese made pens, and they do indeed exhibit the 'cap gap' problem. I find that when the cap is removed and the refill cartridge is in the retracted position, there is a 'springiness' to the twist mechanism, such that you can press it in to the barrel and it will spring back out again, albeit only by about 0.5mm. When the cartridge is in the extended position, there is no such movement. When you replace the cap with the cartridge retracted, you are pushing against that internal spring, with the result that the cap pushes back slightly, leaving the dreaded gap. I have found that the best way to deal with this is to push the cap on, twist it to extend the cartridge to the writing position, then give it another gentle push to eliminate the gap. This works fine for me, and the pen will stay that way until the next time the cap is removed to change the refill cartridge.

Regarding other quality issues, such as sharp edges, I have noticed this on one of my pens. I have a frosted finish ballpoint, similar to the pencil shown earlier in this thread, and the machining on the grip section of the barrel is sharp-edged, making the pen unpleasant to hold. It also makes the pen feel cheap. I never use that pen because of this. However, I also have another Chinese made pen finished in shiny chrome, and there are no such quality problems at all, 'cap gap' notwithstanding.