Cross ATX Quick Review

Unknown Cross Chrome fountain pen uncappedMy fourth Cross fountain pen is another one that I don’t have a recollection or record of acquiring. Even worse, I had no idea what model Cross pen this is. As luck would have it I found that this was the Cross ATX. Once I knew what pen this was I searched my email and found a shipping notice for this pen in 2006, making it my first Cross fountain pen despite me thinking the Cross Verve was my first Cross. So this ended up being a completely forgettable fountain pen. Although it must have made enough of a good impression to convince me to later buy the Cross Verve.

The pen has a medium steel nib that’s very smooth. A look through a loupe shows perfectly aligned nib tines. It’s got a pull off cap that fits securely. The nib seems to have a smaller sweet spot than my other medium nibs, As I wrote I would sometimes get skipping if I turned the nib while writing. The skipping was always because I turned the angle of the nib, not because of any actual flow problems.

The pen cap posts deeply and securely. The inner cap grips the barrel and hold the cap firmly in place. Since it posts deeply it doesn’t add much to the length of the pen. The pen still feels well balanced when posted, but that is from someone who doesn’t post his pens.

The chrome (metal) section is a problem for me, especially today when it’s 90º here. It does give the pen a nice sleek look. When I uncapped the pen for the first time I thought the pen grew because the section makes the pen look longer.

The clip presses firmly against the pen. This makes it hard to clip into my pockets, but once there it stays firmly in place. Cross’s name is engraved vertically at the top of the clip. “CROSS” is also engraved around the back of the cap.

The “quick” in this quick review means I only used the pen for a day or so. I used a black Cross ink cartridge since Cross uses a proprietary filling system and I want to use these up. The Cross ATX has a lot of good points, the top one being the nib. But it has several points I don’t like, the top (or bottom?) one being the metal section which is also on the thin side, at least for me. I don’t find the pen comfortable to write with for more than a page. What I don’t like doesn’t really make this a bad pen. It is what it is, and others may like a metal section and not find the pen uncomfortable.

The only problem I had was a hard start after letting the pen sit unused nib up for a week. I let it sit nib down for about 5 minutes and is was fine without needing to force the ink.

I’ve no idea how much this Cross Chrome pen cost back in 2006. It’s currently on Amazon for $60. I cautiously consider the pen a fair value at that price, if you like the chrome look and chrome section. I’m cautious because I can’t believe Cross can consistently repeat the nib quality in a sub $60 pen. But it does seem solidly built. According to the Cross website a converter is not included with the pen anymore so calculate a few extra bucks for that ($5.25 direct from Cross). The parts have a solid fit and there’s no rattling when I write. Despite this pen being several years old that doesn’t prove durability since it wasn’t used until recently.

The metal section, along with it being slightly too slim for me, means the Cross ATX isn’t a keeper for me.

The Numbers

  • Length Capped: 5.4910″ (139.47 mm)
  • Length Uncapped: 5.0260″ (127.66 mm)
  • Length Posted: 5.5870″ (144.44 mm)
  • Section Length: 1.160″ (29.47 mm)
  • Section Diameter (near nib): 0.3165″ (8.04 mm)
  • Section Diameter (below barrel): 0.4100″ (10.41 mm)
  • Section Diameter (mid-section): 0.3850″ (9.77 mm)
  • Cap Diameter: 0.4865″ (12.36 mm)
  • Barrel Diameter: 0.4865″ (12.36 mm)
  • Weight:  0.8 oz (24 g)
  • Weight (body only):  0.6 oz (16 g)

Additional Reading/Viewing

On FPN

Stephen Brown’s Video Review

Gallery

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2 thoughts on “Cross ATX Quick Review

  1. Thanks Ray for the review. I have a Century II and a Apogee. Both good pens not great. I recall the purchase of both but I also recall sending them both off for some nib tuning. They write great now but hard for me to recommend to a first time fountain pen buyer. Cross is still a brilliant marketing machine though so I will give them that.

    • Hi Bob. I do think I got lucky with the nib in this pen as far as being aligned and smooth. My other Cross’s all had some minor misalignment or scratchiness. Well, except the Verve but that had enough other problems.

      Thanks for reading,
      Ray

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