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Rotring 600 Review


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#1 attika89

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 19:18

This is my very first review so let's start it:

First of all a little 'history':
Everything started about a year ago when I was looking for a mechanical pencil that could last for years and might have some respect when it comes to writing instrument history…

I did not want a simple plastic pencil like my Tikky II what I - lets say - don't like.
So I was searching …. and searching … and searching until I've found the Rotring 600 series.
Then came the mission to find one…I ended up on ebay and bought my first Rotring 600 .5 mechanical pencil. When I got it in my hands, it was love for the first sight/touch/… Then I got two other ones from the 1st series…

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They had the heft, the looks and the efficiency what I was looking for…
Then I went back to the bay and there I saw the fountain pens and then found this great place, FPN! AND the addiction began!

Unfortunately the prices of the 600 series fountain pens were way higher then what I was able to spend… I could do nothing but dreaming…(and bought other fps, but leave that for now)

Well until last week! Finally it was there, only 70 kilometers away…almost there where I go to college every day (thank God for the summer holiday).
I could not believe my eyes - here in this little country where it seems like most people don't care about fountain pens – a silver, series 1 with knurled grip and gold fine nib in like new condition. As I've been told it is about a year old so probably a NOS one, but without box or case…

The price ended up ~ $115, and I felt it is now or never so I jumped on it… And here it is now :wub:

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  • 1) Looks, feel and build quality:
Well, if you know anything from the Rotring 600 series, there's nothing to explain…
It is not a light pen. It is full metal so no surprises…. this is one reason why I love it!

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It has the heft, but it is only really obvious when you can compare it with other pens…
My Safari is like feather and my L2k feels cheap (what it is absolutely not) when I use them right after the 600…

It feels like a very well engineered tool, what will do what it should flawlessly for centuries.
Actually it looks like it as well. I would say it was made by engineers for engineers for engineering. (especially the mech pencils)
This one with the gold nib and the gold plating on the cap can be called as a 'luxury edition'.

It is very comfortable and balanced in hand - the last is not true if you post it.
There's no sign of heaviness when you use it - not disappearing in your hand, but the good balance helps it a lot! It is very comfortable to use, and thanks to the knurled grip it won't get slippery so easily.

The cap snaps on with a nice 'click' what I did not expect from a metal body, but a really nice feeling.

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It fits tightly enough and needs some force to uncap… I've read it can loose up, we'll see…
I don't use my pens posted so no big deal for me, but it fits a bit loose when you post it. There is a rubber ring what helps but I think it's still not enough. I don't think it would fall off, but it wobbles a bit, what makes you think it is loose. And the newer series don't even have the ring…. I would really miss the knurled grip from them as well…

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  • 2) Filling
It has C/C filling system, using international cartridges and converters (mostly)
Right now I use a Pelikan TP6 cartridge(it was in it) filled with Diamine China Blue, but I have ordered a Pelikan converter from Writing Desk…
I have no problems with this system if I can use a converter… I don't like cartridges. I use bottled inks so I don't want to fiddle with filling the cartridges… well I did now, but I hope I don't need to do it for long.

  • 3) Nib
It has a 18K '750' Gold Fine nib what is a nail. At least I haven't noticed any mentionable springiness.
Good or bad, you can decide. I have no complaints at all.

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It writes smoothly with some feedback. It is not butter smooth, I can hear and feel it moving on the paper. No scratchiness at all what both my Safari and Parker 51 has. (the Safari has just a slight, the 51 is worse)
My Lamy 2000's nib is a bit smoother even though it has a noticeably thinner line (it should, it is an EF nib/). That is why it stays on top, but the 600 is just a joy to hold and use and it is not far behind!

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It lays down a nice wet line what is a bit thinner then my Safari's fine nib so I'd call it a true fine line.

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Conclusion:
I can say this Rotring 600 has lived up to my expectations very well. I was a bit afraid after this long hunting.

It feels rock solid. With the gold plating it is like a fancy tank.Like it's gonna run over you and smash you but is looks gorgeous. :lol:
Seriously that is why I love my mechanical pencils as well. They were built to last and to be used and they do both pretty well.
I think you can see I'm in love with the Rotring 600 series. Now I love them even more, yes! But I think my purchases are over for a while.

Between the Lamy 2000 and the Rotring 600 I prefer the L2k for it's smoothness and thin line, but the 600 just feels so great, and the nib is not far behind the Lamy so I'd call it a tie!

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Thank you vary much for reading!

Attila

Edited by attika89, 19 July 2011 - 19:25.

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#2 penguinmaster

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 20:54

Nice review! I continue to keep going back to my Rotring 600. They are great pens.

I'm happy to see the 18k version reviewed. I've never had one of those and was always curious if the nib was any "springier" than the steel nail on the standard pens. I'm happy in one sense and slightly disappointed in the other sense that it is the same!

You got a nice deal on your as well. Most 18k gold nibbed ones are selling for a fair amount above what you paid.

-Tom
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#3 FLJeepGuy

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 21:23

I have a full set of 600s... FP, RB, MP, BP and love them all. It's such a shame that Rotring is no longer making fountain pens. :crybaby: I have three Rotrings that are in my normal rotation and the RB is always in my briefcase for when I need something other than a FP.
Collection Counts: Cross-4, Esterbrook-15, Eversharp-1, Graf von Faber-Castell-1, Jinhao-2, Kaweco-1, Lamy-6, Levenger-2, Monteverde-1, Pilot/Namiki-3, Noodler's-1, Parker-18, Rotring-10, Sailor-1, Sheaffer-19, TWSBI-1, Visconti-4, Waterford-1, Waterman-7
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#4 Dutchpen

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 21:59

i've always liked the looks and feel of a rotring 600, unfortunately it's to thin for me for writing with one everyday but i do have a nice collection with 600's.

enjoy your new pen!

Lennard
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#5 nicholasyeo

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:04

Lovely pen! And great photography! Is that a 90mm or 180mm macro lens?

#6 attika89

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:10

Nice review! I continue to keep going back to my Rotring 600. They are great pens.

I'm happy to see the 18k version reviewed. I've never had one of those and was always curious if the nib was any "springier" than the steel nail on the standard pens. I'm happy in one sense and slightly disappointed in the other sense that it is the same!

You got a nice deal on your as well. Most 18k gold nibbed ones are selling for a fair amount above what you paid.

-Tom


Thanks Tom!
I have to correct myself a bit about the nib. It has some springiness, but not enough to add line variation and you have to push it a bit too hard.


I have a full set of 600s... FP, RB, MP, BP and love them all. It's such a shame that Rotring is no longer making fountain pens. :crybaby: I have three Rotrings that are in my normal rotation and the RB is always in my briefcase for when I need something other than a FP.


I feel the temptation to complete the set as well! We'll see how the circumstances will work out :rolleyes:


i've always liked the looks and feel of a rotring 600, unfortunately it's to thin for me for writing with one everyday but i do have a nice collection with 600's.

enjoy your new pen!

Lennard


Thanks Lennard!
I have no problems with the thickness of it. I was afraid it'd be as thin as the mechanical pencil, but I saw a picture of them side by side and I felt reassured.
Btw I have this 'problem' with my Parker 51 Demi....it is just a bit too small and thin for me...

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#7 attika89

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:13

Lovely pen! And great photography! Is that a 90mm or 180mm macro lens?


Thank you Nicholas!
It is 'just' a Panasonic FZ38 (35)

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#8 attika89

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 19:46

One little update:
I've bought a Pelikan piston converter from 'Writing Desk'
It fits perfectly and - so far - not leaking :thumbup:

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#9 mana

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 20:17

One little update:
I've bought a Pelikan piston converter from 'Writing Desk'
It fits perfectly and - so far - not leaking :thumbup:

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Yup, those have been the best so far, snug fit (esp. when compared the rOtring converters meant for Art Pens, they are loose).
...now is the only thing that is real...

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#10 attika89

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 20:33


One little update:
I've bought a Pelikan piston converter from 'Writing Desk'
It fits perfectly and - so far - not leaking :thumbup:


Yup, those have been the best so far, snug fit (esp. when compared the rOtring converters meant for Art Pens, they are loose).


Yes, I've read you have mentioned this converter not so long ago...that is why I went with this one! So thanks for that :thumbup:

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#11 araybanfan

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 05:38

I have both on EF. To me Rotring lays a more consistent line, uniform from head to toe. While the softer nib on the 2000 does vary just a tad on the starting and ending point. I am saying this from a perspective from drawing, the differences may not be as upfront in writing. Rotring is simply too heavy inducing the effects of fatigue for marathon sessions despite the beauty from being over engineered. Lamy 2000 echoes the minimalist bauhaus spirit and every bit as functional and better.

#12 flight878

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 06:33

I only wished the finish on these 600s would be better. Over time, if you're not too careful, the silver paint will come off in tiny specks, especially on the sharp edges, and the finish is easy to scratch. The black versions are even worse. But then again, perhaps a beat up Rotring 600 is appreciated more than one subjected to too much care?

It looks like the pen being reviewed here has the flat knurling. My model has the bumpy knurling like the pencils; I wonder why the inconsistency...

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#13 kareth

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 07:09

Hi,
Nice review.

Is ROTRING 600 FP available now, from where can a new one be bought?

thanks

#14 hari317

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 07:25

It looks like the pen being reviewed here has the flat knurling. My model has the bumpy knurling like the pencils; I wonder why the inconsistency...


Hi, the section shape itself seems to be different on your pen, maybe they had a different section shape for the steel nibbed variants? I have the identical pen with the gold nib as the OP and it has the same flat knurling that you have observed. my pen:

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#15 mana

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 10:28

600G (the gold nibbed ones), albeit introduced at a later date, should have construction similar to 600 ones produced at the same time (aside from the obvious as in the nib and the cap).

I have several black steel nibbed 600 FPs, some of them have that flat, more smooth knurling (shallow cuts), some of them sharper in line with the ones in the MPs (deeper cuts, usually B nibs btw). So it seems to have varied from batch to batch.

flight878, your pen looks like one of the intermediary models before the transition to Newton (2nd gen). New cap securing mechanism (studs) must have warranted different tooling > change in knurling.
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#16 attika89

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 11:28

I have both on EF. To me Rotring lays a more consistent line, uniform from head to toe. While the softer nib on the 2000 does vary just a tad on the starting and ending point. I am saying this from a perspective from drawing, the differences may not be as upfront in writing. Rotring is simply too heavy inducing the effects of fatigue for marathon sessions despite the beauty from being over engineered. Lamy 2000 echoes the minimalist bauhaus spirit and every bit as functional and better.


Yes, I've experienced this as well...for me it's pretty upfront in writing as well...
The L2k has a much softer nib, that allows some line variation even with light pressure, while the Rotring's nib is a nail what I don't mind...
It would not fit the spirit of the pen if it had a soft springy nib. It is pure and heavy engineering (as I see)
I agree with you on the last one. I love both of them, but the L2k is better everyday pen for longer sessions...
The Rotring is not bad either, but the Lamy is better...

Hi,
Nice review.

Is ROTRING 600 FP available now, from where can a new one be bought?

thanks


Thank you kareth!
You can find some NOS pens on ebay, or sometimes here in the Classifieds!

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#17 flight878

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 06:05

flight878, your pen looks like one of the intermediary models before the transition to Newton (2nd gen). New cap securing mechanism (studs) must have warranted different tooling > change in knurling.


I actually have the rollerball version of the 600 transition model. It has flat knurling too. I prefer the bumpy over the flat knurling. Some eBay sellers have sold the rollerballs with the bumpy knurling too, but at outrageous prices. AFAIK, all transition FPs, always the bumpy knurling.

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#18 riflemusket58

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 19:30

I've seen the 600 FP being offered new from a couple of fine pen shops. I recently ordered a 600 rollerball from Daly's Pens. I am really looking forward to its arrival in the mail. I will say they are a very attractive writing instrument. A friend of mine joked that they looked 'tactical' or 'high speed'.
Hopefully if the opportunity ever presents itself, I will purchase one of the 600 fountain pens in fine point, before its too late.
Happy New Year!
Kindest Regards;
Harold Adams
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#19 scratchofapen

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 11:37

As you said:

I would say it was made by engineers for engineers for engineering. (especially the mech pencils)



That's why the Rotring nibs feel like nails. In the normed writing style used in the technical field,
called "Normschrift" there have to be no line variations. I had to learn it too those days, believe
me, i would be horror to write in that manner with any nib that has flex or even is springy.

#20 jeb

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 22:23

i love the rotring 600, i have got the lave, blk and silver
but none of them r gold nib

so jealous

#21 jeb

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 22:23

i used waterman converter
it fits well

#22 JPS_Rotring

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 11:24

To clarify: The transition variant - knurled but with studs, was exclusive to Levenger. Albeit it was produced in Germany it was only sold in the states because levenger wanted a more secure mechanism for holding the cap in place.

 

The second version with plain grip and holding studs was produced after Stanford bought Rotring because it was much cheaper to manufacture and they didn't want to produce different versions for different countries.



#23 attika89

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 14:07

To clarify: The transition variant - knurled but with studs, was exclusive to Levenger. Albeit it was produced in Germany it was only sold in the states because levenger wanted a more secure mechanism for holding the cap in place.

 

The second version with plain grip and holding studs was produced after Stanford bought Rotring because it was much cheaper to manufacture and they didn't want to produce different versions for different countries.

Thank you for this information! I really appreciate it! :thumbup:


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