Review: The Lamy Studio

So the Lamy Studio seems to be a pen that doesn’t seem to get a great deal of attention and I’m not really sure why, personally I’m rather a fan, and in a statement that I might be a little bit bold I think more other people should be too.

My Lamy Studio is one of the few pens that I have actually bought in person, from a physical shop. When I bought it I had just started a new job and in wondering about the town of my lunch break I discovered a little stationers/gift card shop. Tucked away at the back of the shop was a glass case with a display of ink (including some discontinued Cara D’ache ink) and a selection of Lamy fountain pens. One of these was a special edition Racing Green Studio. It was for sale for full MSRP (£62), but this was in October 2018 and a quick Google search showed me that there wasn’t anywhere else that I’d be likely to buy it. I umm-ed and ahh-ed for a bit and double checked that there really wasn’t anywhere else that I could get it cheaper before deciding to spring for it. In the interest of fairness I’ll point out that most current versions of the Studio sell for more like £55. To me this seems like quite a fair price, but price is so personal I don’t want to make too bigger deal out of it.

So now I had the pen, what did I make of it? Well let’s start with the looks of the thing, which I would describe as sleek. The pen is covered in an almost anodised like finish, which in the case of my Racing Green model almost appears to have a sort of red sheen to it, which looks really nice and adds something a bit different to what would otherwise be a plain single coloured pen. I’ve also seen a Terracotta Studio, and whilst this didn’t really have the same kind of sheen to it, I would say it had a definite sparkle to it, it’s quite difficult to put into words, but I wouldn’t say these are pens that are just a block of colour in the same way that a Safari is, there’s something really nice going on with that finish. The clip is just as attractive as everyone says it is, that whole shiny propeller vibe really works with the overall design as well as being good looking in its own right. I really like how the pen manages to balance looking smart (if I got invited to high up important meetings I wouldn’t feel at all silly using this pen) and yet still being properly interesting. I think this pen manages to do professional, without being boring, which is something a lot of pens fail to do.

Can you see that dark sort-of -sheen right around the edge?

In the hand the Studio just sort of works, it’s not a huge pen, but for me it fits really well and avoids the trap of a lot of pens of being too big for no real reason. I never post my pens, but the Studio has a definite click to post, which both gives you a nice stop and very cleverly stops the barrel finish from being marred by the cap. As I say, I don’t post my pens, so I don’t know if this works, but it feels like it should. The section is shiny metal, which looks like it should be slippery, but despite this I’ve never had a problem with my grip shifting during writing. Be warned though it is definitely a fingerprint magnet. This isn’t the kind of thing that bothers me, but if it bothers you then this might be problematic.

On to writing, the pen uses the Lamy Z50 nib, the same as the Safari, Al-Star ect. This is where I think the pen draws some undeserved flak, and is also possibly why I think the pen doesn’t do better. To address the elephant in the room, yes it does use a Safari nib, no this does not bother me, no, not even though it costs three times as much. Hundreds of pens use a #6 nib from either Bock or JoWo and tend not to draw too much criticism for this, despite the widely ranging prices of pens fitted with them. The medium on mine is nice and smooth and consistent, it’s not the most characterful nib I own, but it just works very nicely and doesn’t get in the way of writing. Plus as it is a Z50 nib it’s easy to swap out should you either fancy a change or damage your nib. Unfortunately I think a lot of people just think of it as a Safari nib and don’t think of it as much of a step up, which is a shame as this pen is a definite step up, despite having the same nib.

So to sum up, I’ve got a lot of time for the Studio, I like it’s sleek modern looks as well as how it feels in the hand, and whilst it may not be revolutionary in terms of writing experience, that doesn’t stop it from being a very nice dependable writer, which after all is sometime just what you want.

As an aside, this has been my first review, and as such it’s a bit of a work in progress, let me know in the comments if there’s anything you’d like to see me do more or less of in the future, I’m certainly up for suggestions. Plus if you have any thoughts of your own about the Studio then let me know too.

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