The Rotring Newton is often confused with the older, more desirable Rotring 600. Both are great pens and they are remarkably alike, but they are distinctly different models and while the Newton echoes the design of the 600 it is not a Rotring 600. Sorry to say it, but there is no “Rotring Newton 600,” that’s just something people write in auctions.
Does any of this matter though? Are we just splitting hairs? Or is there a real difference between the Rotring 600 and the Newton pens. Let’s find out.
The original model is the Rotring 600, which was first released in 1989. This was later follows up by the Newton. The 600 is distinctive for its hexagonal brass body and knurling, the former of which the Newton has and the latter which is missing.
What are the major differences?
- Rotring 600 has knurling on the top of the cap, grip, and bottom of the pen, the Newton does not
- The Newton has shiny finishes on the conical tip and top of the cap, the 600 does not
- While both pens have a haxagonal shape, the corners of the 600 are sharper
- The Rotring 600 was made in West Germany, the Newton was made in Japan
- The 600 has polished threading inside, the Newton’s matches the pens coating
- The Newton was released in a Lava finish, the 600 never was
Some differences are distinctive to the specific writing instruments as well. For example the Newton has a conical tip on the mechanical pencil and ballpoint pen, where the 600 models use a cylindrical pipe. The Newton fountain pen and rollerball have a spring-loaded tab that holds the cap super-firmly in place where the 600 only has brass “gears” which wear out over time making the cap loosen easily.
At the end of the day the two are quite similar and the Newton is an excellent writing instrument. That said, they are different models and the Rotring 600 remains the iconic original and it demands a higher price tag.