Lambda? Who's ever heard of a rOtring Lambda? Well, for starters, up until about a month or two ago I hadn't either. I'd seen a few listings for them so I referred to Gabe, my rOtring expert pal, and he was even skeptical at first if they were legit as even HE'D never seen them.
I was watching a listing on eBay for a two-piece Lambda rollerball and ballpoint set that ended up going for $180... I'm all about rOtrings (now), but I didn't think that I would be dropping that kind of dough on a non-600 variety.
Patience worked out I suppose because I stumbled upon a Buy It Now listing for up to 5 Lambda rollerballs shipping from Germany (even the listing was in all German) that were NOS for only $35 US each. Done. I checked back within a couple of hours and they were all gone. I thought that $35 was a fair price to take a chance on this mysterious rOtring model...
I don't know a ton about the Lambda models history, but I know they came in a ballpoint, rollerball, and fountain pen version and they run about 10 years after the 600. This would put them in the early 90's I believe, but I also read that these were sold as promotional items by rOtring wherein your company could get their name marked on the side. Wouldn't that be cool? Your OWN line of rOtring pens...sort of. Crazy that this pen might be 20 or 30 years old already and nobody really knows about it.
The Lambda is very different than the 600 and Newton series. It shares some knurling at the top, bottom, and grip section with the 600 as well as the o-ring at the end to help hold on the cap when posted. The barrel is metal underneath I think, but the outer shell is made of a rubberized material that makes the entire barrel grippy. The entire pen is in a matte black. Ok, this is probably the pen that Batman would use for real.
...but no red ring... Although, right below the knurling on the cap is a "notch" that could fit a bright red o-ring if I wanted to get crazy.
The barrel is pretty substantial, but not overly heavy. I think the rubber "skin" helps cut down on the weight, but I wouldn't consider the pen too light. It is actually a really comfortable balance and very enjoyable to write with.
I received a rOtring brand rollerball gel refill with it (which is likely discontinued), but I really like it. It lays down a nice solid line, is smooth, and doesn't skip. Curse the day when it runs out as I'm sure I'll have to switch refills. I prefer blue ink anyway.
In the 600 and Newton fountain and rollerball pens, the hexagonal cap has some interlocking "teeth" if you will (see rollerball review), but the Lambda, being round, just pops on and off with a pressure fit. Since the barrel is round, rOtring didn't need to go through the trouble of making any interesting cap/barrel connections...or they just hadn't thought of how awesome it would be yet.
I'm really glad I found this pen and I think I'll get a lot of enjoyment out of it's use as it really is a comfortable writer.
If anyone has more info about the Lambda, please feel free to share! I did find this rOtring 600 Visual Guide that is incredible that talks a little about them. It also taught me that I've likely been exchanging the 600 series and Newton series names incorrectly (sorry to any die-hards; still learning) which is a pretty common mistake so it seems. Give that guide a look if you feel you can control yourself from then scouring the internet to buy more expensive rOtrings... I'm a lost cause I'm afraid.