A few years back, on my way to Bloomsbury Auctions to check out a Baird-North pen for a certain FPN'er (you know who you are!) and I dropped into the Pen Shop on Regent Street. I was looking for a stub or italic pen. I tried a Parker Sonnet with a factory stub - I quite fancied the Laque black, but I could barely see any variation in line width. Next up was the Lamy italic nibs, and I was sold. I wanted something a bit more up-market for work rather than a Safari or Al-Star so plumped for the Studio.
I was intending to use an expressive nib after all and I felt the Studio a little more in keeping with that. At just £38 it wasn't too hard a decision.
Design - 7/10
The Lamy Studio is reminiscent of the Lamy 2000 fountain pen, a true design classic that has stood the test of time (another pen that I've wanted for a while!). The Studio mimics the 2000 with a relatively simple, functional form but this is combined with a few elements that feel designed for the sake of being unusual rather than functional. For example, the twist in the clip.
Feel - 7/10
At first touch the pen is heavy. It has a good solid feel to it. Maybe a little too heavy - it depends what you like. The balance is reasonable, but not fantastic. It is a metal body, that has had a rubberised coating applied. I was quite concerned that this might peel away and 'chip' but four or so years on and it is holding up quite well. There is just a couple of pinpricks through to the metal where it becamce entangled in my house keys. I'm quite careful with my pens though. They are pretty much always in a pen case. But, if you throw your pens around a bit - bottom of a briefcase or bag, always in your pocket etc - then I wouldn't be too sure about the black version.
The section is chrome. This is okay, but not great. It makes the pen quite slippery to hold. And its heavy weight doesn't make this any easier. So it is not a pen for writing and writing and writing. It can become uncomfortable. But, for the couple of hours I use it a day, combined with this particular nib, I'm happy. This might be a reason to choose the silver version.
The cap is a push fit and pretty secure. It clicks into place when posting, and will stay there and rotate until you pull it off. The clip is good and solid and springy.
Dimensions: 139mm (5 1/2")capped, 156mm (6 1/5") posted
Nib - 8/10
The Studio uses the same nibs as the Safari and Al-Star. This means you have a good nib range to choose from, and they're interchangeable. Don't like the width you've bought? £3 will get you a new one, and you can just pull them off and swap them round to your hearts content. The nibs are nothing special, but very usable. Stiff, steel and medium smooth.
The 1.1mm italic fitted in this Studio is a nice nib. It does have a tendency to clog with paper fibres from time to time, but very pleasing results can be had with the right ink and paper combination. This one is filled with Caran d'Ache Storm at the moment. An ink that I don't normally like the properties of (unlike Blue Sky which I love). It can be quite a dry unresponsive ink. But with this nib it is perfect, flowing well and helping the smoothness. Its a pleasure to write with. BTW notice the crud that builds up at the end of the section -- seems to be a common complaint about this pen.
Filling - 8/10
The Studio is a catridge / convertor, and comes complete with a luxury convertor (slighty better than the normal Safari one, but only just). Using a screw mechanism, it holds a reasonable amount of ink. Lamy use a propriety ink cartridge so unfortunately you're limited in this form.
Cost - 9/10
I paid £38 for this pen. That's a lot of pen for very little money. The nib is fairly standard, but its a well-built pen for the price.
Overall verdict – 39\50
A fun, good quality pen at a good price - though not advised for copious amounts of consistent writing
Edited by london, 17 June 2008 - 19:33.