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Quick Review: Cross Peerless 125 With 18K M Sailor Nib

cross peerless 125 sailor nib review

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17 replies to this topic

#1 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 17:34

Cross Peerless 125

Every Cross fountain pen I've ever used thus far was a disappointment. Cross makes good ballpoints and mechanical pencils, but their fountain pens are not for me (though many people love them, so it might have been just bad luck). On the other hand, every Sailor fountain pen I've ever used wrote like a dream. I have two Sailors and they're my favourite pens. Really great, but cosmetically they're rather boring black cigars. Enter the Cross Peerless 125: a magnificent 18k Sailor nib (and Sailor feed) in a classy Cross design.

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I tried this one today, fell in love with it and bought it on the spot. I paid 300 euros for it, which is more than 10% below list price but nevertheless a lot more than I usually pay for a pen. Especially for a pen that's made in China... But we can't be snobbish: the quality of this thing speaks for itself and is second to none, regardless of place of origin. Whoever built this pen, they nailed it. We're talking at least Montblanc level quality. Even the act of unscrewing the cap... it feels as if there are ball bearings in there, it's really nice engineering. This is a rather large pen (very close to MB 146 and Pilot Custom 823) and it's not feather-light, but it's certainly not heavy and the ergonomics are fantastic. Size and weight are just perfect, it fits the hand like a glove.

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Out of the box, it writes very well. Nice and wet, but not a gusher. Note that if you dip the pen in an ink bottle, it'll write like a big, fat, juicy, European M. Use the converter or a cartridge, though, and it'll write somewhere halfway between European F and M.

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The nib is magical. If you like it smooth but with character, this is it. If you're looking for hot butter on glass smoothness, then this pen is not for you. It writes like Sailor's best pens. It does not write like a Cross, nor like a cross between a Sailor and a Cross (pun intended). If you're in the market for (say) a MB 146 or a Sailor King of Pen but would like to save some money, it might be worthwhile to try this pen.

+Ergonomics, fits the hand like a glove, suitable for long sessions
+Writes like a top-tier Sailor
+Quality of materials and construction
+Looks, writes and feels like a high-end pen
+Packaging

/Good value for money and very high quality, nevertheless a lot of money for a pen that's made in China
/Not a black cigar, but the design is not for everyone (some might perceive it as ostentatious)

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#2 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 13:01

Apparently there are significant price differences, dependingh on geography. The Peerless 125 seems to be particularly expensive in the US and the UK. List price in Holland is 350 euros, shop around a little and you'll get one for 300 at a reputable shop (I bought mine at Appelboom).

#3 BillZ

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 13:24

I have the plain black model in XF Sailor nib. Amazingly smooth writer for such a fine nib! I bought it from Dromgoole's in Houston when they first were out and I think I paid USD $425 for it. It has the "click" posting mechanism which is somewhat different than most pens. I rarely post but this pen is balanced well when it is posted.


Pat Barnes a.k.a. billz

#4 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 16:43

For any nib up to and including medium, I've never found one that tops Sailor's nibs. Regarding posting: I think posting the Peerless 125 unsettles the balance, but it does post nicely. Aesthetically I'd have preferred the black one, but the nib of my silver one was just magical.

#5 Honeybadgers

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Posted 26 August 2018 - 21:34

is the body steel or sterling silver?


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#6 max dog

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 00:36

Thanks for the great review of this pen.

 

Over the years Cross have done some remarkable writers like the original 80's Century fountain pen and Verve with Pilot nibs, Townsend with Pelikan nibs,  And now the Peerless with Sailor nibs, is no surprise they have another remarkable fountain pen.  



#7 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 09:06

is the body steel or sterling silver?


Neither. Based on the weight, I assume the barrel and the cap are made of aluminium. The specs as provided by Cross indicate that the pen is "platinum-plated". I can only guess at what this means, exactly, but I confirm that the pen is quite light-weight and feels wonderful in the hand.

#8 Honeybadgers

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 10:56

nyeh. That, in sterling silver, would definitely go on my must-have list. 


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#9 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 14:28

There's one sterling silver pen that's on my bucket list: a Sailor Hanzi.

#10 dennis_f

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 17:22

I love this pen... it's next in line on my purchasing shortlist.  Your photographs are making my wait incredibly difficult!



#11 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 18:00

I love this pen... it's next in line on my purchasing shortlist.  Your photographs are making my wait incredibly difficult!

Sorry to put you through agony ;-) . If you can, buy in a brick & mortar shop and try them all. The nibs are all fantastic, they're works of functional art, but as such they're also very subtly different. I picked the one that appealed to me the most, it had the most feedback of them all. The others were smoother.

After a few days of intensive use and trying the pen with various inks, I've found that this pen is exquisitely sensitive to ink wetness. Those who insist on a wet writing experience with ropes of ink being deposited on the paper would do well to try Sailor Yonaga, Sailor Souten, a Blackstone ink or another above-average wet ink. With such an ink, the line width of the M nib approaches that of European medium. Waterman, Herbin and even basic Sailor Jentle inks are dryer in this pen than they usually are. Not too dry, just dryer and with good shading. An ink like Pelikan 4001 might be too dry for this pen, at least initially, until it breaks in. In the end I settled on Blackstone Sydney Harbour Blue diluted with 30% water. That ink is extremely saturated and the dilution makes it much more interesting, offers more shading and reduces the wetness to my personal optimum.

#12 dennis_f

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 22:42

I've given this pen a try a few times, and originally I was quite sure I'd be buying the platinum finish, or the black. But I seem to have fallen in love with the medalist: it is just so striking.  A friend of mine owns two cross pens, a townsend and a century ii, both in medalist finish, and they have never won me over.  But this pen looks incredible in the gold and silver (I only wish the nib were silver coloured).

 

As for ink recommendations, thank you for those. I'm one of those rare writers/sketchers who prefers a drier line so your tips are invaluable!  As it turns out, Pelikan 4001 is one of my go-to inks, and had you not posted your thoughts, I might have been greatly disappointed when inking the pen with it. 

 

(Insert a pause here while I scroll back up to the top of this page and take another long look at your incredible photos!)



#13 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 05:43

As for ink recommendations, thank you for those. I'm one of those rare writers/sketchers who prefers a drier line so your tips are invaluable!  As it turns out, Pelikan 4001 is one of my go-to inks, and had you not posted your thoughts, I might have been greatly disappointed when inking the pen with it.  (Insert a pause here while I scroll back up to the top of this page and take another long look at your incredible photos!)

No two pens are alike, so perhaps 4001 would work very well in your pen. Just try it. With each new pen I go through a process of discovery. There's a break-in period and then the pen will reach an equilibrium. I've found that forcing a certain ink to a particular pen will not always lead to a satisfactory performance - instead, the pen will tell you which ink it likes.

The photos were made with my iPad camera. The trick is to avoid glare in certain parts and then use the built-in editing options in the iPad photo app to reach the desired result.

Edited by TheDutchGuy, 29 August 2018 - 05:44.


#14 minddance

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 00:57

Is this pen (any part) made in China?

#15 jekostas

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 04:07

Is this pen (any part) made in China?

 

Everything but the nib is made in China.  All Cross and Sheaffer pens are made in China.



#16 Inked

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 14:07

Great review of a really interesting pen.

I have not had the opportunity to test drive one yet, but I do like the wide body of this one.

 

Thank you for sharing.


Inked


Edited by Inked, 09 September 2018 - 14:07.


#17 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 15:53

You're welcome! Try as many as you can before buying. They're all great, but subtly different. Of the ones I tried, the difference was in the amount of pencil-like feedback that is so typical of Sailor nibs, which ranged from very, very subtle to a firm verging-on-Platinum kind of feedback. I went for the one with a lot of feedback, but that's personal.

#18 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 18:13

After two months, many hours of use, hauling the pen around the country day-in day-out and trying lots of different inks, all I can say is "wow". This is one helluva pen. I feel that its quality really is second to none and I'm enjoying the pen more and more.





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