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Rotring Dublin Fountain Pen Review



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This review is my first review and it is the result of a few events that occurred to me recently, best separated into three short "stories":

a. The old pencil

b. The Lamy and the Sheaffer

c. Hospital "vacation"

 

If you're only interested in the pen review just scroll down to THIS IS WHERE THE REVIEW BEGINS.

a. The old pencil:

Soon after starting my modest fountain pen collection, I went through the "office supply" drawer in my parent's house to see if I'll find something interesting to take for…ahhmm… free.

I didn't find any fountain pens but I did find a rOtring tikky mechanical pencil, which I remembered to be at least 15 years old. When I "clicked" the top "button", the mechanism performed flawlessly as I remembered it did for years, and I was very impressed with the build quality. I decided to be considerate and not to take the tikky from my parents who still used it, but decided to get one for myself if possible.

b. The Lamy and the Sheaffer:

For a couple of months I've been pondering whether to buy the Lamy Alstar or Sheaffer 100, suppressing the notion that I will eventually buy them both.

When I found an eBay seller auctioning both pens for a bargin price (but rather expensive shipping to my country), I negotiated a "combined shipping" discount to mitigate the shipping cost, and informed my wife I'm getting both pens at once!

 

The next day, a few minutes before the Sheaffer's auction ended, I placed the order for the Lamy (don't know why the Lamy first), which took only 30 seconds. Then ,I went ahead to buy the Sheaffer but, to my surprise, the Sheaffer's auction page stated the auction WAS OVER! I was peeved!!! Two minutes later, when I came back to my senses, I noticed the auction page also states that the item was not sold! I immediately contacted the seller asking to buy the Sheaffer , but he didn't replay for weeks.

 

The next day I got a message the Lamy was shipped, and with the seller not replaying – I figured combined shipping was off the table which made me even more peeved every time I checked my (empty) eBay incoming messages list.

 

c. Hospital "vacation":

My newborn baby-daughter had some fever during the Rosh-Hashanah holiday, so me and my wife went to the hospital. The doctor decided to give my daughter antibiotic treatment and keep her in the hospital for 3 days, as a precautionary routine for under-30-day-babies. Needless to say if my daughter was staying in the hospital – so were me and my wife

So, I had a lot of free time during our 3-day-hospital –vacation, during which I remembered my parent's old rOtring tikky mechanical pencil…

 

Soon enough I found an eBay seller selling a tikky for a good price but, again, relatively expensive shipping price to my country. So, I started looking in that seller's "online store" to find something else I could buy to mitigate the shipping cost. This is where I found the Dublin fountain pen!

Not knowing rOtring even made fountain pens, I tried to find a review of that pen, but couldn't find anything except a nice blog-post about all rOtring fountain pens:

http://www.banasikcayaz.com/2013/11/rotring-fountain-pen-inventory-part-i.html

No specific review of the rOtring Dublin…

Still being rather peeved off at the Sheaffer eBay seller who didn't replay, I decided to take a chance and buy the rOtring Dublin. For the price of ~15$ for the Dublin I also added another rOtring Surft fountain pen for ~5.4$ and two rOtring tikky pencils all of which cost less that the Sheaffer 100…

 

There and then I decided to write my own review of the rOtring Dublin when I'll get it and post it on FPN.

 

TWO "AFTERMATH" NOTE:

 

My daughter just had a virus, everything is okay.

The Sheaffer eBay seller eventually replayed after a few weeks, apologized for not replaying due to his being on vacation, and offered to sell me the Sheaffer for the agreed price and combined shipping discount. I Obviously accepted J

 

THIS IS WHERE THE REVIEW BEGINS:

 

1. First impression: 6/10

The pen has mat-finish metal with a center shiny ring, that looks very good in pictures and from a short distance but feels a bit cheap and looks a bit cheap on close-up. The pen didn't come in a box.

15529285396_27b5369046_s.jpga by aviv27, on Flickr

The weight is 28 grams which feels very light. From the coolness of the pen I guess it's not made of plastic so it must be a very light Aluminum. I was definitely expecting a heavier pen when I bought it – so a bit disappointment there.

Uncapped the pen feels even lighter since the clip and top part with B|O logo are heavier.

15553834342_5a6a382885_s.jpgb by aviv27, on Flickr

2. Design and features: 7/10

The clip has a very small rOtring engraving. Couldn’t get a good picture of it - I guess I need a Macro-Lens to capture it.

15366986277_605cccc7a1_s.jpgc by aviv27, on Flickr

The section is a "test-tube" like design which I didn't like so much on this pen, although I did like it on another non-fountain-pen I own Tombow Zoom, maybe due to the Tombow's more luxurious-looking texture.

15553001295_56cb19520e_s.jpgd by aviv27, on Flickr

(Dublin on the right)

The black grip is a rubbery-textured material that is a little soft which gives the pen some uniqueness. The grip doesn't feel cheap and it makes holding the pen comfortable and pleasant. The nib is engraved "Shmidt iridium point" and measures 1.5cm.

14932246874_10f5bf5841_s.jpge by aviv27, on Flickr

3. Construction and Quality: 5/10

If you read the "stories" above, I expected the rOtring fountain pen to have top-notch "German" build quality. When unscrewing the section there is a squeaky sound. Maybe some lubrication-oil will solve it but it made me deduct a lot of points. The cap snaps in really well, and taking it off is completely silent.

The pen is 13CM capped, 12.5CM uncapped and 16CM posted. Weight 28 grams with the cap, 15 grams without it.

4. Filling mechanism: 10/10

The pen takes international cartridges. I ordered a pack of 10 international converters for about 3$, hope they'll fit. The pen came with 2 unmarked international short cartridges that fit one on top of the other inside the barrel. The barrel has a small spring in the end, a bit like a "click" pen. Fitting the second cartridge makes everything solid & tight inside the barrel – no sounds when shaking the pen.

5. Nib and performance: 9/10

The nib is a Shmidt nib which I read is fitted into various pen and are considered very good. The nib looks rather simple despite all the decorations.

15366984717_d5e58c4fff_s.jpgf by aviv27, on Flickr

I find the nib smooth and wet. It starts writing right away even after a few days without use. As I mentioned I also bought a ~5.4$ rOtring Surft fountain pen, and that one has a drier nib which skips a little bit, and didn't start right away after a few days without use. There is some line variation. I think it’s a good writer. It is as good as my Parker Vector Medium, and more comfortable to use than the Vector. The reason for that is its thicker and the rubbery grip is very comfortable. The Dublins is better than my Jinhao x450 & 599, Baoer 79 that are less smooth and tend to skip. It also feels smoother than my Platinum Preppy.

I will update with comparison to the Lamy Al-Star and the Sheaffer 100 I recently ordered.

6. Maintenance – to be fair only have the pen for a week with a few days without any use, so I think I'll skip this part.

7. Cost and Value: 9/10

For ~15$ its as good writer as the Parker Vector, but more comfortable to use for longer writting. Other competitors for this pen are the Pilot Metropolitan and Sheaffer VFM or even Lamy Safari, all of which I don't yet own. I will compare it to the Lamy Alstar and Sheaffer 100 which I recently ordered – although they are twice the Dublin's price they are still under 50$ pens.

Before I forget - writting sample:

14932698024_c1b4d7e057_s.jpgDublin by aviv27, on Flickr

8. Summery: 46/60

It’s a good writer with a modern-look that is impressive enough to take to work.

Thanks for taking the time to read my review.

Critical comments are as welcome as thank-yous.

 

Aviv.

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Great pics, good reveiw.

 

I have a couple of rotring fountain pens, one with pencil and roller ball. I was a tad sad when they discontinued them.

 

Thanks for bringing to the notice of pen people.

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