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Cross Verve Review


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#1 contravox

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 18:11

Two days ago, my Cross Verve fountain pen arrived from A.T. Cross. Cross ships these pens in a very hefty deep-blue acrylic box, which is able to hold or display three pens. I had ordered the Merlot color, and was immediately impressed with the finish on this pen.

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The outside of the pen is a deep purplish-grey color and there is a fine diamond-shaped etching done all over the metal casing of the pen. I would say it is reminiscent of the CP4 Legacy, but this etching is much finer and smaller. The pen almost feels like a cold snakeskin to the touch.

The pen is surprisingly light to hold for being so big. It has almost 1/2" length over the Sheaffer Legacy and is also slightly thicker, although it feels about as heavy as an Intrigue.

The clip on this pen is ingenious. It is flush with the pen and springs open by pressing down on the top most portion of the clip. At first, I was afraid the pen would roll off the table, but it stays put and looks like a fine piece of jewelry on my desk.

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The inner cap and barrel are lined in black plastic, which will help protect the metal outer casing from dings and bumps. The cap is friction-fit and has 3 pips on the top ring of the section to give the cap a little "snap" when you close the pen. Closed, the design on the pen is continuous and the closure point is almost hidden, giving this pen a definate cigar-shap. It fact, the Verve looks like an extra-large Lady Sheaffer with a flush clip attatched to it.

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The section is in polished black plastic and the nib is a very beautiful and futuristic 18k white gold design. The left side of the nib has an "F" imprinted for "Fine", the top has a "C" in the middle of an ellipse, and the right side has "18K 750" stamped on it. The nib is of a 360 degree conical design, but in two pieces, one top half and one bottom. In this case, it is to allow two extra filler or breather holes on the sides of the nib (in addition to one in the middle of the underside of the nib), but it also has its disadvantage (read below). The end of the nib turns down ever so slightly in contrast to the way a Snorkel nib would. In the light, this nib and section appear to me to resemble a shark's head...very sleek and very beautiful. The feed is smooth and is in done in a dark amethyst material, much like the plastic trim around the clip. As the secretary at my school remarked, this pen looks very "Money."

The pen comes with a box of 6 cartridges (small but look slightly different than international size) and an amber-colored piston converter. This converter is a great design, as it screws into the section for a secure fit. It fills as any normal piston converter would and looks like an amber version of Cross's green piston convertor. One wonders why other pen manufacturers do not also have this screw-in type.

Now for the performance of the Verve. If the excellent fit and finish are any indication of how the pen will write, the this pen lives up to it's extraordinary look. The Verve wrote on the first stroke after filling with Waterman Purple and hasn't missed a stroke yet. The fine nib on my example is every bit as smooth as my medium-point Legacy. The nib also has a little flex to it, more so than most any of my other modern pens. I could not ask for a better nib! The balance is excellent capped or uncapped and is now my daily writer (yes, it beat out the Legacy in my book)...(and I'm a Legacy freak)! I tried writing with the nib turned on it's top side to see if the Verve would put down an extra-fine line this way, but it did not do so hot. Cross meant for this pen to be an excellent writer, but only held in the normal fashion.

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The only flaw that I would point out, is that when filling the pen, be careful not to submerse the nib any more than is needed. The two halves of the nib allow for ink to collect in those areas, and potentially get on your fingers (if you tend to hold the pen far down on the section). Other than that, I would give this pen a definate A!

length capped: 5 3/4"
length uncapped: 4 7/8"
length posted: 6 1/8"
width 9/16"

Edited by contravox, 13 October 2006 - 22:24.

"I have very simple tastes, I am always satisfied with the very best." - Oscar Wilde

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#2 Roger

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 18:34

Good job, Robert. Like all good reviews, it makes one want to own one, especially if you don't, already. (like me) :)

Particularly liked your "snakeskin" metaphor. :lol:

I have a new Legacy Heritage coming from Jim after Deb Kinney shortstops it and puts a stub on the M nib. After that, I'll see if I need a Verve with which to compare it. :unsure:
Roger
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#3 contravox

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 19:42

Roger,

Have fun with that Legacy! I absolutely love mine, but it's just a bit heavy. That's the biggest selling point for the Verve (in my opinion)...it's of medium heft, but it's big!

Oh and the nib line tends to run a bit thicker. The fine point on my Verve is about a medium on a Sheaffer.

Enjoy that stub!

-Robert
"I have very simple tastes, I am always satisfied with the very best." - Oscar Wilde

#4 Charlie

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 21:28

Great review Robert!!!
I sent my platinum verve out to replace the medium nib for a extra fine yesterday.
I have to say that I became so attached to this pen that the montblanc I have to use in its place for daily use is not as comfortable to me as that verve. :o
Counting the days to when I should get the verve back... :rolleyes:

#5 Macuser

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 02:41

It's not fair. I just got my Cross ATX, and your review wants me to run out and pick up a Verve. Great review!

#6 contravox

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 03:35

Thanks guys...it was my first review, but I had so much fun composing it. So many of you write fantastic fountain pen reviews, and I have gotten great pen-nerdy pleasure from reading them.

I have to say that the Verve is like no other fountain pen I own (and I have about 40 of them). Anyway, I would love to see a review on the ATX!! hint hint

-Robert
"I have very simple tastes, I am always satisfied with the very best." - Oscar Wilde

#7 southpaw

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 15:32

Thanks for the review. I like the Verve, and your review makes me want one even more. Unfortunately, it's a bit out of my range, given that I like the Platinum or Merlot finishes.

I would love to see a review on the ATX!! hint hint

I second that motion! ;)
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#8 Charlie

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 19:09

I received my verve from cross with a replaced extra fine nib about 2 weeks ago.
It is exactly what I was looking for and fits my daily use perfectly here at work as well as my check book entries. I also was surprised to see that cross had even provided me with a extra piston converter.
I also might add that it also has no problems writing even finer and a bit lighter with the nib turned on it's top side. I really didn't think there would be a difference in nibs from the 18k solid the merlot sports vs. the 18k 2-tone which the verve platinum I have has but there might be. ???

Charlie

#9 KendallJ

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 05:34

Pictures! ;)

Kendall Justiniano
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#10 Charlie

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 17:50

Here is a view of the Verve upon request.
Note that the accents on the platinum verve are a dark blue, not black.

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  • platcapoff.jpg

Edited by Charlie, 16 September 2005 - 17:57.


#11 Charlie

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 17:59

Here is the Merlot Verve Contravox did the review on.

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  • Merlot.jpg


#12 Velma

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 18:09

Great review. Great photos. I don't need another pen right now.

*repeat to self 499 more times*

But they're pretty, and I don't have a Cross yet...

#13 Louis R

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 20:06

A few weeks ago, in the store, I tried posting both the Verve and ATX caps. I got the impression the hold was far from solid: that they would start sliding off after some use. The more cylindrical Townsend and Century lines would not seem to have that problem.

Any comments?

Edited by Louis R, 18 September 2005 - 23:09.

Louis

#14 Charlie

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 14:38

I cant tell you about the ATX but as far as the platinum verve I have, the cap holds very solid and don't anticipate any future problems.

#15 southpaw

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 15:44

No problems with the ATX either. :)
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#16 contravox

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 12:50

My Verve Merlot posts securely. No problems here either.
"I have very simple tastes, I am always satisfied with the very best." - Oscar Wilde

#17 Blade Runner

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 18:33

Hi,
Congrats on the Merlot. I saw one at a pen show and loved it. Namiki makes the nib for it. It's one of the few pens out there right now that's disturbing my view that I have enough pens.
As i recall it was pretty light. Do you have a weight on it by any chance?
Enjoy.

Jeen

#18 Maja

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 05:56

A few months ago, I went to a couple of the larger pen shops here in Vancouver and they didn't have a Cross Verve for me to try :( I did, however, get a real sense of how the pen feels and writes, just from reading your excellent review, Contravox! Your description was so vivid that I didn't really need the photos :)

Great job!

Edited by Maja, 22 September 2005 - 05:57.

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#19 Charlie

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 18:21

Jeen,
I looked every where on-line for the weight of the Verve as well as the included manual and could not find that info. What I did see was that the Verve is considered a "medium" weight pen although it looks heavy.
Hope that helps.

Charlie

#20 contravox

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 18:44

I can tell you it is about on-par with a Sheaffer Intrigue and lighter than a Legacy I...if that helps!
"I have very simple tastes, I am always satisfied with the very best." - Oscar Wilde






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