8 November 2012

My New Filofax Pen - The Cross Tech3

You may have noticed from my Filofax post that I have a bit of a passion for stationery, so I take my pens quite seriously. I have a huge collection of ballpoints, flares, felt tips and rollerballs from my days as a design student; when the thickness of the line, the colour of the ink and the smooth flow were so important. So I was quite excited to see Cross Pens were sponsoring BlogCamp London over the summer. I've been searching for a nice pen to fit my Filofax and hoped they might have a recommendation. After chatting with them more by email, the lovely people at Cross offered to send me a few pens to try out - two of which I instantly fell in love with!
The first is the ultimate in organisation and multi-tasking. The Cross Tech3 combines a black pen, red pen, 0.5mm mechanical pencil and stylus into a single barrel that still fits in the pen loop of my Slimline Filofax! Perfect for gadget geeks or stationery fiends, I decided to head to Starbucks (where I do most of my planning) for a test run.
Currently I keep a digital calendar and use my Filofax as a paper back-up for when my data is inevitably eaten. So with both my Filofax and iPad calendars open, the Tech 3 allowed me to flip back and forth between both mediums. I could make notes, pencil in prospective dates, highlight changes in red and pick out events on my iPad without switching pens.
For a multifunction pen the barrel is quite slim, but is still slightly thicker than standard. Personally I prefer this, as it means my hands are less likely to ache when writing. I also appreciate the black print-free finish, as I don't feel the need to compulsively polish it! Practical and fuss free, the Tech3+ still adds a touch of sophistication with its bright chrome accents.

To change between the pens you just need to give it a twist, and when you're finished you twist back in the opposite direction to close. This does mean you sometimes have to circle through all the writing options as there is no way to go backwards. Though it caught me off guard at first, it was something I've quickly adapted to.
Writing with the Tech3 wasn't as smooth as with other Cross pens - it seemed to scratch the paper at times and the ink flow was a bit patchy at first - but it did get better with use. I suspect they just need a bit of breaking in. My only other problem was when I needed to change the lead in the pencil.
To replace either the pencil lead or the ballpoints, you need to pull the barrel apart. The fit is so tight that I was very worried I might break the pen. I had to check the internet for confirmation before I felt confident enough to force the pen apart. Once the barrel was off it was easy enough to remove the mechanical pencil and replace the leads. While a bit distressing at first, the firm fit ensures that your pen feels solid and secure the rest of the time.
Of course if you have a pencil you're also going to need an eraser and the Tech 3 hides this beneath the stylus cap. It's here in the details you can see the quality Cross are known for. The cap screws on smoothly for a flush finish, while the plastic seal ensures it stays on securely.
An ideal companion for my Filofax, the Cross Tech3 has a sleek understated style that combines practical function with gleaming chrome accents - perfect for everyday.