Review: Lamy Studio (Stainless Steel), Medium 14k Gold Nib


I’ve always found Lamy pens to be really pleasurable to use, but I must admit that the design, the material and construction of my Lamy pens (Safari) don’t impress me much. I like TWSBI’s hard plastic but I really, really don’t like Lamy Safari’s lighter plastic. Safari is popular with a lot of people, though. It’s light, easy to maintain and it’s a great entry-level fountain pen.

The nibs of Lamy pens in general, however, are always really reliable and write very well. I’ve seen the Studio and 2000 in National Bookstore and I’ve always been curious about them since they look nothing like Safaris, but I never tried holding them or looking closer. I like the 2000’s design, but I’m not crazy about the hooded nib. I prefer open nibs.

So, my husband bought me a Lamy Studio a few days ago as a birthday gift and it was delivered to our house this morning. I’m pleased to say that it was actually love at first touch.

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The pen feels much lighter than it looks. It’s not uncomfortably heavy to hold *cough*sheaffer300*cough* and I love its texture. The body is made of brushed stainless steel. I think it’s not a texture that a lot of people will like on their pen, but I personally love it. It makes the pen easy to hold and interesting to look at. Everything about the design of this pen speaks of excellent German product engineering. It’s utilitarian, clean, minimalist, and no-frills. It seems very harmonious and seamless, for the most part. 

There are other Lamy Studios that come in different colors, but the section of those pens are made of a glossy metal finish. This stainless steel Studio has a section that is made of a hard rubberized finish. Again, a design choice that perhaps not many will like, but I do love it.

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My reason for that is because of practicality. Unlike the glossy metal finish, this one’s easy to hold whether my hand is dry or damp. Glossy sections tend to become slippery when the temperature is cold and my hand becomes too dry. This one is pleasant to hold and helps me write for a long period of time without feeling discomfort from holding the pen. It sits securely between my fingers while writing and provides a comfortable grip. Yes, I did try writing with it for a long period of time (most of my day, actually). The hard, rubberized finish doesn’t attract too much fingerprints, doesn’t get grimy, and is easily wiped clean of ink when refilling.

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Its clip looks like a duck bill or a small propeller. Again, this design choice may not be pleasing for all fountain pen enthusiasts because it’s quite unconventional-looking, but I like how it looks. I don’t use the clip to fasten the pen’s cap on my shirt or even in my pen wrap. I’m a little OCD with the clips so I just tuck it inside the pen wrap without slipping the fabric under the clip. From an aesthetic point of view, I like the unconventional design. It makes the otherwise very industrial-looking pen look more interesting.

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As mentioned earlier, the pen is lighter than it looks. I believe it’s about 30g, cap and body. It balances really well. It’s neither too heavy on the top or the bottom. It’s pleasant to use posted or unposted. The cap snaps on and off and also posts with a snap. Below is a picture of the cap as it’s posted at the end of the barrel.

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This is actually the only thing about the pen that I’m not entirely sold on. Everything about the design is seamless and flows fluidly together. Why they made the cap to have this tiny little wiggle room when posted is beyond me. It would have looked a lot prettier if it was made to friction fit onto the end of the barrel.

On the other hand, it does make sure that the cap doesn’t leave a scratch while posted. It’s one of my two pens that post with a click and does not friction fit with the barrel (the other one is the Waterman Expert II). It’s just a little niggling for me, design-wise. I don’t like the tiny gap but yeah, I can live with it. No biggie.

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Lamy Studio stainless steel doesn’t usually come with a gold nib, but the beauty about Lamy pens is that you can always use other standard Lamy nibs. It’s pretty easy to switch. As predicted, the pen is a wet, reliable writer. It lays down a consistent, wet line that gorgeously shows off ink shading on fountain pen-friendly paper (I used Rhodia in the photo above). The ink flow is generous without being too wet. I tried it on my new Muji journal (the one with the hard, black cover which has paper that’s a bit thinner than the brown one with 5% recycled paper) and it doesn’t bleed through even a bit.

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I’ve used several pens with gold nibs before and, truth be told, my personal preferences is really leaning more towards the stainless steel nibs. Yes I love the springiness and the consistent lines of this beautiful gold nib, but I soon swapped it out with a regular steel medium nib later in the evening, after I used it for almost the whole day.

Here is a video of my writing sample. I initially inked it with Noodler’s Burma Road Brown, completely forgetting that I meant to ink it up with Diamine Dark Olive.

As you can see, there’s no hard starting, no skipping, no railroading. I inked it up, wiped it off and it’s ready to go!

I truly enjoyed using this pen. It gave me a great writing experience. I’ll perhaps try to acquire another one next month, probably a blue one with the glossy metal section. If you’re looking for a great mid-level fountain pen that is beautifully designed, is a reliable writer, feels great in the hand (both in size and weight) and won’t break the bank, I would highly recommend this pen.

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