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Cross Century Classic Review

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13 replies to this topic

#1 rochester21


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Posted 06 January 2013 - 16:46

This is the review of my Christmas gift(to myself), a Cross century classic which, from what I have read, is the slimmer version of the current cross century- I assume that it is the classic version because it was originally bought in 1990 and it is USA-made.

1. Appearance and finish 3.5/5. The century I is not a very impressive-looking pen. It is slender, with a simple but distinctive clip and a chrome finish and small parallell grooves along the body. The nib is plain looking.
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2. Construction and size 4/5. The cap and barrel are made from thin metal, the section has metal threads- which I like. The pen is sturdy enough, even if it is a slim pen- 13 cm closed, 0.8 cm in diameter. The barrel has the tendency to unscrew by itself, the clip is a bit flexy, so very useable. Having more than 12 cm in length, this pen can be used unposted, but it posts very well and the balance is just right, so I use it this way.
I have medium sized hands and I have no problem using this slender pen, it feels right in my hand.

3. Nib and writing 4.5/5. The lady who sold me this pen on ebay described the pen as having a 18k nib, but it is actually just a plain steel nib with goldplate. Fortunately for me, the cross century classic writes better than it looks.
Mine has a fine nib that actually writes like a fine- 0.5 cm. There are no variations in the line width and the ink flow is good, puts down a nice, consistent line. There is very little drag,and due to the nib size it does give some feedback, but it doesn`t feel toothy and I enjoyed using it from the beginning. The nib is definitely the high point of the pen.
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4. Filling system and price 4/5. The pen uses personalised cross cartridges(which i`m not very fond of, they are small and have something like a pyramidal shape) and also comes with a twist converter. I paid 40 usd shipping included for the pen.
At first I was disappointed to see that the nib is not gold, as described, but rather steel. Still, I got a full package, including the original 1990 receipt and the pen really writes well, so the price was actually decent for a lightly-used pen.

5. Final considerations. This classic century is my first pen from cross, and I have to say that i`m pleased with this purchase. It`s a pen that rests good in the hand and is a good writer. I even like the big gray box with faux leather and chrome trim it comes in.
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Edited by rochester21, 06 January 2013 - 17:19.

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#2 watch_art


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Posted 07 January 2013 - 02:25

For some reason I've been really wanting a skinny Cross like this - I think this review is going to motivate me to start looking.

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#3 penmanila



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Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:05

i just sold a friend the 10K GF version of this yesterday, for $50. it had the smoothest F nib i've ever handled on a pen. i hope he got a good deal! (i marked this as coming from the 1980s, but that was just a guess.)

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#4 JonDoh



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Posted 07 January 2013 - 14:13

I have a 1986 version of this pen in matte black with a medium point. My nib says it is 14K gold. Although it not a very attractive pen or nib, it is one of the smoothest, if not the smoothest writer I have. It's like moving a stick of melting butter on a teflon pan.
It's not what you look at, but what you see when you look.
Henry David Thoreau

#5 max dog

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 20:11

The slim clean lines of this pen is it's appeal for me, and mated to such a smooth nib, it is surprisingly very comfortable to write with. Pilot produced the nibs for Cross on these pens back then. I love my matte black one. For the $20 to $50 range these can be had, it's hard to beat given the quality and performance you are getting, plus the fact they are getting kinda of vintage is a bonus.

Edited by max dog, 13 January 2013 - 20:12.

#6 Mighty_Pir



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Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:14

Love it. I had one in matt black with a M nib that I used through out my time in college. Unfortunately I hung my suit jacket and someone managed to relieve me of it...I now always keep my FPs in my shirt pocket where I can see/feel them!!!

Cross made a big mistake in changing the style for the next model. The Century II is not as elegant or nice to write with as the original. Its quite difficult to locate the older model (at least where I am), but I believe the inspiration for this was the original Parker 75, which is also a favorite FP of mine.
I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all...

#7 basterma


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Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:48

I have a Townsend and it is a great smooth writer. The looks are understated, but that is Cross' niche. Functional elegant and simple pens that work really well. The downside is the low ink capacity of their cartridges and converters.

#8 Chrontius



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Posted 08 April 2013 - 05:27

The original Century is one of my favorite pens. It also pairs excellently with the blue-black cartridge ink,* which provides quite a bit of lubricity to the tip, turning a great writing pen into an amazing writing pen. Subtle and understated are excellent ways to describe the pen, but I'd add "classy" to that list. I've got the entire set - rollerball, ballpoint, pencil, and fountain pen. A few ballpoints, actually, and the first and second pencil revisions; the third one is a pencil drop-in cartridge for the standard ballpoint. Not much fun in that, but I really should pick one up for completeness' sake. The first kind of pencil, the continuous-twist kind, rather than the newer "twist to click" style action, is quite pleasant to use, silent, and just feels better in the hand.

For a generation raised on Bics, it's also just the right size.

*(I'm pretty sure I have it on good authority that's Waterman blue-black in those cartridges)

#9 penrivers



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Posted 08 April 2013 - 17:57

A legend, I have one, and the century ll, that in a esence is the classic l without the problem of loosing and rotative nib neck, it still easily combines with the ball point and mechanical pencil of the II (if the color is the same).

#10 pajaro


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Posted 08 April 2013 - 19:06

I have several of these. My 10K gold filled one has a 14K fine nib and is very nice. I also have chrome and matte black pens with gold-plated steel medium and fine nibs, All very nice, and I have had them since 1980 to 1982, as the models appeared in stores. I use the converters. One of these days I would like to buy one in sterling. Originally the 10K pen cost $80 in 1980. The others with gold plated nibs were $29.99 in stores.

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#11 Eduardo



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Posted 20 June 2013 - 19:34

I have one of these... My Century is the famous British Aerospace Concorde gift...

Look at my horse, my horse is amazing!!!

#12 Leftytoo



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Posted 11 July 2013 - 06:46

I have a Century II lacquer finish with gold nib - made in Ireland. I was not expecting to like it much - all my collection are resin, celluloid, ebonite and urushi; I just wanted one metal pen for variety. But this has turned out to be far beyond my expectations. The fit and finish are perfect. The nib is great, and always moist and ready to go. This, I think, because the cap has a tight nylon liner. The lacquer is a deep mottled blue that makes you stare at it. The only thing comparable as "eye candy"  is my urushi.


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#13 bone215



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Posted 15 July 2013 - 02:41

I have had the gold version for 20 years. It is a medium nib and it is very smooth. Every part functions as it should, nothing is loose. I also think the pens are classy and understated.

Be Happy, work at it. Namaste

#14 brownargus


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Posted 17 November 2013 - 22:01

I have the grey bodied version - only one I could afford at the time I bought it in the early 1980s. While it is a bit on the slender side, it is comfortable to use and I would echo others' comments - the nib which is 14K gold plated steel is just about the smoothest of any pen I have. Also the flow is good and the medium nib is on the fine side of medium, which suits me fine. Wish I had one with a more prestigious body. I have a Century II Medalist but the writing experience isn't as good. The nibs I have, medium and fine, aren't anywhere near as smooth though the flow is good.
Favourite pens in my collection (in alpha order): Caran d'Ache Ecridor Chevron F and Leman Black/Silver F; Parker 51 Aerometric M and F; Parker 61 Insignia M, Parker Duofold Senior F; Platinum #3776 Century M; Sailor 1911 Black/Gold 21 Kt M; Sheaffer Crest Palladium M/F; Sheaffer Prelude Silver/Palladium Snakeskin Pattern F; Waterman Carene Deluxe Silver F

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