Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Rotring Artpen - the last Rotring fountain pen


Rotring has moved away from fountain pens over the years. The only fountain pen model that is still available is the Rotring Artpen, which was launched in 1984.
"...a calligraphic pen originally intended for artists. It's unparalleled ergonomics quickly make it a top seller" says Rotring
During this period the fountain pen was kept pretty much the same, but it over the years different variants were offered to the public.
It has an interesting design, made entirely out of plastic, with a wavy grip section. The fountain pen as the name indicates is addressed for those who are art oriented. The design of the fountain pen is reminiscent of a dip pen for me at least, with it's long and pointy barrel. You can easily change the nib, different sizes and grinds are available.
The fountain pen takes cartridges or a converter.


Some of the variations the fountain pen had over the years:

Rotring art pen white was introduced to the market in 1998 (Rotring catalog 1988)
white artpen newstock
In the same year, Rotring introduced the Artpen Graph which featured an Isograph tip instead of the fountain pen nib. (Rotring catalog 1988)

In the same catalog the Artpen is sold as a Sketch combi-set along with an Artpen 2 mm clutch pencil rotring artpen pencil fountainpen eraser set

A better photo for the Artpencil and Artpen Graph from the Rotring 1990 catalog


In 1994, 10 years after the launch of the Artpen, Rotring decided to bring to the market a limited edition called millennium. 
"The success of the ArtPen calls for an ArtPen Millennium range. From 1994 – 2000, a new ArtPen Millennium limited edition was brought out each year, as collector’s items, presented as both signs of the times and objects d’art." (Rotring heritage website)

From 1994 until 1997 special editions of the Rotring Artpen, presented as a countdown.

Left to right 1994, 1995, 19946, 1997. Rotring 1998 catalog
Millennium 6 (1994) - Limited edition of only 3500. Metal barrel turned out of bar stock, red and black multilayer lacquer finish. It has a two-tone gold nib
Millennium 5 (1995) - Limited edition of only 3500. Barrel out of galvanized metal hand polished, multicolored stripes. It has a two-tone gold nib 1.5 mm
Millennium 4 (1996) - Limited edition of only 6000. Barrell is made out of cherry wood, and the cap is metal with 8 coats of lacquer. It has a two-tone gold nib
Millennium 3 (1997) - Unique limited edition of only 6000 worldwide. Barrel of translucent multi-colored resin with gold plated bicolor nib. Engraved on cap plug. (marble-like barrel)

In 1998 Artpen gold was introduced
" Caligraphy is the art of beautiful writing. The Rotring ArtPen brings this artistry into daily life. It accentuates its owner's personal handwriting style and underlines the joy of beautiful writing with every word brought to paper. The ArtPen is the right choice for creative, emotional writing and for words written for special occasions.
The ArtPen Gold is the writing instrument for the most exclusive requirements and most expressive pieces of writing. Gold fittings accentuate its classic shape, and the high-gloss resin finish gives the slender barrel a special touch of sophistication"

In 1999 a more simple design is released (edition 1). The fountain pen is an anodized aluminum body and cap in deep blue color, that can look almost black. With a bicolor gold nib. 6000 pieces were produced

In 2000 the last fountain pen in the series was released. A very nice cap and barrel made out of solid brass. Both sections have been etched with a guilloche pattern, and silver-coated. It has a hand-polished, bicolor gold-plated nib 

Rotring Artpen 2000 millennium limited edition

All of the special edition Artpens came in a nice box with a certificate mentioning the pen number and the total number of pens produced in the series. All of the Artpens from the Millennium edition had the production number marked on the cap.

Another fountain pen that could be considered a variation of the Artpen is the Smartpen. Even though it is marked a bit differently, basically it is the same thing but in more vibrant colors marketed towards younger customers.


"The ArtPen brings a new enjoyment to personal artistic expression with the written word. Its calligraphic nib makes any piece of writing into a work of art to delight the writer and reader alike."
rOtring Writing Sensations 2001 / 2002

Extra pictures



















I suggest taking a moment to go over the blogpost Rotring Art Pencil by unofficialrotring.

2 comments :

  1. Hi there, first time commenting on your blog. Artpen 2000 really delivered aesthetically, just as much as the previous limited editions.

    I'm actually here to see if I could have a conversation regarding the rotring 600 mechanical pencils throughout the history. I'm doing a research and I would like to contact you in some more convenient way other than blog comments.

    Looking forward to reading your response. Thank you.

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  2. Hello,
    Of course, you can contact me via email, you will find a contact form on the bottom of the right panel. I would be happy to chat and exchange knowledge with people that enjoy writing instruments, though I have to say I haven't done research on the rOtring 600 so far.

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