The next set of pens in this series come from Tombow and Rotring. They are what seems to be an early Tombow Zoom 101 and a non-telescoping Rotring Espirit. The Epirit predates the absorption of Rotring by Sanford. Both pens are no longer in production. I purchased the Espirit in 2009 and the Zoom 101 in 2007.
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The pens share little in external appearance although both are thin compared to many pens on the market. The Rotring is made from anodized aluminum and consistent with the companies sleek functional aesthetic. The Tombow is made from what appears to be painted brass with a plastic grip section in the center of the barrel. The clips on both pens are steel. The Rotring cap is pulled off while the Tombow screws off. The Tombow is unusual in that one can change the cartridge without removing the cap while the Rotring has conventional access to the cartridges. The grip on the Tombow is high on the barrel which seems odd at first, but is nice in the hand. The machined ridges on the Rotring also make it sit nicely in the hand.
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One can see that asides from the decoration on the nibs, they are identical. In speculating about where the nibs come from, I think that Rotring made the nibs for Tombow or they get the nibs from the same third party OEM. I lean towards the nib being made by Rotring as it features on many of the company’s pens of this period. Tombow also was linked to the Herlitz nibs I examined in the first post in this series, so I doubt Tombow made the nibs for Rotring. Tombow has a history as supplier of a portfolio of stationary supplies, so fountain pens were just another item to complete the product list. Rotring was a more focused niche player and fountain pens played a larger role in the product range.
I hope you enjoyed the article and I look forward to your comments. If you know more about this style of nib, please share your knowledge. Thanks for reading.
Edited by basterma, 20 February 2020 - 03:30.