When I was in college I worked a part time job for a billion dollar company. One day while rifling through a drawer, in search of something to write with, my fingers found a small piece of metal in the back out of sight. Wrapping my hand around the metal I pulled it into a light. What I had found was a small silver pen. On the clip was a small shield emblazoned with the insignia of the company I worked for. I twisted the barrel to extend the tip of the pen and I began to write. I was surprised and delighted by what I was experiencing. The pen was aesthetically pleasing. It felt good in my hand and delivered a pleasant writing experience. This was the first time I had written with something that hadn't come out of a blister pack or the community pen cup in a classroom. I didn't put the pen back in its place and I guarded it with all the tenacity of mother bear.
This new pen and I had become inseparable. For the better part of a year not a thought made itself from my mind to the page without passing through this pen. I learned that I could buy refills. I could potentially have this pen for the rest of my life. Then, one day the clip broke. I had reached for my pen and found it missing. In a panic I clawed at my chest and was fortunate to find the clip gone but the pen resting comfortably at the bottom of the pocket. I guarded it even more fiercely than before. After each use I would ensure that the pen found its way back in to a secure location within my bag. During my last final of my last semester of my senior year of college I reached into my bag to retrieve my faithful companion only to find it missing. I dug through the pockets. I emptied the contents of my bag. I frisked my self with the fervor of a new police recruit and I found nothing. Checking the time I realized I could just make it across campus to the room where I'd last remembered using the pen. I sped off found the room empty and crawled upon to floor. It was gone. My Cross Century Classic was gone. I Charlie Brown walked my way back across campus and took my last final with whatever pen I could find.
Why do I tell this story? It was this experience, with this pen that ignited my interest in finding the perfect pen for me. I have always had an interest in pens, pencils and paper. However, it wasn't until the Cross Century Classic entered my life that I realized I didn't have to settle for a Bic or a pen given away at the local bank. The Cross gave me something that I liked to look at and that I felt good using to write with every day. It was for this reason that a few months ago I made the move to replace the pen that started it all and I purchased a new Cross Century Classic.
Fast forward 15 years and I found myself on Amazon looking for a Cross Century Classic. Through the magic of the internet I found myself once again in possession of a pen that I had at one time thought never to hold again.
I was initially very surprised by how nice the packaging was. The pen itself is not overly expensive and I have received far more expensive pens in far less protective housings. Out of the box the the Cross comes loaded with a medium ballpoint. I did run into a few issues with the ink globbing on the tip and leaving a less than clean line.
I had selected the chrome finish and found the shine and polish very clean. There are groups of 3 tight lines grouped at intervals around the slender body of the pen. This is where I started to really fall out of love with my memory. The lower section and the upper section of the pen don't match. The groupings of the lines are evenly spaced around the pen on the lower section but the upper section has one gap in the design. What is even more troubling to me is that when the time is extended by twisting the body the lines don't match up and they are just slightly off when the pen is retracted.
This shouldn't bother me as much as it does but I've learned that the little details just slightly off can really ruin an experience.
My biggest complaint, and the one that will keep the pen in the box, is with its size. It is a VERY slender pen. Even just writing for a short time with it had my hand cramping. What surprises me is that this pen used to be my every day all day pen. I would take notes through all of my classes and fill blue books with essays during finals.