I have been wanting to try a Lamy pen without the plastic grip guides for “proper holding” for sometime. All of the low-end Lamys (Safari, Al-Star, Joy, Vista and ABC) feature this grip which helps a lot of people but as a left-hander who overwrites, it is a pain to use. So, I decided to take a chance with the Lamy Studio line which features a smooth cylinder grip and some very classic modern looks.
Let me say right off, I was not disappointed in the look of this pen at all. Because its brushed stainless steel, its weightier than the Al-Star I’ve owned and it looks much more refined and elegant than other Lamys I’ve seen.
The cap clicks on and off with an audible click and the cap can be posted on the end with the same audible click. I found the pen a bit too heavy with the cap posted but its good to know it can be posted with no issues. I bought a 1.1mm nib with this pen in an effort to simulate the quality of my vintage Esterbrook stub nib in a modern pen and I have to say it worked out much better than I expected.
As you can see in the writing sample, there is nice line variation though the edges are a bit crisper than with my Esterbrook stub. I suspect that an experienced nib tuner could tweak a Lamy 1.1mm nib to write just like the Esterbrook Fine Stub by softening the edges just a bit. I’ll certainly look into it in the future.
With my overwriting angle, I was still able to get a variety of line variation with no issues — pushing, pulling, dragging — the pen was smooth and efficient. I used J. Herbin Vert Olive ink for my tests. One of the reasons I like the stub/calligraphic nibs is that it allows me to use some of these lighter colored inks and still have good legibility.
Even my right-handed friend Madeline who is well-recognized for her calligraphy took the pen out for a test drive with some wonderful results.
List price for the Lamy Studio is $85 and the 1.1mm nib can be purchased for about $10 more from your favorite pen retailer.