When I entered my local bookstore today, I did not have any planned purchase in my mind. To me, a bookstore is a place you browse, a place to observe and discover; not like a fast food chain where you decide what to buy before you even enter the queue. So yeah, it’s this kind of thinking that made me walk out that bookstore with a brand new fountain pen in hand. It’s unhealthy for the wallet, I know, I know…
The Lamy Logo sits above the much more popular Lamy Safari, and was priced accordingly. I got it for Rp.756.000 (that’s Indonesian Rupiah for those of you that may not be familiar) which is about $55 with the current exchange rate. That, as I understand it, is quite some more than it retails elsewhere. Many higher-tier, ‘non-essential’ items (like fountain pens, sadly) are priced higher here in Indonesia, so it’s not a good country for a pen enthusiast to live in, I suppose. For comparison purposes, the cheapest Safari is priced at around $32 here, and the Dialog3 at almost $500(!). I think this might have something to do with the general lack of appreciation for such items; companies may feel the need to rise the price a bit to compensate for the low demand (and pray that such a move would not lower demand even further).
Okay, on to the review.
Unboxing and first impression
My Lamy Logo comes in a matte black angular box. It has a sleek, no-nonsense air about it, as is typical of Lamy. The surface is finished with some kind of rubberized coating, it feels cool and nice to the touch.
One good thing about such a finish is that this box cannot pick up fingerprints, unlike other shiny or clear plastic boxes that smudges after a while. It is also quite scratch-resistant. Grease marks still shows though.
Open it up and there’s the pen, prettily laying in wait for its new owner. I got the less common ‘Nut Brown’ finish, and I think it looks fantastic. This shade of brown is professional enough to be taken to any serious occassions yet sophisticated enough not to feel bland. There’s also this dark grey finish which is not bad by any means, but I personally prefer the brown. It invokes, if ever so slightly, a warm, fuzzy feel that more industrial colors (think grey and black) just can’t reproduce.
The Logo comes with one standard Lamy blue cartridge and the usual booklet thing. It doesn’t come with the converter though, which must be purchased separately.
Appearance and design
Let’s begin from the end. The tail end of the pen is chrome-finished plastic. At first glance it looks like real metal but upon further inspection (and a few hours scouring pen sites) I believe that that’s not the case. The ridges of the chrome are not flawlessly cut; there are imperfections to it. I can also see a very, very slight mark where the chrome platings, if it were, are supposedly joined. I must apologize for not showing any pictures as proof because my phone camera just cannot capture it, but just by this statement you might hopefully get a picture (no pun intended, really) of how small these flaws are. For me, it doesn’t retract from the overall aesthetics at all.
On the cap you can see the Lamy Logo’s Lamy logo of ‘LAMY’… erm, I think I might’ve botched that sentence. Let’s try again. Near the end of the cap we can see the LAMY branding. Now, much (or at least something) has been said of the naming Lamy chooses for this pen. The word ‘Logo’ implies that this pen is representative of the Lamy brand, or something like it. It may be; the Logo is the least expensive that exhibits in full glory Lamy’s Bauhaus design philosophy (see here for an excellent discussion on Lamy design). No fancy colors, no taperings of any kind, no triangular grip section, just a straight, sober cylindrical design through and through. This is the entry level to the world of ‘proper’ Lamy experience. Or it may be that some guy in the Lamy branding department just got lazy and went to randomly flip a dictionary. Whatever is the case, it makes for quite an interesting name.
Below is an uncluttered, unadulterated view of the pen.
It looks stylish. It feels stylish; at least that’s the impression I got when I first saw and held this pen. Scrutinized bit by bit, there’s nothing particularly eye-catching. But perhaps that’s the point; an understated and unassuming design, confident without being audacious.
The clip is fastened securely to the cap, and is spring loaded. This makes for an easy real life usage.
One thing about the cap. To my surprise, the top chrome part of the cap wiggles slightly; it’s like the connection between it and the body of the cap is not so solid. Not such that it causes any unconvenience, but enough to make it loses its ‘impeccably built’ air. Might have something to do with the spring loaded mechanism of the clip, or it could be that I happened to chance upon this particular quirky unit (‘flawed’ seems like too condemning a word to describe this).
Feel, weight and dimensions
The Logo is not a long pen per se, but it is a slim pen. It’s this slimness that contributes to the elongated feel of the pen, especially when posted.
The pen weighs 21 grams with the cap, 15 grams without the cap. Lengthwise, it’s 13.5cm with the cap on, 12cm wihout the cap, and 16cm properly posted. So how does this relates to everyday use? For starters, it is light but does not feel cheap. The slender body of the pen compensates for this lack of heft. Yes, it’s small, but it feels sturdy enough not to be mistaken as fragile. No complaints here.
Performance & handling
The nib. It’s an EF black nib and it’s not the one that comes with the pen. Mine actually came with a regular steel F nib (the usual white one) and it writes smoothly enough. I had it changed to an EF black because of two reasons: One, I intend to use this pen as a fine writer of sorts; to edit texts and write small numbers/equations. An extra fine serves this purpose admirably. Two, I just think it looks cool.
The default F nib is good, a bit on the wet side, and runs a little broad. The EF nib (the one you see here) lays down a significantly thinner lines than the F nib. It writes well, if a little scratchy at times. Nothing jaw-dropping. And speaking of the nib…
I love the interchangability of the nib. It makes for a good reason to stockpile Lamy nibs of various grade and color. On the other hand, though, this very interchangability kills the fun and anticipation of trying a new Lamy pen (save for perhaps the 2000 and those with gold nibs). If you have ever used a Safari, you have used the Logo. If you have ever used the Al Star, you have used the Logo. It’s not a bad thing, but worth keeping in mind.
The Logo is a pen that can be used either posted or unposted without much discernable effect on the overall balance. Posted, it’s not top heavy and gives the user a longer pen to work with. It’s light and quite comfortable for a longer writing session. Unposted, it’s even lighter and allows for faster scratches and nimbler movements, useful for scenarios like back-of-the-envelope calculations. It’s perfectly usable either way but not particularly outstanding. The grip section is ribbed and is in no way slippery. I find it cool to the touch (as it the whole pen) and comfortable to hold.
Filling system and maintenance
The Lamy Logo takes in a Z26 converter, and is not compatible with the Z24. So bear that in mind when taking converters from Safari, Vista, Al-Star, or Joy; they may or may not fit the Logo. About the converters: since the Z26 fits any Lamy that takes converters, I don’t see why Lamy didn’t just make the Z26 the one and only converter and call it a day. An obscure, but perhaps neccessary, choice by the company, it would seem.
In practice, the filling system is nothing to write home about. Unscrew the body, dip the pen, and twist the converter. It’s simple, it’s reliable, and while some may say it’s a bit dull (compared to say, Sheaffer Intrigue), it gets the job done admirably. I have owned these converters for a while (both the Z24 and Z26) and they have never leaked, broke, nor otherwise failed me in any regards.
One thing to note though, that the Logo (at least mine) did not come with the converter. I had to buy it separately, and account that as part of the pen’s cost. This lessens the overall value somewhat.
Overall value and final thoughts
I like my Lamy Logo. For an ‘accidental’ purchase (if there’s ever such a thing), I am happily satisfied. That being said, I did have a specific role assigned to this pen (that is, as more of a quick-jotter kind of pen) and have viewed the pen from this perspective. I do not see it becoming my daily writer, and will not recommend this as such except to those who really favour slim pens. But the fact that I won’t be using it everyday does not mean that this pen is inherently flawed, it’s just a matter of preference.
Is this pen worth the asking price? Let’s see. This is not a flagship model that exudes a ‘Look, I own one’ vibe (not unsimilar to a piece of jewelry). Those flagships might be worth it even if it’s never used to write with. The Lamy Logo, on the other hand, is not something that you would brag for owning, and therefore has to make its case on its merits as a writing utensil, and as a writing utensil alone. At about $55, I feel it’s quite pushing it.
Some reasons why you might not want the pen:
- If you are looking for a comfortable long writing session, this is not it, except if you really prefer slim pens. A pen with more girth is usually better in this regard.
- If you are looking for a portable pen, this is not it. The Logo may be small, but it’s still a full sized pen. Consider pocket pens or those with a capless system.
- If you are looking for an excellent nib, this is not (or may not be) it. Treat a Lamy pen and a Lamy nib as two distinct products, I’d say.
- If you are looking for a pen to convert to an eyedropper, this is not it. There are metal parts inside, and considering its thin profile, kind of defeats the purpose in the first place.
That being said, however, below are some arguments why one should consider this pen:
- The spring-loaded clip, which I think is a great selling point. Not every pen, especially those around this price range, has it.
- The overall design. It’s no-nonsense, it’s understated, it’s a pen a professional would not be ashamed to carry.
- The finish. I find the brown finish marvelous. I just like it.
- The fact that this is a medium-level-ish pen. This will not burn a hole in your wallet but is nice enough to outclass entry-level pens.
- The interchangable nib, though this point is for Lamy pens in general and not specifically for the Logo.
But as I said earlier, I like this pen. This is one pen I will enjoy owning in my collection, and that’s all I have to say about this pen.
So there you have it. The Lamy Logo fountain pen review, done to the best of my current knowledge and ability. I hope that this is useful.