Cross is always looking to bridge the high-tech roadster aesthetic with a writing instrument and was extremely successful with the C-Series
. Having produced duds like the Autocross ballpen and the Turismo, Cross was coming up light on the masculine pen design until they nailed it with the large, heavy-hitting C-Series rollerball.
The unique feature to the C-Series is that it was the first Cross Pen to feature a twist-action gel ink rollerball. In fact, you can choose between either the Jumbo "Selectip" ballpoint cartridge or the gel ink rollerball cartridge. Of course I needed to try out both for the writing sample below:
Since I'm more of a fountain pen guy anyway, the liquid flow of the gel ink refill seemed more of a natural fit. Although the weight does make it feel more like a luxury pen, the balance seems to be a bit back heavy when writing and the faceted chrome tip is not very pleasing to hold either, making the pen more of a looker than a solid writer.
The spring-loaded clip with the hex screw nut detail is a great convenience for those clipping their hefty C-Series to their pocket. After noticing that your posture is now slouching over as you have the pen perched in the shirt pocket, it may be a good idea to store it in a leather pen case instead.
Final Grade : B
- Writing Quality : Heavy back end and chrome grip design does not suit long writing sessions. (grade C-)
- Aesthetic Quality : Certainly a solid pen with great metal trim design and motor-head features. (grade A)
- Utility : Ability to go from ballpen to rollerball is convenient. Spring loaded clip is sturdy and well designed. (grade B+)
- Price : At $100 retail, the C-Series rollerball is a bit on the high end for a Cross Pen. However, compare the size and weight to a typical $40 Cross Century ballpen and you see a significant difference, but it really does not justify the cost. (grade C)
Although the C-Series does appear a grand entry into the world of fine-writing, its lack of everyday writing quality and higher price point make it an average value pen buy.