The tryst with fountain pens never ends. To add one of the heavier retractable ones in my collection, I had two choices - Fermo or a Dialog 3. And I went with the dialog 3 . Here goes a review for the same.
I have also replicated the content with some additional pictures in my blog as the image upload size is limited by this free photo-sharing tool and it re-sizes images to a thumbnail size after a short while. Below is a link to the same:
A collection of fountain pens is never complete without the retractable ones in your armoury. And the ones which immediately strike an already covetous mind, are of course the Pilots (VPs, decimos and the fermos). Then there are pens like lamy dialog, visconti pininfarina among a few others each with a relatively small sized non-hooded nib. Somehow, the idea of yet another hooded nib became quite less appealing, when I saw the dialog 3. I knew it was quite a heavy pen of the capless clan, and so was the fermo. The Dialog 3 was launched by Lamy back in 2009 designed by one of the contemporary designers, Franco Clivio. The Lamy Pico is another pen by the same Swiss designer. As per LAMY, Franco innovates with basic shapes – circle, square and triangle foregoing anything superfluous in the process to achieve technical necessity.
How do you ensure minimalism with luxury? By establishing extravagance incrementally in little steps. A paper sleeve encases a much more attractive black cardboard box etched with the LAMY logo. With the usual papers and a cartridge outside, a thin sheer cloth then encloses a beautifully polished gift box made out beech wood, with a magnetic closure.
The beauty of the beech-wood box is that it’s alluringly small enough to slip inside your pocket, the pen still dreaming inside with a soft cushion under her head. PS: It could be heavier than your cellphone with the pen inside.
A twist-action fountain pen with an advanced design, it comes with two variants – matte-black and palladium finish, with six nib sizes – EF, F, M, OM, B & OB.
The silvery palladium finish with chrome polished clip reflects its immediate environmental colours. An etched pair of parallel lines running along the barrel & grip pieces represent the final nib retraction point, when in sync. LAMY is etched between the lines at the end of the barrel. Half-a-twist clockwise from the barrel top-end will open a ball-valve at the nib end of the grip and the nib extends to a click-stop, keeping the pair of parallel lines at diametrically opposite ends. Anticlockwise, post the parallel sync, the barrel can be unscrewed from the grip+clip section, to take out the nib + filling system. There might be an odd slippage in the twist mechanism, but once I tightened the barrel and grip section, it did not occur again. Simply Elegant!
A chrome ball-valve at the nib-end of the grip section protects the nib from damage of dust and drying-out, acting in sync with the twist-mechanism. Secondly, the clip lifts and rescinds with the twist to either facilitate an easier grip or enable clipping it on your pocket.
From the aesthetics of design, the dialog 3 is really majestic.
Filling System (6/6)
The sum of parts for me is greater than a whole. It’s fun taking the pen apart, because it’s meant to. Once the barrel is unscrewed anticlockwise beyond the synced parallel lines, it separates out to reveal the nib & fill system. The nib/fill system can be unscrewed anticlockwise from the grip section. You will find a standard Z26 converter fitted into the nib section. Again like the 2000, the design elements are so fluidic in both nature and function. The standard capacity is around 0.7-0.8 ml for the Z26 converter as per FPN reviews.
Once you fill her up, you can put the pen together and then there is of course the wow moment.
Nib (6/6) – All that matters
The 14k two-tone nib comes in four standard sizes (EF, F, M, and two special sizes (OM and OB). Elegantly, designed although in a modern fashion, the white rhodium decor occupies the tines and the tail parts of the nib, while a golden streak runs from the breather hole and diverges itself at the tip end of the nib. Embossed near the tail end are the usual specs of nib size (F), content - 14k-58.5% and of course the LAMY logo.
One thing I did observe, is the difference between the tipping sizes of 14k-fine nibs of lamy - a lamy 2000-F in this case, which is in my current rotation. Though, the 2000 had its nib replaced with a somewhat older-service stock of Fine nibs, you can clearly see the difference between their tipping sizes, even without using a loupe. I am also told that a recent lamy 2000 fine nib may have a similar tip. FPNer maverink can confirm this, since we had bought the pens quite recently (an he went with an F).
Physics of it (4/6) – relatively speaking
A cylindrical body with a 1.3 cm diameter having around 50 grams of weight, might seem to be a somewhat heavy proposition to wield it as a pen, rather than a weapon. The length of the fully extended pen is similar to a posted MB146. Taking these into account, this pen might not be comfortable for extended writing sessions. However, as far as short note taking sessions or signatures are concerned, believe me it could be a dream to write with. The illusive weight, the copious flow and the buttery nib will ensure a silky glider.
With a street price of USD 250-260, it falls right into a category where you would probably think thrice or may be more, before buying the pen. There is always some discount running on MRP of USD 385 in local stores, which brings the price closer to the street price.
A flawlessly efficient pen as far as the vital parts of the pen are concerned. It has never skipped and all the twist mechanisms operate with a firm intent of functioning. The d3 fine nib is a stiff one and it lays a broader line than a 2000-fine. A wet and intense line, it gives the paper 15 secs, to dry itself, each time it writes. Line variation between horizontal and vertical strokes seems non-existent.
A pen to go for if you wish to have a retractable one with one of the smoothest nibs
I hope you enjoyed the review. Thank you for your time.