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Chinese Made Cross Vs Usa/irish Made Cross Pens


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#1 Albinoni

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 23:02

We all know that Cross a while back decided to take its manufacturing off shore and to China but how would you compare today's Chinese made Cross pens to the previous US and Irish made Cross pens

#2 Charles Rice

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:22

Are all of their pens made in China?



#3 Florida Blue

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:59

Are all of their pens made in China?

 

Currently, yes. 

 

To answer the OP, I have several Cross fountain pens including older USA-made and newer Chinese-made pens and I don't perceive any difference in quality. I think the newer Cross FPs are as good as the older ones. I have a recent Cross Apogee and Sauvage and I think they are great pens. 


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#4 penrivers

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 03:07

This was an old illuminating long thread years ago. My personal opinion is that yes, the first year there must be some failures in the Chinesse Cross pens, the second less, the third... , in the end, just because experience and work ethics Chiness should be making excellent Cross pens.



#5 Jerome Tarshis

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:16

First, I have only one Chinese-made Cross pen to compare with others made in the United States and the one (a Radiance) made in Japan, but that pen, a Century II, seems well made and writes very well indeed.

 

A point to bear in mind is that some kinds of cheapening may be caused by changes in the specifications, originating in Rhode Island, and not to any deficiency on the part of the Chinese supplier. On the other hand, to judge from many recent reviews of inexpensive Cross pens that were never manufactured in the United States or Ireland, Cross has been able to make even rather cheap pens to a satisfactory standard. I was a little surprised that so many FPNers have been so favorably impressed by the Bailey, but in fact they have been favorably impressed.



#6 pajaro

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:44

The Coventry is also good.  My fine version writes every time I uncap it, and is better than average at not drying up and at starting.  It writes smoothly too.  Like many Chinese-made pens it is beautiful.  No complaints.


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#7 Chris

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 13:55

I am fortunate enough to have the sterling silver Townsend from Ireland, from the USA and most recently from China. All the parts - cap, section and barrel - are completely interchangeable amongst the three and each has a lovely smooth medium 18kt two-tone gold nib.

Differences...
The USA cap says "USA" and the Ireland cap say "Ireland" whilst the cap from China says nothing about country of origin.

The barrel or body of the Ireland and China models and their caps are hallmarked whilst the USA has no hallmarks.

The clip of all three has 'Cross' in script but the ones from China and Ireland also have 'metal' in small capital letters on the clip.

The sections of the Ireland and USA pens are black whereas the one from China is black except in bright light when a very slight blue tinge is apparent.

I have a perception that the one from China is slightly lighter, but I have no scales accurate enough to check, and has a nib that is fractionally smaller but this might be an optical illusion. I would need a micrometer to check.

Most importantly, I use all three each day and each has worked flawlessly with any ink I've put in them.

My most recent aquisition has been a black laquer and rhodium-plated Townsend which was made in China and it is fully up to the high standard I would expect from Cross.

#8 highlander1307

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 14:07

Also, Cross Pens has now been split off from the publicly traded company and become private again.  The CEO says this will allow the pen division to focus on long term value instead of short term stock price.



#9 yamaha_no_46

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 23:10

I also had some experiences with a few US made Century II ballpoints and recent Chinese made Century II's. I did not notice any difference in quality and performance. Both were finished to perfection.



#10 Hanoi

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 11:21

I have a black cross fountain pen that reads "usa" in such small text they look invisible at a casual glance.


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#11 Albinoni

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 04:38

Who does the quality control now for the China manufacturing, USA or China

#12 Albinoni

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 04:38

Who does the quality control now for the China manufacturing, USA or China

#13 Uncial

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 14:47

This may be misinformation, but I was told by someone that should have known that the Cross pens made in Ireland were in fact manufactured by Pilot in Japan, but packaged and distributed in Ireland.



#14 Albinoni

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 23:07

This may be misinformation, but I was told by someone that should have known that the Cross pens made in Ireland were in fact manufactured by Pilot in Japan, but packaged and distributed in Ireland.


Sorry not being rude here but I don't believe that, most definitely not

#15 Albinoni

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 10:40

Just another question regarding Cross pens made in China, now are the parts eg the body, filling system, clip and the nib still made in the USA but the final assembly is done in China.

#16 max dog

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 04:47

From what I've read here from other members, all that is left in Rhode Island is the adminstrative offices.  The factory part is completely gone, so I dont think they manufacture anything any more in Rhode Island.

 

I find my Chinese made Cross pens on par in terms of quality/fit/finish to any of my  German, French, or Italian made fountain pens.  I bought a Chrome Townsend recently and it is absolutely flawless. 

 

One thing that hasn't changed is that they stand behind their product with pride.  I think best in the industry.  A couple years ago I bought a beautiful Titian Red Apogee fountain pen at a clearance sale in a gift shop that was closing their doors for good.  A few days later I noticed a big scratch down the barrel under better lighting.  The gift shop was closed and gone by this time so I couldn't return it.  I sent the pen back to Cross with an explanation hoping they would replace the barrel for a reasonable charge.  They sent me back a new pen at no charge no questions asked.  That's customer appreciation!

 

Where very few things are made in the USA any more, I really liked the brand when they were manufacturing qualtiy pens in the USA up until 2008.  Hope one day they can bring production back as Cross is as American as apple pie and Mustangs.


Edited by max dog, 06 May 2014 - 05:11.

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#17 max dog

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 05:05

I have a perception that the one from China is slightly lighter, but I have no scales accurate enough to check, and has a nib that is fractionally smaller but this might be an optical illusion. I would need a micrometer to check.

 

Cross evolution to lighter pens started before production was moved to China.  I suspect in response to customer feedback to Cross to make their pens a little lighter for ease of use.  My early 2000 USA made Century ball points are the same as later Chinese made ones, but both are lighter than my 1970's pen. 


Edited by max dog, 06 May 2014 - 05:05.

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#18 Hanoi

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 10:26

When Cross moved production to China did they move all machinery too? Or did the Chinese buy new machinery to make Cross branded pens? I suppose if the former was the case, it's really the quality control department that determines quality.


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#19 max dog

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 05:19

When Cross moved production to China did they move all machinery too? Or did the Chinese buy new machinery to make Cross branded pens? I suppose if the former was the case, it's really the quality control department that determines quality.

I believe Cross has their own manufacturing facility in China producing their own pens and they dont just outsource production to any lowest bid factory  for hire.  So it looks like quality control is in their control.  I recall someone on this forum mentioning this, but I can't verify the source.  Cross does not disclose anything about their manufacturing in China. 


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#20 Albinoni

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 09:29

Just an update here every one regarding Cross pens that are made in China. A friend of mine who works in a pen shop here in Perth, Australia, recently visited the new Cross factory in China. She was so delighted and pleased with their facilities and workmanship it was almost flawless. She said the factory was very modern, clean, thorough and tge machinery was from both Germany and USA. And because of this she's started to like Cross more. And the quality control is very good and thorough.

#21 penrivers

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 13:32

Just an update here every one regarding Cross pens that are made in China. A friend of mine who works in a pen shop here in Perth, Australia, recently visited the new Cross factory in China. She was so delighted and pleased with their facilities and workmanship it was almost flawless. She said the factory was very modern, clean, thorough and tge machinery was from both Germany and USA. And because of this she's started to like Cross more. And the quality control is very good and thorough.

Thanks, very useful information.



#22 max dog

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 05:52

Just an update here every one regarding Cross pens that are made in China. A friend of mine who works in a pen shop here in Perth, Australia, recently visited the new Cross factory in China. She was so delighted and pleased with their facilities and workmanship it was almost flawless. She said the factory was very modern, clean, thorough and tge machinery was from both Germany and USA. And because of this she's started to like Cross more. And the quality control is very good and thorough.

Wow, that's great confirmation about their Cross factory in China.  With the pen division, the real Cross, now divested from the sunglass /fashion division, I hope will refocus on what they do best.  Continue producing uncompromised quality writing instruments. 


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#23 whoelse

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:10

I have some old Townsend made in USA and a new one made in China. They are equally good but strangely, another one I recently purchase that were made in China feel light and machining is not as precise. So I think even made in China has different batch quality. 



#24 penrivers

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:38

I think is a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy...... oh well, Im sure even the chiness have to have that problem.



#25 aawhite

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 03:53

Just an update here every one regarding Cross pens that are made in China. A friend of mine who works in a pen shop here in Perth, Australia, recently visited the new Cross factory in China. She was so delighted and pleased with their facilities and workmanship it was almost flawless. She said the factory was very modern, clean, thorough and tge machinery was from both Germany and USA. And because of this she's started to like Cross more. And the quality control is very good and thorough.

 

+1.

 

I have a Chinese made, gold plated Cross Apogee that I like very much. This was one of the early Crosses made in China, and the only fault I could find is the poor welding of the tipping (aka, iridium) material. I am a metallurgist and I specialise in micro-welding, so I am a bit picky on this. Apart from that, it is a good pen.

 

I have several gold plated Cross pens, and it does not matter where they were made (US, Ireland, China), but a common aspect is the discoloration of the gold plating. In time, they all developed areas of brownish / reddish patches in contrast to the bright yellowish gold plate. Might be a Cross thing, or my cursed fingers.


Edited by aawhite, 28 May 2014 - 03:57.

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#26 Chris

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 13:46

Sorry, but it must be your fingers :)

 

I have a couple (five) of 10 and 12kt rolled/plated gold pens and pencils (Townsend and Century models) and they have no such discoloration. I do remember one or two were slightly tarnished when I bought them (second hand) but a quick wipe with a jeweller's cloth removed that and it has not returned.



#27 aawhite

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 23:39

Sorry, but it must be your fingers :)

 

I have a couple (five) of 10 and 12kt rolled/plated gold pens and pencils (Townsend and Century models) and they have no such discoloration. I do remember one or two were slightly tarnished when I bought them (second hand) but a quick wipe with a jeweller's cloth removed that and it has not returned.

 

I like to agree with you but I have other pen brands, like Sheaffer, Parker, Caran d'Ache and Faber-Castell, that have gold plated or gold filled (rolled gold) parts, and none of them have discolored. Only the Crosses develop this strange discoloration or tarnish.

 

Since you have not experienced discoloration in your pens, then I can only conclude that it must be a combination of my touch and the Cross gold plating process, that do not agree. I must have an anti-Midas touch :lol: . 

 

I suspect that it is the copper content of the Cross gold plating.


Edited by aawhite, 28 May 2014 - 23:45.

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#28 WriteAway

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 19:52

My wife has a Century bp/mp set that also has similar discoloration. She uses her pens a lot, and I wondered if the gold plating simply wore off from the heavy use.



#29 whoelse

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 01:10

I have a new 10k Townsend and I left it in my 48 pen case and yes the place where it was strap have discolouration. None of my other pens have that problem. I now store it back in it's original box. That pen was made in China not sure if that is related.

#30 max dog

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 03:27

Of the dozen or more gold filled Crosses I have, I've noticed only one of them exhibiting discolouration, usually under the clip area.  A rub down with a jewellers cloth restores it back to a shine, so it' never been a problem.  If anything I think it gives it character like sterling silver tarnish.

 

I have to add though the Cross gold filled finish sure wear well!  I've come across some very used and abused ones over the years, including some of my own early ones, and never seen any with signs of brassing.  


Edited by max dog, 13 June 2014 - 03:30.

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