Lamy LX Fountain Pen Review

Lamy has made some interesting design decisions this year. The highly anticipated Lamy 2000 50th Anniversary pen fell flat in my eyes, and the announcement of the Lamy Lx - aka the iPhone pen - looked to be a marginal Al-Star upgrade at a non-marginal price.

I wanted to check out the Lx myself to see if the over 50% price increase from the Al-Star is worth it. Are you getting enough value to justify the price?

I don’t think so.

The selling points of the Lx (pronounced “Luxe” if you are wondering how Lamy sees this pen) are upgraded anodizing - barrel, clip, and finial - plus coated black steel nibs. The packaging is upgraded too, featuring a tube to match the color of your pen. Don't forget: You pay for packaging.

While the visual differences between the Al-Star and Lx are minimal, there is zero difference in the feel of the pen. Blindfolded, I would assume this is an Al-Star. It writes like one, which is to say wonderfully, and has the same molded plastic grip, weight, and balance.

If you are interested in the Gold or Rose Gold models, I can see the justification for purchasing the Lx. Those colors don’t appear in the rest of the product lineup, and the clip anodizing is more of a standout feature compared to the Palladium and Ruthenium models. If the latter two interest you, I would consider the Al-Star in Black or Graphite Grey and save some money. If you just want to experience the nib, like the EF in my review, you can drop down to the Safari and not miss a beat.

On it’s own merits, the Lamy Lx is a good pen. If the Al-Star didn’t exist, I would dare to say it is fairly priced. But the Al-Star does exist, so you will need to weigh the pros and cons between the two when making your buying decision.

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


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Posted on December 5, 2016 and filed under Lamy, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

Tom Barrington

Tom Barrington sells beautiful exotic leather pen cases, and should be on your radar this holiday season.

I know the Red Stingray Double Pen Sleeve is on mine, or possibly the Single Pen Orange Sleeve. All leather exteriors are genuine, and each case is lined with Napa cowhide for an added layer of protection.

Whatever your pen case needs, Tom Barrington is certain to have you and your pens covered. And they make wonderful gifts too!

My thanks to Tom Barrington for sponsoring The Pen Addict this week.

Posted on December 2, 2016 and filed under Sponsors.

Two Robert Oster Signature Inks: Claret and Verde de Rio

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

I am a big fan of Robert Oster Signature inks, as anyone can tell from reading my previous reviews (Torquay, Tranquility, and Astorquiza Rot). Today, I’m reviewing two more Oster inks: Claret and Verde de Rio.

Claret

Claret is an ink color I thought I would really like. It’s obviously named for the wine, and in swabs it is a beautiful burgundy color.

However, writing with a medium nib, it is really more of a dusty mauve. I like the color, but it is not my favorite Robert Oster ink. It has some shading, beautiful gold sheen, but it is very dry, as you can see in the ink test.

The chromatography reveals some gorgeous colors—pink and blue.

But this ink is so dry, I don’t like writing with it. It seems to drag on the page, whether you’re writing on Maruman paper or Tomoe River paper.

But with a broad nib, the ink looks much more interesting.

Although dry inks can be excellent for pens with overly juicy nibs, I much prefer wet inks. Previously, I reviewed KWZ Brown-Pink, and I like that color more than Claret because the KWZ ink is much wetter.

Verde de Rio

Verde de Rio is a beautiful grass-green color. This ink is similar to Robert Oster Jade, but it is a slightly greener-green whereas Jade is more of a yellow-green.

In my ink testing, Verde de Rio is a medium-wet ink, with good shading in broad nibs and a little dark green sheen in ink spatters.

Chromatography reveals that the ink has a limited spectrum of color. In fact it almost completely washes out.

Verde de Rio is absolutely gorgeous in broad nibs.

I also used it with a brush pen and it’s very nice.

However, with my Franklin-Christoph medium SIG nib, the color is a bit too light for my taste.

You can buy Robert Oster Signature Ink at Vanness Pens, $16.00 for 50ml and $2.00 for a 2ml ink sample.

(I purchased these Robert Oster inks with my own funds.)

Posted on December 2, 2016 and filed under Robert Oster, Ink Reviews.

Leuchtturm1917 Pocket A6 Sketchbook Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

The build quality of Leuchtturm notebooks is always bound to impress. They're simple, functional, and durable--and with the bright colors, they're also fun. The Pocket A6 Sketchbook has all of the staple necessities of a standard Leuchtturm: a sturdy hardback cover, expandable back pocket, ribbon bookmark, elastic closure, thread binding, acid-free paper, and sticker labels. Because it's a sketchbook and not a journal, the pages are blank and not numbered, and there is no index in the front. Perhaps it's my inner librarian talking, but I'd still love a table of contents, even for sketches.

The paper is white, 180 gsm. It has a good bit of tooth to it and works best with pencil, rollerball ink, and brush pen or marker. I was surprised that there was no feathering with the wet marker I used. Fountain pens feathered a little, but not as much as I expected. I think this notebook would hold up well for pen-and-ink drawings, or could be used as a freeform journal.

I tried a dip pen with a flex nib, and that didn't go well at all. The nib snagged at the page, the ink feathered like a baby chicken, and it bled through the page and onto the next one. The paper stood up to some light watercolor use. There was some mild wrinkling, but not severe. In places where water was used more heavily, however, there was a little bleeding and deterioration of the paper.

The notebook does lay open quite well once the spine has been trained. It's a bit stiff at first, but putting it through a little notebook yoga did wonders. At 96 pages of thick paper, this book has a lot of girth for a small sketchbook. Despite its claim to being a pocket notebook, I don't think it would fit comfortably in a pocket, and it didn't fit in my pocket notebook cases. It is, however, a good size for slipping into a purse or briefcase for on-the-go sketches. It wouldn't take up much space in a daypack or messenger bag. The plentiful pages would be nice for travel, when you need something portable but don't want to run out of pages or carry multiple books.

My nine-year-old, who has claimed this on the grounds that it is his favorite color, intends to use it to write out LEGO instructions for his very complicated and important designs.

I personally prefer my sketchbooks to handle more sloppy media, but I think this book has a lot to offer a pen-and-ink or pencil sketcher with places to be. You just can't beat Leuchtturm's sturdy reliability.

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


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Posted on December 1, 2016 and filed under Leuchtturm, Notebook Reviews.