Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 358

 It's hard to believe that tomorrow is the 2nd anniversary of our virtual "show & tell". Many thanks to René for kicking it off with this post , and to everyone who has contributed to it by sending in their photos and reviews; they are all very much appreciated.

We'll get back to posting fountain pen reviews on Saturday, but I wanted to share a nice Cross ballpoint I found in Amazon.ca's "Warehouse Deals" section last month - a Cross 'Classic Century' ballpoint in "Satin Chrome":

(please click on image to enlarge)

Cross 'Classic Century' ballpoints seem to be a perennial graduation gift, but did you know that they were first introduced over 75 years ago? It's hard to believe, but they celebrated their 76th anniversary this year - they sure don't look like a pen that was introduced a few months after WW II ended! I was thinking about that when I was composing this review. I think this ballpoint model has stood the test of time because its design is timeless --it doesn't look dated at all-- and it fits in everywhere--in the boardroom, in the classroom, at home or on vacation. It's not a flashy or gaudy-looking writing instrument, either, but has a sort of quiet elegance to it.

More on the design later! The pen was acquired from Amazon.ca's "Warehouse Deals" department, where its condition was described thusly: "Used - Good - Small cosmetic imperfection on top, front or sides of item". The price was $21.71 CAD, with eligible free shipping over $35. I did some online price-checking and found a brand-new one for $33.99 CAD at Staples.ca. That seemed to be the lowest price around (if you took Staples' free shipping into account), so I took a chance and ordered this one from Amazon (because I really liked its finish).

When it arrived, I couldn't find any damage to the pen at all. It's a nice, smooth writer, too, so I think I did well with my purchase. The pen (like all or nearly all of Cross' ballpoints) only takes Cross' proprietary ballpoint refills. The good news is that the Franklin Covey-branded version of this refill is much cheaper and is also sold by Staples.ca (the Franklin-Covey line is part of Cross, so it makes sense that their refills would fit).

Unlike the rest of the pen, the clip and nosecone are polished, not matte; I think this contrast was a good design choice. The clip is quite tight, but it clips onto thinner fabrics easily, but securely.

I've always liked the tastefully understated finials on the tops of Cross' fine writing instruments. The Cross name is neatly engraved below this finial (you can see the letter "S" in "CROSS" in the photo above--when I first saw a close-up of the photo, I thought the "S" was a scratch lol).

What really drew me to the pen were those wonderful concentric grooves around its barrel...

As well as being aesthetically-pleasing, these finely-machined grooves help to prevent the user's fingers from slipping off the barrel. The very first Cross fountain pen (which came out in 1930) had a triple-banded design on its cap and barrel, and I wonder if that was the inspiration behind the triple set of grooves on this ballpoint... Whatever their inspiration, I love them.

It is a very slim pen, though, so it might not be right for everyone's hand, but it suits mine and I'm very happy with my purchase. It's not the only Cross 'Classic Century' ballpoint I own, but it's probably my favourite now. And if I'm being perfectly honest, I think the fact that I got it for such a great deal adds a little more to its appeal; I find that to be the case with some of my favourite fountain pens, too :)

(photos and review by Maja)

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