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Old 5 November 2009, 02:22 PM   #1
Taffi Abernathy
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Let's See Your Cross Pens!

Cross makes a great pen. They also provide a lifetime warranty on all their writing instruments. Some of mine were gifts, some I purchased, some are very old and scratched, but they're all good!!! Cross pens and pencils are classics so let's see yours!
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Old 5 November 2009, 02:41 PM   #2
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Faith,

Ya know as many of this pens that I have owned over the years I have never taken a photo of any of them. I should as you are right. They are a nice pen! I can remember the day when the 18K gold filled Cross set was a status symbol!
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Old 5 November 2009, 02:45 PM   #3
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Wow Faith! What a collection!
My one and only Cross (rollerball)...
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Old 5 November 2009, 02:49 PM   #4
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My VERY first NICE Pen was a Cross fountain pen! It was the only fountain pen I ever had. I remember buying it when I graduated from dental school in 1991.
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Old 5 November 2009, 03:14 PM   #5
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Every day work horse pen/pencil. Been sitting on my desk for 22 years.
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Old 5 November 2009, 11:17 PM   #6
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I dug mine out of a box the other day..

The pen/pencil set were my constant pocket companions for at least 10 years until they were replaced with the Waterman I mentioned in the "confession" thread.

That's back when I actually had more to write than just a signature. I went through countless pen refills.

They are in sad shape now. The pen cartridge won't even retract now.
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Old 5 November 2009, 11:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taffi Abernathy View Post
Cross makes a great pen. They also provide a lifetime warranty on all their writing instruments. Some of mine were gifts, some I purchased, some are very old and scratched, but they're all good!!! Cross pens and pencils are classics so let's see yours!
nice pens, I didn't realize they had that kind of warranty, thanks I have a couple that need some work
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Old 6 November 2009, 01:19 AM   #8
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My favorite is the chrome pen n pencil set, sorta-kinda goes with the "SINK" !

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Old 6 November 2009, 01:37 AM   #9
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My Turn!

Mine are the Cross Century Medallist. But mine has a "Q'' on the Clip. Looks just like these!



Saludos desde Puerto Rico Faith!!
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Old 6 November 2009, 10:09 AM   #10
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Saludos desde Puerto Rico Faith!!
Me gustan esas plumas; son muy bonitas. Recuerdos, Faith
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Old 6 November 2009, 01:37 PM   #11
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Beautiful collection Faith!

How long have you had them?



-Frankie
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Old 6 November 2009, 02:51 PM   #12
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Thanks Frankie,

I have collected them over the years, so some are very old, some are relatively new. My most recent acquisition is the pink limited edition pen which Cross created for breast cancer research. Nice to see you in this section, isn't it great?! Faith
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Old 9 November 2009, 06:33 AM   #13
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Folks I worked at Cross at one point, and I can tell you their quality control is terrible. It is certainly not up to the standards of a Rolex owner.

For a few years now (3-5) they have been manufactured in China. I have two of their "Apogee" pens which retail for around $300 a piece. They were engraved at the headquarters for me free of charge.

Well, they are barely a year old and the fillings of the engravings have completely worn off. The chrome plating on one pen cap is peeling and the ink cartridge of the fountain pen breaks often, resulting in a potential disaster. Luckily this has never happened while I was wearing a suit.

These pens received extremely light use; they hardly leave my desk. Occasionally, I may isolate them in a front pocket, but that is the extent of their duty.

Vintage Cross pens are a different story. They display high quality American craftsmanship you'd expect. I have some over 30 years old that have been used much more extensively than the models I just mentioned, and yet they display none of the shortcomings.

Even a Breast Cancer research ballpoint pen I purchased for my mother leaks ink like a siv.

For anyone who owns a Rolex, or aspires to have the "Rolex" of pens, a modern Cross is NOT for you. They may look good at first, but they simply will not hold up.

I am pretty satisfied with the Mont Blanc pen I own, but I know there are substantially more expensive pens than even this.

Just my $.02 folks. I have no axe to grind with Cross as a company, but I am extremely disappointed with their quality. I'd never buy another one, or even a refill for my existing pens.
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Old 9 November 2009, 03:27 PM   #14
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Folks I worked at Cross at one point, and I can tell you their quality control is terrible. It is certainly not up to the standards of a Rolex owner.

For a few years now (3-5) they have been manufactured in China. Just my $.02 folks. I have no axe to grind with Cross as a company, but I am extremely disappointed with their quality. I'd never buy another one, or even a refill for my existing pens.
This is disappointing news. I think of Cross as making solid, reliable pens & pencils and standing by their products. It looks like those days are gone. I have also had someone in a pen shop tell me MB isn't worth the money, they are forever undergoing service for cracked cases. I'm not sure what brand is worth the money they charge anymore?
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Old 10 November 2009, 12:49 AM   #15
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Folks I worked at Cross at one point, and I can tell you their quality control is terrible. It is certainly not up to the standards of a Rolex owner.

For a few years now (3-5) they have been manufactured in China. I have two of their "Apogee" pens which retail for around $300 a piece. They were engraved at the headquarters for me free of charge.

Well, they are barely a year old and the fillings of the engravings have completely worn off. The chrome plating on one pen cap is peeling and the ink cartridge of the fountain pen breaks often, resulting in a potential disaster. Luckily this has never happened while I was wearing a suit.

These pens received extremely light use; they hardly leave my desk. Occasionally, I may isolate them in a front pocket, but that is the extent of their duty.

Vintage Cross pens are a different story. They display high quality American craftsmanship you'd expect. I have some over 30 years old that have been used much more extensively than the models I just mentioned, and yet they display none of the shortcomings.

Even a Breast Cancer research ballpoint pen I purchased for my mother leaks ink like a siv.

For anyone who owns a Rolex, or aspires to have the "Rolex" of pens, a modern Cross is NOT for you. They may look good at first, but they simply will not hold up.

I am pretty satisfied with the Mont Blanc pen I own, but I know there are substantially more expensive pens than even this.

Just my $.02 folks. I have no axe to grind with Cross as a company, but I am extremely disappointed with their quality. I'd never buy another one, or even a refill for my existing pens.
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This is disappointing news. I think of Cross as making solid, reliable pens & pencils and standing by their products. It looks like those days are gone. I have also had someone in a pen shop tell me MB isn't worth the money, they are forever undergoing service for cracked cases. I'm not sure what brand is worth the money they charge anymore?
It just figures, I wonder how many other US mfg's have "sold out" to foreign cheap labor pools. I would agree that it is truly a global problem with QC issues for any mass produced product, but its only as of the last 10 years or so that its really been in your face.

I think this too is its more "in your" face b/c of the internet. And its prolly been a practice for Cross for years to mfg where its most efficient and profitable. I am not surprised. Even the ROLEX GMT clasp issue has been produced with a process, welding, that has been successful for many, many years and as of late has had a "run" thats been in "our face" only b/c of the internet...

I would gather to say its maybe at best "hit or miss" that you buy a clunker CROSS or ROLEX with a better than 100 : 1 chance of fx happening, dare I say, and that it culd be "in your face" on a forum like this !
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Old 10 November 2009, 01:50 AM   #16
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It just figures, I wonder how many other US mfg's have "sold out" to foreign cheap labor pools. I would agree that it is truly a global problem with QC issues for any mass produced product, but its only as of the last 10 years or so that its really been in your face.

I think this too is its more "in your" face b/c of the internet. And its prolly been a practice for Cross for years to mfg where its most efficient and profitable. I am not surprised. Even the ROLEX GMT clasp issue has been produced with a process, welding, that has been successful for many, many years and as of late has had a "run" thats been in "our face" only b/c of the internet...

I would gather to say its maybe at best "hit or miss" that you buy a clunker CROSS or ROLEX with a better than 100 : 1 chance of fx happening, dare I say, and that it culd be "in your face" on a forum like this !
Not to highjack this thread (like SOME people do! ) but, I know for a fact Louis Vuitton, Channel, and others have been doing it for years. The materials are shipped to China, the bags are made, shipped back to France, and the labels, which ARE made in France, are put on. That's how they can say "Made in France" because the LABELS actually WERE made in France.
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Old 10 November 2009, 02:58 AM   #17
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Not to highjack this thread (like SOME people do! ) but, I know for a fact Louis Vuitton, Channel, and others have been doing it for years. The materials are shipped to China, the bags are made, shipped back to France, and the labels, which ARE made in France, are put on. That's how they can say "Made in France" because the LABELS actually WERE made in France.
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Old 10 November 2009, 05:04 PM   #18
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10 years service co. gift.

Pen and pencil received from my employer in 2006 for 10 years service. Can't wait for the fifteen years, there's a gold plated quartz longines on offer then. woo-hoo
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Old 11 November 2009, 02:11 AM   #19
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Not to highjack this thread (like SOME people do! ) but, I know for a fact Louis Vuitton, Channel, and others have been doing it for years. The materials are shipped to China, the bags are made, shipped back to France, and the labels, which ARE made in France, are put on. That's how they can say "Made in France" because the LABELS actually WERE made in France.
This just seems to happen so much now sadly. Some of the worst offenders are the designer brands, still jack their prices up but manufacture in the far east for much cheaper labour and materials.

I grew up not far from the old Clarks shoe factory in Street, Somerset. A pair of clarks shoes made there were quality products, thick, soft leather, they would last decades if treated well.

Now most clarks are made in China with inferior leather and standards of manufacture but increased prices. I purchased a pair a few years ago. The leather was no where near the same quality and within a year the inside of the heel had worn away and the sole was shot!

What a shame. It is sad to hear about Cross, my late mum used their products all the time because of the quality.
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Old 14 November 2009, 03:13 PM   #20
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I once interviewed at the A.T. Cross co. many years ago in Lincoln RI. At the time they had an engineering dept. and a manufacturing facility there. I took a different job somewhere else but it is my understanding that the Lincoln RI business is no longer there. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong. I have also heard the same as what was said about the quality issues with the newer pens. It seems that they are riding on their reputation. I have an old Cross pen that belonged to my great uncle. It hasn't been used in at least 13 years since he died but I'll try to remember to post a pic this weekend.
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Old 15 November 2009, 05:17 AM   #21
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This gets a little tricky, so please read this slowly.

Cross is still in Lincoln; however, the manufacturing plant was demolished in 2006. The half of the building that remains is the Cross Admin building.

A separate office building has been built on the site of the manufacturing plant. The new building is not owned by, nor occupied by, Cross. The owner of THAT building actually owns the Cross building too. Cross sold their building to him around 2006 and they signed a 10 year lease. That goes to show how desperate they were for cash. It is widely assumed they will leave RI at the end of the 10 year lease.

In the basement of the Admin building, all the Chinese made components are received and the pens are assembled and packed in plastic cases. That's why they get away with saying "still hand assembled in America."

99% of the merchandise is made in China -- and if I may say, it shows.

The exceptions... Tiffany & Co. buys some Cross pens which they insist be made in America. There is a small room at Cross which still manufactures these pens.

Also, the solid gold pens are still made in Lincoln. Solid silver may be made in Lincoln but I am not 100% sure.

On a final note, I will publish two links regarding Cross. The first one was a story in a local newspaper about how President Obama ordered his inaugural pens from Cross:

http://newsblog.projo.com/2009/01/president-order.html

The newspaper incorrectly wrote:
Quote:
The gold pens are made in Lincoln.
Well I saw that and laughed, knowing this was incorrect.

Two days later the Journal had to issue an apology story:

http://newsblog.projo.com/2009/01/obamas-at-cross.html

Quote:
The pen used by President Obama to sign inauguration documents yesterday was made by Rhode Island's A.T. Cross Company, but most of the pen was made at the company's factory in China, a Cross spokeswoman said today.

The 10-karat gold A.T. Cross pen that is being sold for $120 at the Inaugural Collectibles Online Store was assembled in the United States with U.S. and foreign components, Geshelin said. Interior components were made in China, she said, "and the gold components we get from around here."
Hey, makes sense to them, right?

I understand that when business is down you need to reduce costs, but it seems that whatever money Cross saved by outsourcing they lost 10X over in brand equity.
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Old 15 November 2009, 05:21 AM   #22
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PS I do apologize for hijacking the post...
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Old 15 November 2009, 05:43 AM   #23
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PS I do apologize for hijacking the post...
Please, no apology needed, your post was highly informative, relevant to the topic and I thank you for the information. Faith
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Old 15 November 2009, 01:04 PM   #24
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The news about Cross is not surprising, but it's too bad for the company and their reputation. Between my wife and I we probably have 7 of the slim cross pens or pencils, all at least 12 or more years old. I was looking at some of their current lineup, and now that's not going to change...only looking, no purchasing.

Also, hardly a hijack; actually, it's very good info!
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Old 15 November 2009, 01:23 PM   #25
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This is something that I didn't know about Cross.

What a mental mainstay in the minds of most pen collectors. My first nice pens were Cross FP's and I loved the way they wrote. I still have two of them from about 20+ years ago.

Very sad.

If I am not mistaken, I believe that Bexley is the only pen made in America now.

http://www.bexleypen.com/
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Old 15 November 2009, 01:30 PM   #26
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I dug mine out of a box the other day..

The pen/pencil set were my constant pocket companions for at least 10 years until they were replaced with the Waterman I mentioned in the "confession" thread.

That's back when I actually had more to write than just a signature. I went through countless pen refills.

They are in sad shape now. The pen cartridge won't even retract now.
You know, they have a lifetime warranty!
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Old 15 November 2009, 04:22 PM   #27
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On the old pens, was wondering are they labeled somewhere "made in America"?
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Old 15 November 2009, 05:46 PM   #28
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On the old pens, was wondering are they labeled somewhere "made in America"?

The older pen have engraved directly under their conical tops, "CROSS Made in USA."
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Old 16 November 2009, 02:41 AM   #29
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Warranty work costs $10 per pen. It is performed in Lincoln RI.
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Old 16 November 2009, 03:08 AM   #30
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Be careful with the labels. As Taffi said... the ones made in the US will say "made in USA."

However, I have seen Chinese pens which say "CROSS USA" on them. Often the "USA" is fitted between dashes. It looks like this:

CROSS

-USA-

These are NOT made in the US. Once again Cross uses a loophole. In this case they saying Cross is "USA", not the pen.

They stopped doing this a few years ago, but it was popular during the switchover.

Also, the Chinese pens don't say Made in China on them. On the box will be a 'made in China' tag which is easily removable.
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