The Paul Smith Cross Pen


What! I hear you say, yet another modern pen! What is this vintage pens blog coming to?
I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself. I mean, look at it!

This is, I think, the first of the pens that Cross made for Paul Smith, the British designer. This one’s in Midnight Blue and the alternative is Cherry Red. Paul Smith’s designs are described as “classics with a twist” hence the twist in the clip I suppose. That’s in danger of being a cheap visual pun but despite that, taken in isolation, it’s impressive and original. I haven’t seen a clip like that before. I haven’t seen the Cherry Red pen in the flesh (as it were) but the silver trim certainly works with this dark blue.
So how does it perform? Pretty well, actually. The beautifully engraved section provides quite a decent grip. I’m not fond of metal sections but the depth of the engraving reduces the cold and slippery feel of the metal. It’s well-balanced and would be quite comfortable in the hand were it not for the weight. It’s a full 34 g which is a bit heavy for my taste. Unless you had bionic assistance, you would find this tiring after a page or so. It’s resin over brass, the usual method for giving a spurious sense of quality through excessive weight. That aside, it’s a pretty good pen to use in short bursts. The stainless steel nib is medium, firm and very smooth indeed.
I believe there was originally a converter though it’s not there now. There are some cartridges in the box. Unscrewing and refitting the barrel to replace a cartridge is a pleasure. It’s a fine piece of engineering as you would expect from Cross. The cap snaps onto the barrel with a pleasing click.
It comes in a large and well-made box that clearly was not intended to be throwaway packaging. It seems that originally there was another pen in there and I believe that both ballpoint and rollerball were available. I suppose it’s a slight detraction that the other pen is not there now but really I am only interested in the fountain pen.
So it’s a modern pen and one that I would be happy to have and use were it not for the foolish addition of unnecessary weight to an instrument that works best when it weighs least. But, boy is it pretty!


4 thoughts on “The Paul Smith Cross Pen

      1. I have a lovely Targa which I use all the time with several different nibs; it is a delight. I suppose that writing comfort depends on the design of a pen, including balance.

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