Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Last vintage technical pen set spotlight: the Staedtler Mars 700 4-pen set (W8106/6201/6205)

We finish our coverage of the recently unearthed vintage drafting sets with the Staedtler Mars 700 4-pen set (blue box pen set on the left with 0.30, 0.35, 0.45, and 0.5 mm pen nibs). At first glance these vintage technical pens are fairly similar to the newer Mars Matic 700 model (boxed set on the right). They both feature a hexagonal point key integrated in the end of the barrels for easy and convenient removal of pen points. A significant advantage over most other brands that require a separate tool for removing the pen points.
The 0.35 mm pen from both sets disassembled into their component parts. Main noticeable differences can be seen in their color coding (light blue and yellow) and the pen grip surface designs. The older Mars 700 pen features a fluted finger grip while the Mars Matic 700 has rows of tiny squares instead.
The ink bottle design largely remained the same with some minor changes in the label in the same span of 22 years.
The Mars 700 case is quite a versatile pen stand, for it can hold the pens with the points facing up or down on different rows of the tray for easy dispensing and a smooth work flow.
Instructions sheets for Staedtler Mars 700 (W8106/6201/6205) dated 02/78: the front and back looked the same, but with German text on one side and English on the other.

The instructions for my first Staedtler college set (W81250x/9) dated 05/86 and my latest Staedtler Mars Matic 700 set (WA700A9) dated 03/00 were exactly the same front and back. The College set served me quite well in my drafting classes, so I regard them as very reliable tools that could last a lifetime if properly cared for.

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