This pen was Cross’s introductory-level fountain pen, and one has to say that it very much gives that impression. The materials and finish are all rather suggestive of a low-end pen, calling to mind some rather less prestigious brands, although there’s not the disastrous sense of cheapness with besets some of the bottom-most Chinese pens. In terms of price, it is competing more with the low end of Lamy than the low end of Sheaffer or Parker, although it is those pens to which it bears the most functional resemblance. I wonder somewhat at the price-level of the Aventura, for reasons I’m about to get into, although it does find itself wrapped in the aegis of the quite liberal warranty offered by Cross; if it stops working through a mechanical defect, they’ll fix it.
Such problems as this pen includes don’t specifically stem from its relatively low price. The styling is probably going to leave some folks scratching their heads, if not outright hostile, with its odd obliquities on the cap and tail. The tail one does actually bug me a little bit, since it is not aligned to the point, but seems to be at a “whatever” angle; this bugs me because the Waterman Phileas, a pen which was very much in the same part of the market, has a tail decoration which does align with the point, and since the section threads of the Aventura are of the single-lead sort, this alignment could have been managed… unless “sort of sideways” is in fact the standard alignment of that fitting.
More likely to present a general problem is the chromed section. It is sturdy, as it’s made of metal, but it’s also apt to grow slippery. That is a more serious issue, and one which is surprisingly common in pens of the same vintage. Despite the presence of a functional-looking ring on the tail, the cap does not post well, which is a serious incapacity for some pen users. I’m not too worried about it myself, except in as much as not posting leaves that vexing tail fitting visible.
The problems are hardly large ones, though, and with the exception of the slippery grip the performance of this pen does much to dismiss the objections. The point is fairly stiff, but a hint of spring can be found. It’s smooth and the “cheap feeling” plastic translates into a nice light pen that is easily supportable on a long write. That metal section, as much as it makes a long write dodgy prospect in one way, throws the pen’s balance point well forward to help with keeping the point on the paper without oppressing the hand.
I don’t know if I can really recommend this pen. My example is pleasant enough, but there are complaints galore about their durability (which may well be the low price coming home to roost). I mention previously the warranty, but as was pointed out to me in a discussion on this very topic, the claimant has to cover the shipping costs, and unlike most other Cross pens, the shipping costs are roughly equivalent to buying another pen… and that being the case, why get a duplicate of one that hasn’t been very satisfactory? The brief run of the Aventura may suggest that Cross has been considering that very question themselves.
Production Run: c. 2006 – c. 2013.
Cost When New: About $40.
Size: 14.7 cm long capped, 15.7 cm posted, 13.4 cm uncapped.
Filler: Cartridge, capacity approx. 0.6 ml
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