A teacher of mine in high school gave me a Cross ballpoint at one time. I developed a bit of a soft spot for the brand at that point.
When I discovered that the A.T. Cross company made fountain pens, I knew I had to have one.
The Cross Century II was my first “step-up” fountain pen. I ordered directly from the manufacturer and paid full MSRP for it, but I did so because I wanted a broad nib. The broad option was on its way to being discontinued at the time, and I don’t think they are offered at all anymore on this line.
It’s a sweet writer. Super smooth and wet.
The company has changed a lot in the past couple decades and the question of who makes these nibs and during which time period is confusing–Pilot and Pelikan have made Cross nibs, and Sailor currently makes nibs for the Peerless line–but whoever made the nib on this pen knocked it out of the park. Only fine and medium are options on Century II pens, now.
The pen is thin and uses a simple snap cap. I can write with it unposted, but it feels better posted. It fills via Cross’s proprietary cartridge/converter system. Their cartridges were just okay when I tried them a couple years ago, so I prefer to fill it with the converter–which, I might add, costs extra. . .seriously, guys?
I like the Century II. Parts of it feel a little cheap–the plastic-lined snap cap feels reminiscent of other pens that originate in China but cost significantly less and ink can get trapped between the plastic grip and the chrome ring on the front of the section, staining ones fingers. Overall, though, I like it. It writes really well and looks classy.