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Lamy 27 - an affordable, futuristic gem


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20 replies to this topic

#1 dandelion

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 19:30

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Design 8/10
If I hadn’t had the the opportunity to try the Lamy 27 in real life I’d probably not realized the greatness of this non-blingy little pen. It is hard to capture its greatness in photos – this is a pen that must be seen and held.


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Designed in the beginning of the 50s with a classic - yet slightly futuristic - Bauhaus touch; classical streamlined shape, rounded peep holes for checking the ink level - making it look like a mini rocket - and a semi-hooded 14 k gold nib. The shape is a forebode of the space age - as many other things designed during the 1950s and 1960s. The rounded corners of the ink windows gives it a both playful and futuristic look. I really fancy the combination of playfulness and futuristic space age. Humour, futurism and classical elements combined. If I should pin down which design elements - beside the overall design - that made me want a Lamy 27 it would be the ink windows and the cool cap jewel - clean, smart L. They come in a wide variety of incarnations - check out the links in the end of the review to see photos of many other variants - but I like the simplicity of this one. The classic black/gold in a non-conservative setting.

Filling & Maintenance 10/10
It is a traditional piston filler - just like most German quality fountain pens. The piston moves smoothly without any problems - without having been serviced (I presume) for many many years. The ink reservoir seems rather big according to the pen's size. The ink level is easily checked through the awesome little peep holes - rocket windows - which pleases me very much. It is easy to fill and flush - very easy and convenient to use. Out of all filling systems I prefer the piston. It is reliable, stable, easy to fill and flush and one can almost always see the ink level through an ink window. Another bonus of the semi-hooded nib and the streamlined design is that it is very easy to wipe off after filling it.

Quality & Function 9/10
This pen is made to function as a work horse. It is very well built - with a great attention to details. I bought this one used and can see some signs of use, but neither the clip or cap band has begun to show brassing. The piston knob has the right kind of resistance to prevent it from accidentally unscrewing and is still smooth and easy to handle. It posts very well without scratching the barrel. One feature that some may not like is that the cap is friction fit and not screw fit, but it is a very well made friction fit that works excellent - no flimsiness and it is neither too easy or hard to pull of the cap. All moving parts thus work very well - some forty odd years since it was made... In all this has the feel of a well made German quality pen - like a VW or Audi - top notch quality and clean design without unnecessary bling.

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Dimensions
It is a slender, lightweight pen. Its soft tapering towards the nib presumably provides a comfortable writing experience for many since there is no huge step between the gripping section and the barrel.
Lenght uncapped: 12.5 cm
Lenght capped: 13.5
Length posted: 14.5
Weight: 16 g (loaded with ink)

Nib & Writing experience 7.5/10
This pen is sported with its original Oblique Medium nib in 14 k gold. Vintage obliques are often similar to stubs, but this OM is more of a cursive italic. The line variation is very good - as you can see in the writing samples. It is very smooth being a OM/CI and it is very easy to write fast with. The flow is now medium - neither dry nor wet.


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Liberty (a cheaper pen with similar design) and Lamy 27 side by side

When I got it the flow was quite inconsistent and dry. I believe it hadn't been used for a long time, so I let it soak for 24 hours in ordinary tap water and flushed it, but I had to flush and soak it once more to improve the flow, and now - using various Diamine inks in it - it doesn't have any flow problems. I wouldn't call it a wet writer, but it is not a dry either - a classic medium flow. Since it is semi-hooded one can let it rest uncapped for a while when one is writing, which is a real good thing if one is taking notes. I really like this obliqe medium. For a fast scribbler like me it is narrow enough to write small and smooth enough to write fast without digging into the paper - thus perfect for note taking and scribbling. Smoothness and control - the two things I like - in one.

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All in all 8/10
In all this is a very well made and - if you have a bit of luck at eBay - a rather cheap pen. You can get a real quality piston filler that will work and work and work for years for under $75 (shipped) . Compared with the current price policies of some of the big manufacturers it ought to be considered as very price worthy and affordable. Another plus is that its shape makes it fit into Filofax loops (at least A5 and Personal) which I like a lot! This has become one of my regulars during the month(s) I've had it. I really recommend this pen - especially the oblique variants. In my opinion these obliques are as good as the customized nibs that you get from nib experts - and you don't have to wait for ages to get the nib customized and you don't have to pay the extra money to get it customized . A very good deal - especially for lovers of italics and stubs. You find more photos of the pen at my blog
here.

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Edited by dandelion, 08 March 2010 - 19:38.

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#2 jandrese

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 21:16

very cool. nice pen, thanks for the review.

#3 Edgar Allan Bo

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 22:11

oh, I miss my LAMYs now, I had so many 27 and 99's from EF to OBB, but all of them were sold... maybe I should look for another one on eBay! =] They have great nibs in that old stubbish shape and not round like todays nibs.

#4 dogpoet

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 14:45

Lovely pens. I got hold of one recently and love it. I'm surprised there isn't more of a fuss over this model, even with Lamy hiding the evidence that they did anything before the 2000 came in...

#5 Breck

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 15:00

Great review and a very cool pen. The writing looks terrific, too. I had one of these for a brief time and really enjoyed it, but it was just too light for my hand. Perfect for those who like a very light pen (considerably lighter than a Parker 51, maybe lighter even than an Esterbrook J) that's highly reliable and has a substantial ink capacity.

#6 shaqin93

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 15:00

That was an excellent review. Nice photos, too. I too like the L on the cap. It looks kinda cool.

#7 ttakacs

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 16:21

Great review. I have a Lamy 27b that I won on ebay. Even with shipping from Germany it cost me less than $40. Medium gold nib, dark red plastic barrel and cap. It is a fabulous pen that writes beautifully.

#8 dandelion

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 16:25

Thanks a lot for the positive feedback - much appreciated. It really is a light pen, but I've come to appreciate even these light pens - almost all pen sizes has its use. :)
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#9 dogpoet

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 21:20

Great review and a very cool pen. The writing looks terrific, too. I had one of these for a brief time and really enjoyed it, but it was just too light for my hand. Perfect for those who like a very light pen (considerably lighter than a Parker 51, maybe lighter even than an Esterbrook J) that's highly reliable and has a substantial ink capacity.

Oh definitely: it holds an astonishing amount of ink for such a small pen. I wouldn't be surprised if it held more than a 2000, come to that.

#10 piembi

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 20:27

Just a comment regarding the ink flow:

All my Lamy 27s are on the wet side. When I get them, most of them are clogged more or less. The pen can be disassembled easily (very much like the L2K). The section unscrews. Now you can soak the section until nib and feed do come loose and can be pushed out. Sometimes ammonia and the ultrasonic cleaner are necessary. As soon as I have been through this procedure, the ink flow improved significantly.

#11 dandelion

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 18:17

Just a comment regarding the ink flow:

All my Lamy 27s are on the wet side. When I get them, most of them are clogged more or less. The pen can be disassembled easily (very much like the L2K). The section unscrews. Now you can soak the section until nib and feed do come loose and can be pushed out. Sometimes ammonia and the ultrasonic cleaner are necessary. As soon as I have been through this procedure, the ink flow improved significantly.



Thanks for explaining this - I haven't dared to try to fix it, but now I will... :)
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#12 dedalian

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 13:37

Why dont lamy make more lovely pens like this instead of putting the same nib- feeder into a number of body variants- safari, al star, studio etc etc. For me they all share the same basic soul.
nice review and great pics

#13 dandelion

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 00:38

Why dont lamy make more lovely pens like this instead of putting the same nib- feeder into a number of body variants- safari, al star, studio etc etc. For me they all share the same basic soul.
nice review and great pics


I like an occasional Safari or Vista, but I'd love to see this pen in production again! It is a lovely little pen. My fondness for it grows every day.
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#14 HenryLouis

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 00:43

I've wanted to get this pen for a while but when i really was looking to get one I couldn't find it... oh well. Nice photos & review!

Edited by HenryLouis, 20 March 2010 - 00:43.

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#15 sirksael

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 10:36

Excellent review, and nice blog too!
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#16 sirksael

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 10:38

I've wanted to get this pen for a while but when i really was looking to get one I couldn't find it... oh well. Nice photos & review!


Go on Ebay.de and find one, there are usually a few there that list as only shipping to Germany. Then contact the seller and ask if they want to ship abroad, in 80% of the cases they agree. Only payment may be an issue if you are living outside Europe, but I'd be willing to assist with that.
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#17 Juicyjones

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 11:42

I love that "L" in the cap, it looks like a pool ball.
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#18 dogpoet

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 12:26

I've wanted to get this pen for a while but when i really was looking to get one I couldn't find it... oh well. Nice photos & review!


Go on Ebay.de and find one, there are usually a few there that list as only shipping to Germany. Then contact the seller and ask if they want to ship abroad, in 80% of the cases they agree. Only payment may be an issue if you are living outside Europe, but I'd be willing to assist with that.

Good advice. Payment might not be that big an issue: they'll probably take paypal if they're on ebay, and that's pretty handy for converting currency.

#19 KarlBarndt

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 11:54

Why dont lamy make more lovely pens like this instead of putting the same nib- feeder into a number of body variants- safari, al star, studio etc etc. For me they all share the same basic soul.
nice review and great pics


Funny you should say that.

Lamy came out with the version of the 27 that was reviewed here in the early 1960s (1963, I think).

The nib and feed (even the piston assembly) are identical to the ones still used today in the Lamy 2000. Lamy used this combination in all of their hooded nib pens from 1963 onward.

I call it great engineering--and smart from a manufacturing perspective. (also makes repairs MUCH simpler)
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#20 Ed Ronax

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 11:59

Nice review, thanks.
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