Cross Botanica Fountain Pen: Quick Look

Hey there fountain pen fans, let’s take a quick look at the Cross Botanica. This pen is very much a fashion pen that is one of the most unique and visually impressive pens I’ve ever seen. I’m rather smitten with it even though it’s a total deviation from the pens I’m normally drawn to.

There are 5 colors/finishes available :

The Botanica has a fluted grip, made of plastic with a pretty firm hold. It’s a thinner grip, probably most comfortable for those with smaller hands. It’s about like the thinner part of a Pilot Metropolitan. 

It weighs a relatively lightweight 23g, similar to a Pilot Metropolitan or Lamy Al-Star. Unposted it’s quite light and evenly balanced. Posted it’s a bit back heavy but it’s really pretty manageable. 

The nib is stainless steel nib available in fine or medium, and writes surprisingly smooth and wet. These nibs are a little broader than most others, especially if you like Japanese fine nibs which tend to run quite thin. These are like some of the wetter European nibs I’ve used. They’re identical to the Cross Classic Century and Century II, if you’ve ever used them.

The Botanica is a snap cap, push to post, and is secure on both ends. It does have kind of an interesting centerband, which is textured and has kind of a ‘grip’ to it. It tend to snag little pieces of fuzz which might drive you crazy if you’re particular about that kind of thing.

It uses a Cross proprietary threaded converter, which unfortunately is not included with the pen and is unfortunate to see at this price. It can also accept the Cross non-threaded converter and Cross cartridges. 

At $115-125 depending on finish (gold finish is more expensive) it’s not exactly a bargain, though I have to admit that since I saw this pen in person I have not been able to stop staring at it. You can check out more specs and pics at Gouletpens.com

I get the sense this will be a very polarizing pen, either you’ll love it and have to have it, or you’ll wonder what the heck Cross thinking. Where do you land? Let me know in the comments below!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

2017-10-11T04:04:22+00:00 July 9th, 2015|Pen Reviews|18 Comments
  • Katie J

    Interesting that you said that you can't stop looking at the pen. I have had that same thing happen to me since I got the newsletter. They are pretty!

  • Tom Johnson

    The Apica CD notebooks are wonderful. Don't be fooled by the low price, wonderful paper. Great to toss in your pack or briefcase. I love them. Wonderful photo, perfectly laid out, great ideas.

  • John Nichols

    $115 and no converter? That's kind of a rip.

  • Katie J

    Agreed

  • Jared

    So if I'm correct, for between $115-125, you get a plastic pen, a choice
    of 2 steel nibs (not gold, and not #6-so not replaceable with Goulet nibs),no proprietary converter, 2 proprietary cartridges, back heavy if you try to post it. What am I missing? I don't mind whimsy at all, but I have to agree with John and Katie. What the heck is Cross thinking? But there are those who loved their Edsels, too, I guess.

  • Kathy

    Brian, I've loved Cross pens for a long time…just good workhorses. But these pens don't do it for me. While not outrageously expensive, at this price they should come with the converter. I know that's not your fault, just sayin'

  • Otter

    Those pens are gorgeous, and yes, a brilliantly unique design! I tend to be drawn to pens which catch the eye more, so I find these irresistible. The only problem is I can't make up my mind which one to pick up. At first I was sure it was going to be the Purple Orchid, but then the Black Primrose caught my eye, and then I thought, "Dang, that Green Daylily is really striking!" It is an investment (i.e., not cheap, as has been pointed out), or I'd probably buy them all!

  • Madigan

    It's a beauty! Definitely a unique design. 🙂

  • Madigan

    Yeah, it is a bit of a bummer. We do carry Cross converters though! 🙂

  • Madigan

    Hi Jared! Yeah, the converter situation is not ideal. Just to be clear, the grip section is plastic, but the rest of the pen is made of metal. I've been playing with it a bit and it's a beautiful, steady writer if a bit on the wet side. Like Brian said, it is a bit of a polarizing pen! 🙂

    • Good to know they're metal. I was curious about the material.

  • Madigan

    Hi Kathy! Yeah, I agree about the converter. It's a bit of a bummer. I did get the chance to play with one for awhile and loved the way it looked on my desk… definitely more of a fashion pen! 🙂

  • Madigan

    Hi Otter! They are all beautiful so it's definitely a tough choice. Are you someone who likes to match their pen to their ink? That could be a way to help you decide! 🙂

  • Jared

    Hi Madigan! Thanks for the clarification on the Botanica. Have a great weekend!

  • Kathy

    My parents loved their Edsel. Said it was one of the best cars they ever owned. All I remember is playing with the buttons on the steering wheel and getting into trouble for that! I was a mere pup at the time.

  • Jared

    Ha Ha! I know, Kathy. And that's why there are horse races! 😉 I seem to remember some similar difficulties with our pushbutton Plymouth Valiant!

  • invenio78

    I love goulet, but I really wish they wouldn't stock cross. Cross is the rip off brand of pens. They are very expensive for what you get. I fear somebody will pay over a $100 for this plastic pen, no converter, a cheap nib, etc… and think "wow over a $100 and not much to show for it,… this is the last fountain pen I'm getting." Just my two cents.

  • kookatsoonjan .

    Hi there…
    What size are the nibs on these pens…smaller than a #6/Ahab?
    thanks