Posts filed under Lamy

Lamy Crystal Agate Ink: A Review

Lamy Crystal Agate Ink 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.)

The Lamy Crystal Ink line is named after various gemstones and includes eight colors: Agate, Azurite, Beryl, Obsidian, Peridot, Rhodonite, Ruby, and Topaz.

Lamy Crystal inks come in beautiful triangular-shaped bottles with silver caps. The bottles are deep enough that you can get a good fill even with large nibs.

I tested Lamy Crystal Agate on Rhodia Dot paper using Lamy Vistas in various nib sizes. Agate is a gray color that leans toward the green side of gray (unfortunately, I couldn’t capture the green cast to the ink in my photos). It’s fairly light when using fine, medium, and even broad nibs though in swabs it ranges from medium to dark. It’s a dry ink, and it is not waterproof.

Lamy Crystal Agate Ink

On a Col-o-dex card with a dip pen, the ink is much darker, though it does not have much, if any, shading and has absolutely no sheen.

Lamy Crystal Agate Ink Swab

Chromatography reveals a good amount of gray, some lavender, and a tiny hint of blue and yellow. However, despite these other colors, Lamy Agate is a rather flat gray.

Lamy Crystal Agate Ink Chromatography

In a super wide nib (Handwritmic Ruling Pen), the ink has some shading, especially where it pooled, but, again, no sheen.

Lamy Crystal Agate Ink Writing

I am unimpressed with Lamy Crystal Agate. It’s a bland gray with a hint of green. It lacks any characteristics that might set it apart, such as excellent shading, sheen, or color variations. I reviewed several gray inks here, and I recommend Papier Plume Oyster with its beautiful blue-grey tones and nice shading and Kobe #10 Mikage Grey with its deep purple-grey hue, excellent shading, and sheen.

If you want a basic gray ink and don’t mind the green cast, Lamy Crystal Agate is available for purchase from Vanness Pens $16.00 for a 30ml bottle (and, if you hurry, it’s currently on sale for $14.00).

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

Posted on July 26, 2019 and filed under Lamy, Ink Reviews.

Lamy Aion Fountain Pen in Red Review

Lamy Aion Fountain Pen Red Review

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

The Lamy Aion is a relatively new offering from the German brand, and I've been pretty slow about getting my hands on one. Now that I have one of these new pens in the fantastic red color, I can understand why I've seen so much about them. This pen doesn't replace any other pen in the Lamy line-up — but rather creates a new aesthetic offering in the Lamy Studio price-point.

After using this pen quite a bit, I've come to think of it as a more modern and sleeker AL Star. The pen is made entirely of aluminum, and it's roughly the same size as the less-expensive cousin. The aluminum is lightweight, but also feels incredibly durable. In places where the AL Star can feel somewhat thin and delicate, this is a welcome change. Like every other Lamy, the cap is a friction fit snap system. The motion of uncapping and capping the pen is satisfying. It requires enough pressure to operate that you won't be concerned about this pen uncapping itself in a pocket or bag when it's jostled around. Capping the pen has an equally satisfying ker-thunk as well.

Lamy Aion Fountain Pen Red

The cap feels like it's weighted on the top end, giving the pen a top heavy feel when it's capped. However, when posted, this extra weight at the top of the pen provides a nice amount of balance to the nib when you're writing. The pen barrels fits into more than half of the cap, which is a good thing since this is a fairly long pen to begin with. When posted, it becomes almost too long.

Lamy Aion Fountain Pen Clip

There's also a new clip system for the Aion. Borrowing from the 2000, the Aion clip is spring-loaded, giving it excellent grip on pockets and bags. It's a very smooth motion and has a secure feel. I'm really impressed with this clip system and really with the Studio used something similar, as the Studio can be somewhat difficult to clip onto things.

The aluminum materials are quite nice on the Aion. According to the marketing literature, the barrel and cap are made of single pieces of aluminum. This gives them a high-quality, seamless feel that adds to the luxury of the pen. The barrel and cap are both brushed on the surface, which adds an interesting visual detail and a pleasing texture. The grip, on the other hand, is also made of aluminum, but has a blasted surface, resulting a smoother but still textured feel. The difference in texture also sets it apart visually from the barrel.

Lamy Aion Fountain Pen Red Nib

In almost every Lamy I've used (aside from the hooded 2000, of course), they use the same nib system, making it easy to swap and exchange nibs whenever you like. In an interesting departure, the Aion uses a unique nib shape, meaning you can't swap it with you other Lamy nibs. This is a bit disappointing since that's a major perk of the Lamy fountain pen system. The marketing literature explains this change as a decision to make the nib line up with the modern design of the Aion, but I don't think the Aion nib differs enough from the regular nibs to justify the unique fitting. They could have used the same standard Lamy nib without decreasing the modern aesthetic. Let's face it — all of Lamy's designs are fairly modern. That makes this nib change feel a bit off. Even the slightly-more-expensive Studio uses the common Lamy nibs.

Nib design choices aside, I've been incredibly happy with how it performs on paper. The nib is stainless steel and is as hard as a nail on the EF unit. The line is makes is consistent, thin, and sharp. Being as stiff as it is, there's absolutely no flex unless you apply enough pressure to also cut through the page. This nib is perfect for writing small and making exact marks. The orange ink (by the way, have I broken some unspoken rule by putting Kaweco ink in a Lamy pen??) compliments the red body perfectly, but flows out as smoothly as you can expect on such a fine nib.

Lamy Aion Fountain Pen Barrel

The grip section may look smooth, but the blasted finish creates a fine and grippy texture that you can't see with the naked eye. When writing, I've had no trouble holding on to the pen through long writing sessions. Unlike the super-smooth grip of the Studio, the grip on the Aion is exception. The slow taper down toward the nib is also beneficial for gripping the pen. In all, this is an incredibly comfortable pen to use given the width and length of the barrel and the light weight of the pen. The textured grip just makes it even better.

You can certainly post the cap when writing with the Aion, and this will almost always come down to personal preference. It's already a "standard-size" pen, so I'd say posting isn't necessary. That said, the extra weight in the cap does change up the balance of the nib when writing, and I've actually really enjoyed it. If only the overall size of the pen wasn't so long in this configuration, I'd probably use it more. For me, the most comfortable position is unposted, but I've enjoyed playing around with the pen with the cap posted just for the novelty of feeling the balance thrown further back on my hand when writing. I assume this would be a great benefit for larger hands or higher grips (I have "medium" hands and a fairly low three-finger grip).

Lamy Aion Fountain Pen Comparison

The new Lamy Aion comes in at just over $70. For that price, you get one free Lamy blue cartridge and a converter. The converter is definitely a nice touch and contributes to the premium feel of this pen. All together, the Aion is a premium Lamy fountain pen that offers an alternative to the heavier and more classic Studio option. While the Studio does offer some nicer finishes and gold nibs in the higher range, the "base" Studio compares directly in price to the Aion. This is great for buyers because you can pick from two excellent pens purely by which aesthetic speaks to you more. The $75-100 range for fountain pens is always a bit awkward as far as value goes, but I think the Aion manages to justify its price tag with the elegant aluminum materials, high-quality cap design, and great writing experience.

There are four color options available for the Lamy Aion: Red, Dark Blue, Olive Silver, and Black. All four color ways offer extra fine, fine, and medium nib options, while the Black and Olive Silver colors offer broad as well.

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

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Lamy Aion Fountain Pen Writing
Posted on July 24, 2019 and filed under Lamy, Aion, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

Lamy Safari Powder Rose Rollerball Pen Review

Lamy Safari Powder Rose Rollerball Pen Review

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

Every year, it's exciting to see the limited edition colors and options that companies roll out for their various product lines. In the case of the Lamy Safari line, we have the lovely Powder Rose color, which is a light, light pink that has no trouble sparking a smile. While I'm normally more of a fountain pen user when it comes to the Safari line, I have to admit that the rollerball version is a close contender to which I like more. I'm not stranger to the Lamy M63 rollerball refill, but it has been a while since I've used one.

Lamy Safari Powder Rose Rollerball Pen

The Lamy Safari Powder Rose Rollerball is the latest in my Lamy collection, and I've been really enjoying my time with it. With as awesome as fountain pens and inks are, I have to sometimes force myself to use other pens. With the Safari, it's been a really easy task. The grip section is completely familiar to me since it is identical to the fountain pen Safari, and the weight and handling are also instantly recognizable once it's in my hand. If you've ever used a Safari, I imagine the same will be true for you — it just feels right. Similarly, if you've used a Safari and didn't care for it, the same will hold true here as well.

Lamy Safari Rollerball

Aside from a few minor differences from the fountain pen version (like the single notch in the top button of this pen versus the cross-hatch notch button in the fountain pen cap), the rollerball variant is a strong performer. The rollerball refill that Lamy use in this pen is a behemoth — there's just so much ink in here. While you might think that it will last a really long time, don't forget that this is a liquid rollerball refill, which tends to go pretty quickly compared to ballpoint or even gel refills. Still, the extra capacity in this refill is definitely appreciated — especially considering the price. At $5 per refill, it's a little on the expensive side, but not by much considering the brand and the size. It definitely lasts a long time, but that price is still a little cringe-worthy.

Lamy Safari Rollerball Pen Refill

Mostly, I've been really happy with the rollerball refill, but there are plenty of times where I'm also wishing to replace it with a trusty Schmidt P8126 or similar refill. Why? Well, the M63 does have some issues with skipping mid-line. To its credit, it usually starts writing like a champ, with zero stuttering no matter long it's gone unused. But, it suffers from an unpredictable issue that causes the line to skip or disappear entirely, meaning you have to scribble somewhere to clear whatever blockage or issue that is causing the skip. It always recovers, which is great, but it's something I wish didn't exist in the first place, especially considering the price of the refill. For example, the Schmidt P8126 is similarly priced, but it operates like a charm. You get a similarly bold and smooth line, but none of the skipping issues that the Lamy exhibits. Like I said, the Lamy refill mostly behaves, but the skipping occurs a little too frequently for my tastes.

Lamy Safari Rollerball Pen Comparison

Everything else about the Safari rollerball is perfectly in line with the rest of the Safari line. The build quality is fantastic, the color is gorgeous, and the cap and clip system are strong and secure. If I had an abundance of extra obscure refills, I'd definitely try to find a replacement for this one! But I'm not getting my hopes up as this is a unique length for a refill — especially a rollerball. If only the quality and dependability were just a little higher on the M63!

The Lamy Safari Powder Rose Rollerball is available from JetPens for $20 as a limited edition color. If this is your thing, grab one before they're all gone!

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

Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

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Lamy Safari Rollerball Pen Review
Posted on June 26, 2019 and filed under Lamy, Safari, Rollerball, Pen Reviews.