Rotring woodcase pencil

Rotring woodcase pencil

Here is a curiosity: a woodcase pencil marked Germany rOtring HB=2.

Rotring the brand lives on as part of the Sanford empire, and seems to have regional product lines – one in Europe, one in Japan. And perhaps others?

The wood seems extremely pinkish, beyond cedar – a chemical wood treatment? The lead is also very scratchy and cheap. The printing and finishing also appear budget level. So if Rotring, with a great reputation, made woodcase pencils, this isn’t what one would expect.

Rotring woodcase pencil

I have two guesses: the pencil is from some corner of the Sanford empire, and unfortunately made to low standards. Or – it is some sort of “knock-off”, where a well known brand name is stamped on a cheap product not actually from the identified manufacturer.

Any ideas or actual knowledge about this pencil?

8 Replies to “Rotring woodcase pencil”

  1. I these are knock-offs as I never have seen any woodcase pencils from rOtring. And Sandford migh be a big greedy company (no I don’t have any proof of it, I just dislike big companies swallowing the small quality companies for their name.
    Anyway, I don’t think Sandford would throw away a good name like rotring for a product that has marginal profits and low volumes in Europe & America.

    This is the first time I’ve seen knock-off pencils btw!

  2. Thank you for the comments, Alec and melonpan. I saw the pencils on ebay, and thought, “Hmm, they look odd.” But there are objects like Venezualan Papermate Mirado plastic rulers, so this didn’t seem impossible.

  3. Well these are pretty interesting. I will be fascinated to learn more about them. These days Sanford seem to place so little value on the Rotring brandname that nothing would surprise me.

  4. I am curious about these pencil myself so I have just phoned an established stationery store. That store celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, has provided drawing instruments to a nearby university and has even sold its own custom printed paper. Besides that, they have provided the service for Nestler drawing machines and – to get to the point – sold Rotring items. The employee I have spoken with told me that there have not been official Rotring woodcase pencils in the last 15 years. – I will phone them again and hope to talk with the owner (he was out).

  5. It is my personal opinion that Sanford places very little value on all it’s brandnames (including Parker and Waterman). It is almost a crime what Sanford does to all the brands it buys.

  6. I recently picked up a box of these at a stationery store in Israel. They look absolutely identical to your photo. The quality isn’t bad, and it’s over a year since your blog post, so someone must still be manufacturing these (… or the poor store over-ordered any they’ve been sitting in the stock room for a while!).

    Certainly could be one of those factories in China that stamps a reputable brandname and some other country of origin on its knockoffs.

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