Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The LAMY Logo


(Before you freak out that this isn't a photo-related post, there's a set up shot at the bottom for gearheads. I haven't forgotten about you.)

I am a bit of a pen geek. I am by no means a collector, and I don’t have the money to spend on the serious pens (i.e., anything over $30). I am a big fan of high value products, though, and LAMY is known for some very good, reasonably inexpensive writing utensils. The Safari line of pens (including the Vista and the AL-Star) is what they’re best known for, of course. My blue plastic Safari fountain pen has gotten me through an entire year of university rather splendidly, but that is a review for another day. Instead, I’d like to focus on the LAMY Logo ballpoint pen, in particular the stainless steel version. This example was a gift from Japan, and long story short, I’m quite pleased with it.

Each Lamy product is known for its workmanship, and this one is no exception. Though it is far more expensive than most student pens (at $12-$16) it is something that you will keep for a lifetime, and will bring you joy each time you use it for the price of a few coffees. The clip is not a cheap plastic bit to be snapped off at a moment’s notice, but rather a spring-loaded affair that really demonstrates the attention to detail during the design process. When the button is pressed, the click is audible, and the spring inside feels substantial. It inspires a lot of confidence. That being said, if you are a compulsive pen-clicker, those beside you will quickly tire of the sound. I suppose it is like the shutter sound of a Nikon camera — satisfying, but rather noticeable.

The attention to detail carries into the assembly. Sometimes, when spring-loaded pens are disassembled, the miniscule spring inside explodes out of the pen with such force that it is carried across the room. If this happens in a crowded lecture hall, it might never be found again, rendering the pen useless. This cannot happen with the Lamy Logo. The spring is permanently installed inside the tip of the pen, and cannot be easily removed. The pen cleanly separates into three distinct pieces, no more, no less.

The black Lamy M16 cartridge inside is smooth, but not quite as smooth as my usual ballpoint pen, the disposable Staedtler Ball 432 in blue. It is the most satisfying ballpoint pen I’ve ever used, for the exorbitant price of $0.50. Light, extremely comfortable, and smooth as can be (I have a fondness for triangularly-shaped pen barrels). The Staedtler is the second-most effortless writing tool I’ve ever used, apart from the Safari on good paper. I’m sure the gold-nibbed fountain pens would be a revelation, but alas, that level of writing satisfaction will only be experienced by me after a comfortable accumulation of wealth.

So why would I bother with a ballpoint if I enjoy fountain pens so much? I reach for it when the paper I use does not lend itself to fountain pen ink. Copy paper and the lined paper inside UVic exam booklets come to mind. I don’t exert much pressure when I write, so that could be the reason for my preference. Still, the Logo seems to me like the sort of pen that could be handed to clients to sign contracts. It is the ideal pen to accompany a suit. The silver finish is fit for any occasion and sure beats a hotel pen or some other disposable. The slim barrel doesn’t take up much room. It isn’t flashy, but it’s impressive and it makes a statement. Maybe I’ll use it as a tie clip and see if anyone notices...

Setup for LAMY Logo

Click the photo for the setup info.

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