Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

The Lamy Al-Star 2017 Pacific Blue

lamy limited edition al-star 2017 pacific blue german safari metal blue limited

  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 phillieskjk

phillieskjk

    Trust the Process

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 186 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 28 June 2017 - 04:16

          The Lamy Safari is 17 grams and 37 years of design excellence that’s been the beginner’s fountain pen of choice for almost all those years.  Its design is one of the most strikingly simple yet modern in the pen world, yet it has proven to be as timeless as any of the classics.  The Al-Star is its big brother.  Made from aluminum instead of ABS plastic, the Al-Star weighs more and feels more solid in the hand, but is nearly identical to the Safari in every other way.  They share the same nib, design, and internal functions.  The Al-Star is a way to own the classic yet modern design in a sturdier and slightly heavier body, and it appeals to people who like the feeling of metal in their hand while writing.  Each year, a unique color is released as a limited edition for both the Safari and the Al-Star.  This year, the Al-Star came in Pacific Blue.

IMG_7338 2.jpg

The Pacific Blue Al-Star Along with a Regular Blue Safari and a Dark Lilac Safari

 

Appearance and Design

            The Pacific Blue color of this year’s Al-Star is striking and vibrant, yet light enough to not be overly flashy.  The silver coloring of the nib and clip match well with the blue, creating a look of warm ocean waters.  One factor of the design to be aware of, if you don’t already know, is that both Lamy Safaris and Al-Stars have a triangle grip, so they can be uncomfortable for some people to hold.  For most, though, the grip is perfectly comfortable.  As someone who enjoys having slightly unique pens, this limited edition is a truly gorgeous one, and in my opinion Lamy really nailed it with their color choice this year.

IMG_7339.JPG

The Al-Star Alone

 

Construction and Quality

            This is a solid pen.  In preparation for writing this review I used this pen daily for a little over a month, and in the course of use I dropped it countless times on varying surfaces, none of them particularly soft.  The pen has yet to get a scratch.  (These were all with the cap on however; you may fare far worse if the pen is dropped nib first.)  Safaris have a bit of a reputation for being indestructible, and the Al-Star is a Safari but stronger.  If you get this pen, you won’t have to worry about breaking it.  Additionally, the overall quality of the finish is excellent.  Lamy’s quality control is famously excellent (every pen is tested with a bit of blue ink before being shipped) and their care is on display in their pens.

IMG_7340.JPG

The Al-Star Deconstructed

 

Weight and Dimensions

            If you’ve ever seen a Safari, it’s that but slightly heavier.  As someone with large hands, it fits nicely posted in my hand while writing.  I asked a friend with much smaller hands to test the pen as well, and she had no issues, although she did prefer the pen unposted.  The pen posts easily, and I haven’t had any issues with scratching on the back of the pen from the cap, as I occasionally do on other pens.

 

Nib and Performance

            So here’s the thing.  It’s a steel nail.  A very boring steel nail.  But is boring so bad?  The nib comes smooth straight from the box, and is incredibly reliable and consistent.  In short, there’s nothing exciting going on but it’s a real work horse, and it’ll be smooth and ready to go from the get go.  The nib sizes on these pens do tend to run broad, so if you aren’t used to Lamy nib sizes (or German sizes in general), I’d get one size smaller than you would usually buy.

FullSizeRender.jpg

A Writing Sample with the Al-Star

Filling System and Maintenance

            The Al-Star is a Cartridge/Convertor pen.  It fits proprietary Lamy cartridges or a Lamy convertor, which can be purchased for give or take five dollars from wherever you buy the pen.  The accompanying ink for this Limited Edition, Lamy Pacific Blue, can be purchased in either cartridge or bottle form, and matches the color of the body of the pen nicely.

 

Cost and Value

            An Al-Star will set you back just under $40.  Is it worth it?  That’s up to you.  For the same cost, you could have a gold-nibbed Platinum PTL-5000a or most of a TWSBI Diamond 580, both definitively better, or at least more interesting, pens to write with.  The Al-Stars price forces it to compete with pens outside the Safaris league when it’s essentially a Safari with fancy skin.  For me, the pen was worth it for the color.  As a big fan of limited edition Lamy’s, I loved the Pacific Blue.  But if you aren’t that into the color, there are other, better options for the price.

 

 

 



Sponsored Content

#2 Honeybadgers

Honeybadgers

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,895 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 28 June 2017 - 22:54

If the pacific comes out for $28 like goulet had for their charged greens (they still have some in F and EF guys, they're an absolute STEAL for that! see here) then I'll buy one. I still think the al-star (goulet sells them, with a converter, for about $45 shipped) is absolutely better than the safari. The safari feels cheap, with a weaker snap cap, and the al-star just fixes all my complaints. it's really an excellent writer, borderline on par with the faber castell loom.

 

I'd say it's a tossup between the al-star and the loom, but in terms of writing, the loom is by far one of the best steel nibs in existence, and the al-star has the ability to swap nibs, so there are pros and cons to both pens.

 

I prefer the lamy EF to the F. I think the EF has a little more tooth and pushes it into the less smooth zone that I like. I hate super smooth F's, I only like smooth on stubs and anything B or larger. When I got my CP-1 (also about $40, so consider that too) I went with an EF as well now that I've tried every lamy Z50 nib.


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#3 marie9999

marie9999

    Rare

  • Premium - Ruby

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 145 posts

Posted 02 July 2017 - 23:20

Thanks for the review... I agree that Pacific Blue is a fabulous color and that the Lamy Al-Star and Pilot Metropolitan are the very best entry level fountain pens.

#4 mitto

mitto

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,148 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 03 July 2017 - 06:11

Great color. Thanks for the review and pics.
Khan M. Ilyas

#5 Twister292

Twister292

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 94 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 03 July 2017 - 14:56

Lamy's nibs are indeed no-nonsense, dependable writers. They are very wet though...my studio with an M nib almost mimics my Parker Duofold Centennial with a B nib. I had an Al-Star in Purple/Shiraz which was dependable, but Al-Stars tend to start losing their paint pretty quickly. And ever since switching to TWSBIs for my entry-level pens (Eco, 580AL, Vac 700R), I don't think I'll be dabbling back with Al-Stars and Safaris again. They write smoother, and have massive ink tanks with pistons.

 

That said, in all honesty I've found Lamy's 2016/17 offerings thoroughly disappointing. I have a Studio and a 2000 Steel, but the Imporium is the most disappointing pen I've seen in a while.



#6 Honeybadgers

Honeybadgers

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,895 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 03 July 2017 - 21:37

I've got a 2000 F that I think is one of the best pens I've ever held. 

 

I also got an EF on the recent $99 massdrop, and am waiting for it to show up, since the F is a hair too wet for cheap paper, and I need a pen that writes well on garbage copy paper at work.


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#7 tamiya

tamiya

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,210 posts
  • Location:AU, SG, MY & Zzzzzz...
  • Flag:

Posted 04 July 2017 - 14:28

That said, in all honesty I've found Lamy's 2016/17 offerings thoroughly disappointing.


eh, wotcha kvetching about... L gave us Dark Lilac and Petrol on that timeframe - both colours make me smile :)

#8 Twister292

Twister292

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 94 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 04 July 2017 - 15:48

eh, wotcha kvetching about... L gave us Dark Lilac and Petrol on that timeframe - both colours make me smile :)

 

I liked Petrol the ink....what I dont like is Lamy getting complacent. The Imporium is just a relaunched Persona, their 60th anniv 2000 is just a 2000 Steel with a different clip...The Lx is just an Al-Star in a fancier case and a 50% price hike...



#9 tamiya

tamiya

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,210 posts
  • Location:AU, SG, MY & Zzzzzz...
  • Flag:

Posted 05 July 2017 - 01:27

I liked Petrol the ink....what I dont like is Lamy getting complacent. The Imporium is just a relaunched Persona, their 60th anniv 2000 is just a 2000 Steel with a different clip...The Lx is just an Al-Star in a fancier case and a 50% price hike...


You might think complacent, I just think German engineers... vs beancounting Marketing :P why design something new just for the sake of it being new, when the current shape works fine? Heck just issue same item in a different colour, let's even call it "limited edition" :) (Limited to the number we happen to make)

Lamy 2000, VW Beetle, Porsche 911... :D

#10 Twister292

Twister292

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 94 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 07 July 2017 - 21:24

You might think complacent, I just think German engineers... vs beancounting Marketing :P why design something new just for the sake of it being new, when the current shape works fine? Heck just issue same item in a different colour, let's even call it "limited edition" :) (Limited to the number we happen to make)

Lamy 2000, VW Beetle, Porsche 911... :D

 

Lamy is pretty much beancounting as well if they want a 50% price premium just for colouring the nib black on an Al-star and calling it Lx...



#11 Astron

Astron

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,325 posts
  • Location:The Misty Mountains of Austria
  • Flag:

Posted 07 July 2017 - 22:48

Yet there are slight differences on the parts and metal coatings instead of just putting another color in the anodizing bath.



#12 tamiya

tamiya

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,210 posts
  • Location:AU, SG, MY & Zzzzzz...
  • Flag:

Posted 08 July 2017 - 03:32

Lamy is pretty much beancounting as well if they want a 50% price premium just for colouring the nib black on an Al-star and calling it Lx...


well, Porsche are very good at that... they do basemodel 991 Carrera then every year they bring out special like GT3 :) twice the price, sold out instantly - both look pretty much the same shape to your grandma

Lx I think they spent all that extra shekels on the fancy Alu tube case... which is annoyance #1, as it'll get damaged easily and shows it's scars forever. If you didn't care about the case, then it's a waste of $ right there.

Annoyance #2 was that they've conveniently copied the "four colours of iPhone"... no idea about that one. If it's a commercial collaboration that I understand, but afaik it's not... which leaves apeing which smells of laziness.

So I don't own any Lx yet. Which is ironic because my favourite AlStar is champagne Pearl, best colour ever!

#13 Anne-Sophie

Anne-Sophie

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,119 posts

Posted 11 July 2017 - 21:00

I think the Lx are aimed to please people who like trendy items. I really love, the new matte finish Safari, they look more grown up. Lilac, Petrol and Pacific are very beautiful. Thank you so much Phillieskjk for such a wonderful and thorough review.
Is it fair for an intelligent and family oriented mammal to be separated from his/her family and spend his/her life starved in a concrete jail?

#14 888007888

888007888

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 754 posts
  • Location:Newport Beach, California
  • Flag:

Posted 16 July 2017 - 15:09

My first Lamys were the Al-stars. No I don't use them at all ever since I picked up the Dark Lilac Safari. The matte finish on the safari makes it a no brainer oen that I do not have to baby. After that first Safari, I have also picked up the charcoal and petrol. All 3 are great pens for daily use and travel.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: lamy, limited edition, al-star, 2017, pacific blue, german, safari, metal, blue, limited



Sponsored Content




|