A surprise! A review of a ballpoint
Rotring 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 pens. 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 Rapid PRO looks more like a modern avatar of the iconic 600 ball points. With evolution rotring has perhaps tried to make the rigid hexagonal shape more giving to curvature in the rapid pro. While writing this review, I could find a Japanese ebay seller list a few rotring 600 ball points. I am fairly certain that these are fresh production and not NOS.
The RAPID pro comes packaged in a grey-coloured triangular cardboard box with brand and product descriptions. The country of manufacturing is mentioned as Japan. I found the box, quite a welcome change compared to the earlier one. You may see a deserted G2 refill, lying beside the box. Nothing wrong with the original refill itself, this can be completely attributed to my new found love with Monteverde ceramic gel refills.
Both the Silver Chrome and Matte Black designs are beautifully made designs. The silver one portrays a shimmering exuberance, while the black one is quite subtle, albeit manifesting the same power. The weight and feel of both pens is quite comfortable, balanced and not at all on the heavier side. Don’t let the technical specs fool you!
Both finishes have a smooth audible click of the plunger button, to expose the writing tip, through the cone-cylinder tip. I couldn’t find a decipherable difference between the knock between the two variants.
I use black and silver alternately. The black one exhibits subtlety and seems to be quite capable of hiding in dark surroundings. Even the indented rOtring logo on the friction fit clip appears to be quite understated yet firm. The silver version in contrast looks vivacious. The mirror finished clip shimmers along with the conical tip, while the grey shine of the barrel complements both ends.
The iconic red ring adorns both the pens well, in between the section and the barrel. You can feel a noticeable difference between knurling of both sections. It feels a tad sharper on the silver variant. Even the branding on the black variant is understated yet suave while the silver one carries the brand with quite a panache. I feel the concentric cones & cylinder at the tip add to the style and render firmness in character to both pens.
A plastic insert serves the threading between the barrel and section, which can be a bit of trauma to the classical pen fanatic, for an otherwise near-perfectly made pen. The inserts seem quite thick and hopefully should be able to sustain added pressure of the metal parts if one over tightens the barrel.
The clip rounds back at the barrel with clasps from both sides, leaving a small gap in-between.
Both the posers together. Some measurements for your reference:
- Length: 14.9 cm
- Diameter: 0.9 cm
- Weight: 52.5 g
The weight of the pen along with the knurled grip, make the rapid pros a pleasure to write with. And with the monteverde ceramic gel refills, the rapid pros deliver pro performance.
Hope you enjoy the review of a ballpoint from a fellow fpner