Pen Review: Lamy AL-Star Pacific Special Edition 2017 (EF Nib) and Lamy Pacific Ink

I spent a very amused hour listening to Myke and Brad fuss about the new Lamy Special Editions for 2017 on this week’s episode of the Pen Addict. Did you hear the episode? First, a big congratulations to the guys for reaching their five year milestone!

I was tickled that Brad was so passionate about not liking the AL-Star as much as he liked the Safari. My feelings on the subject are the exact opposite. The plastic Safari cost is about $30 but for about $7 more you can get the more durable (and IMHO more aesthetically appealing) aluminum AL-Star.

Finally, knowing that Lamy is doing the same pebbly finish on the Petrol Safari special edition that they did on the Dark Lilac means that the AL-Star is going to remain a classic since it keeps the original smooth finish. I’m not a fan of the pebbly finish that Lamy is using on the Dark Lilac and the upcoming Petrol model but you may disagree. So, as you can see, my opinions are diametrically opposite of Brad and Myke on the subject of the new Lamy Safari and AL-Star releases.

Onward, to the Pacific! Isn’t the color stunning? Like all the other limited edition Lamy colorways, the question really boils down to this… will you kick yourself later if you don’t buy it? Its the whole FOMO thing. If you love Lamy AL-Stars or you’re a fan of all things turquoise-y you are going to want to pick one of these up. If you’ve never purchased a Lamy Safari or AL-Star before and were considering buying one, this would be a good one to buy. As a fan of the AL-Star over the Safari, I’m always going to prefer it over the Safari but if you asked Brad, he’d tell you the exact opposite so you’ll have to use your best judgement here. Do you like metallic sheen? Or do you prefer glossy plastics or pebbled finishes?

I received the Lamy AL-Star Pacific with an EF nib ($37.60) from Goulet Pens. Generally, I find that the Lamy nibs tend to run a little wet and a bit wider than other European nibs. I find the Lamy EF nib to be a very pleasant everyday writing pen and with the Lamy Pacific ink ($10.50 for the 50ml bottle) its a great pick-me-up for a grey February day.

Don’t forget to add a Z24 converter ($4.95) to you order if you plan to use bottled ink.

There’s been a lot of discussion around the Lamy Pacific ink being repackaged Lamy’s Turquoise ink. Many pen shops (as well as Lamy) have clarified that the Lamy Pacific ink is the same ink as Lamy Turquoise so if you already own a bottle of Lamy Turquoise, you do not need to purchase another bottle of Lamy Pacific — unless you really want to. However, if you have not purchased Lamy Turquoise in the past, this would be a perfect opportunity to grab a bottle to match this lovely pen.

Lamy Pacific ink is a vibrant turquoise blue that has good shading and even a big of magenta sheen. Shading is visible even in the EF nib writing and the color stays bright and legible even in the fine writing of the EF nib. While Lamy has trouble getting a bright, legible green, they do a splendid job with their bright, legible blue. And at the price point, this ink cannot be beat. Add in the cool bottle with blotting paper built into the bottle and you have a great deal.

I’ve included a couple other current turquoise inks that are popular at the moment for comparison. All were painted on Rhodia paper. Robert Oster Torquay is notably darker and Sailor’s new Yuki-Akari is a bit lighter than the Lamy Pacific.

In the end, I find the AL-Star, and the Pacific color in particular, to be one of the nicest looking pens Lamy has done in awhile. Could you imagine if the Lamy 2000 had been Pacific Blue Makralon? I wish Lamy had been a bit more upfront about the ink color name change with retailers but Pacific/Turquoise is such a gorgeous color and it really does have a lovely sheen that I don’t think anyone will get stuck with too many bottles.

It does make me wonder if the ink for Petrol won’t be rebranded Blue Black though.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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22 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I’m with you.i was surprised listening to Brad and Myke how adamant Brad was about the Safari. While I do not intend to get every Al Star color, when they come out with one like Pacific Blue, they force me to get it.

  2. Gah. Lovely. Still not certain but may get the ink. (But then one should have a pen to match, right?) That said, the Rober Oster Torquay might be a nice complement to the Petrol, if the Petrol ink is more uniform.

  3. I’m easy to please it seems because I like both pens. Maybe because I got the coffee Al-Star! Thank you for clarifying the ink being Lamy Turquoise named Pacific to go with the Al-Star name.

    I really like Waterman South Sea Blue (Inspired blue now, I don’t like the name changesl). I expect I’ll get the ink too because I wouldn’t mind having a similar color to the Waterman.

    I was able to get Lamy Safari Coral and Neon Lime after their main offering time. I haven’t bought the Al-Star charged green. So is it a cool looking pen? Ana or other posters might help me know if I’m missing out by not having the Al-Star charged green.

    I finally got my Lamy LX in Rose Gold. The top of the cap really catches the light and shines. It’s not too rosy if that makes sense.

  4. For me, if I get a plastic pen it has to be pebbly. But I love me a smooth aluminium/metal body as well. I’ve been wavering on this Lamy. Such a pretty color! Not sure I like how Lamy writes.

  5. Thanks for the link Ana. There’s a boxed set featuring the Charged Green, but the bottle of ink included is Blue Black. It also includes cartridges and a converter.

    But I just ordered the Pacific Lamy so I’m not sure yet on Charged Green.

  6. Love your green and blue pens together — what a gorgeous color combo! I have the maroonish and “Ocean Blue” Al-Stars, and as much as I love the classier finish (compared to the Safari), they are so COLD to use! Maybe I’m just sick of winter, but I can’t bear to pick up a cold pen right now.

    1. That is probably the most logical argument I’ve heard. If you are using your pens outdoors, a plastic bodied pen is less likely to feel cold in your hand. I tend to have cold hands but I find that the aluminum warms and stays warmer longer in indoor settings.

  7. I really like the look of both the new AL-Star & Safari.
    I bought the purple limited Safari last year, my first Lamy & second fountain pen. I’ve since bought a pink Safari.
    Perhaps to start I should buy the AL-Star & ink, before deciding whether I’ll ‘need’ another Safari 🙂

  8. I’m with you! I have the pebbly-finished Safari in Dark Lilac, and while it’s okay, I wish they’d made it with the smooth plastic finish of the earlier Safaris. But I really prefer the Al-Stars. I like the shine. And the barrels are a smidge wider, which is more comfortable for me.

    My Al-Star Pacific EF arrived this week and I’ve loaded it with Kon-peki–a pleasure to write with.

    P.S. Love the Pen Buying Flowchart!

  9. I love the Al-Star best. The aluminum has that perfect sheen and a really sleek look that aligns itself with Lamy’s ultra-modern feel. When I first became acquainted with Lamy, I was disappointed to find out that I couldn’t get all the colors in the aluminum. I’m really not crazy about the plastic finish.

    Does anyone else have this problem? I bought the coral Lamy (even though it is plastic! it’s still a cool pen) so I had to have the matching ink. However, I found the ink so dry as to be unusable (for me, anyway). What do y’all think about this issue? Is the Lamy ink dry or not?

  10. I had almost talked myself out of buying the Pacific Al-Star. I have a few Safaris. I have no Al-Stars. But I love turquoise so I it seems a perfect fit. And, then I can decide for myself which I like better.

    Thanks for the review.

  11. “Could you imagine if the Lamy 2000 had been Pacific Blue Makralon?” ummm … yes I can! And I want one like NOW! I agree with you on the color, but was so miffed about the ink being the same as turquoise. We finally get an LE bottled ink in Europe, and it’s something we already know! But yeah it’s a pretty color none the less…

  12. I know opinions about inks are subjective, but my first thought on hearing that the ink was their Turquoise was that at last this ink would be getting some airplay. In my subjective opinion, it is one of the most gorgeous inks available and is reasonably priced to boot. Since I “discovered” it, I have not had it out of a pen at any time. I have been puzzled by how little attention this ink has gotten. I am a newbie so maybe it is old news and has been covered extensively but my research has not led me to that many reviews of it. I have not found a better turquoise (for me).

    1. I’m glad to hear that it wasn’t dry for you. I was a total newbie when I last tried it. Since then, I have put a 1.1 mm stub in my Coral Safari, too. Maybe it’ll work for me if I try it again. I might just need to adjust the tines, as well. It could be something not related to the ink itself. At the time, I didn’t have a clue! So I’ll try it again and see what I can work out. It is a very pretty coral.

  13. This pen and ink are so beautiful, but I’m wondering if it’s your site. Everything looks beautiful on here.

    I have a blue Al-Star and I love it. The only thing I don’t like about it is how popular they (and the Safaris together) are. How am I supposed to feel elitist if everybody has one?

    My thinking behind getting the Al-Star was because it was one of my first double-digit cost pens (I had Varsities and a Baoer before). I thought, “Do I want to hand down to my descendants a piece of plastic?”

    I still sort of feel like a pen that costs tens or hundreds of dollars shouldn’t be plastic, it just doesn’t seem very classy to me. Bic Sticks are plastic.

    I mean absolutely no offense.

    1. No offense taken here. You are firmly in Camp AL-Star then because they are aluminum, not plastic. Even if you didn’t decide to pass them down to a future generation, the majority of the material is recyclable.

  14. I got my Pacific Al-Star today. It looks most like the 5th photo. I could see it through the box and thought Wow, that’s blue (turquoise). The light plays on the barrel. I’ll have to put it side-by-side with my Safari Aquamarine to see how they compare.

  15. I agree about the pebbly plastic finish if the dark lilac. I love the color of the pen so much but I don’t like using it. It feels cheaper to me than the smooth plastic of the neon coral Safari that I have. I freaking LOVE my AL-Star though. And I didn’t have the Pacific bottled ink, so it doesn’t bother me, but I appreciate that so many people have said it’s the same. Makes it easier to make a decision if you already have the older color. I got some cartridges of the Pacific ink and a converter And I may be swayed yet to get a bottle of the ink because it’s so pretty!

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