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18K Nib On Century Ii: Worth It?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 butangmucat

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 21:00

Hello,

 

Just picked up a used Cross Century II from Century Pens in Chicago (from the time when they were still made in USA) and it was a nice pen except that it had baby's bottom. Contacted them both, and know that the pen is still covered under the Cross Lifetime Warranty but the nib is not included. Cross suggested me to order a nib unit from them (and I want to get a F nib anyways) and now I am trying to decide between an 18k F nib and a poised steel F nib. The former option is $18 while the latter is less than $27. As the gold-plated M I have now has no problem but baby's bottom, I wonder if their 18k nib has a better flex or is safer to be used with IG ink or have other reason for me to go for this option? Thank you.

 

Edit: $81 for gold nib, not $18.


Edited by butangmucat, 19 March 2016 - 02:34.


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#2 RMN

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 01:45

Hi, that may be a typo: $18 for the gold nib unit.

 

I am not familiar with the various Centuries and their nibs, so I can't help you there, but in my memory I have never heard the praise about fantastic flex......

 

The various Cross nibs I have are all rather stiff.

 

 

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#3 benbot517

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 06:57

I have an 18k medium on my Century II and there's really not much line variation to be had. It's a nice nib, and it's very wet (which I find fun), but it's certainly not flexible.

 

I have no doubts that a gold nib would be fine for IG inks, however a steel nib may work just fine with them as well. I haven't used many IG inks, so I'm not the best on that front, however on the flex there's none to be had.


Edited by benbot517, 19 March 2016 - 06:57.

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#4 dkc

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 02:26

I recently bought an 18K fine to retrofit an old gold Century II Rollerball into a fountain pen.  I don't have a steel nibbed Cross to compare, but I really like the performance of the gold nib.  Very smooth and it does offer a bit of spring and line variation, but it's not really flexy.  Mine is not really a wet writer so when I push it, the feed doesn't keep up well and I get frequent railroading.  I don't really mind since it writes so smoothly on the papers I use at work.

 

Also, they're much cheaper elsewhere online.  I got mine from goldspot.



#5 lovemy51

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Posted 07 April 2016 - 04:13

hi. my experience with 18k is that they are not flex at all. they are too soft and will bend very easily, but will not go back to the original shape and you will have to realign the tines.



#6 TruthPil

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 10:20

I wanted to revive this post because I'm pondering doing the same thing as in the OP.

 

I have a gorgeous used barleycorn lustrous chrome century ii but the nib is a little mangled and not worth repairing so I'm contemplating an upgrade.

 

Is there really a notable difference in the writing experience between a $20-23 steel nib and an $64-80 18k nib?

 

I don't expect any flex, but if the gold nib is butter/glass smooth with no pressure and has notably more soft bounce to it than the steel nib when a little pressure is applied, that might make it worth while.

 

Thanks!


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#7 max dog

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 10:42

I have a 10K GF Century 2 with 18K gold fine nib and several Century 2 with stainless steel F nibs.  The Cross 18K Century 2 nib is smoother and springier than the steel ones.

 

While it's the iridium point on the nib rather than whether the nib is gold or steel that dictates the smoothness, the 18K nib is finished differently and is smoother than the steel counter part similarly to a Pelikan M400 14K nib I find is smoother than an M200 steel nib.


Edited by max dog, 18 February 2018 - 10:50.


#8 TruthPil

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 12:12

I have a 10K GF Century 2 with 18K gold fine nib and several Century 2 with stainless steel F nibs.  The Cross 18K Century 2 nib is smoother and springier than the steel ones.

 

While it's the iridium point on the nib rather than whether the nib is gold or steel that dictates the smoothness, the 18K nib is finished differently and is smoother than the steel counter part similarly to a Pelikan M400 14K nib I find is smoother than an M200 steel nib.

 

Thanks for the information! That really helps a lot....sounds worth it to me. I'll just have to get over the fact that the gold trim on the section won't match the chrome of barrel and cap.


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#9 BayesianPrior

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 08:15

 

Thanks for the information! That really helps a lot....sounds worth it to me. I'll just have to get over the fact that the gold trim on the section won't match the chrome of barrel and cap.

 

I'm sure you can get a fully rhodium plated 18k nib (including matching section trim).  Cross.com should have it in stock (or Amazon).

 

My experience with Cross nibs is as follows:

  • XF gold plated steel (older model with more closely spaced fins on the feed) is a real joy to use.  Consistently good performer with a little bit of give (not spring or flex) in a width that is no longer manufactured.
  • M steel (newer model with widely spaced fins) was like using a sharpie.  Blobby, wet, and too thick (personal taste).  Still smooth, but stiffer.
  • F steel (newer model).  See above.
  • M 18k gold (older model) was really nice. I just sold it on to someone else on the boards, but I think they have also enjoyed using it.

From my limited experience, I would suggest that it may be worth seeking out older nibs (check the feed).  They shouldn't be that hard to come by.


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#10 RocketRyan

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 08:25

I have a medium steel and a medium gold nib, I enjoy the gold a bit more as it has a bit more give, but I certainly wouldn't call it flex.

#11 TruthPil

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 08:37

 

I'm sure you can get a fully rhodium plated 18k nib (including matching section trim).  Cross.com should have it in stock (or Amazon).

 

My experience with Cross nibs is as follows:

  • XF gold plated steel (older model with more closely spaced fins on the feed) is a real joy to use.  Consistently good performer with a little bit of give (not spring or flex) in a width that is no longer manufactured.
  • M steel (newer model with widely spaced fins) was like using a sharpie.  Blobby, wet, and too thick (personal taste).  Still smooth, but stiffer.
  • F steel (newer model).  See above.
  • M 18k gold (older model) was really nice. I just sold it on to someone else on the boards, but I think they have also enjoyed using it.

From my limited experience, I would suggest that it may be worth seeking out older nibs (check the feed).  They shouldn't be that hard to come by.

 

Thanks for the very helpful information! If I get one of the new $20 steel nibs, I'll be sure to get the fine then so it minimizes the Sharpie effect haha.

Your comments about the difference between old and new nibs helps too. My pen has one of the old nibs and after some time tweaking it today to reduce the alignment problem, it has absolutely perfect flow but still this annoying tooth if I don't maintain one specific position. I'll definitely hold on to it and try to smooth it out, knowing that the newer nib units aren't as good. 

 

I have a medium steel and a medium gold nib, I enjoy the gold a bit more as it has a bit more give, but I certainly wouldn't call it flex.

 

Are your new nib units or older ones?


Edited by TruthPil, 19 February 2018 - 11:30.

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#12 TruthPil

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 10:41

I'm having a hard time finding standalone nib units that aren't the latest design. It seems like if you want to get an older nib, you just have to buy a whole pen.

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#13 RocketRyan

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 15:41

The steel is roughly three years old, the gold I got pre owned but I would guess it's a few years older.

#14 TruthPil

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 17:28

The steel is roughly three years old, the gold I got pre owned but I would guess it's a few years older.

 

Thanks!


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