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