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Review Of The Cross Peerless 125 Tokyo Edition



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Cross Peerless 125 Tokyo Edition

 

PRELUDE

Plurality of singularities

Among many other fountain pen lovers, I do retain a high level of adoration for the way the Sailor nibs look, aren’t they just beautiful? Paradoxically enough, there is also a certain distaste, when it comes to my acceptance of their nib smoothness. My humble experience has been mostly with sailor nibs straight from Japan and not the US market. Alas! the glassy smooth angle to manoeuvre writing with the Japanese ones (except the Naginata one), wouldn’t work for me, ever with the five sailor nibs. Also, I always felt an immense opportunity have something done with their relatively bland base pen designs and the CC filling system. Many times, I pondered whether it would be worth sending a sailor nib to Conid and have a pen made. The nib can be smoothened for English script rather than struggling on my part to learn the Kanji to have it used!
As it turns out, I couldn’t justify the Conid plan for a long time, but I do intend to add one in future. By this time, Cross had relaunched the Peerless range in 2015, marking 125th anniversary of its original Peerless pen (1889). Hoorah! it came with a 18k Sailor nib!
Cross was founded in 1846, in case you too thought this to be the company’s 125th anniversary :). Below is an ad, I could find with respect to the original peerless fountain pen.
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PRESENTATION (6/6)

Presented in Style

Presentation is exquisite consisting of a paper box wrapped around a luxury gift box, along with a brand leaflet and two spare black cartridges. The screw-in (8756) converter, comes fitted inside the pen. I hope that the following pictures will do more justice. And if you are thinking of gifting this, I can assure you, it’s altogether a fantastic package. Full Marks! The hinged box is sturdy and substantial with enough cushion for all residents. In fact, there is enough space to fit two more large sized pens and probably you could smuggle a turtle inside!
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DESIGN (5/6)

Designed by Aliens

Cross released the Peerless 125 in four finishes: 23kt Heavy Gold Plate, Obsidian Black Lacquer, Platinum Plate/Medalist, and Platinum Plate in three models initially: fountain pen, ballpoint and rollerball. Later, three special editions NYC, London and Tokyo were released in Silver, Gold and Black, that imbibed prominent works of architecture (Chrysler Building, Big Ben and Skytree) in the respective megacities.
I went for the Tokyo primarily because of silver accents and partly because of its availability over Obsidian Black edition. Eventually, I think that it was a good choice :)
The pen looks elegant and appears quite substantial compared to a Townsend or a Century, while preserving in its signature cigar custom-design. The platinum coated metallic appointments at the centre, clip and either ends provide a pleasant lustre to an otherwise dull matt finish of the body. The taper is pretty nuanced and organically converges into the glitter at either ends.
DSC00397.JPG
The Skytree being the tallest structure in Japan and the second tallest one in the world has a charm of its own, more so during night. It seems to blend between a pagoda and a futuristic spaceship control center, though is used primarily for Radio and TV broadcasts in Tokyo. Below go some pictures of Skytree at Night and Day! For the Peerless, the brushed black PVD coating of the body poses as the structural base and the circular glass houses perhaps get represented by the lustrous platinum appointments, although YMMV.
skytreenight.jpg
sky-tree-tokyo_close.jpg
While the pen does look hefty and is quite an oversized pen, the semblance of size no way compromises the impeccable balance and comfort of writing, with the Tokyo. The cap seems to imbibe most of the heft within itself with a cylindrical cross section Quite delicately, the PVD body tapers down towards the metallic blind-cap.
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The glazing finial looks quite industrial with the cross section of a conical frustum. Given the galvanising finish, it is prone to fingerprints! It may get misinterpreted as a piston knob. Apart from it’s enchanting shimmer, the black ring creates a step that serves for posting the cap securely.
cap.jpg
The tension-fit clip preserves the cross tradition, with a slightly elongated arclike structure. It carries the brandname CROSS imprinted on a black rectangular background, made to standout. Visconti also does that. Both ends of the cap have platinum plated appointments. The barrel end however has a thin sheen, thanks to the metallic ring at the end. The other side is well adorned with a jet hematite Swarovski crystal. The tassie carries the latitude and longitude of Skytree along with model name TOKYO and an individualised serial number. Pretty Cool! The centre band where the barrel meets the grip has a shimmering inscription of CROSS PEERLESS 125, deftly etched in black & silver.
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The jet hematite dazzles like a diamond with visible light and ambient angles. The tassie is anyway a frozen GPS of the Skytree. If you are lost on this planet with the Tokyo, and Aliens do come to your rescue, you can tell them exact location of the Skytree! When they turn rogue, you can probably deflect lasers with the jet hematite crystal or simply hit them with 43 grams of PVD and metal!
It is oversize but I never felt any heft, while using the pen. Very Cool! The cap unscrews with two and a quarter turns, revealing the elegant dazzle of a 18k Sailor nib, with rhodium plating. The silvery section threads along with the centre band go well in the overall design. Quite some attention to details! The section ends up with a little bump with a shinier loop of metal, before the mind is bewitched again, by the shimmer of the rhodium plated nib.
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FILLING SYSTEM (6/6)

It's a 8756!

The barrel unscrews from the section with four and a half turns. Now if aliens indeed attack, this is not the time you are found to be putting ink in the Tokyo! Sitting inside is a Cross piston type screw-in converter (#8756). I found that this converter has a better capacity than traditional sailor ones. And filling ink is clean and easy. The converter might hold more than 0.5 ml if you happen to fill the converter with a syringe.
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It’s not interchangeable with a sailor converter and you can see that the feed connector has a smaller diameter in case of Cross.
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I have no qualms of this being a CC, piston would have been nicer though! I wouldn't have paid an extra 100 $ for a piston, by the way.

NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (6/6)

In his majesty’s glittering service

The dazzling nib is tested by hand, and comes in five different widths including EF, F, M,B, and sailor Z, the widths being Japanese. As mentioned earlier, I like the glamorous design of sailor nibs. The size and spread of the nib are standard#6.
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The lower middle section of the nib specifies carries the brand imprint of CROSS with the nib-composition (18 K, 750) and nib width M, resting above it. PEERLESS and 125 are embossed just below the circular breather hole. The scrollwork runs in between the body and the shoulders which enhances the decor, probably in a very industrial way. Reminds me of the machine drawing classes, where every cross section had to be cross-hatched, else you lose a point or so. The tines elongate themselves in trademark Sailor style. Both the gold & silver accents look like adorable cousins.
DSC00416.JPG
A black plastic feed with closely spaced fins allows to maintain balance against air-pressure with a good buffer capacity of ink. The feeder hole provides the ink suction for the converter. It’s as good or bad, as a sailor.
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PHYSICS OF IT (5/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING
Newtonian Laws Intact
The overall capped length is around 15 cm. I would prefer to use the pen unposted as both weight and balance seem perfect with a good nib leverage. The section has a comfortable grip of around 1.32 cm. I feel it’s very comfortable from an overall perspective, balancing amazingly well for an oversized pen with metallic appointments.
  • Uncapped Length ~ 13.3 cm
  • Posted Length ~ 15.6 cm
  • Exposed Nib Leverage ~ 2.3 cm (#6 nib)
  • Overall Weight ~ 43.4 g (without ink, cap weight~16 g)
Below are the pictures along with a MB146 and a Pelikan m805 for your reference.

 

DSC00432.JPG

DSC00434.JPG

 

ECONOMIC VALUE (4/6)

Demand < Supply

While an expensive retail price of around USD 625 puts off many people, these market rates sometimes come with a 35-55% discount. The best part is that the pen in itself is quite difficult to fake , with many parts i.e crystal, nib and body, imported from around the world.

OVERALL (5.3/6)

Buy

This is a great pen. The writing experience is as amazing as the nib looks, with just the hint of control which you would expect from a well tuned sailor nib. Some springy softness is present in the nib with little line variation between horizontal and vertical strokes. The lines dry within 25-30 seconds with Sailor Red Grenade ink, running on MD Paper. The nib runs quite smoothly even on copy paper. This is a Japanese medium nib with a wet flow, so any effects on ink shading might miss the normal eye. There is the slightest hint of feedback, typical of sailor but that’s all there is. No glassy angles, just well tuned for English script.
DSC00447.JPG
The nib has never skipped and always laid a wet line, and seems to be one of the best sailor nibs in my small collection. If the cap is left open for a few minutes or so, you might need to put a light effort to get the wet lines flowing again.
REFERENCES
Coming up Next…

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Thank you for going through the review!
Edited by sannidh

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

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TheDutchGuy

Very nice, thanks! I've owned some Cross pens over the years but sold them. They weren't right for me. Sailor, on the other hand, that's a brand I really love. Not aesthetically, but in terms of how they write. A Cross with a Sailor nib... that's.... interesting. As a consumer, there's no way I could buy a separate Sailor nib (and yes, I'd want to). But as company, even a competitor, Cross apparantly can. Curious.

 

The Sailor magic is hard to describe. Every pen I've tried was different, even the same model with the same nib. Objectively, my MB 146 EF is the best writer I've ever used. But it's actually too good, it's extremely smooth, which makes exercising control a bit difficult. The exquisite Sailor feedback is not drag, it's not resistance, it's not scratchiness, it's... well... it is whatever it is. Unique.

 

I'm currently waiting for a Pilot Custom 823 to arrive from Japan, a pen that seems to be almost unanimously revered. Can't wait to find out how that measures up against my Sailors.

 

Anyway, back to that Cross: that's a stunning design. Visually it's a bit over the top for me, but it looks very special and it stands out. Awesome. Hope you enjoy it!

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Thanks for the detailed review and the great comparison photos.

 

I've picked up (by which I mean "handled in the store", not "bought") a few of the regualr editions and I've been really impressed, both by the nib, the attention to detail, and the comfortable feel in the hand. I wasn't sure about the special editions yet, having seen only advertising photos, but your review really gives a great impression of the pen.

 

Enjoy.

D

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Very nice, thanks! I've owned some Cross pens over the years but sold them. They weren't right for me. Sailor, on the other hand, that's a brand I really love. Not aesthetically, but in terms of how they write. A Cross with a Sailor nib... that's.... interesting. As a consumer, there's no way I could buy a separate Sailor nib (and yes, I'd want to). But as company, even a competitor, Cross apparantly can. Curious.

 

The Sailor magic is hard to describe. Every pen I've tried was different, even the same model with the same nib. Objectively, my MB 146 EF is the best writer I've ever used. But it's actually too good, it's extremely smooth, which makes exercising control a bit difficult. The exquisite Sailor feedback is not drag, it's not resistance, it's not scratchiness, it's... well... it is whatever it is. Unique.

 

I'm currently waiting for a Pilot Custom 823 to arrive from Japan, a pen that seems to be almost unanimously revered. Can't wait to find out how that measures up against my Sailors.

 

Anyway, back to that Cross: that's a stunning design. Visually it's a bit over the top for me, but it looks very special and it stands out. Awesome. Hope you enjoy it!

 

Thank you TheDutchGuy :)

Like you, most of the cross pens which I had come across were commonplace, ended up as gifts to friends and relatives.I love sailor especially on the nib work, and I do use a Naginata Medium-Fine (NMF) (review) for fun. The NMF can be used for daily writing given an acceptable width variation, and the fact of nib being tuned by Mr. Nagahara is a special privilege to enjoy, of course.

 

The 823 is of course a delightful pen and I am sure you will enjoy it for a long time to come :), I have linked the review just with the mere thought of sharing the joy of 823. The cap had fallen and had a crack and Pilot US replaced it free of charge :D

I accept the element of control/feedback in the sailor nibs being their trademark, may be my luck has been pretty bad with the sailors from Engeika. My friends have got much better nibs and would agree with your point of enjoyable feedback. I feel being a serial victim of a bit questionable QC.

I do love the cross p125 because of the effort they have put at designing the entire piece, from seemingly discrete elements. And a sailor nib with that just makes your writing poetry :)

 

 

Thanks for the detailed review and the great comparison photos.

 

I've picked up (by which I mean "handled in the store", not "bought") a few of the regualr editions and I've been really impressed, both by the nib, the attention to detail, and the comfortable feel in the hand. I wasn't sure about the special editions yet, having seen only advertising photos, but your review really gives a great impression of the pen.

 

Enjoy.

D

 

Thank you dennis. I would have gone for the Obsidian Black edition too, your experience really is in harmony with my own.

 

Joy to you,

sannidh

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

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TheDutchGuy

Your reviews of the Sailor and the 823 are wonderful. Great photography! Can't wait for my 823 to arrive.

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Your reviews of the Sailor and the 823 are wonderful. Great photography! Can't wait for my 823 to arrive.

Thanks :)

I am sure you will love the 823 :wub: !!

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

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flipper_gv

Very nice, thanks! I've owned some Cross pens over the years but sold them. They weren't right for me. Sailor, on the other hand, that's a brand I really love. Not aesthetically, but in terms of how they write. A Cross with a Sailor nib... that's.... interesting. As a consumer, there's no way I could buy a separate Sailor nib (and yes, I'd want to). But as company, even a competitor, Cross apparantly can. Curious.

 

The Sailor magic is hard to describe. Every pen I've tried was different, even the same model with the same nib. Objectively, my MB 146 EF is the best writer I've ever used. But it's actually too good, it's extremely smooth, which makes exercising control a bit difficult. The exquisite Sailor feedback is not drag, it's not resistance, it's not scratchiness, it's... well... it is whatever it is. Unique.

 

I'm currently waiting for a Pilot Custom 823 to arrive from Japan, a pen that seems to be almost unanimously revered. Can't wait to find out how that measures up against my Sailors.

 

Anyway, back to that Cross: that's a stunning design. Visually it's a bit over the top for me, but it looks very special and it stands out. Awesome. Hope you enjoy it!

 

The nib on the Townsend is a Pelikan m400 nib. They've been doing this for a while.

 

Big Cross fan myself. Never thought I'd say that, but I bought a used Townsend once for a really good bargain and I'm still surprise at how much I love this pen. I would have gladly paid full price for it and not regret it at all.

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Honeybadgers

wow that's a lot bigger than I expected... I might have to get one when I find one for cheap.

 

Cross, waterman, and sheaffer have all just kind of felt like they don't give a (bleep) about fountain pens for years.

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

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That's a great looking pen. Didn't know that Sailor allowed their nibs to be outsourced (although I'm not too familiar with the brand). And I really enjoyed your pictures, really give a good impression of it. If I didn't just place an order I'd be sorely tempted...

That said, I know you said review coming soon...what is that pen in the preview picture? It's very intriguing.

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wow that's a lot bigger than I expected... I might have to get one when I find one for cheap.

 

Cross, waterman, and sheaffer have all just kind of felt like they don't give a (bleep) about fountain pens for years.

 

All the best! I feel all the companies mostly took a mass market call, however they had their special editions from time to time. Sheaffer relaunched balance ii, parker still does something or the other with duofolds; cross basically relaunched a completely different pen in the name of peerless :)

Think, the gamble turned out well for the pen.

 

That's a great looking pen. Didn't know that Sailor allowed their nibs to be outsourced (although I'm not too familiar with the brand). And I really enjoyed your pictures, really give a good impression of it. If I didn't just place an order I'd be sorely tempted...

 

That said, I know you said review coming soon...what is that pen in the preview picture? It's very intriguing.

Thank you Joe for your feedback :)

Pilot Japan does the same for Hakase, manufactures for Dunhill. It's a good combination of nib + body, is my take.

 

That picture is ref. to the recently launched TWSBI precision fp.

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

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Honeybadgers

 

All the best! I feel all the companies mostly took a mass market call, however they had their special editions from time to time. Sheaffer relaunched balance ii, parker still does something or the other with duofolds; cross basically relaunched a completely different pen in the name of peerless :)

Think, the gamble turned out well for the pen.

 

Thank you Joe for your feedback :)

Pilot Japan does the same for Hakase, manufactures for Dunhill. It's a good combination of nib + body, is my take.

 

That picture is ref. to the recently launched TWSBI precision fp.

 

Honestly, I just learned that Waterman's Carene, which initially seemed fairly pedestrian, comes with the option of oblique mediums and broads. Next time I spot one on massdrop for $180, I'm going to pick one up.

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

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Honestly, I just learned that Waterman's Carene, which initially seemed fairly pedestrian, comes with the option of oblique mediums and broads. Next time I spot one on massdrop for $180, I'm going to pick one up.

 

Lol :D, it's a good pen to have, found the nibs to be very smooth probably on the broader side. I somehow could never convince myself on the Carene.

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

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Great review of a great pen!

 

I use my Obsidian Black Peerless almost everyday, excellent writer.

 

Also, enjoy my Platinum Plate pen too!

 

Mark

FP Addict & Pretty Nice Guy

 

 

 

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Great review of a great pen!

 

I use my Obsidian Black Peerless almost everyday, excellent writer.

 

Also, enjoy my Platinum Plate pen too!

 

Mark

 

Thanks Mark for you kind feedback :)

Indeed lovely pens to have.

 

Best,

sannidh

Edited by sannidh

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

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Thanks for the detailed review of the 125 Peerless pen. I enjoy the pen in black & silver, with a medium nib.

 

Andy

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Great review, thank you! I have the Peerlees ak47 with a Fine nib. Great pen too.

Good to know, I knew that the AK-47 was sold only as a roller.

 

Alfredo

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Good to know, I knew that the AK-47 was sold only as a roller.

 

Alfredo

It is, but you can buy the nib unit separately.

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Thanks for the detailed review of the 125 Peerless pen. I enjoy the pen in black & silver, with a medium nib.

 

Andy

 

Thanks Andy! Enjoy the pen :)

 

Great review, thank you! I have the Peerlees “ak47” with a Fine nib. Great pen too.

 

Thanks :)

How did you find the Cross/Sailor fine nib to be?

Edited by sannidh

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

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Thanks :)

How did you find the Cross/Sailor fine nib to be?

 

Fantastic nib - smooth and consistent line. However, I’m not really convinced by the converter: mine doesn’t work really well (it takes a lot of time to fill less than a half of the “cartridge”).

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