Ref. : 1187
Production Date : Circa Late 1970’s – Early 1980’s
The Rotring Hidromat is a very interesting item in many ways. Simply put, it’s a humidifier much like the Rapidomat [see here]. The design is different but the purpose is the same: keep the ink wet and fluid. It consist of a cylinder [15 cm high and 11.5 cm diameter]. The base is punched with hole that communicate with the bottom of the device housing a sponge-like tissue that needed to be saturated with water. When evaporating the water keep the pens above wet. It’s a quite simple and effective design.
The main interest of this piece lay in it’s special design, quite different from the regular Rotring’s Rapidomat line, but mostly by the fact that it was design and produced by a branch of Rotring, called Rotring Industria Argentina that seems to produced specially designed items that were not available in Europe and in the USA. I have not been able to gather much informations about Rotring Argentina, and I’m eager to hear from someone who read this post and who have some infos. I found this item in Buenos-Aires, Argentina, and it’s sometimes pops-up on some Spanish second-hand website, but my contact in Germany and France can’t says much about that.
There is a fascinating and much documented – although not sourced – post about the Argentinians Tintenkuli that can be found here. The writer clearly says that some Tintenkuli where developed and manufactured locally in Argentina, with design and materials not found elsewhere. The links between Rotring Argentina and Rotring Germany remains obscure to me. The last thing of interest with this device is that it housed a set of 8 Variant of a special type. You can found the details of the nibs sizes on one side of the box at the end of the post. They are Variant B, a kind of hybrid between the regular Variant and the latter Isograph. They were sold in Europe, but this model as a special cap with a clip that – again – are only found in South America and in Spain, and to my knowledge have not been sold in Europe.
My Hidromat is in good conditions, only the transparent lib is heavily scratched. I’ve pictured all the sides of the box even if it is in very bad condition because of all the marking and inscriptions that are very interesting regarding the origin of this item.