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Is Just My Imagination?

cross century classic china usa quality feel

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#1 gammada

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 14:07

Sometime in 1986 or '87 my father gave me a Cross Century Classic set as a gift (black/ gold finish; fountain pen, ballpoint and mechanical pencil). Shortly thereafter, the fountain pen was damaged after falling from my shirt pocket and was never repaired (parts got lost along the way).

As the years passed, I kept wanting to replace the pen with a similar one but for one reason or another, I never got to bought it back. Last week I finally went to a pen shop to look for it, but I came away empty handed and feeling sad for what was shown to me. A far cry from the great pen of my memories.

The black finish had almost the same texture, but the pen felt noticeably lighter. Also, the blind cap was a gold-colored contraption about an inch in length, that look cheap and also made the pen IMHO, look like a pirated version of the original (mine had just a gold button up there).

To make matters worst, I was told that Cross had moved their entire production to China, which kind of mooted the point of expending extra for the brand.

I still own the pen and pencil, and they definitely feel much more solid and of better quality than the "new" fountain pen.

Does anyone here has purchased this new version? How does it compare with a 30 year old model?

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#2 RMN

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 19:49

The Century of today has the same name but is not the same pen. And I do not think yours was a Century Classic, but a Century.

There have been several versions since then, Century II, Century Classic etc. These are different size, some even do not take a converter and need smaller sized cartridges.

 

I don't have the details ready, as I never had a Classic in any form myself ( too narrow for my tastes)

 

And if you send the pen to Cross they can't repair it for you and will swap ip for a current one.

 

So in this case Ebay, or the classifieds here, is your friend to get another one.

 

D.ick


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#3 ac12

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 21:03

I agree with RMN.  I think you have the "original" Century.

I got mine off eBay, and that is where you will have to look if you want a replacement fountain pen.  But you have to look at the pictures CAREFULLY.  Many listings are not labled correctly, and the only way to tell what the pen is, is to look at the picture.

 

The current Classic Century is using current technology and ideas to make a fountain pen similar in diameter to the original Century ball pen.

 

I have a Classic Century fountain pen.

It isn't bad.  But you have to like slimline pens.  I have not inked mine up yet, but will soon.

The main issue I have is that Cross did not make a converter for this pen, so I have to syringe fill the cartridge, if I want to use anything other than Cross ink, and I will want to use other inks.

Mine is chrome, so I cannot comment on the black pen. But I think the original Century black is just an epoxy paint.

 

Just to be sure, this is the Classic Century in black.

http://www.cross.com...untain-pen.aspx


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#4 gammada

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 22:09

And I do not think yours was a Century Classic, but a Century.
There have been several versions since then, Century II, Century Classic etc.
 
D.ick

  

I agree with RMN.  I think you have the "original" Century.
I got mine off eBay, and that is where you will have to look if you want a replacement fountain pen.  But you have to look at the pictures CAREFULLY.  Many listings are not labled correctly, and the only way to tell what the pen is, is to look at the picture.
 
The current Classic Century is using current technology and ideas to make a fountain pen similar in diameter to the original Century ball pen.
 
I have a Classic Century fountain pen.
It isn't bad.  But you have to like slimline pens.  I have not inked mine up yet, but will soon.
The main issue I have is that Cross did not make a converter for this pen, so I have to syringe fill the cartridge, if I want to use anything other than Cross ink, and I will want to use other inks.
Mine is chrome, so I cannot comment on the black pen. But I think the original Century black is just an epoxy


You're both right, the I had was the Century, just found it on eBay:
http://www.ebay.com/...=item51c28b3014

It appears to be fitted with a converter so I guess this is my dream pen!

So is it true that all Cross pens are Chinese-made now?

#5 RMN

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 22:41

  
You're both right, the I had was the Century, just found it on eBay:
http://www.ebay.com/...=item51c28b3014

It appears to be fitted with a converter so I guess this is my dream pen!

So is it true that all Cross pens are Chinese-made now?

AFAIK Chinese made, with possibly an influx from Japanese nibs (Pilot) on selected models.

 

 

D.ick


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#6 abstract49

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 22:39

Used to love Cross for its quality and lifetime, no charge warranty. Took advantage of the warranty on a couple of occasions many years ago. When they stopped making their own pens in their own plant in Connecticut, not only did their quality fall, but their warranty changed to limited with certain costs to the customer. Haven't bought a Cross in 20 years or more now.



#7 gammada

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 23:03

Used to love Cross for its quality and lifetime, no charge warranty. Took advantage of the warranty on a couple of occasions many years ago. When they stopped making their own pens in their own plant in Connecticut, not only did their quality fall, but their warranty changed to limited with certain costs to the customer. Haven't bought a Cross in 20 years or more now.

 

This is really sad. My love for fine writing instruments was born out of the Cross brand and all the pens my father bought from them. Holding that new Century Cross pen in my hands, confirmed all the fears I had of it being Chinese-made.

 

Do you know what became of that plant in CT? 



#8 JonDoh

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 15:55

Actually the plant was in Rhode Island and they've torn most of it down.  The corporate offices are now a showcase of their cheaply made and over priced Chinese pens.  


Edited by JonDoh, 16 September 2014 - 16:45.

It's not what you look at, but what you see when you look.
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