Lamy offers fountain pens that range from beginner level pens to high end writing instruments. With a few exceptions, most of its pen offerings actually share the same nib system, with just different pen model designs. While many people choose the Lamy Safari, Vista, or Al-star as their first pen from the Lamy lineup, the Lamy Studio is a common upgrade from these models, and there are quite a few choices available. This review is going to focus on the 2014 special edition, the Lamy Studio Wild Rubin.
Fountain Pen: Lamy Studio Wild Rubin
Nib: Stainless steel medium nib
Filling System: Lamy proprietary cartridge/converter
1. Packaging (9/10):
Just like most of the Lamy packagings, the Lamy Studio Wild Rubin also uses a standard and simple box to store the pen. The Wild Rubin special edition also offers a gold nib option, which then comes with with a much larger box with the matching colour and a bottle of ink. But for the one with just the stainless steel nib, which is the one that I have, a standard box is offered. The box certainly serves its purpose of protecting the pen. The cardboard used for it is sturdy enough. Overall, the styling of the packaging speaks simplicity and consistency with the pen. For the price of this pen, I think the packaging is very appropriate.
2. Pen Design (8/10):
The Lamy Studio is a good representation of Lamy’s design. Everything looks modern, clean and simple, with the beautiful “Wild Rubin” finish. For this special edition, the pen body is lacquered in red, with gorgeous sparkles evenly spread out as part of the finish. Personally, I think this is the most beautiful finish that I have seen on a Lamy Studio.
There are two metal pieces on the two ends of the pen. The other metal piece that can be seen when the pen is capped, is the clip. This clip has a very unique design. Unlike other usual clips, this one starts as a wide and flat piece, and gradually narrows down but becomes thicker, so that it looks like the clip is twisting in the middle. The look of the clip integrates well with the rest of the pen, and provides an excellent amount of tension and springiness.
When capped, the pen has a fairly decent length, similar to the Pelikan Souverän M800 and Montblanc Meisterstück Classique. Uncapped and not posted, it is very close to the Lamy Safari, also uncapped and without posting. When posted, the cap adds a small amount of length and weight, making it a bit too back-heavy for me. But it should still be comfortable to hold for many others.
What really concerns me is the grip section. Unlike many other pens that use metal grip sections but have them flare out near the end, the grip section of the Lamy Studio does not. The design fits well with the rest of the pen, but reduces practicality. Personally, I find the grip section too slippery for any long writing session. Also it is polished to a mirror shine, so that it becomes quite a fingerprint magnet.
Like many Lamy fountain pens, the Lamy Studio utilizes a snap cap. Both capping and posting make a solid snap sound, so that users will know that the cap is placed securely. I think this is definitely a welcoming feature.
The Lamy Studio uses the nibs shared by most of the other Lamy fountain pen lineup. The nibs can be easily swapped and available in a variety of sizes. This offers good value since users won’t be stuck with just one nib size.
3. Filling System (6/10):
The Lamy Studio uses the proprietary Lamy Z26 cartridge converter. It also accepts the proprietary Lamy cartridge.
The Lamy Z26 converter looks much nicer than the Lamy Z24 converter, which fits on pens such as the Lamy Safari, Vista, and Al-star. However, unlike the Z24 converter, which has two “fins” that help the converter stay securely, the Z26 converter fits by friction. It falls off easily, and with the heavy nib and grip section of the Lamy Studio, the fit becomes even less secure. Unfortunately the Z24 converter does not fit here securely either. This should probably be noted when cleaning the pen with the converter, just to make sure that the grip section does not fall and get damaged. When the barrel is put back to the pen, the converter does not move around. Therefore there is not much concern for it when using the pen.
4. Nib Performance (7/10):
Lamy Studio shares the same nib as the Lamy Safari, Vista, and Al-star, and also shares the same nib characteristics. The nib writes on the drier side. It is not the best choice if you would like to see a lot of shading or sheen from the ink used. The nib is also not the smoothest, which also seems to be the way Lamy’s stainless steel nibs usually work. These nibs are very rigid and barely have any line variation. On the other hand, they do write reliably and they are widely available and users can easily pick their preferred nib sizes. If someone is looking for a trustworthy daily pen, this pen is certainly a good candidate. It’s just that they don’t really offer anything beyond that.
5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (10/10):
This pen does not require much extra care. Even though the filling system is proprietary, which is not what I prefer, cleaning the pen doesn’t take a lot of effort. The beautiful lacquered finish is fairly scratch resistant, although it is probably the best to carry it around with a pen pouch.
Personally, my only complaint is still about the grip section. I have to frequently wipe the grip section to not only keep it clean and shiny, but also remove as much hand oil as possible in order to have a firm grip on the metal section. However this may not be an issue for everyone.
Pen Design: 8/10
Filling System: 6/10
Nib Performance: 7/10
Pen Cleaning and Maintenance: 10/10
The Lamy Studio is a beautiful pen with a modern design. The special edition Wild Rubin stands out particularly, because of the wonderful sparkling and lacquered finish. It can be a fitting upgrade from the Lamy Safari, Vista, and Al-star, which carry more of a “student pen” look. Since it also supports nib swapping just like the 3 models mentioned above, such upgrade can allow the users to keep or expand the existing nib size range.
Having the snap cap and the cartridge converter filling system increases its portability. However it should be noted that Lamy uses proprietary cartridges and converters. The pen has a decent and balanced weight. But the slippery metal grip section may discourage many potential buyers (there is one model, the Lamy Studio Brushed Steel, that does not have the polished metal grip).
In conclusion, I think the Lamy Studio, particularly the special edition Wild Rubin, is an appropriately priced, modern, and reliable fountain pen for daily carry. It does not have the most interesting nib or the best ink flow, but certainly serves its purpose being a quality everyday writing pen.