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A Review Of The Rotring Freeway

freeway rotring aluminum sanford matte-blue

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9 replies to this topic

#1 sannidh

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 15:53

The first amazingly smooth German fountain pen I had was a rotring (besides lamy). Actually, I did get quite a few freeways over a period of time and gifted them to friends and relatives. Below is a blog link to the review:

 

Rotring Freeway Review

 

Rotring is a German company that never seems to need any introduction. Just for the sake of this post I am devoting a few lines of history. It was started in 1928 with a tubular tipped stylographic fountain pen commonly known as Tiku and was incorporated as Titenkuli Handels GmbH. Later in the 1984, the calligraphic ArtPen was introduced, which was followed by the more famous and most sought after 600 series fountain pens (the architect’s fountain pen). There were a few changes in name in between and you can find their historical timeline here. In 1998, it was taken over by Sanford US, a part of Newell Rubbermaid Inc which also owns brands like Parker and Waterman. Rotring stopped manufacturing fountain pens soon after this acquisition. And yes of course, rot ring literally translates into red ring, which can be seen in almost all its writing instruments.

 

The Freeway was one such pen which was released when the company had already started diversifying into writing instruments. It is equipped with a rotring standard steel nib. A corresponding rollerball, ballpoint and a mechanical pencil were also released. 

 

DESIGN - THE BRUSHED METALLICS (5/6)

 

The Freeway comes in four different colours, all in matte finish - blue, ruby red, silver and black.

 

freeway-bp_1.jpg

 

An aluminium body renders substantial weight to this pen. The pen has a cigar shape with a rather conspicuous red ring at the finial.

 

DSC_5108.jpg

 

Once you pull the cap, it does come off with an audible click, and you have a beautifully brushed metallic grip section. The grip section is slightly tapered and at the end rests a stainless steel insert along with a steel nib.

 

DSC_5111.jpg

 

The cap is substantial with a snap-on mechanism. A tension fit clip starts with the trademarked red ring at the finial. It has an engraved ellipse (no idea why!) with rOtring branding below. I had purchased a few freeways over a period of time and one of them had a slightly wiggly clip. A satin chrome trim gives the cap band some aesthetics.

 

Cap.jpg

 

The colours are really attractive but they can fade, come off over a period of time.

 

FILLING SYSTEM (4/6)

 

Nothing spectacular here as it’s an international cartridge converter system. A brass insert inside the section houses the feed system. The construction is simply solid. A Schmidt or rotring converter fits quite snugly with the freeway section vis-a-vis other standard international converters. 

 

DSC_5133.jpg

 

 

NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (6/6)

 

The nib is made of stainless steel and comes in a standard rotring design. I came across only F & M widths for the freeway. I never found any other nib widths for this pen, though the same nib had a wider variety of widths for the 600. All the nibs have been wet and smooth.

 

A no-frills design of the nib sans any breather hole gives it a characteristic industrial look, besides the metallic parts of the pen. 

 

DSC_5139.jpg

 

The branding and nib specifications are imprinted on either sides of the nib.

 

DSC_5143.jpg

 

A standard black plastic feed sans any fins and a big feeder hole define the minimalistic design. 

 

DSC_5141.jpg

 

PHYSICS OF IT (4/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING

 

The pen feels substantial by itself but posting it makes it difficult to wield. It might feel a bit short of length. 

 

Uncapped Length ~ 12.5 cm

Posted Length ~ 15.5 cm

Nib Leverage ~ 1.6 cm

Overall Weight ~ 35-40 g

 

Capped, uncapped and posted comparisons with a m200 runs below for your reference. 

 

DSC_5164.jpg

DSC_5170.jpgDSC_5173.jpg

ECONOMIC VALUE(6/6)

 

I have no idea of its original retail price. I had bought the first pen at a cost of USD 6, and the subsequent ones at even lower prices! Since it has been discontinued, a lot of offline pen stores in Mumbai carry at least a few pieces of the Freeway and the Espirit

 

OVERALL (5/6)

 

This steel nib is a winner and is very smooth with a wet flow. The fine nib is stiff and does not have any line variation among the horizontal and vertical strokes. These wet lines take almost 35 secs to dry a Pilot blue black ink on MD paper.

 

DSC_5189.jpg

 

Thank you for going through the review.

You can find some more pen and paraphernalia reviews here.

 

REFERENCES

 

rOtring Timeline

Tiku

600 series

Newell Rubbermaid Inc


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#2 maverink

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 14:14

nice review of a good pen

i have the silver and red one sadly the cap is a pressure fit and its beccome loose

 so i dont carry it in my shirt pocket for fear of ruining my shirt


Pilot custom heritage 74 all nibs, 742 Fa and PO nibs, 823 F 92 F,M, 3776 FM,EF,1911F
And all indian pens

#3 sannidh

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 06:51

nice review of a good pen

i have the silver and red one sadly the cap is a pressure fit and its beccome loose

 so i dont carry it in my shirt pocket for fear of ruining my shirt

 

You are right about the cap. I noticed this with the oldest freeway I had got. It does become loose over time. Thank you Ravi.


You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

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#4 ss_yeri

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 09:54

@soniknitr, very nice review. I have purchased a Rotring Freeway (blue color) F nib. Compared to my earlier pens the nib feels bit hard and grip is bit slippery. I guess with time I will get used to it.

 

I have purchased Rotring Freeway (F nib)  +  Jinhao 163 (M nib) for Rs.1400 from ebay India. You have mentioned that Rotring Freeway (F nib) costs less than USD 6. It seems I have paid more :blush:



#5 sannidh

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 14:05

@soniknitr, very nice review. I have purchased a Rotring Freeway (blue color) F nib. Compared to my earlier pens the nib feels bit hard and grip is bit slippery. I guess with time I will get used to it.

 

I have purchased Rotring Freeway (F nib)  +  Jinhao 163 (M nib) for Rs.1400 from ebay India. You have mentioned that Rotring Freeway (F nib) costs less than USD 6. It seems I have paid more :blush:

 

Thank you ss_yeri.. I had bought these rotrings along with from local shops in Mumbai, a long back for 150-250. I missed the rotring 600s - 18k, by a year or two when they were selling for Rs 1800/- (Hari can vouch for it). So it's more of a luck finding them right after the company had discontinued these. 


Edited by soniknitr, 25 August 2015 - 14:05.

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#6 maverink

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 14:20

@ss_yeri  kindly note that sonik and hari have a knack of snagging great steals on pens and lesser mortals like us can only dream 


Pilot custom heritage 74 all nibs, 742 Fa and PO nibs, 823 F 92 F,M, 3776 FM,EF,1911F
And all indian pens

#7 hari317

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 17:10

... So it's more of a luck finding them right after the company had discontinued these.


also sometimes, one has to act fast, if you postpone the purchase to the next day, the pens are already gone.

Edited by hari317, 25 August 2015 - 17:11.

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#8 ss_yeri

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 04:09

Thank you all.

 

I will be careful from now on :P .

 

I stay in Noida, near Delhi. Any brick and mortar shops in Delhi where I can get good deals??

 

 



#9 sannidh

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 07:39

@ss_yeri  kindly note that sonik and hari have a knack of snagging great steals on pens and lesser mortals like us can only dream 

 

Ravi, thanks for the under-deserved praise, feel that more or less the good snipes of mine get balanced by other mrp purchases :)


Edited by soniknitr, 26 August 2015 - 07:40.

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#10 sannidh

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 07:41

Thank you all.

 

I will be careful from now on :P .

 

I stay in Noida, near Delhi. Any brick and mortar shops in Delhi where I can get good deals??

 

 

 

Guess Vaibhav [FPNer mehandiratta] can surely help with this :)


Edited by soniknitr, 26 August 2015 - 07:42.

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