Which Is Better Cross Or Waterman – Cross Vs Waterman Comparison!

We have noticed more and more people reaching out to ask for comparisons between various different pen brands to try and help people find the perfect pen for their needs. Although we have already covered a few of these comparison requests in some of our other articles, we have decided to focus on the question of if Cross or Waterman pens are better for todays article.

We have noticed a few people reaching out and asking for the comparison so we hope that our article will be able to help any of our readers considering either of the pen brands. One of the main things to keep in mind when it comes to our Cross Vs Waterman comparison is that both brands tend to try and target a different market share with their being minimal cross over in the grand scheme of things.

This can make the brand choice for your next pen much easier as you can match the brand to your need. For example, if you are wanting a pen that you are able to use and then potentially sell for a high resale value then the Waterman pen range is probably the range for you. Although Cross pens are still high-quality, they do tend to be cheaper than their Waterman counterparts making the Cross pen range ideal for general use.

Which Is Better Cross Or Waterman

That said though, there are some specific options at different price points and with different pen types that may push one pen brand ahead of the other depending on your needs. As we work our way through some of the key features below we will point them out to try and help ensure that our readers are getting the most bang for their buck at each price point.

Cost Breakdowns

When it comes to the price tag of both brands, the Cross pen range does still have a small premium attached to it with little to nothing to show for the premium. Over the last decade the prestige level of owning a more expensive Cross pen essentially gone leaving some of their more expensive models over priced considering the performance and functionality that they offer.

On the flipside of this, the Waterman pen range do tend to be higher than average for their pens but in our opinion, this is warranted as their build quality and performance is spectacular. If you are looking towards a fountain pen then the Waterman range do tend to hold their resale value well and their special edition releases often sky rocket in value even if the pen has been used.

Due to this, although the Cross pen range has more budget-friendly models in their range, we have to give the win to the Waterman range. In our opinion, the cheaper Cross pens are outperformed by the Parker pen range anyway and our readers may be better looking there, especially for ballpoint or rollerball pens.

Nib Design And Performance

When it come to the ballpoint and rollerball nibs for both Waterman and Cross, we would tie the brands as both perform in a very similar way with both offering a very similar writing experience. When it comes to their fountain pen nibs though, the Waterman fountain pen range have to take the win as their nibs are superior in every way in our opinion with very few of the Cross nibs coming close to them.

Although personal preference as well as nib size, the type of paper you writer on, and the type of ink you use will all come into play, no matter your setup, you will almost always have a better writing experience if you opt to go with the Waterman range. On top of this, when it comes to the actual nib size of your fountain pen nib, the Waterman range tend to support the vast majority of nib sizes where some of the Cross fountain pens will only support the fine and medium options.

If you are wanting an extra-fine, fine-medium, broad or a double broad nib or even oblique nib options then you may run into problems when using the Cross range of fountain pens. Although replacement nibs are usually available for most of the pens in the Cross range, it is not a simple swap and usually requires the full section and nib to be replaced to change the nib size too.

As many of our readers are new to using fountain pens, this is too much work for most people so the majority of people so opting to go with the Waterman pen range from the start may be a better option. Depending on the price bracket that you are considering for your pen, the Pelikan pen range may be a better option than both Waterman and Cross though so keep that in mind too.

Pen Barrel Engineering

When it comes to the pen barrels for the Waterman and Cross ranges, we have to call it a tie as both brands use a very similar design and engineering process meaning that it is too close to call. Usually, there is a clear winner when it comes to the pen barrels as one brand tends to skimp whereas the other will not but with Cross and Waterman, they both use high-quality materials, have a great design, and have an excellent reputation amongst the community.

Both pens try to ensure that the barrels for their pens are as light as possible so you are able to write with any of their models for as long as required without having fatigue or cramps build up in your hand. At the same time as this, both Cross and Waterman also do their best to try and keep their pen barrels as tough and robust as they possibly can to ensure that they will stand the test of time and be able to take any punishment coming their way for the years to come.

Pen Cap Systems

When it comes to the capping systems for our featured brands, you have to factor in that many of the Cross pen models have been specifically designed to be capless. This is very common, especially for ballpoint and rollerball pens and there are many brands that take this strategy. Due to this, there are not as many Cross models on the market that use a capped design as there are for the Waterman models.

That said though, the Cross pen models that are capped do tend to lean more towards the push to lock capping system that we usually recommend that our readers avoid, especially on pens over the $100 price point. On the flipside of this though, the Waterman capped pens tend to use the twist to lock cap system even on their lower price point pens helping to score them the win when it comes to the cap systems for their pens.

Due to both brands having a relatively higher price tag for what you actually get out of the pens when compared to the competition, we would have liked to see a twist to lock cap system on the Cross pens too. The advantage is that the actual twist-lock system has a much higher chance of keeping the barrel attached to the pen, especially after years of use to prevent it from falling and breaking accidentally or going missing.

Ink Capacity And Products

When it comes to the maximum ink capacities of both pen brands we are going to have to call it a draw. Both brands have high-quality ink refills available for their rollerball and ballpoint pen variants that perform well and are cheap enough to purchase when required without having to break the bank. When it comes to the fountain pen models, it will depend on if the specific model that you are using is based around a cartridge convertor or a piston filler but ink options are a plenty for both brands.

Although both Cross and Waterman do offer some high-quality, premium level refined inks for their fountain pen range, the Noodlers ink range is an excellent option for both pen brands. Noodlers ink is usually our recommended ink of choice due to its low price tag, excellent performance, and outstanding reputation amongst the community that only gets better with each passing month. On top of this, the Noodlers ink range has one of the widest color ranges of all ink brands in the world almost guaranteeing that no matter what ink shade or color you require, Noodlers will have what you need.

Over All Pen Range And Reputation

Both Cross and Waterman do have a wide range of pen types and models across all price points in the market. The Cross range has more options available than Waterman at the entry-level price points but the higher the price points go, the Waterman pens take the lead as their pens usually hold their value better.

In our opinion, the reputation of Cross pens has continued to go downhill ever since they moved their manufacturing to China where as the Waterman reputation just keeps on getting better. Time after time Waterman smash it out of the park with pen models or special edition runs that are well received by the community where they recent additions to the Cross range have struggled to find a place in the market.


That brings our Cross vs Waterman article to a close and we hope that you have found it helpful. In our opinion, the Waterman pen range will be the better option for most people if you are able to stretch your budget. Although the Cross pen range is decent, they have dropped off in recent years with their reputation steadily getting worse and with stiff competition from the other pen brands, Cross will definatley have their work cut out for them in the future.

Similar Posts