Posts filed under Lamy

Lamy 2000 Rollerball Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

Back in 2014, I wrote about the iconic Lamy 2000 fountain pen, and talked about my love for the design and the writing experience of the pen. Well, here we are in 2016 and I've expanded my Lamy collection to include a Lamy 2000 rollerball. A lot about the rollerball is the same as the fountain pen version, but this one is obviously a bit more simple since it only has a rollerball cartridge inside. Even though there are a lot of differences between this and the fountain pen, it's a great pen that would be perfect for a lot of people looking for an elegant, classy, and reliable pen for daily use.

Aesthetics

In my original Lamy 2000 review, I wrote about the design of the pen:

The Lamy 2000 is unique. There isn't another pen like it in design. It's sleek, modern, and welcoming at the same time. It looks like a pen meant to write, but classy at the same time. It works with casual and dress clothes splendidly. It always gets comments out in the wild.

I don't think it's fair to call this a "different" pen, since the exterior is completely identical aside from the nib area. When the pens are capped, it's difficult to determine which is which. From what I can tell, there's only one way to tell from the outside: the top of the cap has a small dimple in the rollerball version, whereas the fountain version is completely flat and smooth. The fountain pen version also feels like it might weigh a few grams more, but not much.

Obviously, it's pretty easy to tell them apart once the caps are off, but the differences are limited to the nib area only. The grip section is identical, the cap fitting is identical, and even the piston knob is identical. But, why does the rollerball version have a piston knob? Well, it's not actually a piston knob — just a section that screws off to give you access to the cartridge. But, the thing is the back cap is the same length and location as the piston knob, and equally difficult to notice when closed.

Saying that the attention to detail that went into the rollerball version of the 2000 is impressive almost does it justice. Lamy went above and beyond to ensure this looks every bit as classy, timeless, and modern as the older, more sophisticated cousin.

This is a rollerball that can stand its ground in any board room.

Writing experience

That's great that it looks just like the fountain pen version, but the fountain pen version writes so well (provided you don't have a faulty nib), right? Right, but that doesn't mean that the rollerball version has a bad writing experience. Quite the opposite, actually.

From what I can tell, Lamy sourced the cartridge through Schmidt, and we all know what that means. This is a smooth writer. Coming from the same company that provides the ever-so-glassy-smooth Retro 51 refills, this Lamy 2000 refill is no slouch. Lamy dubs it the M63, and it retails for $5.

Like the Retro 51 stock refill, the Lamy 2000 is also a 0.7mm size, and it is smooth and well-flowing. I'm a huge fan of Schmidt refills of all kinds, and this one is no exception. There really isn't anything I dislike about the way it writes — it's smooth, it always starts right away, never skips, and lays down a dark, crisp line of inky pitch black.

My only gripe is the line width, which is the same "problem" I have with the Retro 51 stock refill. To get a smaller size (like a 0.5 or so), you'll have to find the refill directly from Schmidt. While this is fairly easy for the Retro 51 refills (Schmidt P8127), the Lamy version can be a bit difficult to locate. From what I can tell from reading this Schmidt catalog (pg. 25), the Schmidt SRC5888F (0.6mm) and SRC5888M (0.7mm) refills would work in the Lamy 2000 if you had a small extension for the base — about 2mm long. Still, the price is about the same, so unless you want the slightly smaller tip size, I'd stick with the Lamy-branded refills.

Conclusion

If you're a fan of the Lamy 2000 design, but are looking for a non-fountain pen version, the rollerball is perfect for you. It's a bit cheaper than the fountain pen version, just over $100. It's not "cheap," but it's also a price that I feel is fair given the attention to detail, prestige of the 2000 line, and the beautiful design and writing experience.

If you're nervous about jumping on a Lamy 2000 because you're new to fountain pens, this might be the perfect entry point into fine pens.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

Posted on January 27, 2016 and filed under Lamy, Rollerball, PHX-1, Pen Reviews.

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen Gift Set Giveaway

Image via JetPens.

Image via JetPens.

What better way to get started with fountain pens than getting an all-in-one set like the Lamy Al-Star or Safari Gift Set? Even if you are an experienced user, adding a new Lamy pen plus all of the accessories is a great thing.

I'm giving away the Purple Body Al-Star set, courtesy of JetPens, to one lucky reader. Here is how you can enter:

  1. Leave one comment on this post anytime between now, and Saturday night at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. You are limited to one entry. This contest is open to US and International readers.

  2. For this contest, I will pick one winner at random from the comments section of this post. The comments will be numbered in the order they are received, i.e. the first comment is #1, the second #2, and so on. The Random Integer Generator at random.org will be used to pick the number of the winner.

  3. The contest winner will be posted on Sunday, January 17th. The winner will have one week to email me via the Contact link at the top of the page.

Thanks and good luck!

Posted on January 12, 2016 and filed under Lamy, Giveaways.

Lamy Imporium in Black and Gold: A Review

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

My first fountain pen was a Lamy Safari in metallic blue. I pretty much hated it. The grip was uncomfortable; the steel nib was scratchy; I didn't like the cartridges. I doubt I would have stuck with fountain pens had I not bought a Pelikan later that year and discovered the joys of a gold nib and a piston fill.

I refused to consider any more Lamy pens for a long time after the Safari. I believe it was Brad's review of his Lamy 2000 that convinced me to try the brand again, but that was almost a bust. I ordered a Lamy 2000 Makrolon through Massdrop, and when it arrived it had a bum nib. One tine was longer than the other, and there was this big divot on the top of the nib. Fortunately, Massdrop is an authorized Lamy dealer, so I was able to get a replacement nib. Now the pen writes like a dream, and it's one of my favorite pens.

The bum Lamy nib.

The bum Lamy nib.

When I first saw shots of the Lamy Imporium, I was mesmerized. I loved the guilloche patterns, the clean lines of the cap, and the nib–oh, that nib! The black exterior with the gold center was just too cool. Then I saw the price. $520 for a Lamy? No way. Plus, initially I was told the pen wouldn't be sold in the US (that turned out to be incorrect). I quietly resigned myself to no Lamy Imporium.

But then Black Friday arrived, and I happened upon a sale at Pen Boutique. The Lamy Imporium was reduced plus Pen Boutique was offering an additional 20% off! I got my pen for around $320, which seemed considerably more reasonable.

The Imporium comes in a large, heavy box wrapped in tissue paper inside a white cardboard outer box. The box is black/gray with the Lamy name on top. The lid is hinged and when you open it, the pen is centered in the middle with a ribbon to keep it in place. The ribbon doesn't work. My Imporium had made its way to the outer edges of the box during shipping.

Underneath the presentation board is a cartridge, a cleaning cloth, and a booklet about the Lamy Imporium. It's nicely packaged, but in all honesty, a huge box like this seems unnecessary. I know the more expensive pens all come in big, heavy boxes (think Visconti and Omas), but Lamy could have crafted a much smaller, elegant box.

I'm not exactly sure what the Lamy Imporium is made of. Lamy states that the pen has been "partially galvanized" and "refined" with a black matte PVD coating, but what has been galvanized is never stated. I think that the underlying body of my pen is steel, but there's also a titanium version.

Regardless, it's a beautiful pen designed by Marco Bellini. The barrel and grip have contrasting horizontal and vertical guilloche patterns.

The screw-on cap is smooth with a gold-plated clip that nicely matches the cap's shape. The clip is spring loaded and opens and closes easily.

The only branding is the word "Lamy" on one side of the clip.

The barrel sports a gold ring where the nib and grip meet and a gold disc at the bottom.

The Imporium is a solid pen in the hand. It weighs 47 grams capped. It is 141mm/5.6 inches in length capped; 121mm/4.8 inches uncapped; and 169mm/6.7 inches posted. I write with it unposted (posted it is a bit ungainly), and the guilloche pattern on the grip helps to keep my fingertips from slipping on the coated metal surface. The ribs on the grip are rounded, and I don't find them to be at all uncomfortable.

The 14K EF nib is spectacular, writing more like a fine. Lamy describes the nib as "PVD-refined bicolour gold" that provides "a uniquely soft writing experience." I will say the nib writes smoothly and has unique feel. There's no flex, of course, but it has a bit of give when you press into it.

The pen is a cartridge/converter filler. I suppose a piston converter would have made the Imporium prohibitively heavy, but at this price point you sort of expect a piston.

I have a crazy affection for this pen. It grabbed me the moment I laid eyes on it, and I can't explain that rationally. It's just a black and gold guilloche pen. Big woo. But I think it's absolutely fantastic.

Pros

  • The Lamy Imporium is incredibly solid and well made.
  • The nib on this pen is fantastic. Not only is it unique with the black and gold contrasts, it writes beautifully.
  • I love the design of this pen with the guilloche patterns and the contrasting smooth cap. The gold accents add just the right amount of elegance.
  • Even though the pen is heavy, it is well balanced. The guilloche design makes the grip easy to hold.
  • If you don't like the black and gold, there's an all-black, stealth version and a titanium version.

Cons

  • Obviously the biggest negative about the Lamy Imporium is the cost. It is super expensive for what you get. I would never have bought one at the full price.
  • Some may find this pen too heavy for comfort.
Posted on December 30, 2015 and filed under Fountain Pens, Lamy, Pen Reviews.

Lamy Safari 2015 Neon Lime Giveaway Winner

I'm a little late on picking the winner - the brightness of the Safari blinded me yesterday! That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it. The winner of the 2015 Neon Lime Special Edition Safari is:

Safari Winner.jpg

Congrats Chris! Email me via the Contact Page within the next week and I will get your pen on its way.

Thanks to all who entered, and thanks to Goldspot Pens for providing this pen for giveaway.

Posted on August 9, 2015 and filed under Giveaways, Lamy, Safari.