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Cross C Series Champagne Fine FP Review


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#1 smerdiakov

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 16:22

Cross C Series Champagne Review


First Impressions

I initially saw this pen in my local pen store. The host told me that a new Cross pen had arrived, and I went to see it, without much enthusiasm. I saw it and became interested. As soon as I had it in my hand, I was hooked. It feels tough. After that initial encounter I went online to check if the pen had been reviewed, but there were no reviews. I found, however, many comments regarding the look of the pen, most of them negative. Needless to say, the comments did nothing to quench my obsession, so after two days of lusting I went in and bought it.

The packaging is nice. Even includes a Cross bag so that everyone on the mall can see you just bought a Cross pen. Not recommended if you sneak to buy pens while your significant other thinks you already know you have enough pens.



First Impressions - 8 / 10

Design

This is a heavy pen. With the converter filled it weighs about 50g, or 3 Lamy Safaris. I will try to sum up it's appearance in one sentence:

Mike Tyson with a suit, smiling, gold tooth and all.



That means it's an aggressive looking pen, very masculine, with just a hint of flash. It's not the face-tattooed Tyson of pens, nor the Joe Frazier funky looking pen. However, like I said, it has a hint of flash which you may not like. I would prefer the pen without the big letter branding, but that's just me. It has a spring loaded clip and a screw on cap.



The C Series is, supposedly, inspired by racing, industrial design, and turbo charged what-not. There is a slight hint of that (as you can see), but most people won't notice.

Design - 8 / 10

Nib, Performance & Value



This is where this pen shines. It has an 18K gold, rhodium plated, fine nib which writes very smoothly. Minimal nib creep. Someone else said here that you pay up to 150 for the nib, so if you accept that logic you are paying 10 bucks for the rest of the pen. I don't know if there is a newly released FP with an 18K gold, rhodium plated nib for less than $160 retail. Works great on Moleskine paper, though I still think the Lamy Safari Fine is better suited for the job.



Nib, Performance & Value - 9 / 10

Conclusion

Performance wise, you really can't expect more. This is a very good writer. Appearance wise, this pen is not for everyone. If you like traditional styling - and won't budge even for one pen - this pen is not for you. If you like lightweight pens, this pen is not for you. However, if you are looking for a great writer that's solidly built, and don't mind the aggressive / masculine styling, go for it.

Conclusion - 8.3 / 10

Edited by MYU, 24 April 2009 - 16:41.

That´s Paul Erdős on my avatar.
A man who symbolizes discipline.

English is not my first language, so please correct my mistakes, if you wish.

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#2 Professor

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 02:06

I was one of those who, back on March 7, tendered a relatively negative "first impression" on this pen based solely upon the pictures on the official Cross website. Specifically, I stated that the pen, "looks interesting but the images on the Cross website are not very clear," and that "I'd like to see an example before offering more than the knee-jerk reaction I had to the design." So, now that you've provided some wonderful photos - much MUCH better that those Cross posted on their own website - I've got a better idea of the real look of the pen. Also, thanks to your great review and observations, a better idea of the performance, as well, so thanks for that!

I originally felt that the pen - as shown on the Cross site - looked like a more masculine version of their Sauvage product. I see now that it is not as close to the Sauvage as it appeared on the company site. The look of the pen is, as you point out, not for everyone, and I'd say not for me, although it is unique and not exactly unattractive. I'd call it somewhat over the top to my eye but, as you also point out (quite rightly) it will appeal to many.

I'm very glad to hear that Cross has continued to produce high-quality instruments with high-quality nibs. Their reliability, solidity, and durability have always been legendary.

Great review of an interesting new product. Thanks!

Edited by Professor, 23 April 2009 - 02:16.


#3 Thornton

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 04:07

Wonderful review. I was initially turned off by the design of this pen, preferring the classic Cross designs. However, it has really grown on me and I especially like the way it looks capped. I've been eying the Monaco Blue model for some time now. I guess I'll have to go check it out at my local Paradise Pen. Pity they don't offer EF nibs there.
"Instant gratification takes too long."-Carrie Fisher

#4 Sharkle

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 05:00


Thanks for your great review and pictures, this is a handsome and very solid-looking pen! I read the name of the pen and then when I saw the pen I chuckled because I thought Champagne meant the color plus bubbles. But your pictures do make the pattern look more industrial but stylish. Very nice! thumbup.gif


#5 MYU

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 16:59

Thanks for the review and attractive photography. But I need to ask you to reduce your images. Most of them approach 1Mb in size. This may not be a problem for people with a high speed Internet connection, yet our membership is as diverse in Internet connection speeds as in countries.

We require photos to be no larger than ~300kb in file size and strongly suggest a maximum width of 800 pixels. Not all browsers (and versions) are capable of resizing images well and very wide images will cause horizontal scrolling. Thank you.

Edited by MYU, 23 April 2009 - 17:03.

[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small


#6 MYU

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 16:42

Thanks - the images look much better. smile.gif

[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small


#7 musorah

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 19:09

Thanks for the review. It looks a lot better in your pictures than on the Cross web site.

Rick

#8 smerdiakov

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 11:46

Update: Regarding Moleskine use with Noodler´s Black

Hello everyone. When I reviewed the pen I was using Lamy T-52 Black Ink and the C Series worked beautifully on Moleskine paper. The situation is very different with Noodler´s Black. When using Noodler´s Black on Moleskine paper, my C Series (fine) tends to skip intermitently when drawing lines that go from top to bottom (like with the letter ¨l¨). The problem only appears on Moleskine paper and not on cheap filler paper, where it continues to write smoothly. I flushed the pen to check again how the T-52 worked on Moleskine paper, and the skipping stopped. As always, ¨your mileage may vary¨, but just as a precaution, keep this in mind.

That´s Paul Erdős on my avatar.
A man who symbolizes discipline.

English is not my first language, so please correct my mistakes, if you wish.

#9 paul l

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 12:22

The Apogee is the highest quality fountain pen I have (subjectively if not objectively) and so I join the others in this thread in saying that the Cross C interests me after seeing your review and great photos.

I have one curiosity though, the photos suggest a poorly finished nib (to be more precise a sort of tarnishing around the breather hole on your last close-up photo). I can't believe Cross would send out a stunning industrial design with a bit of bling and pay less attention to the nib, particularly when an Apogee nib is of the same quality as the rest of the pen. Can I assume this is simply the way the light is falling on the Cross C nib?

Edited by paul l, 25 April 2009 - 12:24.

Parenting, coffee, music and food. Anything simple done with quality and passion really

#10 smerdiakov

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 14:37

QUOTE (paul l @ Apr 25 2009, 08:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The Apogee is the highest quality fountain pen I have (subjectively if not objectively) and so I join the others in this thread in saying that the Cross C interests me after seeing your review and great photos.

I have one curiosity though, the photos suggest a poorly finished nib (to be more precise a sort of tarnishing around the breather hole on your last close-up photo). I can't believe Cross would send out a stunning industrial design with a bit of bling and pay less attention to the nib, particularly when an Apogee nib is of the same quality as the rest of the pen. Can I assume this is simply the way the light is falling on the Cross C nib?


It wasn´t really tarnishing. Embarrasingly, it must have been the light plus my poor cleaning.
So yes, your assumption is right. Light and an imperfect flush on my behalft.

That´s Paul Erdős on my avatar.
A man who symbolizes discipline.

English is not my first language, so please correct my mistakes, if you wish.

#11 PrimoBob

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 21:43

I wasn't impressed by the pen's looks when I saw it Flax's Pen Fair in SF yesterday, but tried it out to be polite to the rep (he was very friendly, not pushy, and I was standing there taking up space, after all).


I didn't like the exterior, but when the rep took off the cap and handed the pen to me, I loved the material they use where your fingers wrap around the pen. A soft, not hard but not squishy. Nip wrote beautifully and w/ a 20% discount, I couldn't believe they were selling it for $130. I thought the rep was going to say it was over $300 at least. I loved the way it wrote so much I began to like the exterior. A very nice pen for the price.


I'm glad he handed me the pen cause I would never have asked to see it based solely on its looks. Too bad there weren't any in stock, now I have to wait for my pen to come in...oh well.



Gracias,

Bob


Knowledge is a polite word for dead but not buried imagination.
e. e. cummings

#12 irishteamer

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 17:27

Thanks for the review. I wrote with this pen (in matte black) in Dublin over the weekend and was quite impressed with the large size, the weight, the feel in my hand and the silky smooth 18 kt nib. And... I love the way it looks! Well done Cross. It's on my list!

#13 crosspens

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 12:22

Hey everyone.
I'm glad that you all have decided that the C-Series is a good design from Cross and i look forward to presenting many more in the future as soon as they are released



A.T. Cross Ltd EMEA
WWW.CROSS-PENS.EU

#14 Tareq

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 14:03

Is Cross C series Fountain pen made in Japan, China or USA?
Does it has a semi-flexible nib which I was told is sourced from Namiki ?

Edited by Tareq, 30 May 2012 - 02:35.


#15 breaker

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 15:25

nice review and pics!
thanks!
Cogito ergo sum

#16 eaturice

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:47

Is Cross C series Fountain pen made in Japan, China or USA?
Does it has a semi-flexible nib which I was told is sourced from Namiki ?


I got this pen from penboutique and it said on the box that it was made in China, same with other CROSS pen. I don't know if this is the case with the pen being reviewed here.

The first problem I found with this CROSS Series is that because of the twisted cap, when you close it a bit too tight, it will be hard to open the cap without having to twist open the lower part of the pen (where the ink cartridge is) first and then twist the cap open. Might have been better if the thread on the cap is in the opposite direction to the thread on the body, so it is easier to open and close the pen.

The clip on the cap was a bit loose, it felt flimsy.

Another problem I noticed on the nib on close inspection is that one side of the nib was a tad higher than the other side ( a fraction of a mill). Not sure if it had caused the nib to have a bit of nib creep to it when writing. (My Cross Century II Medalist writes a bit smoother than this Cross Series).

But for the appearance, it looked massive and felt good in the hand. I like the dented little dots on the pen.
Overall, I think this pen has a great design, only downside is the mechanical construction, which wasn't so perfect in my case.
8/10 for me.

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Edited by eaturice, 19 June 2012 - 11:52.


#17 RCC

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 12:03

So does the section have plastic or rubber on it? Or is it plastic?

Also, does anyone know if Namiki makes the nib?

Very nice and attractive price.






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