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!