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Rotring Esprit


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38 replies to this topic

#1 Ann Finley

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 01:39

ROTRING ESPRIT

Why would I bother to review a discontinued pen that isn't a vintage collectible? Because it's doing its job well, and they're still available--but with less frequency as the months go by.
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I've not been able to discover the production dates of this well made pen, or even when it was discontinued. If anyone knows, please chime in! But despite the lack of solid historical info, the pen is a solid workhorse.

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Appearance / Design - The classic appearance of the pen, along with the fact that my other Rotrings (art pens) have worked well, accounts for my initial attraction to the pen. The Esprit is a surprisingly long, lightweight pen made of anodized aluminum with a steel nib. It is 5 1/2" capped, 5" uncapped, and a whopping 6 3/4" posted. The slim girth (cap diameter 3/8") combined with the light weight allows folks with small hands, such as mine, to be able to handle the length comfortably. Grip section design is unusual but comfortable. Cap is friction fit and clip is strong, but not difficult to clip in a shirt pocket. Fingerprints don't show on the matte finished barrel and cap, and the polished chrome clip and trim offer an attractive contrast. If corrosion from bottle filling is a concern, the nib end of the section sports a plastic fitting. A most welcome design feature that makes this light pen nonetheless a sturdy one is the metal section and barrel threads. (See photo below.)
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Performance - The pen starts every time, even if not used everyday. Of course the fact that it is reliable means that there aren't too many days that I don't reach for the pen! :) Leaving the cap off for a few minutes does not result in a failure to write. The nib is firm and yields a nice, medium flow and the pen hasn't been picky about which ink it is fed. I have a medium nib which runs on the fine side. The line width is comparable to that of my Pelikan and Sheaffer fine nibs.

Filling System - This is a c/c pen that uses a Rotring or an international converter. If you prefer cartridges, it will easily hold a long international cartridge--which holds about twice as much ink as the shorter ones--another good design feature!

Value & Cost - I've seen differing figures as to what the Esprit sold for when it was in production. One reference said $60., another, $40. The going price today is (max) $20. - $25., though I've seen it on e-Bay for a low starting bid of $1.73 (but have never seen one won for under $12.) IMO it is easily worth $25. being well made and a good performer.

Overall - I've been very pleased. Would I buy another? I very well may!

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#2 chupie

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 04:06

I'm waiting for one I won on ebay - cost with shipping from Europe $17 which I figured was a fair price.We think it may be lost however as it was sent 2/17. I'm waiting one more week and then he will ship a new one if I don't have it. I won the silver one. I think they are very attractive. I'm not enamored of the other Rotring styles, but hear so much good about them, when I saw these I thought I'd give it a go. I'm thinking Luxury Blue?
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#3 Ann Finley

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 02:25

I'm waiting for one I won on ebay - cost with shipping from Europe $17 which I figured was a fair price.We think it may be lost however as it was sent 2/17.

Chupie, did you ever get your Esprit?

Best, Ann

#4 chupie

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 02:33

I did get it Friday. I'm not that impressed with it actually. It is OK and I will keep luxury blue in it for writing checks etc. It's a good pen in that I won't worry about losing it or anything. Quick access with the snap cap (I kind of like those). It seems to have a VERY specific sweet spot. If you keep it exactly right, it's fine. I'm glad I got it, because it's good to have a pen you aren't "worried about". It's very pretty, modern but elegant. Way light! Which is OK too. Just overall a nice pen but not real exciting in anyway. I may just have to use it more to become more enamored with it (only used it a little bit so far).
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#5 NeoTiger

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 02:41

Hi, I just bought a Rotring Esprit as well (my first proper fountain pen, not counting disposable plastic ones), as it was on discount for a good price (around $40USD for a box set with fountain pen, ball point, and keyring).

However I think my one is a bit different from the one reviewed here, as it's the telescoping type. I assume your one isn't telescoping, since you haven't mentioned it in the review. Basically, my pen looks exactly the same as yours, but is shorter, and the grip part of the pen extends out from the barrel when you take the cap off.

Anyway, I also find the appearance of the pen to be great, but it doesn't seem to write as well as you describe. Often, the first stroke of a sentence doesn't write, so I need to repeat the first stroke. I'm not sure if the ink is to blame, since the pen seemed much better when dipped in ink at the store (it currently has Shneider international ink cartridge inside). You mentioned that an international converter would fit, but I'm not sure whether it would fit my one (since it is shorter).

The ballpoint pen also looks identical to the fountain pen, but doesn't have a cap. The coolness factor part of it is that you pull the grip outwards to extend the ballpoint pen, and push back in to retract. Takes the thin refill type (used in Parker multi pens).

#6 chupie

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 02:45

I have kind of the same thing with mine, Neo. It appears to me to be where I write on the nib. You have to get "the spot", I think.
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#7 Ann Finley

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 04:10

It seems to have a VERY specific sweet spot. If you keep it exactly right, it's fine.

Chupie and Neo Tiger--I'm rather surprised since I don't have that trouble at all with mine, but I guess I shouldn't be...I've had this kind of experience with my Lamy Sarfari's, and everyone else thinks theirs write like a dream! I do think that finding the right ink(s) for any given nib makes a big difference though. I've been using mostly Herbin inks and Swisher's inks with my Esprit (though others worked, too) and I've just found that Diamine Orange seems to have eliminated the problem I was having with my Lamy.

Best of luck with your new pens! :) And, Chupie, I'm glad you finally received yours.

Best, Ann

#8 NeoTiger

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 06:54

I've ordered some cartridges of Diplomat ink (well it was cheap and free shipping), so I'll see how those go.

Do you know of any converters that will fit in my Telescopic Esprit? I think the short international cartridge just fits perfectly (so I'm guessing if such a small converter existed, it wouldn't hold much ink at all).

I'll post some pictures of my telescopic esprit soon.

#9 NeoTiger

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 07:37

Pictures as promised:

Telescopic Esprit Fountain Pen
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Telescopic Esprit Ballpoint Pen
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Both together
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Writing Sample (by my gf)
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#10 alexalex

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 10:52

I get Esprit FP in gunmetal finish on my last birthday. Nib was a little scratchy at first but after few pages of mindless doddling and little adjustment - it works fine. Interesting thing - nib is a bit springy which yields in some line width variations under pressure.

I like it :D

#11 Slush99

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 15:02

That's a beautiful pen. Might be too thin for me though... :doh:
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#12 chupie

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 15:16

I was playing around with it this a.m. and you know what this pen would be FANTASTIC for is sketching. I still have some skipping trouble in a way with loops and descenders, but I started sketching around and there is something REALLY nice about this pen for that. It is indeed a springy nib.

Now if only I could draw!

Edited by chupie, 20 March 2006 - 15:17.

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#13 Melnicki

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 01:57

neo tiger:

what size nib is that?


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#14 NeoTiger

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 07:47

Oh sorry, forgot to mention. The nib is a standard medium.

Overall comments to the "feel" of the nib... it's smooth, but not as smooth as a cheap disposable Pilot Vpen Fountain pen which I picked up at a supermarket (which is disappointing really....). It's also less smooth than a Parker Gel ink refill, which I have to say writes incredibly slippery.

I'm hoping the pen will write better with some better ink.

#15 davyr

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 16:49

thanks for the great review, ann. it sounds like a wonderful value and looks striking. funny, there's not much talk about rotrings c/w lamy...
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#16 Ged

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 10:10

I got my hands on one of these, in black, non telescoping M nib. I love it! The body is light yet oh so strong. The M feels like an M should, not sloppy and huge, but not for making those 0.1 lines either. Stiff nib, but very smooth. I've been using it for notes with Pelikan 4001 brilliant green in a cartridge (yes I know, green study notes? huh?!) for 3 days now, and I haven't gotten tired of it yet!

#17 Dan Carmell

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 15:00

The Espirit, also called the 400, was my first nice fountain pen (even before the 600 I still have!). The early ones had the red plastic ring at the section and they were prone to break, so moving it to the top of the cap was a good thing. Ged has it right--light but strong! I doubt there was a well-made FP that was lighter.

About four years ago, a German seller was selling hordes of several discontinued (or soon to be discontinued) Rotring models and I bought a lot of the Espirit BPs, MPs including the telescoping ones. Gave them to my family and friends for Xmas presents and everyone went wild over them. I never sawing the telescoping FP until this thread although I'd seen it mentioned--I honestly wasn't sure it existed until the photos above, so thanks!

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#18 MrNoodle

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 22:59

I recently purchaced a Telescopic Rotring Esprit (matte silver) with Med nib, and am very excited for it's arrival. As you can tell by my number of posts, I am new to FPN, and also to FPs. This Rotring will be my first FP.

EspritMiniFPMsilver700.jpg

I would like to use black or dark blue ink with my new FP, but was wondering if there were any recommended inks (brank, color, etc...) that were most compatible for smooth writing with Rotring pens.

Also, I wanted to use a converter for ink filling vs disposable cartridges. Any words of wisdom for this newbie?

#19 MYU

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 00:01

QUOTE (MrNoodle @ Dec 6 2008, 05:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I recently purchaced a Telescopic Rotring Esprit (matte silver) with Med nib, and am very excited for it's arrival. As you can tell by my number of posts, I am new to FPN, and also to FPs. This Rotring will be my first FP.

EspritMiniFPMsilver700.jpg

I would like to use black or dark blue ink with my new FP, but was wondering if there were any recommended inks (brand, color, etc...) that were most compatible for smooth writing with Rotring pens.

Also, I wanted to use a converter for ink filling vs disposable cartridges. Any words of wisdom for this newbie?

First of all, W2FPN.gif . Rotring pens are quite durable and will take to a variety of inks nicely, anything from Aurora to Waterman. Rotring does offer converters and I think the Esprit takes one. If I remember correctly, it is the international standard type.

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#20 dogpoet

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 01:13

The non telescoping Esprit probably does, but the other version doesn't leave enough space in the barrel for much more than single short international cartridge with the section pushed back, sadly. (Possibly there's some sort of miniature converter that might fit.)






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