Ref. : I’ve typed the Refs at the end of this post, as it is a quite long list
Production Date : 1984
The Variograph line was introduces in the early 1980’s and was one of the first attempts for Rotring (with the Finograph) to produce what we call today a fineliner. This kind of pen is now represented in the current Rotring catalog by the Tikky Graphic line. Variographs were refillable fibre-tip pens with an adjustable tip. They were meant to sketching and writing. You could adjust the length of the tip by twisting the very end of the pen. Rotring recommended a short tip for drawing and a longer one for writing. The line was very comprehensive, containing 4 pen sizes (0.2 mm / 0.3 mm / 0.5 mm / 0.7 mm), each offered in four colors (black, blue, red and green).
There was also a complete set of accessories (spare nibs and color ink bottles). To refill the pen, you had to plug the pen into the ink bottle, then the ink soaked the reservoir by capillary action (see the instruction leaflet at the end of the pictures). The major drawback of every fibre-tip pen is that the tip becomes slowly crushed and then looses its sharpness*. To prevent this the Variograph tips were replaceable. One spare tip was provided with every pen. The pens were sold in a special vacuum-sealed aluminium packet to prevent them from drying. I must say this is quite efficient because the sealed ones that I have got still work perfectly even today.
Each pen was sold separately, as well as the spare nibs and ink bottles, (see pictures), but there was also the much rarer « deluxe » boxed set, with every Variograph item inside. This is the one pictured here. I’ve also included the 1987 Rotring catalog page devoted to the Variograph, with this you should have a comprehensive overview of these products.
Variograph were not sold for long, and I doubt they were a huge success. Maybe they were too much of an hybrid product : too technical for the sketchers and too inaccurate for the drafters. They were to be replaced by the Xonox / Tikky Graphic lines in the 1990’s.
Thanks to JFWinter for the English proofreading
023 020 : Variograph Pen 0.2 mm [Black]
023 030 : Variograph Pen 0.3 mm [Black]
023 050 : Variograph Pen 0.5 mm [Black]
023 070 : Variograph Pen 0.7 mm [Black]
023 120 : Variograph Pen 0.2 mm [Red]
023 130 : Variograph Pen 0.3 mm [Red]
023 150 : Variograph Pen 0.5 mm [Red]
023 170 : Variograph Pen 0.7 mm [Red]
023 220 : Variograph Pen 0.2 mm [Green]
023 230 : Variograph Pen 0.3 mm [Green]
023 250 : Variograph Pen 0.5 mm [Green]
023 270 : Variograph Pen 0.7 mm [Green]
023 320 : Variograph Pen 0.2 mm [Blue]
023 330 : Variograph Pen 0.3 mm [Blue]
023 350 : Variograph Pen 0.5 mm [Blue]
023 370 : Variograph Pen 0.7 mm [Blue]
590 103 : 12 ml Red ink bottle
590 107 : 12 ml Green ink bottle
590 109 : 12 ml Blue ink bottle
590 117: 12 ml Black ink bottle
074 320 : 0.2 mm spare tips [Pack of 3]
074 330 : 0.3 mm spare tips [Pack of 3]
074 350 : 0.5 mm spare tips [Pack of 3]
074 370 : 0.7 mm spare tips [Pack of 3]
023 400 : Variograph cassette
[1 Variograph each : black, red, green, blue in 4 line thickness / 1 pack of fibre tips each : in 4 line thickness / 1 bottle Variograph ink each : black, red, green and blue]