ABE III // Lamy Studio Lx All Black Fountain Pen [REVIEW]

Lamy Studio Lx All Black Fountain Pen
Steel EF Luxe nib, black coated $180 CAD (Scriptus Toronto, Phidon booth https://phidonpens.com/)
Currently inked: Diamine “Rushbrooke Blue” (Scriptus Toronto 2019 exclusive ink https://www.scriptusinc.com/)

I’ve been keeping this gem from the limelight for quite some time now since picking it up near the end of last year. It is finally time for a review! I bought this at the Scriptus Toronto pen show in October last year. You know how you scour for tips and recommendations of what to do for your first pen show? Well one of the key tips I learned is to bring a finite amount of money that you plan to spend, and also have some specific pens in mind that you will buy. The Studio was actually one of the pens I had planned to get, BUT, not the all black edition. The price jump from a regular studio was big, but I just couldn’t help it. They had three, and only one with the EF nib. I just had to pounce.

Lamy pens are, without a doubt, always going to be a solid pen from all perspectives, whichever model you have. I also use them somewhat regularly on rotation but rarely talk about them or review them. In fact, the first and last time I reviewed a Lamy was my second post ever, for the classic Lamy Safari. I have since picked up quite a few odd editions here and there, but since the Safaris are almost so ‘Basic’ (not with a negative connotation mind you), I rarely have anything else to add about them. In terms of the collection, I have three basic Safaris (including this year’s Mango), one AL-Star (the metal version of the Safari) as well as a Rose Gold Lamy Lx (basically an AL-Star but with a slightly different nib). All of them get rotated into use so rarely, not because they aren’t good pens but because I have so many other solid pens for use and they don’t particularly call to me.

Anyway, all that was to say; Lamy Studio β€” new and significantly different from the Safari. Here we go!

Look
Does this pen look super awesome? Pretty sleek!

I love me a good beautiful stealth look pen. The last one I reviewed was of the Levenger L-Tech 3.0 and that one was also a beauty. The Lamy Studio is a very different kind of beauty, one that comprises a smooth minimalist look with slight accent details that really complete the professionalism of a higher-end Lamy pen.

My favourite part of the pen is the flush cap to barrel connection. I’ve been really into that look and probably evidenced by my recent purchases, including the Omar Flora and the custom from Tailored Pen Company. There is a slight taper from the connection point outwards to the tip of the cap and the barrel base. It’s subtle and smooth and very elegant.

Three basic parts

Both cap and barrel are made of the same matte black aluminum material while the cap tip and base are adorned with a shiny black aluminum The clip is also shiny black, and shaped like a propeller. Given how unique the paperclip look of the Lamy Safari is, I’m glad to see that the Studio has it’s own unique clip shape. I like it! One last note about the cap, the logo is printed onto the cap instead of engraved or stamped in like their other pens, so mine unfortunately has started to wear away over time. The clip has also started to wear away some of the black matte paint finish, revealing the silver aluminum finish below. It’s a little disappointing but I suppose it is what it is.

Faded logo letters

Opening it up, the grip is also a matte black, but has a stickier/grippier texture. I didn’t like it at first and kept thinking my pen was dirty, but soon realized that it was actually quite comfortable and great for gripping the pen.

The nib looks just like an Lx nib. It looks essentially the same as a Lamy Safari nib but has a small “U” detail that wraps the breather hole and tines. I don’t know the difference other than that this nib is used on their more expensive pens. It’s still a steel nib, and writes similar to my other Lamy EF nibs, but more on that later.

Feel
There was never a doubt, that Lamy builds workhorse pens. But I don’t think there enough words in my vocabulary to describe JUST how workhorse a pen this is. We’ve already established it as a stunner looker of a professional pen, but on top of that, being an excellent writer definitely adds this to my top tier list.

Pinch grip
Fist grip

In hand, this pen has excellent balance. For a metal pen, more specifically aluminum, it doesn’t feel too heavy nor is it too light like a full plastic pen. It’s a very comfortable weight, and I feel like I can use this pen for quite a long time uninterrupted with no breaks. I don’t normally post my pens anymore but this one posts quite easily and well. There’s a tiny notch on the end of the barrel that clasps onto the pen cap easily and securely but isn’t difficult to pull off either. Weight wise, the posted pen does end up with a bit of weight hanging on the back, but it doesn’t bother me as much as some other pens might when posted. I will still opt not to post, but at least knowing there is the option without it being uncomfortable makes the pen all the more enjoyable.

The grip is also a comfortable size. The shape tapers in towards the nib and the angle is just enough for me to grip easily and happily without slipping or cramping. The non-slipping is of course due to the traction material on the grip, which kinda feels sticky. At first I felt like the pen was always dirty and I kept trying to rub it off, but overtime I’ve realized it’s quite a comfortable kind of stickiness and is very nice to hold when using the pen for long periods of time. There is also no metal smell when I hold this pen for long, unlike many other metal pens. I appreciate this since I’m not a superfan of the brass smell. (I still like brass pens though!)

click to enlarge!

The tapered barrel also plays a nice part in the comfort. The pen ends up sitting very snugly in my hand where it tapers, and the coolness of the aluminum doesn’t bother me at all. Both my pinch and fist grips feels good with this pen, again because of the size of the grip and barrel. Perhaps I should keep this in mind for any future customs I may get. The grip ranges from 0.9cm to 1.2cm over 3cm of length to be exact.

What about the nib? Well it’s a Lamy, I expected nothing less than smooth. I will admit, the pen wrote amazingly my first runthrough. It wrote like a classic Lamy EF nib, not super fine but not too thick either. The ink flow was very smooth and there were no hard starts/stops. I’m now using the pen on it’s 3rd or 4th flush. It doesn’t feel quite as smooth, yet I’m using the same ink I used when I first started using it. The inks in between were different and I don’t know if I flushed it correctly to be honest, so I don’t know if it was something I did. I’ll have to do one more full flush and re-ink to be sure. I think it has to do with the dry ink (see below), but I have to put a little pressure for it to write smoothly, while light scribbling doesn’t seem to encourage the ink to come out so easily. All in all, it still writes relatively smoothly with some mild pressure.

Switching up my reviews onto watercolour paper was something on my mind the past little while. The paper works so wonderfully with ink, as I’ve tested out in my ink collection post, and I was excited to just find a reason to use my paper more since I’m not particularly an avid painter and I have so much stock. In any case, I’m using basic watercolour paper, which isn’t 100% cotton, so it doesn’t absorb and blend watercolours too well, but it’s still excellent for my penwork. Ink dries beautifully on it, and I don’t find the paper too scratchy or toothy for my liking. All in all I’m glad I’ve made the switch (I’ve also run out of pages in my previous review notebook, so it was a long time coming anyway).

Value
Last but not least, value. As I mentioned, I bought this pen at the 2019 Toronto Pen Show, Scriptus. It was from the booth of a small company out of Cambridge, Ontario named Phidon Pens, where I actually purchased my FIRST ever fountain pen (and a Lamy at that!). This was back in undergrad and that’s where my school was located. I felt like I was paying extra for the pen, a whole $180CAD. However, I realized that I was picking up the all black limited edition for which there is always a premium. I also did not have to pay taxes as I was making the purchase at the show so all in all I think I saved a bit in the purchase.

Was this a valid price for this pen? Anything above $150 I always tend to ponder a bit, but given that this is a solid workhorse pen, and all black limited edition pen from a well-known and well-respected pen company. I’d say it was worth my money. This is a pen that can be used over generations and while I sometimes favour other pens in my daily use, every time I pick up this pen I no doubt always have an enjoyable experience.

Conclusion
Pros/

  • Excellent build and quality metal pen
  • Extremely comfortable in hand with excellent balance
  • Nib writes smoothly with no hard starts and stops
  • Unique clip design
  • Posts securely and easily

Cons/

  • A bit pricey for the limited all black edition
  • The “Lamy” logo is printed on the cap and fades easily over time
  • The black paint on the cap has started to scratch off where the clip touches the cap

Ink
I picked up this lovely blue ink from Scriptus as well. It is the show exclusive Rushbrooke Blue. I have to say, I’ve been more a fan of the turquoise blues OR deep purple blues in terms of ink collecting. But after picking this one up and using it quite a bit with this pen, I will admit I am now a fan. It’s a bit of a deeper bright blue, with some dark red-ish sheen when enough ink dries together. The ink has a slightly longer dry time than I’m used to as well.

I don’t own many Diamine inks, but I know they are a well known and respected brand of inks. It’s a nice quality ink that is a bit on the dry side, so the pen tends to feel dry. There also seems to be some apparent nib creep on the pen. All in all it’s probably considered a dark blue but not quite navy blue. It feels rather regal to me, hence the fancy doodles for the review. Unfortunately since it was a show exclusive, I don’t know exactly where you can pick it up, other than third hand sellers.

Thanks for reading and for sticking around despite my few and far between reviews. See you in the next one…which I am very excited for!

5 Comments

  1. Thanks for this! I too am a sucker for “stealth” pens. Also all-metal, tool-like pens (even the MUJI Aluminium… though the nib had to go). It all began with the Parker 25 when I was a kid. I recently got a bead on a NOS matte black version. Most recent, almost apologetic addition was an all-black $5 Jinhao 75 from AliExpress. It writes embarrassingly well for such a cheap offering, and is actually well-made and metal. Anyway, thanks to you feeding my habit, I’m now working on a Lamy Studio Lx All Black from The Pen Company in the UK. (~ CA$112). Write on…

    Like

  2. Thanks for sharing your insights for this pen and another great set of drawings and doodles. Just love your handwriting and your doodling style! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

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