Pen Review: Cross Century II Botanica Fountain Pen

Cross Botanica Fountain Pen

Cross Botanica Fountain Pen Box

Review by Laura Cameron

The Fahrney’s catalog is going to be the death of me.  When I was a kid, the Fahrney’s catalog used to land in our mailbox fairly often. I knew my dad was into fountain pens but, as I’ve previously stated, as a kid, fountain pens didn’t really hold much interest for me.  Flash forward 30+ years and now I eagerly await the catalog. Except now, I always find something I need to have.

Not that long ago I was flipping through the catalog and I spied a beautiful pen, the Cross Century II Botanica Gold Trim Fountain Pen. I’m not entirely sure why I was so taken with it. To be sure, it is a gorgeous pen but my tastes generally run towards the modern and not the ornamental.  But sure enough, the Green Daylily with that beautiful gold nib had caught my attention. 

I scouted around a bit and found out that the pen debuted back in 2015 and received mixed reviews. Maybe people through it was very pricey, especially since the base price doesn’t include a converter ($8.50 additional). But many people agreed that the pen was a beauty and didn’t look like much else they owned.

Cross Botanica Fountain Pen Packaging

I ordered and waited in anticipation. When the pen arrived, I wasn’t disappointed.  I had expected it to be heavier than it as, but there was a delicacy about it that I do love. I ordered a fine nib and I have been very pleased with it. The pen writes super smoothly. I’ve tested a few inks in it (Noodler’s Cactus Eel and Sailor Jentle Sakura Mori) and have been pleased with both in the pen. The inks flow smoothly and the writing is very fluid and easy.  Although I’m typically a silver or white gold girl, I can’t stop looking at all the yellow gold details: the line work on the nib, the pavé-textured pen cap ring, and the highlights in the daylily design. 

Cross Botanica Fountain Pen Packaging

Cross Botanica Fountain Pen Nib

(Editor’s interjected question: “Does the cap post comfortably?” Laura’s reply was “When you post it, the metal pavé cap ring doesn’t quite touch the pen body. I wasn’t worried about posting it and it does post but, I tend not to post my pens. I wasn’t concerned about the cap coming into contact with the designs.”)

This pen probably isn’t for everyone, but I’m enjoying having it in my collection.

Cross Botanica and Starlite Fountain Pen with

(The Botanica pictured with the Cross Century II Starlight Twilight Gray Selectip from The Desk archives)

Laura is a tech editor, podcaster, knitter, spinner and recent pen addict. You can learn more about her knitting and tea adventures on her website, The Corner of Knit & Tea and can find her on Instagram as Fluffykira.

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9 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Oh. My. Goodness. That’s an exclamation! I have a copy of the latest Pen World and believe this pen should be in it. I’d buy it in a minute if I could. 🙂 It’s beautiful. A work of art, and I would love writing with it. Maybe. I’m not crazy about my last Cross.

    Time to investigate. I want that pen.

    1. That’s pretty much how I ended up with one. Saw it in a catalog, couldn’t take my eyes off it, and next thing I knew I owned it!

  2. How do you tell the nib sizes for this pen, and on the replacement Century II nibs? I’m not seeing any designations on the nibs and I’m confused as to which 2 I have … my original is supposed to be a medium and my replacement Cent. II is supposed to be a fine, but they’re both writing the same line width…???? Nothing on my order says what nib size my original pen had on it… ???? Thanks.

  3. Martha – I’m sorry it took me a bit to respond to you but it took me a bit to find out the answer. It turns out it IS on the nib, but it’s on the side. SNEAKY! Turn the pen so the nib is facing sideways, with the nib pointing to your left hand and the body on the right. Down at the curves etched into the tines there should be a small letter there. Mine has the F.

  4. Hello! I’ve had my Botanica since October 2017, I think, and I feel like the design is less vibrant than it used to be, especially where I place my fingers. Have you observed any noticeable fading on yours? Thanks!

      1. Thanks for your reply, sorry I just saw it now! Will see how the coloring progresses overtime, I keep it in my purse pocket, so it’s probably got more wear than usual.

  5. I also loved these pens and had the purple orchid. However, after several years, there is no purple left at all – it is just a cream coloured pen with some silver swirls and a couple of very faint purple shadows. It is extremely disappointing!

  6. My pen faded too. So sad. Still writes beautifully but the artwork is a thing of the past (received on my birthday in 2021)

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