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Cross Solo M (black trim)


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Taurean

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 22:06

I came across an NOS Cross Solo in my favourite store and had to have it immediately, considering the consistent appreciation and praise showered upon it here at FPN. However, I could find only a single review in the index and felt that it deserves more.
I was quite impressed with the look of the Solo, never having seen it in person before. It has an understated, elegant design which I find very attractive. Its the early Solo, with black trims, this one's in a purple colour.

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Appearance and Design the styling of the Solo is understated, conservative and elegant. Despite the fact that this was a lower end product in the line, Cross designers have evidently put substantial thought into the design details of the Solo.
It has a classic streamlined profile, being widest at the intersection of the section and barrel, tapering away subtly toward the top and bottom.

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The streamlined design vaguely reminds of the legendary Parker 45.
If there was such a thing as the award for the most reliable, affordable workhorse, these 2 pens would be strong contenders in my opinion.

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Construction and Quality the Solo is made of plastic, but feels quite solid nonetheless.
The cap screws in/out smoothly and posts with a click. No manufacturing flaws or imperfections to talk about.

Weight and dimensions being an all-plastic pen, the Solo is clearly on the light side of the spectrum. It does not feel flimsy, however.
The section has a generous girth. The balance is great, posted or unposted.

It measures approx. 5.5" capped, extending to almost 6" posted.


Nib and Performance from what I have gathered, the nibs on the Solo were made by Namiki. Needless to say, they've done an immaculate job.
The medium nib on this one is very smooth, the line width being somewhat narrower than a conventional western medium.
The line width matches closely with my fine-nibbed Safari.

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Filling system and Maintenance It came with a proprietary Cross converter. The twist action converter is smooth and holds a fair amount of ink. Convenient and easy to use.

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Cost and Value For a sub $40 pen, the Solo is one of the best value for money purchases out there in my opinion.
Despite being a recently discontinued model, they are not that easy to find, and thats not surprising. People do not want to part with them!

Conclusion The classic design, pleasing aesthetics and ergonomics, combined with the excellent writing characteristics and the affordable price make the Solo a complete winner. I would certainly want more of these, if I can find them.

Parker VS (rust)
Parker "51" aerometric (navy grey)
Sheaffer Snorkel Saratoga (burgundy)
Sheaffer Imperial IV Touchdown (green)

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#2 Brian

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 22:37

Nice review. Why not try contacting Cross directly to see if they can find retailers who might still have these. Good luck and thanks for a good review.

#3 shane27

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 23:57

Thanks for the review, these are great pens for the $!

#4 s_t_e_v_e

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 02:01

I have a couple of these. Great writers.
I prefer the Solo's nib to the Pelikan M200's.

#5 kdnavrat

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 02:03

I recently came across one of these and received it last week - bought a converter and am enjoying it at the moment - a great writer. Can't go wrong with it!
Kurt Navratil
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#6 cpsantillan

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 02:22

Great review,I love my solo :cloud9:
CPSC

#7 lovemy51

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 08:16

tho' i really like my Solo, can't say i wanna have it in your color!! ;)

the Solo was my first FP i ever bought, back when Office Max had them in the late 90's. great pen!


PS. i also like your P45!! :happyberet:

#8 Ed Ronax

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 11:08

Nice review, thanks.
And how can this be, because he is the Kwisatz Haderach.


#9 Taurean

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 08:05

Nice review. Why not try contacting Cross directly to see if they can find retailers who might still have these. Good luck and thanks for a good review.


Thanks Brian. That is a good idea, although finding them in the wild, without any prior anticipation is somehow more exciting!

tho' i really like my Solo, can't say i wanna have it in your color!! ;)

the Solo was my first FP i ever bought, back when Office Max had them in the late 90's. great pen!


PS. i also like your P45!! :happyberet:


Actually the color is a darker and more subdued shade than what it looks like in the photographs, it isn't that bad :)
If I had a choice though, I would have picked up one of the green ones. And thanks, that P45 is one of my absolute favourites.

Parker VS (rust)
Parker "51" aerometric (navy grey)
Sheaffer Snorkel Saratoga (burgundy)
Sheaffer Imperial IV Touchdown (green)

#10 Esterfella

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 23:55

I was just given one of these by a friend and it writes quite well. Although the nib is gold in color, at the given price point this pen sold at, I suspect it is steel. Anyone know for sure?

My nib has a B on it, suggesting a broad, but it writes more like a medium, which would make sense if the nib was made by Namiki, as has been rumored.

Mine is maroon with gold trim and black end and fineal caps -- conservative, but nice.

This makes for a nice daily writer.

#11 Gloucesterman

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 01:21

A friend picked one up for $15.00 at the Cross (old) factory NOS sale in Rhode Island.

 

It's a simple green one with "gold" colored trim and nib. The nib is an extra fine and does write very nicely.

 

I am convinced that if you enjoy simple, good writing pens they are available at excellent prices if you are willing to shop around.


“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”


#12 Tweel

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 15:15

My Solo Sports and Radiances are still some of my favorite pens.

 

Although the nib is gold in color, at the given price point this pen sold at, I suspect it is steel. Anyone know for sure?

 

It's steel with 23k plating.


fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
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#13 Bookman

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 16:11

The smooth, reliable, beautifully gold-plated nib on the Cross Solo is far, far better than what one should expect at this price point.  I also like my other $15 pen, my Nemosine Singularity, but I wish it had a nib that looked and wrote like the Solo's.


I love the smell of fountain pen ink in the morning.

 

 

 


#14 Esterfella

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 04:05

My Solo Sports and Radiances are still some of my favorite pens.

 

 

It's steel with 23k plating.

Thanks for the info; no wonder it writes so smoothly!



#15 DanF

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 20:11

I got a hand full of these as NOS, and they are indeed a very good buy. You can still get  them here for $20.00, which is where I got mine, though they only have black or pink left, and fine nibs only.  They don't sell the proper converter - you will need the green colored converter that is friction fit, not the yellow screw on. The Fine is equivalent to a western extra fine.  Cross SOLO Fountain Pen

 

Dan


Edited by DanF, 20 June 2013 - 20:12.

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#16 ac12

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 23:18

Just a comment about tips.

My Lamy F nibs measures about the same as my 70s Parker M nibs.  .028 to .030 inch width.

So it depends which company you compare it to.

And I've been told that the later Parkers, when Parker moved to Europe, has a similar wider nib size vs. the American Parker nibs.

This nonstandardization makes comparing letter grades of nibs between manufacturers VERY difficult.


Edited by ac12, 28 October 2013 - 23:20.

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#17 Raymond3

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 15:31

The Solo was made in Japan, but I don't know which company actually made them.  The nib by Namiki is really excellent. My M nib Solo is really a smooth and expressive writer, with a very nice amount of flex. I really like the screw in cap, and the engineering of the post mechanism.  The cap snaps onto the pen when posting in a way that makes a very solid feeling connection. 

 

I bought about a dozen of the select tips for the office, but since I didn't use fountain pens at the office, only one of them for home.  Now I wish i had snagged more. 

 

Does anyone know where any of these might be purchased?

 

Thank you.



#18 pen2paper

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:40

I do have a few I squirreled away too, having given the bulk as gifts.

Totally overlooked as the fine, somewhat smaller, and very competent pen that is it.

As I recall, one or two still have converter, are in original box. Blue, and green as I recall. Gave away the red/burgundy, but since received a student gift of red ballpoint, so might be nice to trade for a burgundy color if one still exists in fine shape.

Give it some thought, perhaps a trade, which would need to be moved appropriately to trades, and or sales sections.

 

Edited to add these are the earlier, nicer Solo, with gold furniture, not the later Kultur with black accents, so that may factor in your decisions.


Edited by pen2paper, 22 August 2014 - 03:43.


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#19 stacybean

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 04:00

I have a stash of these pens and usually have one in the pen case in my daypack. I find them to be consistent, reliable and smooth writers. Enjoy yours!

#20 succubus

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 17:57

I just got a few NOS in lime (XF), black (F), and white (B ) and I'm surprised how much I like them.  I really don't look at Cross pens anymore, but these are perfect for EDC and journaling use.  For $13, it's well worth it. 


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