I'm starting to think that The Clicky Post is becoming a hub for rOtring reviews. I really don't know why, but I am completely obsessed with this brand.
In perusing eBay recently I decided to take a chance on a newer (although now discontinued) model called the Freeway. I picked up a black rollerball for about $15 new which I thought was really reasonable. Although, for rOtrings, $15 usually doesn't mean much, so I was a bit skeptical even when placing the order...
When I got the Freeway and first held it in my hand I thought to myself that it felt oddly heavy. The barrel is all metal, but seems pretty hefty.
In many pens, the weightiness adds a level of niceness, but with the overall build of the Freeway, in this case "heavy" doesn't really mean "quality". It almost screams the opposite like the pen is a thrown-together type project. (Gasps heard all around...) I know; Mike is discrediting a rOtring model? Seems impossible, right?
Now, I think that the Freeway is a nice enough pen, but it is far, far away from the prestige levels of the 600 or even Newton series of the 90's. Those pens just feel incredible; like a tool or precision instrument. This pen feels like a giveaway type pen on the nicer scale. The 600s and Newtons make your jaw drop.
It writes nice though as it came with the Schmidt Ceramic Roller. I really ought to use this refill more as it is smooth and inky rollerball, but lays down a finer line. I can speak to the fact that the tip of the refill is good and snug in there and there is very little play while writing. This is a plus.
Referring back to my comment about the build quality, the pen just doesn't seem very refined. The painted coatings seem ok, but like they are just a bit "meh". I'm not fond of the clip design, and the fact that they opted for a chromed tip seems a bit out of place. The threading between the grip and barrel is a bit rough and takes a bit of effort to get tightened down. Doesn't speak volumes to precision.
Am I upset that I bought the Freeway rollerball? Nah. I'm actually interested in experiencing the evolution of the brand as it changed hands. I suppose I'm dedicated enough to the brand to ride that wave. They made a Freeway fountain pen as well that I could probably pick up for $20 that I'd still be willing to try. Maybe the nib is awesome?
My hopes are that rOtring's future lineup will include the likes of what we saw before in the older models many of us covet. I think there is absolutely a market for them considering the prices some of those models sell for online.
What are your thoughts on the matter?