I'm going to start this review off a little differently due to the nature of the product. Guns, particularly in the US, are a very polarizing issue and a product like this can seem to send it's own message which can create strong opinions and debates. I am open to comments on this post, but request respect from all parties.
The product we're discussing today is the Cross X, Liberty United Edition, Carbon Black rollerball pen which was kindly sent by Goldspot for review. Special thanks to them.
The premise behind this product is rooted in the mission of Liberty United - a company who's goal is the removal of illegal guns from the streets of the United States (and other parts of the world) in hopes of reducing violence against kids.
From my perspective, regardless of your opinion on guns in general or legal gun ownership, their mission could extend across the aisle for both sides. Their mission isn't to take away someone's right to bear arms, but to work with law enforcement to confiscate and reduce the number of firearms that are in the hands of criminals illegally and to destroy them.
Regardless of which side of the debates you're on, the tragedies we see happening all to often in neighborhoods and schools need to be addressed and Liberty United has taken a stance on how they think they can help which I think we can admire.
From the pens/products they sell, they say that 20-25% of profits are donated to help fund programs to continue removing guns from the streets as well as education about how to reduce gun violence.
Wow. Long intro, but this product needed some lead-in for sure.
As mentioned in the name, this particular pen is part of the Cross X rollerball lineup which is one of their edgier designs with an interesting knock mechanism. The center of the pen pulls apart which extends the length and refill for writing.
Personally, not sure I like this mechanism. It is unique, but isn't the smoothest. Maybe even a bit awkward as the two pieces of the barrel flex and twist a bit as the parts separate. Granted, it is kind of cool, but I'd probably have been happier with a twist.
One thing you're bound to notice about the X is how large it is, mainly in diameter, when compared to its overall length. It is a bit of a chunky pen almost 5/8" in diameter, but seems pretty light all things considered (even though it has some pretty good heft).
The pen weighs in at 1.4 oz which is no lightweight, but oddly enough it doesn't feel heavy.
One feature that stands out is the laser etched serial number of the disposed of firearm. This gun has been melted down and turned into the finial, a metal disc with the Liberty United logo stamped in. Compared to the stealth or gloss black pieces of the rest of the pen, this adds some dramatic contrast as it is somewhat rusted and weathered.
The Cross logo is also a bit on the subtle side as well being imprinted right above the clip in a gloss black. With the barrel being matte, it "pops" a bit as it reflects the light.
The pen's design has an overall two-tone color schemed meshing gloss and matte quite nicely. Be warned that the glossy parts tend to be fingerprint magnets while the matte is barely noticeable.
The refill included is the Cross ceramic gel roller in a 0.7mm. I have to admit, even though it isn't a refill I use too often, when I do I remember how much I really like it.
My first real review of the refill was early on in the blog when I reviewed the Cross Click where I raved a bit about it. I'd almost (almost...) put it in a similar category to that of the Schmidt P8126 capless roller as it seems to create a similar experience with dark smooth lines.
The price point on the X series start at $55 retail, but the Liberty United editions are at $95. This is a pretty considerable jump in price, even for a pen with a special cause, but I'm not sure if any of the price jump is tied into the disposal cost of the firearm.
Regardless, I find this version to be my personal favorite amongst the other X versions.
Is the Cross X for me personally? Probably not. I don't really love more chunky pens, so it doesn't quite fit my preference, but there are tons of people that would love the unique nature of the mechanism and the excellent refill. For the right person I'd certainly recommend it. Goldspot did mention that these are somewhat tough to keep in stock, so if you (or someone you know) would be interested it may be good to snag one.
What do you think about the Cross X Liberty United pen? (Again, respectful comments only please) Special thanks to Goldspot for providing it for review!