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Cross Atx Medalist
Posted 08 January 2011 - 15:08
1. First Impressions
The pen comes in a regular Cross brown cardboard box (I make it sound really bad, but it actually looks decent). You pull the box open like a drawer and inside there is a warranty, Cross black cartridge, and a funky sheet with a bunch of "lifestyle" pictures on it. The pen looks great, and contrasts perfectly with the dark box. 7/10
The pen is quite large(5.5 inches long), but is pretty slim for it's size. The shiny chrome grip is surprisingly not slippery, and in fact, provides more grip(in long writing periods) than my Grandfather's Parker Sonnet Refresh (plastic grip). Though the grip is good, the pen is a bit uncomfortable in my medium hands and is heavy. Another problem is the cap, which has a very bendy clip. When you try to uncap the pen, nothing happens, because the seam is so tight. When you finally do get it open, ink droplets splatter everywhere. Cross should have thought more about the functionality of the pen when designing it. 4/10
3. Nib and Writing Experience
The nib is single tone silver plating. It is steel, but delivers a surprisingly flexible writing experience. The nib is a very wet writer, and often bleeds through regular paper. The medium is thick for a medium, but isn't really a problem.
The nib delivers excellent writing quality for the value. 8/10
4. Filling System
The pen takes regular Cross Cartridges or a orange tinted piston converter. The cartridges are often not very full, and the colors are limited. The converter fills up about 3/4 or 2/3 of the way, but my parker converter always fills full. The converter is also screw in, which makes is less susceptible to fall out of the pen. 5/10
In all, the pen delivers a good nib at a good price, but sadly, the design limits it to people with large hands that don't use their pens every day. The presentation is OK, but the cons outweigh the pros. 24/40
Latin teacher at my school
Wanted to Buy:Parker Vaccumatic (good barrel color)in Golden Brown or Blue for $95 (M-F nib)
Pelikan m300 USER in green (F-M nib)for around $100
Posted 08 February 2011 - 03:57
I've thus given up on Cross. They seem to be pretty widely marketed/distributed and thus easy to find but I can no longer be bothered with them.
Posted 10 February 2011 - 13:28
Shotokan Karate: Respect, Etiquette, Discipline, Perseverance
Posted 19 March 2011 - 10:40
Alas, the gold-tone on this ATX fountain pen won't match my all chrome ATX Pure Chrome rollerball. But there is a matching Medalist Ballpoint, but no roller. Also, IMO the chrome nib with the pen's gold-tone furniture unbalances the pen. Poor design choice, the nib should be gold or two-tone.
Edit: I did find matching fountain pens for what looks like all the ATX series pens, just not on the Cross Web Site. goldspot.com has them as of post-time.
While I'm here let me comment on a couple of things. First the cap. As the OP stated, when capped, the cap is firmly fitted. Therefore, I can how see ink-spatter incidents may occur if you uncap the pen in certain ways.
To remove the cap smoothly and easily, with one hand grasp the barrel of the pen in your palm and separate the cap with your thumb and forefinger by pushing up. The cap will slide off smoothly. Regarding the clip. My clip is a bit springy but is very robust. Extensive use of this pen in many a pocket has done no harm to the clip.
This pen is heavy, if you're loving light pens, stay away from this one. I have dropped my Pure Chrome roller several times, still no visible scratches - amazing for a slick shiny finish like this! My ATX Pure Chrome is a joy to fondle. Mechanically very well made... Except for one thing (oh-oh, here it coes):
The cap does not post very securely. When posting, even if I press the cap on securely, sometimes (not always mind-you) after a writing a bit, put the pen down, write a bit more, etc. - the cap loosens and/or falls off.
I think this is because the plastic sleeve in the cap has a tough time gripping the smooth highly polished tapered end of the pen.
This cap posting problem may not exist with the satin finish ATX version. But as far as the ATX Medalist Fountain Pen is concerned, it looks from the online photos that it too has a shiny finish, and therefore may suffer from the loose cap syndrome I describe.
Then again, maybe there's just something wrong with my particular pen (remember, a sample of one). But I don't think so. If I did, I'd send it back for service. I'm 99% sure this is a design issue, and so I just live with it.
The cap syndrome is not a deal killer for me, just a minor annoyance. The cap posts far enough down on the pen so that it is well balanced with or without posting - on my rollerball anyway.
My conclusion is that my Cross ATX is a very well made pen that has held up far better than I thought it would mechanically and is a pleasure to write with on a daily basis. At street prices ranging from around $50-$65 USD at post-time, this is excellent value for the money IMHO.
Edited by Drone, 19 March 2011 - 10:47.