The Lamy Aion!

20180203_192501.jpgThis is a pen I’ve been looking at for a while now, but for one reason or another, had just never pulled the trigger on. Then a few weeks ago I was corresponding with the fine folks at GoldSpot Pens, and they kindly offered to send one to me for review. Awesome folks there, you should really check them out!

I. First Impressions     7.5/10

So first, just a quick few comments in general about Lamy, the company itself. Lamy is a German company, known in the US primarily for it’s modernist take on fountain pens. The Safari, and 2000 lines have become mainstay pens in the US market among “pen” people.  This pen certainly fits in with the  company’s modern take on pens, but may not wind up a stand out, as those previously mentioned. That would primarily be because those pens have a very specific uniqueness that makes them stand out. This pen, while very nice, and somewhat unique, feels more like a blend of other pen’s attributes. In my mind, the Aion is most closely related to the 2000. Kind of it’s “workhorse” 1st cousin.

20180203_191650_HDR.jpgMy first impression was of the box, and the fact that they use the exact same packaging as the Lamy 2000. Upon taking the pen out, my first two thoughts were that it looks very minimalist and that it felt substantial. It has some real heft and weight.

 


II. Appearance     7/10

My pen was the matte silver model (it also comes in matte black). A handsome pen! I have several Lamy models including the venerable Lamy 2000. This pen shares much of the 2000’s heritage. Clean lines, minimalist design.  The body of the pen also looks very similar to another German pen, the Faber-Castell Loom. While the Aion is considerably larger, both have an aluminum cylindrical body that flows into a long section with no step down.

Where the Lamy 2000 looks elegant (at least to me), the Aion looks more utilitarian. It’s certainly not flashy. Although the silver version is arguably “flashier” than the black.


III. Design / Size / Weight     8/10

As previously stated, I would describe the Aion’s design as definitely, minimalist and modern. The pen was designed by a gentleman named Jasper Morrison. The body and cap are anodized aluminum in kind of a circular brushed pattern. The section appears like a bead-blasted finish. Some measurements:

  • Diameter at grip –                  10.6mm
  • Length of body –                     137mm
  • Length Capped –                     143mm
  • Length posted –                       162mm
  • Weight –                                    35 grams inked

The clip is spring loaded (which is nice), and very, very  — plain. Boring, one could say. But boring isn’t always bad, I guess. Also, and this is odd to me, when you lift the clip, you can see 3 – cut outs – for lack of a better description. I have no idea what their purpose is. Maybe there’s not one.

Overall, I definitely like it. It has a modern, clean look, not at all futuristic as I would say the Safari, Vista and Al Star are. That being said, the pen does have some issues for me. The section’s large girth is quite comfortable, however, with extended use – long writing sessions – it can get a little slick for me. Not terrible, as it’s somewhat textured, but slick nonetheless. Also, the cap does  post. However it is somewhat loose and I find that I usually don’t post it for that reason.


IV. Nib     8/10

20180206_223254.jpgLamy hit a home run with the Aion nib. It’s stainless steel and very smooth, and yet at the same time, provides just the slightest hint of feedback on paper.  The nib is reminiscent of the Safari line of nibs, but with slightly more rounded shoulders. The nib slides onto the feed exactly like the Safari nibs and can even be interchanged with them if you so desire.


V. Filling System     7/10

Pretty simple and standard. It takes either cartridges or a converter. However they are Lamy propriety sizes, not international. Otherwise, this score would’ve been 9/10.


VI. Cost and Value     7.5/10

GoldSpot currently has this pen listed at $71.20, down from $89. While this (in my opinion) wouldn’t be called an entry level pen, it’s not a high-end pen either. This is a work horse pen. A good looking, work-horse pen. And again (in my opinion) a solid value for the money.


VII. Conclusion     7.5/10

This is a bit of an odd pen for me. Before laying my hands on it, it was a pen that I was interested in, but truthfully, more so because it was a new pen from Lamy.  I wasn’t necessarily in heat to get one. 20180203_191809.jpgHowever, after having it and using it for the last week or so, I would DEFINITELY want to replace it if anything were to happen to it. Immediately.

 

 

 

Here’s a companion video review:

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New Lamy In The Mail!

Once again, it’s been far too long since I’ve updated here. Actually, due to just “life stuff”, I haven’t done much with my pen hobby at all – other than write with them. But today, an internet purchase came in the mail, so, a good time to update with a review.

First, here’s a link to their US web site, http://www.lamyusa.com . Specifically, This review will focus on the Safari and Vista models. They are basically, the same pen, the only difference being that the Vista is a clear demonstrator, while the Safari’s are colored ABS plastic. I already owned two limited edition Safari’s, an orange and a banana yellow one with black appointments.

As I mentioned earlier, the two models (Safari and Vista) are identical. In fact, a third model, the Al-Star, is also the same pen, but manufactured in multiple colors from aluminum. The pens are 5 1/2″ capped, and apx 6 9/16″ posted. All three of these lines use a universally exchangeable nib system. The nibs are simply friction fit, and slide into their respective pen sections. Nibs are offered from the company in a wide variety of widths, mine are fine and medium. Depending on the color scheme of the particular pen, the nib will be steel and either chrome or a black plating. The nibs on my pens are all very smooth, but do offer a bit of feedback as you write. This is hard for me to accurately describe. I have some pens that I refer to as buttery smooth. These pen nibs are so smooth as to almost feel slick. Almost as if you were writing on ice. I would describe the Lamy’s as “toothy”. They are smooth, but not slick. You “feel” the paper (to a degree) as you write. Thumbs up.

Aesthetically, they’re not for everyone. They definitely have a “modern” look and feel to them. The sections are contoured and molded with 2 flat areas at angles on the otherwise round section. This can take some getting used too, and though I know many may not like it, I have come to really like it. The body of the pens also incorporate 2 flat panels onto the opposing sides of the otherwise round bodies. While I don’t know if it was on purpose, practically this is nice because when you lay the pen down, it won’t role off of a table. There is also a small notched window opening allowing you to see when you’re about to run out of ink. Though on the Vista model (the clear demonstrator model), the notch is useless as you see all the internal workings of the pen. Overall, you get a sleek and modern profile. For old school fountain pen purists, these pens may be too modern in appearance. But boy it’s hard to argue about how they write. Lamy has done a fantastic job with the quality of these pens, especially when you consider their price points. All of the models I’ve mentioned can be purchased online from about $20 to $45 depending on the source and the model chosen. The aluminum Al-Star models command the highest prices. All pens can be filled with either a cartridge or converter  These pens may not be for everyone, but they sure are for me.

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