Cross is a rather ubiquitous name in the pen world. Officially named A.T. Cross Company, LLC, they have been around since 1864. That’s 173 years. Having a family history as jewelers, Cross originally made gold and silver casings for pencils. They then transitioned to mechanical pencils and produced the their first stylographic pens (technological predecessors to ballpoint pens) in 1879. The first Cross fountain pens were introduced around 1930.
Cross pens fall in the middle range of the pen market as opposed the luxury end and became a must-have for up-and-coming professionals in the 1970s and 1980s.
Their most popular line is the Century Classic which often come as a Ballpoint and Pencil gift set in a number of finishes. If you walk into any “big-box” office supply store and look for their “Fine Writing” instruments, you’re almost guaranteed to find a handful of Cross models.
Cross’ headquarters are currently located in Providence, Rhode Island.
The Cross Calais fountain pen is a member of the Calais line of pens which features rollerballs and ballpoints as well, and is a mid-level line of writing instruments.
Prices for the line range from $30-50 direct from Cross, but they can often be found cheaper if you shop around. This particular model, the Calais Fountain Pen All Black sells for about $20 at certain office supply stores. It is designed in the US but manufactured in China.
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