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Cross Apogee


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#1 Apollo

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 18:32

Hi folks, last week I picked up a Cross Apogee which I've been using steadily for the past 3 days and thought it was about time I gave it a review.

The Apogee is a very attractive fountain pen series available in either Chrome, Black Star Lacquer and Titian Red Lacquer finishes. They feature a rhodium plated 18k gold nib, spring clip and chrome accents to give the pen an elegant look and feel. The Apogee also comes packaged in an attractive black gift box complete with warranty, converter and 2 black Cross ink cartridges.

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Many American based manufacturers have turned to overseas production in order to keep costs down and stay competative in todays market and Cross is among the many that have looked to China for manufacturing. Lets face it folks, China is the new economic superpower and China is where the Apogee is made. Make no mistake, the Cross Apogee is an extremely well made pen and is just as good as any previously US made Cross pen and looks like it should cost alot more that what it actually does.

My version of the Apogee is what Cross calls Titian Red which is sort of inbetween red and burgundy. It's quite an attractive colour and contrasts nicely with the chrome accents. It's very well balanced, feels good in the hand and has a nice heft to it. PenHero weighed it in at 2 oz. The pen itself measures 5.5 inches in length when capped.

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The cap sports a rather long pocket clip that sits flush against the cap's wide band which is engraved "CROSS EST 1845." To clip the pen to the pocket you must press the end of the clip and open it enough so it can slip over the pocket seam. Once clipped, the pen rides securely in the pocket.

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In a previous thread, acj27 reviewed a chrome finished Apogee and was disappointed with the apparently flawed nib. That's not the case with mine. I'm happy to say that although the small nib does look a bit out of proportion with the rest of the pen, it has performed admirably. So far, I've used one of the supplied carts in it as well as Private Reserve Midnight Blues in it's converter and can report that there has been no skipping nor any problems with the nib. The pen lays a nice wet line each time and is a consistent writer.

If I could change anything about the pen, I'd make the nib a little larger for aesthetic reasons and possibly offer a resin version of the Apogee (although I can't recall ever seeing a resin Cross fountain pen). Despite the small nib and hefty weight of the pen, I think the Apogee is very worthy of the Cross name and is a welcomed addition to anyone's pen collection.
Posted Image Bendita mi tierra guanche.

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#2 Apollo

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 18:35

Here are a few size comparisons:

(Sailor 1911, Waterman Charleston, Cross Apogee, Aurora Ipsilon)
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Here are a couple of shots of the Apogee along with a Cross Century II:
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#3 theshainun

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 19:27

Thanks for the review, I'm slightly tempeted now...
How does it compare to the ATX?

Shaun
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#4 TMann

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 23:30

Apollo,

Great review! I have two questions:

1. Do you write posted or unposted?

2. Is the Apogee heavier or lighter than a Townsend?

TMann

#5 Apollo

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 01:02

Thanks for the review, I'm slightly tempeted now...
How does it compare to the ATX?

Shaun

It's much nicer than the ATX, in my opinion and feels a little thicker.

Edited by Apollo, 02 January 2006 - 01:12.

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#6 Apollo

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 01:11

Apollo,

Great review! I have two questions:

1. Do you write posted or unposted?

2. Is the Apogee heavier or lighter than a Townsend?

TMann

Hi TMann, I prefer to write unposted, but I did try it with it's cap posted and it's not all that uncomfortable. The Apogee is a well balanced pen, but those who are used to writing with lightweight resin pens may find that it's heft takes a little getting used to.

I don't own a Townsend, but I did look at one for comparison. The Townsend is a bit longer but feels to be as thick as the Apogee (at least to me). Personally, it was hard to tell much difference in weight although I'm told that the Apogee is a little heavier than the Townsend.
Posted Image Bendita mi tierra guanche.

#7 davyr

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 01:33

another great review apollo! sharp lookin' pen you have there - i see you lean towards modern, clean designs. :)
"i love the smell of celluloid nitrate in the morning...you know, the smell, that camphor smell, it smells like...victory."

#8 southpaw

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 03:50

Great review as usual. Thanks and enjoy the pen!
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#9 emrecan

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 15:41

Hi Apollo
Thanks for the great review and nice pics.I held an Apogee it's heavy but the nib is a little small for its body.How does it compared to your favorite pens?Say like Lamy 2000 or others.

Take Care
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#10 Apollo

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 23:15

Hi Apollo
Thanks for the great review and nice pics.I held an Apogee it's heavy but the nib is a little small for its body.How does it compared to your favorite pens?Say like Lamy 2000 or others.

Take Care
Emrecan

Well, the Apogee certainly has it's own charm. I must say that although the nib is on the small side, it in no way impedes writing. I just feel that a larger sized nib would improve the pen's overall aesthetics.

It's hard to compare it to other pens in my collection as each pen has it's own merit. But, if I were to do a quick comparison with the Lamy 2000, I'd say the Cross Apogee wins hands down as far as elegant "looks" go and I forsee it becoming a good seller for Cross. But, a clean and simple design often becomes a timeless classic which is why I like the Lamy 2000 better. It's springy nib, flawless piston filler mechanism and it's pure Bauhaus design makes it one of the most reliable and functional fountain pens available. It's hard to improve on an already proven design that has remained virtually unchanged in 40 years.
Posted Image Bendita mi tierra guanche.

#11 emrecan

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 14:49

Hi Apollo
Thanks for the great review and nice pics.I held an Apogee it's heavy but the nib is a little small for its body.How does it compared to your favorite pens?Say like Lamy 2000 or others.

Take Care
Emrecan

Well, the Apogee certainly has it's own charm. I must say that although the nib is on the small side, it in no way impedes writing. I just feel that a larger sized nib would improve the pen's overall aesthetics.

It's hard to compare it to other pens in my collection as each pen has it's own merit. But, if I were to do a quick comparison with the Lamy 2000, I'd say the Cross Apogee wins hands down as far as elegant "looks" go and I forsee it becoming a good seller for Cross. But, a clean and simple design often becomes a timeless classic which is why I like the Lamy 2000 better. It's springy nib, flawless piston filler mechanism and it's pure Bauhaus design makes it one of the most reliable and functional fountain pens available. It's hard to improve on an already proven design that has remained virtually unchanged in 40 years.

Thanks for reply Apollo,I was thought the Lamy2000 better pen every way,price,piston filling mechanism,better nib--springy too-.ASAP i need to get an L 2000 :D

Take Care
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#12 refillczar

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 20:18

Good review, however I must make one correction, the Apogee is currently being produced in Lincoln RI not in China as stated.

Bill

#13 Apollo

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 22:36

Good review, however I must make one correction, the Apogee is currently being produced in Lincoln RI not in China as stated.

Bill

Hi Bill, you say the Apogees are being made in the States?

The box on mine says "China" in plain ol' modern Anglais and "Chine" for those of the French & Quebecois persuasion.

The second label below the UPC denotes country of origin, am I not correct?

For instance, the box for my Century II Medalist reads "Assembled in USA with US and Foreign components." I also have a Cross Matrix multi-function pen whose box reads "Made in Japan with US components." Going back to my Apogee, the label on the box reads "China" not "USA." Unless Cross decided to change the label to denote where the box is made and not the pen, I'll go with my first impression. That said, the Apogee is still a great pen regardless.
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#14 PenHero

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 22:54

Good review, however I must make one correction, the Apogee is currently being produced in Lincoln RI not in China as stated.

Bill


The Cross fact sheet on the Apogee states that the country of origin for the Apogee is China. They are all made in China. Every Apogee we have purchased states "China" on the box.

Edited by PenHero, 17 January 2006 - 01:17.


#15 Apollo

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 02:17

Well, I guess that settles that. :D
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#16 refillczar

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 12:44

Seeing as I'm the manager and engineer for all FP's here at Cross I think I'd know where the pens are made.

All that being said there are some pieces used on the pens that are made in China, the band around the barrel, the clip (etc) but the entire FP front section as well as it's assembly are done stateside. Due to the fact that there's a split on some of the components points of manufacture dictates the country of origin tag.

Edited by refillczar, 17 January 2006 - 12:47.


#17 Dillo

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 13:32

Hi Refillczar,

I am 13 Minutes from Cross.

Welcome, and maybe you could answer some of our questions about where some of the parts of the Cross pens come from like the Verve, ATX, and so forth.

Dillon

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#18 Apollo

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 22:18

Seeing as I'm the manager and engineer for all FP's here at Cross I think I'd know where the pens are made.

All that being said there are some pieces used on the pens that are made in China, the band around the barrel, the clip (etc) but the entire FP front section as well as it's assembly are done stateside. Due to the fact that there's a split on some of the components points of manufacture dictates the country of origin tag.

Refillczar, no offense was intended, but had we known that little fact we probably wouldn't have doubted you. Also, since the label reads China, how is one to know that the pen is actually assembled in the USA of US and Chinese parts? It's probably a good idea for the folks at Cross to correct the label.
Posted Image Bendita mi tierra guanche.

#19 refillczar

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 12:51

Labels are one of those "legal" things I try to not get too involved in. From what I know it depends on many factors some of which might not make a lot of sense to the average non-lawyer types like myself.

#20 Maja

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 05:53

Very nice pen...and another excellent review, Apollo!
Thank you so much for the review and the photos here and elsewhere showing the relative size(s) of the pen(s) you review; I think it is extremely useful! :)

Edited by Maja, 20 January 2006 - 05:53.

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