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A Cross Century?

cross century

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20 replies to this topic

#1 cchiu10

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 06:01

Hey guys, so I picked this up at a flea market that happened to be right next to my track meet. It caught my eye, and it was selling for 20, but I negotiated 15 for it. It's obvious that it's a Cross pen, but what model is it? From what I've inferred it seems to be a Century, but it also looks a little different. Is it like a different year model than the current one or something?

Most importantly, for fifteen dollars, was it with the buy?

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Edited by cchiu10, 18 May 2014 - 06:02.


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#2 Jerome Tarshis

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 07:11

Looks a little different from what? The pen now being sold as the Cross Century is more than a little different from the pen you bought. It's a lot different. As is also true of today's Aurora 88 by comparison with the original Aurora 88.

 

You've got one of the original Century FPs. I think it's better than the current product. Certainly more practical, in that the older pen takes a converter (which may have come in the box) and the newer pen, much thinner, is too thin to take a converter.

 

For $15 you have gotten good value for money, assuming that there's nothing grossly wrong with the pen. See if it writes. They were really good pens.



#3 The Blue Knight

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 08:14

Looks a little different from what? The pen now being sold as the Cross Century is more than a little different from the pen you bought. It's a lot different. As is also true of today's Aurora 88 by comparison with the original Aurora 88.

 

You've got one of the original Century FPs. I think it's better than the current product. Certainly more practical, in that the older pen takes a converter (which may have come in the box) and the newer pen, much thinner, is too thin to take a converter.

 

For $15 you have gotten good value for money, assuming that there's nothing grossly wrong with the pen. See if it writes. They were really good pens.

 

The OP is right. Your probably thinking of the century I

 

The pen goes by the name cross century Classic.

http://www.penclassi.../cross-classic/



#4 Jerome Tarshis

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 08:34

I was thinking of a Century I because the picture is of a Century I. So, then, what is the pen that this looks different from? A Century I with a 14K gold nib, which would indeed look different from the gold-plated steel nib in the picture? A Century I with rolled-gold or chrome finish, which would also look different? A Century II? Some other Cross FP? Lots of Cross pens don't look like the one in the picture, with greater or lesser differences.

 

The pen currently sold as the Century is, as I said, *very* different from the Century I. It resembles the Spire. But the OP may not have been thinking of that pen. In any event, I endorse the purchase. $15 is a good deal.

 

P.S.  As for the idea of a different year, yes, that is exactly right. The Century in the photograph belongs to a product line first sold in the middle 1980s and long discontinued in favor of the Century II. Last year Cross introduced something also called a Classic Century, although it is a far different pen.


Edited by Jerome Tarshis, 18 May 2014 - 08:40.


#5 Algester

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 13:49

ahh I also assume this is the very first fountain pen I have ever used elementary grade 4 I found it with the nib already beyond hope (broken and ignorant but hey it was the age before the internet and I was young back then) I was thinking if I could ever find one and buy it... for nostalgia's sake

#6 cchiu10

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 18:11

Looks a little different from what? The pen now being sold as the Cross Century is more than a little different from the pen you bought. It's a lot different. As is also true of today's Aurora 88 by comparison with the original Aurora 88.
 
You've got one of the original Century FPs. I think it's better than the current product. Certainly more practical, in that the older pen takes a converter (which may have come in the box) and the newer pen, much thinner, is too thin to take a converter.
 
For $15 you have gotten good value for money, assuming that there's nothing grossly wrong with the pen. See if it writes. They were really good pens.


I probably should've clarified, I meant looked different from a Century II, which I thought this was.

#7 penrivers

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 19:24

Lucky you, the nib says all, Century Classic.



#8 ac12

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 01:55

You have the Cross Century, AKA (Also Known As) "original" Century or Century I.

 

The current pen, the Classic Century is a completely different pen, and is based on the Spire series.  It is smaller in diameter than the Century fountain pen.  I think the reason it is called Classic Century is that it's size is similar to the Century BALL POINT pen, not the fountain pen.

 

The progression of the Century pens is as follows

  1. Century
  2. Century II,  a larger pen for people wanting a pen larger than the Century
  3. Classic Century

BTW, it is a good thing that you have a M nib.  The nibs on the Cross Century pens run small. The M is a bit bigger than a Lamy XF, and the F if like a XXF.  I normally write with a F nib, and the Cross F is too fine for me for general use.  The F is best on smooth hard paper, where the small tip won't bump and snag on the surface of the paper.


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#9 Jerome Tarshis

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 07:40

It does my heart good to learn that ac12, who likes to write with fine nibs, considers the Century's fine nib too fine for ordinary use. I have been keeping my own similar opinion hidden from the world, fearing that people would consider me a nut case. Around here there is such a yearning for needle points.

 

I do write with some other pens that have fine nibs, and with an Aurora pen whose medium nib is widely thought equivalent to a fine, but the one Century F nib I own doesn't see much use. It's far from impossible to write with. I once sold such a pen back to the FPN member I'd bought it from, because he lamented on FPN that he was sorry he'd sold the pen. Someone in Mississippi is enjoying that F nib, unless he's changed his mind. I on the other hand am with ac12 in preferring the medium nibs of the Century. Also a not-too-broad B nib in one of my examples.



#10 pajaro

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 14:29

There's enough nomenclature going around here to make your head spin.

 

I have a pen exactly like the pen in the picture, minus logo.  Black Century fountain pen, gold plated steel nib.  Bought around 1981 for about $29.95.  I place it in time because a couple of years later, 1983, I bought my first Montblanc.  I remember that by the computer system conversion I was doing at the time.


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#11 ac12

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 16:02

It does my heart good to learn that ac12, who likes to write with fine nibs, considers the Century's fine nib too fine for ordinary use. I have been keeping my own similar opinion hidden from the world, fearing that people would consider me a nut case. Around here there is such a yearning for needle points.

 

I do write with some other pens that have fine nibs, and with an Aurora pen whose medium nib is widely thought equivalent to a fine, but the one Century F nib I own doesn't see much use. It's far from impossible to write with. I once sold such a pen back to the FPN member I'd bought it from, because he lamented on FPN that he was sorry he'd sold the pen. Someone in Mississippi is enjoying that F nib, unless he's changed his mind. I on the other hand am with ac12 in preferring the medium nibs of the Century. Also a not-too-broad B nib in one of my examples.

 

The problem with XF nibs is that most of the paper I have are not hard and smooth enough to write decently with it.

I like my pen to feel smooth as I write, so with a XF nib (which I feel the Cross F is like) I feel the paper texture much more so than with a wider nib.  And it irritates the heck out of me to feel that texture coming back up the pen.  If I could afford to only write on Clairfontaine or Rhodia paper then it would not be a problem, but real world finances have a way of getting in the way.  OK so I'm cheap also.

 

I could never write with one of my mothers pens, and I figured it out a couple years ago.  It has an accountants fine nib.  That is like an XXF nib.  It was meant to write on hard smooth ledger paper.  On ordinary ruled paper, it scratches and snags...badly.


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#12 pajaro

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 16:38

 

The problem with XF nibs is that most of the paper I have are not hard and smooth enough to write decently with it.

I like my pen to feel smooth as I write, so with a XF nib (which I feel the Cross F is like) I feel the paper texture much more so than with a wider nib.  And it irritates the heck out of me to feel that texture coming back up the pen.  If I could afford to only write on Clairfontaine or Rhodia paper then it would not be a problem, but real world finances have a way of getting in the way.  OK so I'm cheap also.

 

I could never write with one of my mothers pens, and I figured it out a couple years ago.  It has an accountants fine nib.  That is like an XXF nib.  It was meant to write on hard smooth ledger paper.  On ordinary ruled paper, it scratches and snags...badly.

 

There you have two individual tastes.  I find most of the Cross medium and fine nibs to be too wide and flow too much ink.  This seems to extend through the original Cross Century through most of what they market today.  The original Century fine 14K nib was OK, so I kept that pen in use.  I have never found a Cross XF pen, but I know they are out there.  The Solo medium and fine actually are sort of good for me.  Somehow I can use the Townsend medium.  The problem is the junk paper in wide use today for cost savings.  With wider or wetter nibs the ink bleeds through or feathers.

 

In practice I don't use the Cross pens very much.  My Parker 51 fine and Waterman fine nibs are more pleasant, and the Montblanc fine is about as good for my purposes.  The Century, ATX, Solo, Radiance and Townsend pens are very nice pens, but the nibs are usually too wide, even though all feel smooth used with a light touch. 


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#13 dr saleem ali

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 19:21

you a got a wonderful pen .on the cap ,it has some monogram or attribute to somebody for appreciation ,it has got a converter as well. congrats , its a lucky find! enjoy writing with it !



#14 highlander1307

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 00:04

You have a treasure.  I have been trying to come up with one of these such as yours for several years.  Have the ballpoint and rolling ball.  Have several sets in gold.  Some in solid sterling.  They are now very collectible.  The nibs are as good as any in their respective classes.  



#15 penrivers

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 08:05

Iam guessing, so you can kill me, but I supost that the name classic century in the latest version derives from the clamor of the public and the inmense prestige of the first

Century Classic from the eighties and this is the one and only for me, I never confuse them cause own the l and ll  versions.



#16 max dog

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 06:10

I have the same first generation (I like to call it) matte black Century fountain pen with fine gold plated steel nib that I restored with a lot of TLC.  I think the previous owner left a cartridge in it since the 1980s as the nib was completely clogged with ink that turned to powder. 

 

My taste in nibs lately has gone towards a preference for wetter and broader lines, and so I really like the way this pen writes.  The fine nib is very smooth, much smoother than the Century II steel nibs, and has a soft feel, although there is not much line variation in the steel nib.  It's a very pleasant writer. 

 

You did very well in your find, as this is a classic pen, and except for a short foray into fountain pens in the 1930's, the first modern fountain pen produced by Cross starting in the 1980s. BTW, Cross had pilot make the nibs for the Century, hence the high quality nib.


Edited by max dog, 24 May 2014 - 06:15.


#17 penrivers

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 11:57

What I still dont understand is that if Cross wish the revival of the name Century Classic, they could do the same design of the eighties with improved technology 30 years later to avoid the problem of the shaking wobble nibs.



#18 Jerome Tarshis

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 18:14

If Cross desired to sell the original Classic Century without the wobbling-nib problem, it would have solved the wobbling-nib problem (if it knew how) and manufactured the pen. Not so.

 

Cross evidently wanted to offer a pen with a name that has some built-in attraction. Not the same pen.

 

This is not unique to Cross. The Aurora 88, designed by Nizzoli, was a very salable pen for Aurora, a hooded-nib pen offered at a time when the Parker 51 was a market leader. When Aurora began selling a pen called the 88 many years later, it was not anything like a hooded-nib pen designed by Nizzoli. It was called the 88, but it was a different pen, with an open nib.

 

What annoys me most about this re-release is that Aurora's advertising, at least in English, says that the pen is "virtually identical" to the original. It is not. It is diametrically opposed to the original. No hooded nib, no Nizzoli design, not an 88 except in the advertising mind. (I own one of the newer 88s with the open nib. It writes pleasantly. No sane human being would suggest that this pen is better than the Parker 51, as quite a few people believe of the original 88.)

 

Syd Saperstein is presumably a nice man and not malicious, but when he revived the Eversharp Skyline as a c/c pen he did the same thing. I used to write with the other kind, so I'd be the last to buy a c/c version out of a sense of nostalgia. Others disagree.

 

One can easily multiply examples. What Parker now calls a Duofold fountain pen bears no functional resemblance to the pen it sold so successfully during the 1920s. The model name seems to be worth money to Parker. Manufacturing the pen itself, no.

 

Revive the model name, not the pen, is the principle here. It is easy to understand.



#19 penrivers

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 19:58

Thanks Jerome,  as always wise and with a very good English. Greetings from México.



#20 RMN

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 11:08

If Cross desired to sell the original Classic Century without the wobbling-nib problem, it would have solved the wobbling-nib problem (if it knew how) and manufactured the pen. Not so.

 

Cross evidently wanted to offer a pen with a name that has some built-in attraction. Not the same pen.

 

This is not unique to Cross. The Aurora 88, designed by Nizzoli, was a very salable pen for Aurora, a hooded-nib pen offered at a time when the Parker 51 was a market leader. When Aurora began selling a pen called the 88 many years later, it was not anything like a hooded-nib pen designed by Nizzoli. It was called the 88, but it was a different pen, with an open nib.

 

What annoys me most about this re-release is that Aurora's advertising, at least in English, says that the pen is "virtually identical" to the original. It is not. It is diametrically opposed to the original. No hooded nib, no Nizzoli design, not an 88 except in the advertising mind. (I own one of the newer 88s with the open nib. It writes pleasantly. No sane human being would suggest that this pen is better than the Parker 51, as quite a few people believe of the original 88.)

 

Syd Saperstein is presumably a nice man and not malicious, but when he revived the Eversharp Skyline as a c/c pen he did the same thing. I used to write with the other kind, so I'd be the last to buy a c/c version out of a sense of nostalgia. Others disagree.

 

One can easily multiply examples. What Parker now calls a Duofold fountain pen bears no functional resemblance to the pen it sold so successfully during the 1920s. The model name seems to be worth money to Parker. Manufacturing the pen itself, no.

 

Revive the model name, not the pen, is the principle here. It is easy to understand.

Same happens with cars, and there few seem to complain.....

 

D.ick


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