Sunday, April 1, 2018

rOtring Rapid PRO BP Review

Rotring started in 1928 with a tubular tipped stylographic fountain pen popularly known as Tiku. It was incorporated as Titenkuli Handels GmbH. Later in 1984, the calligraphic ArtPen was introduced, which was followed by more famous and most sought after 600 series pens. There were a few changes in name in between which can be seen in the historical timeline linked here. In 1998, it was taken over by Sanford US, a subsidiary of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. Newell owns other known 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 as an iconic hallmark.

                   The Rapid PRO look like a modern avatar of the renowned 600 ball points. With evolution, rotring has perhaps tried to make the rigid hexagonal shape slightly 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 wielding the same power. The weight and feel of both pens is quite comfortable, balanced and not at all on the heavier side. Warning-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 concentric cone-cylinder tip. I couldn’t find a decipherable difference between the knock of 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 although firm. The silver version in contrast looks vivacious. The mirror finished clip shimmers along with the conical tip, while the relatively duller grey shine of the barrel complements both ends willingly.

The red ring adorns both the pens well, in between the section and 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 some panache. I feel the concentric cones & cylinder at the tip add to the style and render firmness in character to these 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, incase someone 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: 24.6 g (Matte Black), 25.2 g (Chrome Silver) with refills

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.
The rapid pro has a relatively smoother surface and is around 2 grams heavier with a plastic section. It does feel more substantial than the latest rotring 600 (Both are made in Japan).

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