Friday, August 1, 2014

Remembering Your First (or Maybe Second or Third): The Rotring 400

When I was in college, I had a casual interest in fountain pens. At one point, I found myself in an unusual situation: I had some disposable income. At that time, the college bookstore had a Rotring 400 for sale. It looked somewhat odd but I bought it anyway. I loved the lightness of the pen and the gunmetal color. I eventually lost the pen but my later efforts to find a suitable replacement, among other things, brought me to the fountain pen hobby. In the process, I learned the difference between the 400 and the Esprit. The 400 is the original and the Esprit is the Sanford version (Sanford bought Rotring). Taking Note has nicely compared these pens but, IMHO, the 400 performs better. For me, the only drawback of the 400 is the red ring, which is a piece of plastic between the cap/section and the barrel. It will break eventually, leaving a little gap. Replacing it with a ring off of some other pen (the ring doesn’t have to be red) seems easy enough, but I have not yet found a replacement of the right size. Regardless, Taking Note’s post inspired me to get the 400 out of storage and ink it up, risk to the red ring be damned. I still love it.

Rotring 400 with Gunmetal Finish


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