Cross Verve Quick Review

Cross Verve uncapped

The Cross Verve was my first Cross fountain pen. This was a Cross that broke from the company’s typical conservative metal pens and used a fresh design. When I first received the pen I used it every day. It was great. The 18kt gold nib was smooth and the pen was comfortable in my hand. It was a short honeymoon. In less than a year I had soured on Cross’s quality.
Eventually the pen began to fall apart. I consider my pen handling normal. I neither coddle or abuse them. I just use them. The first problem was that the cap stopped clicking firmly onto the pen. There’s a seam between the cap and barrel and the cap feels loose. There are four small prongs to hold the cap in place and I still get a click when I cap the pen, but it’s not solid.
A bigger problem was when the clip snapped off. The clip is molded into a piece of plastic which is then affixed to the cap. It’s the plastic that snapped off. After sitting in a drawer for a year or two I super glued it back on. It looks just a little bit off but is solid.
Unlike the Cross Apogee this pen never gave the appearance or feel of being solidly built and always felt fragile. The cap is extremely thin which may have contributed to the now loose fit. There’s no cap band for support and it feels fragile. Even though I’ve tried to be gentle I’m surprised it hasn’t cracked.
The finish attracts fingerprints and oil from my hand more than any other pen I have, This is not a pen for a humid summer location. I’m beginning to think it actively pulls dirt from the air. Moments after wiping it clean the finish is marred with dirt and fingerprints. I like the Merlot finish but it’s high maintenance.
The pen does post securely thanks to the inner cap. Even though the inner cap takes the pressure I’d still be afraid of cracking. I don’t post my pens so this wasn’t the cause of my cap problems.
So much for the negatives. The bright spot for this pen is the medium 18kt gold nib. I’ve read that the nib was made by Pilot. I don’t know if that’s true, but it would explain a lot. It was smooth when I pulled it from the box and it’s smooth today. I might be a little over enthusiastic since it’s such a stark contrast with the rest of the pen. Unlike the Cross Apogee this nib is a real joy to use. There’s just a little tooth so I know the pen is writing although even that vanishes on smooth paper. The flow is consistent and I’ve never had a problem. The ink reached the nib by the time I sealed up the pen after putting in the cartridge.

The Numbers

  • Length Capped: 5.770″ (146.56 mm)
  • Length Uncapped: 4.8435″ (123.03 mm)
  • Length Posted: 6.1835″ (157.06 mm)
  • Section Length: 0.8665″ (22.01 mm)
  • Section Diameter (near nib): 0.3750″ (9.53 mm)
  • Section Diameter (below barrel): 0.5190″ (13.18 mm)
  • Cap Diameter (thickest spot): 0.5665″ (14.38 mm)
  • Barrel Diameter (thickest spot): 0.5665″ (14.38 mm)
  • Weight: 1.1 oz (30 g)
  • Weight (body only): 0.7 oz (20 g)

Wrapping Up

When I inked the Cross Verve up for this review I expected it to be a last hurrah for the pen. The pen soured me on Cross quality and I’m not at all surprised to see the pen is no longer sold by Cross. I do see a a couple new ones on eBay for over $400. My advice – stay away! I don’t see any used which is also no surprise since they probably didn’t survive. (Mine was $130 and I wouldn’t recommend it at that price either)
I’ve come to terms with the negatives so despite those negatives, or actually because of them, the pen is a keeper. I’d be too embarrassed to give it away and I couldn’t sell it for what the nib is worth to me. I kept my first car until the body rotted away so much the engine (and me) were likely to fall out. Likewise, I’ll keep the Cross Verve until the nib is no longer usable in the pen.

2 thoughts on “Cross Verve Quick Review

  1. I love this pen – I haven’t hit the cap issue you referred to but it wouldn’t surprise me. I have the roller and ballpoint too. I like the thickness of this pen – if you have to write for a long time and you have any type of carpel tunnel issue from typing – skinny pens cause cramps quickly, so this pen is a gift. I wish Cross had a smoother BP ink like Caran D’ache or PaperMate, but it’s o.k. The design reminds me of a Waterman Carene near the nib, but with an light aluminum body. My advice is -Skip playing with the clip – it’s decoration. Don’t post the cap-set it aside until you are done writing.
    This isn’t a fountain pen you use to sign your name once every hour and then put away. It’s a Christmas Card pen, and you like to write messages in each of the 50 cards you will be filling out and sending. Or it’s the 12 page letter pen you want to use. If you want to use it to just sign your name, then maybe you should consider some other pen, like the Waterman, Krone or Montegrappa Mayan. All have excellent caps and brass inner bodies and 18K nibs.

  2. My Cross Verve is my favorite modern pen, it seldom falls out of my rotation of inked daily users! I have the platinum color with the two-tone nib, and have never had any quality issues over the last 16 years or so that I have owned it! I second the above comment that this is a great pen for extended writing. My hand doesn’t feel crampy after a lot of use because of the shape of the pen and the section (I find I hold it further away from the nib than most pens) and because the nib barely needs to touch the paper to write nicely. It is one of the smoothest nibs I have written with (mine is a fine), with great, consistent flow. I also think the pen is gorgeous.

    I should say that I don’t use or play with the clip much, so I can’t vouch for its durability, but the cap has been fine for me, and I always post the cap when writing. I love the balance that way and how it sits in my hand.

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