This is one of the last fountain pens to go under the name of Rotring before the owners of the company decided that Parker is fountain pens and Rotring is technical pens, and they should stick to what they’re known for. It’s hard to say if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, in the face of such a remarkably odd-looking object.
In many ways, the Skynn is a weirder pen than the Core. For a start, it sits even more uneasily in a shirt pocket, sticking way up above the line of the pocket and waving for attention. The big bulb that comprises the section is very squishy, even inviting people walking past it on the shelves to give it a poke, and you’d think that this would be aimed at the arthritic… but there’s some problems with that. The lesser problem is that fountain pens in general are good for sufferers as they don’t demand clutching and pressing– a big fat gripper like that might help, but not so much as on a ballpoint. The greater problem is the cap, which is small, slippery, and when in place over the point very firmly attached indeed. I have trouble getting it off, and I’m a huge brute with good manual dexterity; how then would someone with compromised joints get at it?
The bulb causes some difficulty in writing, arthritis or no. The pen bounces around a little in a correct grip, demanding the writer bear down and compress the gel. It’s not an uncomfortable thing once grappled with, but I’ve never tried writing with it for more than a few minutes at a stretch. If you are a fan of cosplay, and want to have a fountain pen while dressed as a Masamune Shirow character, it’s brilliant. For the standard pen-user… I can’t really recommend it.
One last point of unclarity for me concerning this pen is the pronunciation of the name. Skynn…. It could be “skin” or “skein”, or with a more German approach to the vowel it could also be “skoon” (or at least, that’s as close as English orthography gets to the ypsilon sound). Lacking an official guide, I guess it’s up to each of us to please ourselves.
Production Run: c. 2000 – c. 2008
Cost When New: Not really sure– I got mine at a clearance price. Something around $25 to $30 (for current value, try this calculator).
Size: 14.0cm long capped, 15.1cm posted, 13.6 cm uncapped.
Body: Aluminum, plastic and silicone gel.
Filler: Cartridge, capacity approx. 0.6 ml or 1.4 ml (international pattern).
If you are relying on the preceding information to win a bet or impress a teacher, you should read the site’s scholarly caveat. Remember, this is the internet, and it’s full of bad information.