Cross Century “Classic” Fountain Pen Long Term Review

I used to claim, back when I was in school, that I’d never thrown out a pen. This was not because of hoarding tendencies, but because I would always lose them long before they’d run out of ink.

Then, sometime in the early 80’s, my father got a pen and pencil set from Cross that included a fountain pen he didn’t want and he passed it to me. The first hit was free and I was immediately hooked. I kept that pen longer than any other pen I’d ever owned and actually used.

Eventually, of course, I lost it but somehow (student loans) managed to replace it guaranteeing that my student loans were spent on at least one thing that was useful.

The first hit was free.

My oldest fountain pen and maybe the only useful thing purchased with my student loans.

I used the Cross Century all through college and graduate school and am still impressed by how neat my notes were when I used it. It also survived two years in Albania with the Peace Corps.

I was partial to blue-black ink although I tended to cycle from blue to blue-black to black to blue quite regularly. It has a gold plated steel medium nib that was always very smooth and the black matte coating on the barrel looked cool–I’ve never been a fan of the gold and silver versions–and kept it from getting too many finger prints.

I used it until I bought a Retro 51 200 series and then used it some more when I didn’t like the Retro 51 as much as I thought I would. I didn’t replace it until I moved on to harder stuff: Pilot Vanishing Points. Even after that, I used it a bit, but eventually it got tucked away in a box.

A couple years ago, out of nostalgia, I broke out the Cross Century, cleaned it and re-inked it. I immediately began to wonder what I saw in it. It is surprisingly thin, much thinner than I remembered. In fact, it’s about the same thickness as most woodcase pencils. After several attempts to writing something longer than a signature, I cleaned it and returned it to the case.

The Cross Century next to a Levenger and a Palomino Blackwing.

The Cross Century next to a Levenger pencil and a Palomino Blackwing.

Now, after almost 30 years, I’m thinking about getting rid of it. I don’t see myself ever using it again and there’s no point in keeping it if it’s just going to stay in a box.

I’ll either sell it or pass it on to one of my daughters and see if I can get her hooked.


One thought on “Cross Century “Classic” Fountain Pen Long Term Review

  1. Pingback: Retro 51 200 Series Fountain Pen–Twenty-One Year Review | Mere Blather

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