I was very intrigued when this pen arrived, for it immediately brought back memories of my first year of full-time work after university. Back then I was using a Sheaffer ballpoint. I cannot of course remember the exact pen model, however what drew me to it in the first place was the uniformity of the barrel, from end to end. Suffice to say the Sheaffer in question was more slender than this Lamy Pur, and any resemblance only very passing, however that is often all it takes to trigger these types of memories.
The job? My first year as a physiotherapist in one of Brisbane’s major teaching hospitals. That Sheaffer pen drew a few comments from those who borrowed it, varying from “that’s a nice pen — don’t lose it in this place” to “how can you possibly write with something so small” (read, thin). The latter was from an Orthopaedic Surgeon who was no doubt used to whatever cigar-shaped fountain pen he might have been using at the time.
While we are on the topic of surgery, I mentioned in a previous post about the strong associations I have involving various styles of pens, and this one is no different. The clean, clear lines of the Lamy Pur — I’m thinking surgeons scalpel. A minimalist design for pure function, perhaps not out of place recording post-op notes in a medical chart.
Anyway, moving on to matters at hand — the actual Lamy Pur fountain pen. As quite a few of the pens I have written about recently, I kindly received this from a fellow enthusiast in the process of downsizing his pen collection.
Look and Feel
No — it doesn’t really look like a Sheaffer ballpoint, however it is indeed distinct in its taper-less design, with a uniformity of thickness from end to end when capped. As you will read about below, I think Lamy might have been wise to maintain this design right through the grip section as well.
Although the black, knurled plastic grip matches the posting extension at the end of the pen, it somehow seems out of place with the overall finish and aesthetics. Personally, I find the Lamy Pur quite striking with the cap on — a minimalist look of brushed aluminium, marked only by the black plastic at the end of the pen, cap junction, and hidden inside the finial of the cap. Even the metal clip is able to add rather than detract from the geometric uniformity.
Personally, with a new or unfamiliar pen, my mind subconsciously works through three stages. How I initially feel looking at the design; whether or not my excitement increases when I uncap the pen and more closely inspect the section and nib; and finally, whether this increases again when the nib hits the paper. For a great pen, these stages would be thus: “wow”; followed by “oh wow”; and finally “yeeesssss”. An extremely objective analysis!
My point being, even if the first stage is “wow – I like the design of this”, if the second is “oh… um”, then regardless of how the third goes, I am on average going to be underwhelmed, which may influence how I ultimately feel about the writing experience. Such is the case here. I simply keep finding myself imagining how great this pen would look and feel, with that quality Lamy nib sitting at the end of brushed aluminium rather than plastic.
Clearly I have made my point and need to move on.
To finish things up here, I should add the pen is quite light and very easy to hold, and the cap snaps on very firmly either to close or post for writing (however relative to its thickness does make for a comically long pen if the cap is posted). The metal clip is solid and compliments the pen nicely, crossing past the cap/barrel junction, which adds to the smooth lines and gives the overall appearance of a little more length.
There is an understated black Lamy logo adjacent to the clip which rounds things out nicely.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think this is a really attractive pen when capped and sitting on a desk — it’s just that pens aren’t really made for that are they? Mine certainly aren’t anyway.
Information courtesy Cult Pens:
- Material: Aluminium, Metal, Plastic
- Refill Type: Lamy Z26 Converter (supplied) / Lamy T10 Ink Cartridge
- Nib: Steel (Standard); Current model: 14k bi-colour gold
- Length Capped: 5.4 inches (13.7 cm)
- Length Uncapped: 4.9 inches (12.4 cm)
- Length Posted: 6.7 inches (17 cm)
- Diameter: 0.4 inches (1.1 cm)
- Currently available at Cult Pens for £30.54 ($AUD65.30)
I received the Lamy Pur with a Lamy Z26 converter in place, and have found filling to be a breeze, however the pen can also to be used with the T10 ink cartridges produced by Lamy.
The pen comes with a polished steel Lamy nib as standard, and no doubt many a reader would be familiar with such a nib. As I have already noted, the model at the subject of this review has a 14k bi-colour gold Lamy nib fitted in EF width ($AUD119.95 at the time of writing from LarryPOST). The appearance of the nib itself is quite understated, which I like, as the gold runs only from the breather hole down to the tip of the nib inside each adjacent tine.
When I uncap a Lamy fountain pen and begin writing, there is a certain expectation around how the nib is going to feel and perform. As you can imagine, every expectation was met here — and I expect this would have been the case with the standard steel nib fitted rather than the 14k gold nib I have on this pen. There is no doubt, Lamy do make great nibs, and I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of any quality control issues with them — nor am I likely to.
The 14K gold EF nib on this Lamy Pur is exceptional. As smooth across the page as you’ll find, with just a little spring (I wouldn’t say flex) to add some character to the words flowing from the nib. Compared with a Lamy steel nib, I find the 14k a little wetter, softer and therefore broader than a comparable width steel nib, or even my steel F Lamy nib for that matter. The 14k nib was certainly a joy to write with, and more than once when choosing which pen to pick up it has been the nib which has drawn me to the Pur.
The only problem is — remember that black, knurled plastic grip section? Yes, I think you might recall it from the paragraph above — I also have a small issue with it when writing. As beautiful as the nib is, I’m unable to quite do it justice as I find the grip section provides me with very little control over the pen itself.
As my fingers want to slide down the section towards the nib, it is an ongoing conscious effort to keep the pen in the position I want it while writing. As you can imagine, that detracts somewhat from the writing experience, which is unfortunate, for a nib of this quality and performance deserves to be used for extended writing sessions. For my personal preference, either the knurls need more knurling to provide better grip, or the slight taper would need removing.
So as far as specific use cases are concerned for this pen, I am therefore looking at shorter bursts of writing such as list making or perhaps a few notes here and there whilst listening to a podcast or the like.
I probably should be quite clear about one thing — I am still yet to encounter a fountain pen I put down and say: “Well I won’t be using that again”. The reason my explanations of certain issues can be a little lengthy is simply so you, the reader, have an understanding of why a certain pen is the way it is — for me at least. Not to overemphasise there is something inherently wrong with it — nor to suggest you would necessarily find it the same. With any pen, I simply ask myself: Is there anything that could be changed to make this pen better for me?
Sleek. Minimalist. Futuristic. Space-age. Austere. These are the kinds of words which spring to mind when I think about how I would describe the overall aesthetic of the Lamy Pur. It is certainly not your typical looking fountain pen, and although the words I’ve described above might suggest it lacks character, that would be very far from the truth. It is both striking yet understated at the same time, if that makes any sense at all.
In my opinion this is quite an attractive pen — true, it loses a little of this lustre when uncapped and the black plastic grip section is exposed. This same section also sees it lose a little more of its merit when in use, through a lack of grip control requiring a little more effort while writing.
Do I enjoy using it? Absolutely — it’s a great fountain pen with an exceptional nib (remembering in this case a 14k gold Lamy nib). It is simply a matter of that little bit of extra effort I’m required to use while I write.
The truly superb instruments? They become part of my hand as I write. No conscious thought required. It is indeed a very fine line, but one which remains apparent with the Lamy Pur.