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Cross Chrome Apogee


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#1 kamebard

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 15:38

INTRODUCTION: I’ve been a Cross man for a very long time. Not that I am upset or anything, but my experience with Cross is that they are great, long lasting pens – excellent for daily use and on the go travel – stylish, durable, and great pocket pens. My first Cross fountain pen was a gift for my Junior high graduation long, long ago, and since then I’ve kept myself going with the Cross tradition. My most recent Cross pen (Steel Nib M) has lasted me for the past several years. After receiving the latest FPH catalogue, my eyes were drawn to the new Apogee Chrome. I’ve always been a silver or gold metallic pocket pen man, and after giving it some thought and research, I decided to make the plunge and pick up the new Apogee Chrome pen (18k F nib rhodium plated).Unlike the other pens in my collection in this price range ($200-$500), I am always disappointed at Cross with their cheaply made boxes. Ever since they moved to the Chinese manufacturing base, I’ve never really been happy with the brown cardboard box it comes in. After receiving the pen in the mail from FPH, I immediately inked it up with some Aurora Black and started writing. The first thing I noticed when writing is this pen sings – literally. It writes extremely smooth, and it has this melodic singing it produces as the pen vibrates the nib floating across the paper. The result is this enchanting tune being produced as you immerse yourself in the writing.

Posted Image
New Nib (top) Old Nib (bottom) by kenpodragon, on Flickr

Appearance & Design (8) – It is a shiny metal pen (Chrome weave design) with a special touch of distinction and elegance. Sticking this in your pocket gives you an air of sophistication without the trappings of snobbery. When you take this out in a board meeting and start writing, eyes are on you for your style and grace. Everyone knows cross, and it feels like a familiar pen, giving you just enough of a touch of refinement without setting yourself too far apart. It’s a great daily use pen without appearing like a special occasion. Even the nib itself, (silver in appearance), matches this muted sophistication – it’s not gold or two color and therefore doesn’t appear to be too austentatious.

Posted Image
Untitled by kenpodragon, on Flickr

Construction & Quality (9) – This is a very solid pen. It has a nice weighty feel and all the components feel securely attached. Unlike some metal pens (Porche tech flex, FC Anello, Cross spire), this pen feels like you’re holding a solid chunk of metal and not some coated plastic. The only complaint I have with this pen, as others have mentioned, is the spring clip which takes a little getting used to. Once clipped, however, it forms a solid clasp on your pocket meaning no more bathroom accidents. Because of the construction and the mesh design on the outside, I’m not as worried about throwing this pen around as I was the previous pen with the smooth finish. After years of use, it has a good amount of wear, scratches, and smudges. I’m sure that after another couple years of use, this pen should look almost as good as the day I got it.

Posted Image
New Pen (top) Old Pen (Bottom) by kenpodragon, on Flickr

Weight & Dimensions (9) – I love heavy, solid pens, and this one definitely gives me the feeling I am looking for. This has the nice feel of a solid, beefy pen without the thickness of an Omas paragon. It works very well with my moderately sized hands (not tiny and not large, but bigger than average), and writing with it either posted or unposted feels comfortable. Writing all day long with this pen is a pleasure, and because of the weightiness of the pen, I need hardly an pressure on the pen to write.

Nib & Performance (10) – This is an absolutely beautiful nib that came with a pleasant surprise. It’s a F sized nib 18kt with rhodium plating, a bit smaller than the ones I prefer, but what it loses in size, it makes up in performance. It is an extremely smooth writing experience and the Aurora ink just flows out of it perfectly. When applying little pressure, I am able to get very fine lines, and with a little added pressure I actually see some like variation to the tune of medium plus. Flexing and flexing with this nib leave it in good shape and no railroading was apparent during the abuse tests. I would say that it is a moderately wet pen, but unlike other wet writers, no amount of shaking would cause dripping or spilling. The other surprise from the pen was the sound it makes when gliding over the paper. It is an indescribable singing that it makes and really adds a good amount of character and depth to the pen. I might have gotten lucky and found myself an enchanted pen, or this might be something standard with the Apogee model.

Posted Image
Untitled by kenpodragon, on Flickr

Filling System & Maintenance (9) – It uses your standard cross converter cartridges, nothing special to see here. Filling it up from an ink well gives you the usual precautions.

Cost & Value (10) – MSRP for this pen is $210. A great every day worker pen. Something you’re not afraid to bang around or even loose, with great performance characteristics. I got this pen at FPH and think I got a great deal on the pen for the cost I paid. Considering how long and reliable my previous Cross pens have been, I am looking forward to a great experience with the pen. With its excellent writing characteristics, beautiful looks, and fantastic durability, you can’t really go wrong for a daily use pen than this.

Conclusion (55/60 {91%}) – This is a fantastic daily use pen. Strong. Durable. Reliable and a beautiful writer. With an elegant design that leaves others asking about your pen, but with enough familiarity and muted design elements to not be a target for the office pen thieves. Classy but a workhorse with enough fluidity and grace to carry to business meetings. It does come with the added melodic benefit of having a flexible enough nib to allow for F->M line variations, and with wonderful flow and seal, not giving me any problems on long airplane rides. Aside from the spring loaded pocket clip which has taken some getting used to (and small fear on my part this will break), it is an excellent overall pen and has my seal of approval/recommendation.

Edited by kamebard, 16 March 2012 - 15:43.


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#2 pmsalty

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:35

I've had my Chrome Apogee for several years (a Christmas gift from my grandsons), and it too sings! An interesting phenomenon.
PMS
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#3 breaker

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 05:46

nice review!
thanks!
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#4 aawhite

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 07:43

My nib sang, too. The nib was very smooth but it was too noisy for my taste; so I decided to do something about it.

What I did was to "slightly roughen" the tip to give it some feedback and throw off the nib resonance. I passed it through micromesh 6000 then 8000.

Now, it has a very small feedback but no more singing.

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


#5 akrishna59

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 10:30

great looking pen and matter of fact review. cross has its own characteristic design which is impossible to miss. that pattern on the pen is really nice and one would assume that it costs much more than it actually does. and cross has been around for quite a while and will go on and on. i feel that almost 50% of all the pens given as gifts in the world are cross pens. in india cross pens are the first pens that come to mind when we think of giving an imported pen as a gift along with parker, but with parker making low end models in india, the glitz still remains with cross.

enjoy your pen.

rgds.

krishna.

Edited by akrishna59, 17 March 2012 - 10:34.

ladies and gentlemen write with fountain pens only.

#6 Bill Wood

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 04:15

Great review .. Thanks. Never met a cross nib I did not like.

#7 Florida Blue

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 04:40

I also have an Apogee in the chrome guilloche finish. It's a great pen!

I've never thought of the nib as "singing" before but it does make a noise. A kind of vibrating, buzzy sound when you write with it. I think this is do to the fact that the nib is very soft and springy and the tines easily spread out some with a little bit of pressure.

I fantastic nib though.
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#8 79spitfire

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 04:43

What tune does it sing?

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#9 Drone

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:55

I have a polished chrome Apogee rollerball. The cap will not stay posted no matter what. It has been back to Cross already and came back with exactly the same problem. Is the fountain pen this way too?

#10 kamebard

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:32

I have a polished chrome Apogee rollerball. The cap will not stay posted no matter what. It has been back to Cross already and came back with exactly the same problem. Is the fountain pen this way too?


The cap hasn't given me any issues posting on the pen thus far. The only issue with the cap is the clip being a bit of a trick to get used to.

#11 jalison

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 06:29

I know the title of this thread is "Chrome Apogee..." I just ordered tonight a Cross Sterling Silver Apogee, gold trim, on the Cross website, summer sale, for $125.00 (plus tax and shipping of course)- Fine nib was the only choice which I am happy with- I'm looking forward to this- I like the Chrome Apogee I have just fine, except that the cap also doesn't stay posted very well. I see a rollerball user Drone mentioning this too. I'm hoping the sterling pen might have better friction.

#12 jameswatts

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 14:02

I have the Apogee in the Sable Brown, with a standard medium Cross nib, and it is a most comfortable and reliable pen. Which has been my experience with all the Cross pens I've owned.

#13 lowks

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 17:28

I got the brown herringbone design and I can't stop oogling over the pen even after so long (> 3 months). My nib sings too.








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