I have a Fine nib, and as most Rotring nibs are well known for - They are as stiff as armour piercing shrapnel . I found the nib quite a dry writer compared to the wet Parkers such as the Sonnet. The nib is smooth for a stiff nib, but not the smoothest Rotring IME. The nib is quite shiny though
If I am not mistaken, the Newton appears to be the updated version of the Rotring 600. The Newton has the same heavy hexagonal body, but has an angled grip/cap. I think this design adds a certain modern sophistication to the design.
The Rotring Newton is not the easiest pen to use at first though. I would have to criticise the way that the barrel of the pen opens. You must twist the knob at the back of the pen like a lipstick to unscrew the barrel, and this took a lot of thinking to figure out Sure, the leaflet that comes with it had illustrated instructions - but they didn't really help me out at all. The only functional advantage of the 'lipstick' barrel feature is that you can unscrew the barrel with the cap still on (if that helps you at all )
The Newton is quite a heavy pen. Most of my other metal pens feel light compared to it For people who like to write with light pens, the Newton may take a bit of getting used to. Posting the cap is quite difficult to write with as it adds too much weight towards the back of the pen.
There is quite a wide range of finishes and colours that the Newton comes in, such as the chrome plated brass in matte black or matte silver. I personally have a "Copper" coloured Lacquer over brass. The Rotring website says that the "Lava" finished fountain pens come in 7 different nib sizes. The clip is nice and firm and the metal trimmings on the pen are highly polished (They're as reflective as mirrors).
The grip and the cap of the newer Newtons fit 'diagonally' (as you can see in the photo.) I'm not sure whether this is an advantage or a disadvantage. To close the cap, you have to align the nib and the clip when you close it. While it does add a modern and sophisticated look, it doesn't seem to make it any easier to use. I took it to a pen shop to get a converter for it...
a) The guy at the pen shop couldn't figure out how to open the barrel
b ) Then he had trouble closing the cap.
Converter or back-to-back short International cartridges. The thread section in the nib unit is quite long, and you can't see how much ink is left in your cartridge/converter without pulling it out to take a look. Make sure you get the proper ROTRING CONVERTER for this pen. A substitute international converter will fit in the nib section, but may get caught when trying to screw on the barrel. I had trouble with this and had to replace the generic international converter to the narrower Rotring converter.
Despite the criticisms I made above, the Rotring Newton sure is an interesting pen in terms of modern appearance. It incorporates an industrial and artistic look and is reliably functional as a writer. While it is not the most comfortable pen to use, the pen sure is a durable one with a nice tough nib. Quink writes quite dry in it, so you might want to use a different ink in it.
The score I give it is 7/10.
Edited by kissing, 17 October 2006 - 17:49.