I recently chanced across the Rotring Trio-Pencil on eBay and my mind boggled.
I rushed to my Rotring catalogue, or rather “Schreibgefühl 2001 / 2002 rotring” as Rotring call it. Apparently that’s a bit of marketing speak, meaning “The feeling of writing”, “That writing feeling”, “The look and feel of writing (instruments)”, well something like that anyway.
LOOK, there, in the catalogue section “rotring Multipen”. Right before my very eyes for all these years! Blind, illiterate, idiot…clearly I am one or more of these. Man, this blog really does keep reminding me how little I know, and how much I don’t know. The shame of it all.
R 502 705 0 trio-pen, Schwarz, 3 Feinminenstifte (0,35mm, 0,5mm, 0,7mm)
Oh the Germanic precision of it. They even use commas instead of decimal points, and spaces instead of commas in their numbers, reminding me just how wrong I am.
Like so much of their range, Rotring apparently stopped making the Trio-pencil quite sometime ago, but good ole eBay still has some “new old stock” available. Obviously price was irrelevant, I had to have one!
Actually mine is slightly different to the picture in the catalogue, having a silver push top button rather than a black one like the catalogue.
The card box that the plastic presentation case comes in states “Sanford rotring GmbH” so it dates after 1998 when Sanford took over Rotring. It also has the old Rotring website on it, “rotring.com”. That’s long since gone. The current Newell Rubbermaid (Sanford) website doesn’t even list the Rotring brand anymore, just Papermate, Parker and Waterman of their “pencil” companies. I’m fairly sure that the website did list Rotring a year or so ago, when I last looked, so who knows what’s going on.
Printed on the body is 0.35, 0.5 and 0.7. Just like the Newton, there is a gravity selector system, so whichever size is held upright is the tip that comes out when you push the top button down. 10 clicks of the push top ratchet lead advance mechanisms extends 6mm of lead, irrespective of lead diameter.
You retract the pencil tip by pushing down the small lever that sticks up in the pocket clip. The spring loaded mechanism then retracts the tip back up inside the body.
There is a small eraser under the top cap. Leads are refilled by unscrewing the body to get to the three pencil units. The grip section is a slightly wider diameter than the rest of the body.
Dimensions – Length 138mm, 10mm diameter body.