A little over a year before I got an example this pen, I got a letter from chap in the marketing department of A.T. Cross’s UK wing, asking why I was apparently ignoring their company on my website. My response at the time was that I simply had not laid my hands on any Cross pens, and the website is driven by pens I’ve handled. Whatever else one might say about Crosses, people are apparently never anxious to part with one, and my efforts to get ahold of one second hand (I being a self-admitted eBay bottom-feeder) have met with very little success through simple scarcity. This, at last, is my first Cross pen, and I find that I am indeed the farthest thing from cross to have one.
If I read the history of the model correctly, the Century II came out to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Century pencil’s release; this is an interesting departure from the usual course of events, but of course Cross is first and foremost a pencil maker, and was in 1946 engaged on the long hiatus from fountain pen manufacturing that took them though most of the hard times for that instrument in rather good shape. It is a very traditional object in external appearance, although entirely modern in its internals– a feed of many baffles and a cartridge set-up rather than self-filling mechanism.
Production Run: 1996 – present.
Cost When New: 2011 MSRP is $90 for the base model, up to $300 for a solid silver version. Update: 2014 prices run from $100 to $378. For 2016, the range was $105 to $432.
Size: 13.4 cm long capped, 15.5 cm posted, 12.2 cm uncapped.
Point: Steel (in some models plated with 23k gold) or in the more expensive models 18k gold.
Body: Plated or lacquered brass.
Filler: Cartridge, capacity approx. 0.6 ml
If you are relying on the preceding information to win a bet or impress a teacher, you should read the site’s scholarly caveat. Remember, this is the internet, and it’s full of bad information.