New life for an old Cross pen (as a pencil)

This Cross pen was part of a set that had a matching pencil. Unfortunately, I lost the pencil years ago. The pen is beat to hell from years of use, but also is one of my most prized pieces because it was a gift from my mom when I graduated college. It’s been misplaced and forgotten in several places over the years, but when she passed almost a year ago, I wanted to keep closer tabs on it and maybe use it more frequently.
A few months ago I learned of a (now discontinued) product called “Switch-it” that allows you to convert a Cross pen to a mechanical pencil.

in the picture above, the lead is advanced by pressing/clicking the yellow end. BTW there are erasers included. They are tiny.

While is does “work” in that it does turn your Cross pen into a MP, the function leaves a little to be desired. To advance the lead you have to turn the (clip end) end of the pen about a quarter turn left and then right, essentially “clicking” the yellow end I mentioned above. You have to return the cap back to the right to set the clutch, or the lead will back up into the pencil when you write.

On a side note, I am looking for any advice on what I can do about the surface of this pen. Any suggestions? I was considering maybe some very high grit microfiber or something.


I have a similar pen from when I graduated high school. The one I have is “gold” plated. Is yours “gold” or just brass?

it may have been gold - now its just gross though :expressionless:

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Came across this converter a while back and used it to add some variety to my quartet of translucent Cross Solo… glad to have this!


My thread about another possible conversion

How much did you pay for your Switch-It converters?

They go for about $30 on eBay, not sure I want to shell out for it. It looks like mine should be compatible though.


They were like 15-17 bucks back then. I think there was even option for a 3-pack. Not sure if they’re still being made today.

I recall reading about someone who owned a vintage Cross Century twist pencil that broke (over twisted etc) and Cross could only offer a new Century BP plus a Switch-it as solution.

I paid $22 for mine w shipping

TBH I’m not that impressed with it

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I would suggest a metal polish cloth (the type used for jewellery) as the gold plating is very thin.

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