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Chinese Made Cross Vs Usa/irish Made Cross Pens


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#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.



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#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. 



#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.

I only have two pens -  an Aurora Optima and others.


#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.

I only have two pens -  an Aurora Optima and others.


#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.


#31 kapanak

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 22:45

I'll throw in my opinion.

 

I have an original Century BP 10K Filled USA, and the new 2015 produced Century Classic 10K Filled/Rolled China, and I compared them side by side. First off, the old Century is noticeably heavier, and the gold colour is deeper. Secondly, the fit of the top cap and the barrel on the old century is secure and does not budge or have any give. The one one has a slight give and takes more effort to fit together perfectly. The twist mechanism is solid and firm and smooth, very reassuring, on the old century, while the new one is more like any twist BP pen, still solid, but it has a bit of shaking and a bit of give and movement where it shouldn't. The new century classic is already developing a tarnish, but it is an easily wiped tarnish. Might have to do with the fact that the new Filled/Rolled 10K Gold claim is 1/20 (according to Cross), and might be a different alloy of gold, compared to the old 1/10 Filled 10K Gold.

 

Overall, the fit and finish of the old pens made in USA are preferable.


Edited by kapanak, 24 March 2016 - 22:50.


#32 RMN

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 01:19

I'll throw in my opinion.

 

I have an original Century BP 10K Filled USA, and the new 2015 produced Century Classic 10K Filled/Rolled China, and I compared them side by side. First off, the old Century is noticeably heavier, and the gold colour is deeper. Secondly, the fit of the top cap and the barrel on the old century is secure and does not budge or have any give. The one one has a slight give and takes more effort to fit together perfectly. The twist mechanism is solid and firm and smooth, very reassuring, on the old century, while the new one is more like any twist BP pen, still solid, but it has a bit of shaking and a bit of give and movement where it shouldn't. The new century classic is already developing a tarnish, but it is an easily wiped tarnish. Might have to do with the fact that the new Filled/Rolled 10K Gold claim is 1/20 (according to Cross), and might be a different alloy of gold, compared to the old 1/10 Filled 10K Gold.

 

Overall, the fit and finish of the old pens made in USA are preferable.

 

Re Finish: You are comparing apples with pears. You should compare pens with the same gold content/ thickness. Of course a 1/10 is a better finish than a 1/20.

Re fit: your sentence should be:<  the fit of my old pen is to be preferred over my new pen > , as you only have a sample of one on both, so you can't make generalisations.

 

 

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#33 kapanak

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 06:40

 

Re Finish: You are comparing apples with pears. You should compare pens with the same gold content/ thickness. Of course a 1/10 is a better finish than a 1/20.

Re fit: your sentence should be:<  the fit of my old pen is to be preferred over my new pen > , as you only have a sample of one on both, so you can't make generalisations.

 

 

D.ick

 

Regarding finish, both were sold as "10K Gold Filled" and only on the pen itself it states 1/10 or 1/20, and the price for both when adjusting for inflation are the same. And a layer of gold, whether 1/10 or 1/20 will appear the same, since gold, even at 1 micron thickness, at the same karat, will appear the same. Thus, the differences are in the alloys themselves. These are not plated gold, they actual sheets of gold mechanically bonded to brass, chrome, or stainless steel.

 

Regarding my "generalized statement", this isn't the only US made vs Chinese made Cross pens I own, so I stand by my statement, and I am sure folks here are intelligent enough to distinguish the fact that I am making that with regards to myself, and not saying everybody should go and buy USA made Cross pens.


Edited by kapanak, 25 March 2016 - 06:44.


#34 RMN

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 15:18

 

Regarding finish, both were sold as "10K Gold Filled" and only on the pen itself it states 1/10 or 1/20, and the price for both when adjusting for inflation are the same. And a layer of gold, whether 1/10 or 1/20 will appear the same, since gold, even at 1 micron thickness, at the same karat, will appear the same. Thus, the differences are in the alloys themselves. These are not plated gold, they actual sheets of gold mechanically bonded to brass, chrome, or stainless steel.

 

Regarding my "generalized statement", this isn't the only US made vs Chinese made Cross pens I own, so I stand by my statement, and I am sure folks here are intelligent enough to distinguish the fact that I am making that with regards to myself, and not saying everybody should go and buy USA made Cross pens.

 

Note that I did not state anything about the pens themselves. Just that the statement AS you made it was not quite correct.

That last bit, about your findings being in line with your findings on other pens you use would have been a valid addition.

 

About the colour of gold: That is determined by various aspects: The additives in the alloy, and the colour of the underlying metal if plated (or rolled).

So the alloy just could have been slightly different.

 

 

D.ick


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#35 lovely

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 18:40

 

Regarding finish, both were sold as "10K Gold Filled" and only on the pen itself it states 1/10 or 1/20, and the price for both when adjusting for inflation are the same. And a layer of gold, whether 1/10 or 1/20 will appear the same, since gold, even at 1 micron thickness, at the same karat, will appear the same. Thus, the differences are in the alloys themselves. These are not plated gold, they actual sheets of gold mechanically bonded to brass, chrome, or stainless steel.

 

Regarding my "generalized statement", this isn't the only US made vs Chinese made Cross pens I own, so I stand by my statement, and I am sure folks here are intelligent enough to distinguish the fact that I am making that with regards to myself, and not saying everybody should go and buy USA made Cross pens.

Minimum content of gold to be considered gold filled in the US is 5%, so I think they are now sticking to legal Minimum.

 

Which I consider to be a downgrade.

 

Got lately some used and not-so-used Irish Cross, think I will stick to that for now.



#36 Hanoi

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 00:11

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. 

Cross´ craftsmanship was never that impressive compared to the likes of Parker and Sheaffer.  Also, there are certain things outsourced to China which don´t affect quality all that much and pen manufacturing being one of them.  


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#37 max dog

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 08:51

Cross´ craftsmanship was never that impressive compared to the likes of Parker and Sheaffer.  Also, there are certain things outsourced to China which don´t affect quality all that much and pen manufacturing being one of them.  

Wow what an old thread revival.
If you are a Parker or Sheaffer fan I suppose one would naturally gravitate to that conclusion. Will leave it at that.
Quality control in a $2 Jinhao and a Cross made in China is very different.


Edited by max dog, 20 October 2017 - 23:55.


#38 Donald2

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 03:33

I own two (2) made in China 10K gold filled Cross Century II rollerball pens. When I was looking to buy the Century II, I found a brand new one for sale which I purchased on eBay that I had to return because the cap was loose and moved side to side on the barrel when the pen was capped. I ended up purchasing the 2 that I have right now from another seller and luckily they didn't have the loose cap problem like the other one that I returned. I also purchased a made in China Cross Townsend that had the same problem with the loose cap and I returned that one too. A lot of the made in China Cross Townsend rollerball pens have the same problem with the loose caps moving side to side like the Century II.

 

Just about one (1) week ago, I purchased a made in China all chrome Cross Century II rollerball pen and I had to return it because the black plastic grip that's attached to the gold on the grip was loose and was rotating when you gripped the pen while writing with it. After having these experiences, I'm afraid to buy another Century II after the experiences that I had with the loose cap and grip. If these pens were still made here in the USA in Rhode Island, these quality control problems with loose caps and loose grips would never occur. I've heard that the idiot who ran Ray Ban glasses was hired by Cross to become the CEO in the mid 2000's and it was him who moved all manufacturing to China. This same Cross CEO did damage to Ray Ban when he was CEO of Ray Ban before he came over to Cross. He ended up leaving Cross and Cross now has a new CEO who wants to being back all Cross pen production back to Rhode Island. I love my 2 Cross Century II rollerball pens, but I must be honest with you and say that a lot of the new made in China Cross pens have quality control issues. I own many made in USA Cross pens too and I've not had any problems with any of them. It's only the made in China ones that have been a big hassle. I wish that Chinese manufacturing was as good and as high quality as the Japanese manufacturing. Anything that's made in Japan is flawless. I own many made in japan high end pens, rollerballs and fountain pens and they are all flawless. I don't trust made in China when it comes to high end luxury pens like Cross. Today it's a gamble when buying Cross. You either get one that's well made or one that has quality control problems. I hope that Cross brings back their manufacturing to Rhode Island.


Edited by Donald2, 22 October 2017 - 03:39.


#39 JonDoh

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 17:45

A year ago my wife bought a new Cross rollerball.  I noticed the metal was a lot lighter than my old USA made rollerball, but it wrote nice and that's what mattered.  However, within the first month the plastic sleeve in the cap came loose and fell out.  We contacted Cross about a repair or replacement and was told we would have to pay $10 before they would honor their "lifetime" guarantee.  I superglued it back in and so far it's held.  On the other hand, she's become disillusioned with a pen that falls apart the first month and doesn't use it much.

 

I used to buy a lot of Cross pens to give as gifts to clients, but the quality is simply too bad now.  As others have noticed on the Classic Centuries the metal is lighter, the gold is spotty and wears off quickly, there is a gap between the top and bottom part and the edges are rough.  The last Cross pen I bought for myself was the expensive 18K Classic Century because I had always wanted one and could now afford one.  It came apart after about three months of use.  I did pay the $10 to have it repaired and they sent me another one.  

 

Sometimes you will get a good one out of China, but its a total (bleep) shoot.  I can't tell you how many USA made pens I have ranging from ballpoints, roller balls and fountain pens.  Many are well over 30 years and have been used a lot.  Yet, they're all in great condition.  This debate about USA and China quality won't end with this post.  It's just a shame that a company with the reputation Cross once had decided to put profits before reputation and quality.


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#40 Donald2

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 03:50

I agree. Within the last 2 weeks, I just purchased 2 more Cross Century II rollerball pens from Amazon. This time around, I bought the black lacquer with the 18k gold trim Century II. One of the two black lacquer Century II rollerballs that I received had tiny chips on the barrel. I returned it back to Amazon for a replacement. The replacement that I got has a cap which shuts securely with a click, but it's very easy to cap. What I mean by this is that it's very easy and effortless to cap the pen. Also, when go to take the cap off, it's very easy to take off. It slides off like butter without any resistance. Also, the clicking sound that the cap makes when you cap the pen is very minimal. It doesn't take much strength to cap or to uncap the pen like it does with the all 10k gold one that I've owned now for about a year. The all gold one has better resistance and it takes more pulling power force to take the cap off the barrel. Also, it takes more force to cap the pen cap back on the pen and the clicking sound is louder when capping the pen. But on "both" black lacquer Century II rollerball pens, the cap comes off like butter with very little pulling force and it doesn't have very much resistance like the all gold one when capping or uncapping the pen. I don't know whether or not the plastic sleeve material that's inside the cap on the 2 black lacquer Century II rollerball pens that I own is thinner than the plastic sleeve material that's inside the cap on the all gold Century II rollerball making the capping and uncapping of the black lacquer Century II to have less of a clicking sound when capping the pen and to feel so buttery when uncapping it. What could be causing this difference in feel when capping and uncapping the 2 black lacquer Century II rollerball pens?
I believe that Cross has cheapened the materials and the tolerances on the Chinese made high end Cross Century II rollerball pens. This is a quality control issue for the Chinese made Cross Century II rollerball pens to have differences in feel when capping and uncapping the pen. I would love to find out if there are more people in here who own the Century II rollerball in black lacquer who are are also having this same issue with the cap on their pen being so easy to cap and uncap like butter just like the 2 that I own.

Edited by Donald2, 11 November 2017 - 04:48.







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