Tropen Scholar

The Germans make good pens even when they are built down to a price to suit the pockets of schoolchildren. There have been many manufacturers of these pens, some better-known than others.

This is a Tropen Scholar, a product of one of the more successful manufacturers. I believe this is a late example, perhaps from the 1980s. It appears to be made of injection-moulded parts, a technique Tropen pioneered as early as the 1930s. The material is light and takes a good shine. There are no obvious seams or flashing.

The tapered clip bears the company name and the cap band conceals the cap lip. The imprint “Tropen Scholar” on the cap is in two different writing styles, which looks a little odd to me. The cap is also imprinted “Made in Germany”.

Though this is a low-cost pen quality remains high. The joint between the blind cap and the barrel is nearly invisible. It conceals the turn-button that activates the piston. The pen takes a good draught of ink which can be seen through the green ink window. The section is tapered, then swells to a “stop” making a comfortable grip. The pen has its original plated steel nib.

Tropen was a very prolific pen maker and the school pens were turned out in many thousands. The equivalent, perhaps, of the cheaper Conway Stewart or Parkers, these pens are better appreciated today than they were when new. Then as now, they are great high quality pens at a low price.


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