Always Inked — Lamy Studio

The first “nice” pen I ever bought was a Lamy Studio. Until that point, I had been on the periphery of writing with fountain pens — preferring to use cheaper disposable fountain pens like the Platinum Preppy, or buying and then immediately losing Pilot Metropolitans). I liked how they wrote and how they felt in my hand, but I didn’t really know a damn thing about fountain pens beyond that.

That changed after my brother-in-law (an avid collector himself, with a trove of pens that absolutely puts mine to shame) gave my wife a silver Parker IM that she fell in love with. It wasn’t the world’s coolest or rarest pen, but I saw how she adored using it, the sentimental value it held to her as a gift from him, and how much she loved filling it with the floral violet-scented ink from Herbin that she uses to this day.

After realizing that there was no way she would continue allowing me to regularly “borrow” her pen, I was determined to go out and get one of my own. Thankfully there’s a pretty excellent art supply store not far from my house that just happens to have a pen counter. Amongst the displays of brands like Sailor, Caran d’Ache, Faber Castell, and Pelikan, I eventually came across one labeled LAMY that sported some simple, streamlined, and minimalist designs that I really liked. 

That day I took home my first LAMY Studio, a brushed stainless steel model that I loved writing with. However, I quickly came to regret that specific purchase because I promptly destroyed the finish on it. I had no idea how to take care of it, and I’m just hard on a lot of the stuff I buy as it gets beat up during travel and on the job. I vowed then I would never purchase another brushed steel pen again since those things are a pain the ass to take care of, but I also came out of that experience knowing that I really liked LAMY as a brand.

Since then, I’ve had a few Studios; the most recent is the Lx All Black pictured here. Despite owning several other models, including a beloved LAMY 2000 (my first grail pen) and several Safaris, I still find myself returning to the Studio as a favorite. Perhaps it’s because it imprinted itself on me as an essential and early milestone in my fountain pen appreciation journey, and probably because, like most LAMYs, it is a fantastic example of functional and stylish industrial design done right

My taste in pens these days tends to run towards color and pattern (hello BENU!), but there’s always going to be something tasteful about an all-black pen with a great design that I just can’t say no to. With its black nib and matte black body, the All Black Studio looks appropriate in pretty much every environment. The balanced weight and shape feel entirely unobtrusive and utterly comfortable — both posted and unposted. The branding is tasteful and doesn’t distract from the overall look and design, and the propellor-shaped clip is iconic in its simplicity while still being memorable.

I will caution that the section of the Studio can be polarizing — many people complain the shiny metal section on some finishes is too slick and hard to grip. While it never bothered me, I suggest opting for one of the Studio models that come with a coated grip, instead of slick metal — like the Lx All Black here or the brushed stainless steel (which you will then keep in a safe protected by a variety of booby traps — that brushed finish will scratch if you even talk too loudly around it)

One of the things I appreciate about LAMY is the simplicity of the nib system on many of their models. They really make it easy to switch and swap nibs around to create your ideal writing experience — and this can really come in handy if you do ever run into nib issues. When I initially bought this pen, I ended up coming up on the losing end of the LAMY nib QA lottery — it had an EF that was extra scratchy and unusable. It was replaced quickly, but in the meantime, I simply swapped on a black F nib that I had on a Safari I liked; the two meshed so well that I just kept the F on the Studio and put the replacement EF on the Safari when it arrived. This is the only out-of-the-box issue I’ve ever had with a LAMY nib, so hopefully, it’s an outlier and not indicative of a larger quality issue.

Lately, I’ve been tempted to upgrade to the 14k black and gold nib – both for its look and to see if I can add anything to the already high writing quality of this pen. Lately, I’ve been keeping this inked with Montblanc Psychedelic Purple and have found that this pen and ink combo has given me a really smooth writing experience that makes this pen one I look forward to writing with regularly. 

(The pen in this review was purchased by me for my own collection. This post contains no sponsored content, affiliate links, or items provided for review by vendors/manufacturers)

2 thoughts on “Always Inked — Lamy Studio”

  1. I’m with you on this. The Safari’s never struck me as anything other than “a pen”, but the lines of the All Black Lx grabbed me immediately. With the sleek lines and black nib they are like a prop from Space Odyssey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that the safari brings a lot of design direction to the lower end of the market and it works really well there. The the 2000 is both an iconic pen and an iconic piece of industrial design. But the Studio feels like the most functional of the three, as well as the most accessible (despite the cost) I think it’s a strong contender to be the perfect pen for those looking to take the next step into higher price point writing tools. It won’t bankrupt you, but it will give most people years and years of great performance – and the ability to swap in a gold nib means it can grow with you.

      Liked by 1 person

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