Showing posts with label rotring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rotring. Show all posts

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Rotring Isograph in Netflix Dark series

During a lazy weekend, I started watching the german series Dark. It is quite an interesting TV Show, and a bit difficult to keep up with the action, being a time travel movie.

In 1986 Charlotte is analyzing and keeping track of the death of birds.

In the middle of the forest, Charlotte is drawing and writing in the journal all the details with a Rotring 2000 Isograph in 0.25 mm size.
Rotring Isograph is a technical pen that uses pigmented ink. Being a technical pen it comes in all the possible sizes from 0.1 mm to 2.0 mm and everything in between. It uses refillable cartridges.

It is nice that the producers of the show have gone to the length of finding correct writing instruments for the period of time presented, and not only that, but they used such an iconic product.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Rotring polimer leads

When it comes to polymer leads Rotrings are the ones I love. They are average priced but exceptional writers. The leads write very smoothly, and it's hard to emphasize this enough. The best way is to try it yourself if you have not tried them yet. Also, it is rare for them to break. So I give them 10 out of 10.

When rOtring introduced it's first mechanical pencil, of course, it had to come up with the leads for it. So in 1979 when the Tikky was introduced to the public the first polymers from rOtring came to market as well. The leads came in a package that resembled the 2 mm.
In the catalog, rOtring specifies that the leads are resistant to breaking, and they come in size 0.3 / 0.5 / 0.7 and different hardness levels.
As you can see back then rOtring was marketing their sizes differently 0.3 instead of 0.35 nowadays and 1.0 instead of 0.9 nowadays.
As I used rOtrings a little bit later down the line I did not use this first model but I don't remember the early leads to be that resistant as it was not unusual for the pencils to get clogged up. 
rOtring catalog 1980 Romania 

A new design of the lead box was released in the later years. I do not know exactly when the new design was launched to the market but it was before 1990. Most likely the formula changed as well as the package. The leads were not any kind of Polymer but a hi-Polymer.
The new lead boxes contained 16 leads divided evenly into two compartments that. The compartments were independent and each had its own cap, even though the caps were connected to each other.
rOtring catalog 1990
Sometime before 1996 rOtring changed the packaging of the leads again. The big change is the fact that rOtring in this period transitioned from the old labeling of sizes to the modern labeling. I mean that the previous size 0.3 was marketed as 0.3 / 0.35 mm, and the 1.0 changed to 0.9 / 1.0.
In addition to the size, color coding was added to the label. And of course, the number of leads in the package was reduced to 12 pieces instead of the previous 16.
Thee box kept the same design and color.
rOtring catalog 1996

In the early 2000s, a new package was introduced. A more modern design, where you a slide the access door to access the 12 leads that are inside. The dual compartment was forgotten. Also the dual-labeling of the size was dropped in favor of 0.35 mm and 0.9 mm. This is the way rOtring codes the sizes even today.
rOtring catalog 2005
Another change happened in 2008 when rOtring added the Tikky name on the label. Also, the article number was changed. This makes me believe that the product itself suffered a change, or maybe it was just an integration in the Stanford article system.
rOtring catalog 2008

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.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Accessorize - fountain pen and watch combo

I think this is a bit of an extravaganza when it comes to watches and fountain pens. Both the watch and the fountain pen are hard to get as they are not in production anymore (Seiko actually announced that they will reissue the watch)
I am talking about the Seiko Alien watch worn by Ripley in the Aliens movie, designed by Giugiaro.


In my mind, I immediately thought maybe there is an equally interesting fountain pen designed by Giugiaro.
After a little research on the internet, I found out that Giugiaro actually worked with 3 stationary companies. The companies are Aurora (Italian company based in Torino), Parker and Sylvapen. Not much information is about what products made by these companies were his design. I wasn't happy with this answer so I looked for the fountain pen some were else.
The watch has a bold design, is a chronograph what makes a lot of sense based on the fact Giugiaro is known especially for his car designs. The dial and subdials have a feeling that they were taken out of a car. And the bold colors combined with the sterile silver case make it unique. Not to mention the buttons on the side...


I think the best bet for a fountain pen to go with the Alien watch is Rotring 600.
It matches the simple and unique style of the watch. Sharp corners on the barrel and cap with knurled elements on the grip, cap and barrel end. A nice hint of yellow on the cap and nice golden nib and the traditional Rotring ring and the writing in red.
It looks very much like a tool but at the same time is a thing of beauty and I could say a cult has been formed around these beautiful instruments.
If you have other suggestions please let me know in the comments. You can add pictures as well.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Gutberlet manufacturer of mechanical pencils for Rotring and Staedtler?

Fact: In 1995 Gutberlet GmbH acquired the rights to the Kaweco name.
Enter the Gutberlet site and you are welcomed by an outdated, plain looking site of an unknown manufacturer.
If you look at the products you are up for a treat
"Components for pens – technical components – decoration foils / heat-transfer-foils – packaging – OEM-production for pens."

"Push pencil aluminium with 0,3/0,5/0,7 und 0,9mm leads"

rOtring Tikky T (first version)
rOtring Esprit

Staedtler 925 25 03
Staedtler 925 05 and Staedler 925 65

Staedtler and Rotring




All of the images were taken from the Goultberg presentation portfolio link


Related post: kaweco OEM

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Rotring 500 review

The Rotring 500 is the little brother of the 600 series. It shares the same looks but has a plastic barrel instead of metal. The grip is made from metal and has knurlings the same as the lead hardness indicator. It comes in sizes 0.35 (not available on Rotring's site), 0.5 and 0.7 only in black while the Rotring 600 can be found in silver as well but only in size 0.5 and 0.7 mm.

The first appearance of the rOtring 500 is around 1989 - 1990, the same time the rOtring 600 appeared on the market. 
When it came out, the pencil was available in 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, 0.9 mm and the grip and lead harness indicator sections were silver while the rest of the pencil was black 
The codes for the pencil were:
502 503 (0.3 mm)
502 505 (0.5 mm)
502 507 (0.7 mm)
502 509 (0.9 mm)

Notice that Rotring was using lead size notations 0.3 mm and 0.9 mm. Nowadays the 0.3 mm became 0.35 mm and the 0.9 mm became 1.0 mm.

This looks like a very serious drafting pencil, and it is. It has a Rotring classic design, it is built very well with precision and comfort in mind, but the times have changed. As in the past, you could buy this serious tool in all drafting sizes, now it is available only in 0.35 (not available on Rotring's site or in their catalog), 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm while the bigger brother the 600 only comes in 0.5 and 0.7. These are the most common sizes used nowadays for general writing. So even the most die-hard drafting pencils are becoming regular mechanical pencils with a  peculiar design.

Getting back to the pencil. 1904725 and 1904727 are the new product codes for Rotring 500 0.5 mm and for 0.7 mm. 
The 500 is the cheaper version of the 600 but it is not the cheapest (that spot is reserved for the 300 complete plastic build). The 500 is made in Japan and the build seems solid. The grip, lead hardness indicator, and the cap are made out of brass. The clip is made out of stainless steel and the barrel is plastic (ABS) but feels nice to the touch.
I like the tool design, it screams, I was made with a precise purpose in mind. The barrel is hexagonal so it does not roll off the table, it has written with red "rOtring 500 / 0,7 mm". The clip is a very solid one and has the name rOtring, stamped on it. The lead hardness indicator is a nice touch, it does not move too freely so I do not think there is the risk of moving it by accident. What I like a lot is the repositioning of the red ring right at the end of the pencil. Also, it is not a strip of paint, it is a plastic with a red color. Very nice, because the paints used on the Rotring's tend to get erased with not too much use. The endcap is made out of brass and hides a small eraser and the feed system. One thing it misses is the color coding for the size, but as I mentioned before even the drafting pencils seem to move towards general writing instruments, so the lack of size colored marking is not a concern for most people.
This is about 3 times more expensive than a Rotring Tikky but when you hold it in your hand you can justify paying 3 times more. You could go even higher by purchasing the 600, but I feel that this is a great deal. You get a great mechanical pencil that is good looking, is well built and will cost less than half what a 600 will cost, and will offer almost what a 600 will.







I like how on the 2017 Rotring Catalog Cover the Rotring 500 0.5 mm pops up.

rotring 500 catalogue

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Rotring Tikky a short history

I am a long Rotring Tikky user and today I will share with you the beloved mechanical pencil.
I got my first Rotring mechanical pencil in middle school. If I am not mistaking it was a yellow second generation of Rotring Tikky. Unfortunately, I lost it sometime during high school. At some point, I had a red second generation Rotring Tikky but I can't remember it's faith. At the moment I have a black second generation Rotring Tikky 0.7 that I got in high school and used throughout the university, 2 Rotring Tikky's third generation one 0.5 and one 0.7 mm. One of my big regrets is that I do not have a Tikky Special first generation.
I only owned and used Rotring during the school years. The exception to this was my first mechanical pencil, a plastic no-name followed by a Bic. Both of them I had in the early years of school when I think my parents didn't trust me with a precision instrument :)
Both of my parents are engineers and both where using Rotring for many years as it was pretty much the standard in the industry. Why everyone was using them is pretty clear. They are affordable, good quality, a precise instrument that will last a very long time, and they are readily available. They come in all sizes 0.35 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm and 1.0 mm. And also, I do not think that the market back then didn't have such a plethora of mechanical pencils to choose from.
At least here (Romania), if you will go into a  stationary shop it is almost certain they have Rotring Tikky mechanical pencils. In the last years, the Faber Castell has been a lot more aggressive and is starting to dominate the shelves of the stores. So maybe the new generations will grow with Faber Castell instead of the Tikky.
In the next lines, I will try sharing with you the information I have managed to gather about the Rotring Tikky mechanical pencils starting from the first generation up to the last.


The history behind the Rotring Tikky mechanical and the information about the models and their characteristics.

In 1979 the Rotring Tikky mechanical pencil debuts
In 1997 the second generation of Tikky hits the market
In 2008 the third generation of Tikky was available to the customers.

A nice graphical presentation of the Rotring history can be found on their site at the following link: http://www.rotring.com/en/heritage

Rotring Tikky I

The first generation of Rotring Tikky was produced in West Germany and in Germany after 1989. It featured a metal drafting fixed point a slim body with a waved grip section. The barrel was made out of plastic or metal and it was available in different colors. It had a sturdy clip which was made out of metal and on it was stamped "Rotring" and "W. Germany" until 1989 and with "Rotring" and "Germany" after. The cap was metallic and was hiding the eraser. Only present in the Tikky Special, the eraser also had a pin in it to unclog the pencil if the lead would jam in it. The next models do not have this feature anymore. The mechanism inside was made out of brass and could be taken out of the pencil.
Rotring came out with several models of the Tikky right at the beginning, and there were a few variants between labeling them. For example, not all Rotring Tikky first generation came with a red ring and others had the name rOtring written in red instead of the red ring. Some of the pencils featured an endcap that had on the tip of it standard color coding for the size of the lead. The barrel came in all sorts of colors, even crazy psychedelic paints.
With the first generation, Rotring seemed to use the size 0.3 mm and 0.9 mm instead of 0.35 mm and 1.0 mm nowadays.
Rotring introduced the Trio Pen which later became the Tikky 3 in 1. The first reference I found about the Trio pen was in a 1990 German product catalog but I think the model appeared sooner. Also alongside with the first Tikky mechanical pencil Rotring brought to the market the Tikky ballpoint.
The birth of one of the most beloved mechanical pencils took place 10 years before the launch of the Rotring 500/600 (1989) Series and 14 years before Rotring 800 (1993).
The Tikky I inspired Rotring to transfer the good features to the metal series 400 of mechanical pencils, pens, and fountain pens. This line was later marketed as Esprit.

The versions of the Tikky were:
Tikky Special
rotring T (sliding sleeve from 5 mm to 3.5 mm in early models, fixed sleeve later on)
rotring TS slide (half sliding sleeve - I think is the successor of the rotring T)
rotring Fineliner F or just rotring F (fixed 4 mm sleeve)
Tikky Automatic and rotring Automatic LS (auto advance of lead, LS stands for locking system)
Tikky Double Push (plastic and metallic versions - both these versions had a secondary push button on the barrel)
rotring S (plastic and metallic versions, 3 mm to 0 mm sliding sleeve)

The differences between the models:
Tikky Special - Plastic design with a fixed sleeve. It came in 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm. Some of the Tikky Special did not have a red ring while others had. There was a white version of the Tikky special which had all sizes available 0.3 mm 0.5 mm 0.7 mm 0.9 mm. The writing and the ring on these were color coded to the lead size.
yellow for 0.3 mm
brown for 0.5 mm
blue for 0.7 mm
orange for 0.9 mm

rOtring T - "Mechanical pencil with fine lead T for technical drawings, before ink lining
Through the technical precision of the pencil rOtring T a long existing problem has been answered: making a neat drawing using a ruler and a template. The tubular lead guide retracts from 5 mm to 3.5 mm (the thickness of a ruler). rotring T is delivered in 3 lead sizes 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, each model comes with HB polymer lead. The pencils container comes with 6 leads for backup."
The main feature of the T model is the partially retractable sleeve which was I think a safety mechanism for when using a ruler and also it gave the possibility to have maybe more control. The end cap had a size color coding.
The 1.5 mm retracting sleeve feature was abandoned as in the Rotring 1990 catalog the model rOtring T is marketed as a fixed sleeve.

rOtring TS slide - in the Rotring 1990 catalog, the rOtring TS slide is marketed as a half sliding sleeve. This I think is the successor of the model T which at this point became a fixed sleeve.

rOtring F - "Mechanical pencil with fine lead F for writing and sketching.
This pencil is equipped with a rigid tubular lead guide with a length of 4 mm which avoids lead brakes and offers a precision execution when using a ruler. rotring F is equipped with polymer lead size 0.5 mm HB. The pencils container comes with 3 leads for backup."
So the F model was available only in 0.5 mm.

Tikky Automatic LS - Metall mechanical pencil with fully automatic lead feed, comes in 0.5 mm. The lead automatically advances during use while the "LS" locking system prevents undesirable lead feed (when carrying in a pocket for example)

Tikky Automatic - Plastic version of the previous model, with fully automatic lead feed, comes in 0.5 mm. Does not feature the locking system. This model of the rOtring Tikky  was first introduced in the 1988 Catalog

Tikky Double Push - Comes in a plastic and a metal version. It features a fixed sleeve protector and fully retractable feed mechanism. The main feature is a secondary side button to advance the lead. The metallic version of the double push sometime later changed series and became the Rotring 400 Esprit. Later the 400 was discarded and the line name remained Esprit. Rotring offered in the Esprit range fountain pen, ballpoint, mechanical pencil. The Esprit range offered a duo-pen (blue ballpoint and a 0.5 mechanical pencil in one body). There was a mini rotring Esprit line as well that included the mechanical pencil and the ballpoint. The Esprit mechanical pencil also came with a "telescopic" mechanism (available for the mini and the full version length)
The pencil was only available in 0.5 and 0.7 mm lead.

rOtring S - "Mechanical pencil with fine lead S for writing and neat sketching.
The tubular lead guide retracts with 3 mm in sync with the use of the lead. This way an optimal efficiency of the lead as well as a maximum safety against lead snaps. rotring S is equipped with polymer lead 0.5 mm, hardness HB. The pencil's container comes with 6 leads for backup."
So the S model features a 3 mm sliding sleeve. The body of the pencil comes in plastic or metal. The end cap had a size color coding.
The yellowish color is "safari green"

(click on the images to enlarge)
rotring Tikky
rOtring T / rOtring F / rOtring S (1980) Rotring product catalog (Romania)

rotring TS slide, rotring T, 1990 catalog

Rotring 1990 catalog

Tikky metallic, double push and automatic, catalog 1990

Tikky Special catalog 1990

Trio Pen (precursor of Tikky 3 in 1)

Automatic & Double Push leaflet rOtring Catalogue 1990

rOtring leads

rotring tikky automatic 1988
Tikky Automatic debut in 1988 Rotring Catalog




rotring Tikky 1
rOtring T

rotring 1 tikky f
rOtring Fineliner F

rOtring clip W.Germany before 89

Tikky Special without red ring



Metallic Double Push Tikky


Tikky Special

rOtring F Fineliner



 Mechanical pencil museum Rotring 400 Esprit)



 Mechanical pencil museum Rotring 400 Esprit)



 Mechanical pencil museum Rotring 400 Esprit)



rOtring Special and box

 rOtring TS slide

rOtring T brass mechanism

Tikky Special multiple colors

Tikky Automatic

rOtring Special without red ring

Metallic Double Push Tikky 



Rotring Tikky II

The Second Tikky suffered a few changes. First, it gained a little bit of weight. It became a little bit fatter. Second, the clip style changed. It is a less secure one, but esthetically looks nice. The clip is not stamped with anything which it is a shame. Where the clip meets the barrel it is cast in plastic with a very small font "Made in Germany". The rest of the writing on the pencil is paint. The barrel is plastic. The Tikky II weights 10 grams.

The Rotring Tikky II came in 2 variants
rOtring Tikky II - which had markings on the pencil "rOtring Tikky II 0.5" or  "rOtring T 0.5". This is the most common version of the Tikky 2. It came in a variety of colors including metallic and transparent barrels.
The metallic colors where part of the IN LINE series and offered pearl blue, pearl violet, pearl red, pearl yellow.
The branding rOtring T was present only on the burgundy version of the Tikky II and included ISO color coding. The rOtring Tikky II came with and without color coding on the barrel.

rOtring Tikky SC - features a retractable tip and a rubberized grip. This one is less common and less accessible. The SC stands for Super Comfort.

(click on the images to enlarge)








rOtring T branding

rOtring Tikky SC
rOtring Tikky SC


Made in Germany marking

rOtring Tikky II 4C Tone 2007 Back to school Catalog

rOtring Catalog 2004 Pens and Pencils, IN LINE pearl colors (metallic)



Rotring Tikky III

The third generation named just Rotring Tikky is a reincarnation of the Tikky line, after Rotring was bought by Standford. The pencil is also sold under the name "Papermate Tikky by Rotring" or just "Papermate Precision" version which does lack the traditional red ring.
The third generation of Tikky debut in 2008 and is produced in China while the previous two were made in Germany. The biggest difference to the previous version is a partial rubberized grip (although the rOtring Tikky II SC featured a rubber grip, it had a different form), and the end of the barrel is triangular, making it less likely to roll off the table. The barrel is made out of ABS and the front cap is made out of stainless steel which has a constant slope opposed to previous versions which had a step. The quality of this part I think is inferior compared to the quality found on Tikky II.
The clip style changed and now offers a look closer to the original Tikky clip, and it has stamped the rOtring name on it. The writing on the barrel changed to simply "rOtring Tikky 0.5", instead of numbering the generation with III. The cap has a hole at the top as a safety feature for children. It weighs 12 grams, 2 grams more than the second version.
Currently, the Rotring Tikky is offered in 23 colors, latest colors included in the range are neon. Only the black and the burgundy models come with size color coding on the barrel and come in all lead sizes from 0.35 mm to 1.0 mm. They are marketed as Tikky professional mechanical pencils.
The classic Rotring colors like blue standard, white standard, yellow standard, red standard, black (version without the color coding) come in 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm and 1.0 mm while the rest of the bunch come only in 0.5 or 0.7 mm.

(click on the images to enlarge)

rotring 2017 colors
2017 new colors

rotring 2017 colors
2017 new colors

rotring 4c colors
2013 4C colors

rotring tikky 2015 colors
2015 new colors

rotring neon
2017 neon colors

rotring tikky
Tikky professionals


Papermate Tikky by rOtring

Papermate precision





Updates:
25/3/2018 - Tikky Automatic debut in 1998 (pic), 
more information on Tikky Double Push metallic which became Rotring 400 Esprit, and then just Esprit (pictures)
Tikky II In Line added pictures of the pearl (metallic) line
9/10/2018 - Small updates, no extra information about Rotring line added
7/03/2019 - Credits added
30/04/2019 - Additional information about Tikky I, and Esprit


Resources, extra information
Rotring catalogs
Rotring website
Pictures from sales site's like eBay and others alike
Particle Navigator
Mechanical Pencil Museum
Golyostoll (in Hungarian - if you need help google translate)
Pretty Splendid (beautiful Rotring Tikky 1 & 2 collection)
Kelvin Pang

A very nice history about Rotring products can be found at Unofficial Rotring

Contributions to the information presented are welcomed.