With Valentine's Day on the horizon, it's time to start spreading the love and show some love toward the new Cross Affinity. This series departs from the Cross pen design philosophy by making the body entirely out of crystalline resin. Lacking a metal base takes some weight out of the pen, which may concern those who prefer a little "heft" to their writing instrument. Considering the size and balance of the pen, the lighter weight provides a higher quality of comfort rather than taking away the luxurious feeling of a heavy pen.
What is impressive about this fountain pen is the ability to write smoothly and comfortably with its steel nib. Sure, the medium was a bit on the broad side, but it was extremely smooth and had an even flow. The lighter weight and wider shape (than a Century II, for example) was a pleasure to write with and complemented the flowing strokes of the nib. The cap posts on the back-end without throwing off the overall balance (length 5 1/8 inches long without cap, 5 5/8 inches long with cap posted on back).
The twist-off cap is another departure from the normal Cross status quo and it throws me off sometimes as I try and pull off a cap that is screwed on. Thankfully, I don't try too hard and break the darn thing.
As you would expect with most Cross pens, the "look" of the color and finish is fantastic. The Crimson Red is rich, lustrous and romantic. The glossy, polished resin is pleasing to hold and warming to the touch.
My only suggestions would be : buy now and remember to buy a converter. We are still under introductory pricing on these models, which may increase (by 20%) within the next month or so. Only a couple of ink cartridges are included inside the gift box with the pen, so be sure to buy a compatible Cross ink converter to use with bottled ink.
- Writing Quality : Steel nib performs above expectations. Very smooth with a generous flow. Great balance and weight. (grade A)
- Aesthetic Quality : Grande, classic with a modern, sleek appeal. The resin colors are beautiful and rich. (grade A)
- Utility : Cap screws off, but posts well in the back. Screw-in converter assures a secure connection to the feed. (grade A-)
- Price : Available in fine, medium or broad nib sizes for $100 retail (introductory special for $80.00 at Goldspot.com), the fountain pen is a bit on the more expensive side, especially for a resin pen with a steel nib. (grade B-)
Final Grade : A-
This Valentine's Day, you can buy your girl the Crimson Red Cross Affinity. Girls, the guys also may like the red, but the Jewel Blue and the Opalescent Black are outstanding choices as well. A great everyday writing pen for everyone.