Tag Archives: Cross pens

President Trump’s Pen of Choice

(DISCLAIMER: This is part of an on-going series of posts and not a political piece intended to stir any ire of pen collectors. Please do not flood the comments section with your love or hatred of the man. It will not be published.)

President Donald Trump signs an executive order with a black-and-gold Cross Century rollerball pen that uses a felt-tipped refill.

This week we head to Washington for the DC Pen Show! It will be our first time there, and it is only fitting that we look, once again, into the pens used by our presidents. As we have covered most of the signing instruments of presidents dating back to John F. Kennedy, it is time to look at the pens most used by Donald Trump.

The early days of the Trump administration saw several pens used to sign his initial executive orders.

Six months into the new presidency, it appears Trump has settled on Cross Century pens that are black with gold trim. These are the iconic skinny pens most associated with the Cross brand. Trump appears to use the rollerball version with felt-tipped refills.

Although most of these pens are made in China, Cross is still considered one of the few remaining truly American pen brands. Now that Cross also owns the iconic Sheaffer brand, I had wondered if we might see Sheaffers in the White House.

What Pen Does Robert De Niro Use?

I have reached a state of predictability. While out on a date with my girlfriend to see “The Intern,” a pen-and-pencil set flashed across the screen.

Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway bond over Facebook in a scene from "The Intern." De Niro uses Cross Century pens in the film.

Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway bond over Facebook in a scene from “The Intern.” De Niro uses Cross Century pens in the film.

Without missing a beat, she turned to me with a whispered question, “So, what type of pens were those?”

“Cross Centuries, my dear.”

For those who aren’t familiar with it, “The Intern” is a feel-good comedy about a retired executive who takes on a “senior” internship with a hot start-up dot com. Robert De Niro stars as the title character to Anne Hathaway’s fashion retail start-up. Both actors are lots of fun to watch in this tightly written script. The jokes gently run both ways while poking fun at the generations: Baby Boom, X and Y.

Here is an example of the Cross Century ballpoint pen used by Robert De Niro in "The Intern." It has a chrome finish with gold trim.

Here is an example of the Cross Century ballpoint pen used by Robert De Niro in “The Intern.” It has a chrome finish with gold trim.




The Cross Century pen and pencil make their first appearance in the montage of Robert De Niro settling into his new office space with an “old-fashioned” physical clock, attaché case, traditional office supplies and his pen-and-pencil set in a leather case. The Cross instruments were chrome models with gold trim. It is interesting that Mont Blanc didn’t jump on the merchandising bandwagon, but the Cross Century really came into prominence in the 1970s and ’80s–the era from which the film most tries to paint De Niro as a dinosaur.

Yet, the suit-wearing De Niro stands in appealingly sharp contrast to his bearded, unkempt, T-shirt-wearing Gen Y cohorts whose desks are festooned with toys. Cue the standard jokes about Generation Y’s inability to grow up and Baby Boomer’s inability to adapt to technology. Once those are out of the way, the movie really takes heart as both generations learn from each other and help one another navigate life.

It’s a fun movie and definitely a thumbs up.

A Pen for the Highest Office

I like to envision elements of this new blog as a cocktail party for pen collectors. Who else would start a conversation with a total stranger by asking, “Did you know so-and-so writes with a ______ pen?” It can’t be any worse than, “Hey, baby, what’s your sign?” (Scorpio)

President Barack Obama signs a bill with a Cross Townsend rollerball pen.

President Barack Obama signs a bill with a Cross Townsend rollerball pen.

Everybody uses a pen, but it is interesting to see who uses what. As this blog grows, I hope to identify the pens used by movie stars, politicians (both parties), athletes and anybody else who has made the news. One of the great pleasures of getting to know pen collectors is discovering many share my interest in random trivia.

I fully encourage readers to send in images and ideas for this series of posts.

To get us started, I figured who best to turn to than the person who has the world’s most powerful autograph.

President Barack Obama is well known for using special Cross Townsend rollerball pens to sign bills into law. The stalwart American-made pens are black with silver trim. Official signing pens are custom made with the commander-in-chief’s signature and a presidential seal. The pen’s inner brass barrel construction gives the writing instrument a nice weight and balance. When I used to sell pens at a store in a mall, Townsends were a popular model that wrote just as smoothly as a Mont Blanc Meisterstuck Classique for a third of the price.

Please note in the photo that it does not appear our president is a pen collector, as he posts the distinctive cap on the tail of the pen. Mr. President, that will wear on the pen and ruin its finish. Of course, if any of us were lucky enough to own a signing ceremony pen from any president, it probably wouldn’t matter much that it had a little surface wear.