The image does not belong to me, but I thought it depicted the pen well.
I bought this pen from a small store in Paris called Opera Stylos, for around 45 Euros. The pen came with a case, a small fold-out catalog from Lamy advertising \"No design writes better.\" It also came with a free converter and a 1-year international factory guarantee. I don\'t know if this guarantee comes with the pen on online orders. If somebody knows, please tell me.
This is my first \"serious\" fountain pen (I\'ve only previously owned cheap semi-disposables such as a small Parker, a Waterman, (model numbers unknown) and a Lamy Safari), so I don\'t really know what to expect from the higher end pens, since I have not handled or used any. Thus, this review is not to compare it to any other fountain pens, but to provide an insight on what to expect when using it.
The Lamy Studio\'s barrel and cap are made with brushed steel. Both of these parts appear to be machined, as, say, on CNC equipment, but the metal of the barrel and cap itself feels very thin and unsubstantial, and resembles a cheap cast component in feel. However, there is no flex on these parts, so I assume that they are made to last. The top of the cap, the clip, and the end of the barrel are made of stainless steel. I like this color scheme, as the pen appears to be symmetrical when viewed from a certain angle, and in general appearance.
The cap comprises about (estimation: I don\'t have a scale) 35% of the total weight of the pen. When taking it off, and looking at the interior, it appears to be made of very thin metal, and it is. It doesn\'t flex when you try to squeeze it from the sides, however, and that is more than can be said for most of my other writing instrument\'s caps. One complaint I have about the cap is that the diameter of the cap is larger than the diameter of the barrel, and there is some play between where these points meet. When the pen is capped, however, the surface is completely flush, which I like. (No little edges sticking out to catch on something or cause the pen to uncap in certain conditions)
The clip is an unusual propeller-shaped component that does its job of clipping to fabric very well. Unfortunately, it is also a thin component, and ironically the shape of the clip itself makes it (I believe) more prone to bendage. And if a clip like this bends, it should cause a lot of damage to the appearance of the pen, and reduce its ability to be able to be stored conveniently in pockets. The clip feels a bit flimsy, and it appears that several drops to the floor could break or completely disfigure it. I also suspect that clipping it onto clothes once too often could make it really loosen up. As such, I don\'t use the clip, but I just let it hang loosely in my pocket, where it is completely comfortable for me.
The barrel appears to be comprised of the same thin metal used to manufacture the pen. There is a plastic insert fixed to the interior of the barrel that provides space for either Lamy T10 cartridges or the Z26 converter. This component feels extremely sturdy, but I would not trust it to keep its integrity under the same conditions that, say, my pencils endure on a daily basis (being dropped, having pressure applied to them, etc.)
The grip is made of some variety of varnish that has the appearance and texture of a thin rubber coating. (By the way, this varnish is the same material as used on the exterior of the black and blue versions of the Lamy Studio.) It is very comfortable to hold, and the diameter of the grip is a bit small, but tolerable for me. The grip is (I believe) the number one complaint of Studio users, or at least it is for me, because where the grip meets the barrel there is an extremely noticeable ridge that sticks out like a sore thumb (and might cause some sore thumbs). It feels and appears like a crease, and can get annoying when writing for long periods of time (above an hour). However, the plus side of the grip is that it doesn\'t pick up fingerprints, doesn\'t get stained, and doesn\'t get dirty easily either. I suppose someone who absolutely couldn't stand this could use some fine-grit sandpaper to sand the ridge, but this would ruin the smooth flush appearance of the pen when capped.
The nib is made of stainless steel, and is very sturdy. It is also very stylish, being of the same shade as the top of the cap and the clip. It flexes a very small amount, that is almost unnoticeable, but is definitely more than the Lamy Safari which uses the same nib. Perhaps it\'s just me. Anyway, the nib provides a very smooth ink flow that initially was uneven, but which I managed to correct after running through some soap water. With the F nib, variating pressure on the nib does not create a particularly darker or thicker line. I like this feature, it means that I can write almost effortlessly but creating a dark line. This is somewhat negated by the grip-to-barrel ridge I mentioned earlier.
In addition, the nib can be replaced with those that fit on the Lamy Safari, Al-Star, and Joy line, which includes EF, F, M, B, Left-Handed, and Italic nibs. I have not tried to replace the nib on my Studio, I like the F nib quite well.
It writes smoothly with no skips, and puts on a very uniform line width throughout writing. However, I wouldn\'t reccomend drawing of any sort with this pen, it doesn\'t feel right when trying to draw circles or sketch. It is, in my opinion, a fountain pen specifically for writing.
This is a very lightweight pen, but is balanced quite nicely both with the cap on or off, and balances nicely with the cap posted (posting might be an uncomfortable experience on this pen, however.) It carries nicely tucked in a pocket.
The finish of the pen is extremely nice, in my taste. Some might not like it, and prefer the black varnish version. (The grip on that version, however, is chrome, which makes it unpleasant for some.) The \"machined\" look is almost exactly the same as that on my Colt Series 80 1911 pistol. The stainless steel both contrasts and blends in with the overall finish of the pen, and in fact embellishes it.
The pen is fitted quite well, with no noticeable play anywhere except the fit of the cap to the barrel. However, you will notice a lot of play if you attempt to post the cap on the back of the pen. I don\'t, but some do, and if you prefer to post your pen, this is not the pen for you. The amount of play between the cap and the end of the pen when posted is almost torturous.
As for durability, I have so far been extra careful not to ruin the finish on the pen. Although it hasn\'t gone through the torture my Safari has gone through, I can tell you that the Studio will survive a 5-foot drop with no ejected ink, loose parts, or scratches. (This may vary depending on the material the pen is dropped on, mine was dropped on smooth concrete). So, don\'t worry about your (capped!) Studio falling off the table or from your pocket onto the floor.
I have not had a chance to test different inks in this pen, but when I get a chance to do so I may edit my review.
The Lamy Studio is a pen for those who want something on a budget, but which is stylish, expresses quality of manufacture, but does not overstate itself, look gaudy or expensive. Indeed, for people who have never encountered a Lamy Studio before, the words \"fountain pen\" probably don\'t come to mind. It has a modern, yet somehow classic appearance. Best of all, it writes pretty well.
This is a great pen for the price. However, I think Lamy could have incorporated a better nib than the \"universal\" nib that fits pens such as the CP1 and Vista.
I had to try a lot of nibs (at the store) until I found one that I really liked, and had the store owner change the nib to that. Personally, I would give my nib about a 9/10, but your mileage may vary, especially with Lamy nibs.
Excellent machined look and excecution of the stainless finish on the cap, clip, barrel, and nib.
The connection point between barrel and cap is flush, very sturdy, only the slightest wobble on cap.
Great for carrying around in a pocket: very lightweight, thin profile, smooth, no edges to catch on anything. However, using the clip may be a bit awkward if not clipped into a shirt pocket.
As with the nibs, Lamy\'s design is either love or hate. Personally, I love the minimalistic, functional look, but I understand there are others who don\'t (which is not a bad thing!) Due to this fact, I gave it a 3 instead of a 4.
Thanks for reading. Please tell me if there is something I left out.
Edited by Pfhorrest, 18 July 2009 - 21:15.