Monday, April 30, 2018

LAMY LX FOUNTAIN PEN REVIEW

Lamy Lx fountain pen review
The Safari and Al-star are undoubtedly the two first pens that come to mind when thinking about German brand Lamy. They are easily the most popular models, so it makes sense that the well-known Bauhaus brand tries to expand on this success. And so the Lx -or Live Deluxe- was born!

But... the Safari and Al-star are of course affordable pens. Their success is based mostly on the fact that they are excellent writers at an accessible price, nothing about them screams 'luxury'. With the Lx they wanted to incorporate a more luxurious look and feel in the same tried and trusted design of the Al-star, so how does that work? 
Lamy Lx fountain pen review
Well, more than one year after the original release (yes, it's already THAT long ago!), the Lx struggles to catch on in the market. It's now part of the standard product lineup (not a special edition as was first anticipated), but I've heard many retailers complain about the dissapointing sales once the original excitement for the 'Iphone colors' diminished... 

And that has everything to do with the rather high price of the Lx. So with that in mind, and with the 'hype' (if you can even call it that) way behind us, let's look at the pen in its own respect: how do I like it now? My thanks to Milligram for sending over the Palladium version which, together with my Ruthenium and my parents' Gold and Rose Gold, made it possible to show you all four versions side by side!
Lamy Lx fountain pen review
The Lx is an interesting pen really. From afar it's impossible to tell it apart from the Al-star. It's VERY similar, but on the same time it's as if they took the Al-star and put it on steroids. It's a more 'premium' version of an entry-level pen... which is a bit strange really. You see, no matter how you look at it, it's hard to see it as the Lx, and not 'just another Al-star'. But before we draw any conclusions, let's look at what the Lx has to offer:

The more refined finish and detailing on the Lx sets it apart as a more elegant version of the Al-Star, but it follows the exact same design for the most part. The straight cylindrical shape of the rather wide cap continues in the barrel, which has two flat sides. Not much special, nothing ornate... in true Lamy style. But the devil is in the details! The body finishes are more refined and the colors have a nice pearlescent finish to them. 
Lamy Lx fountain pen review
The 'biggest' changes are definitely the metal trims on top and bottom finial. It's funny how such a seemingly small detail can do so much in terms of appearance. For me this actually does succeed in setting the Lx apart quite a bit, as I'm not at all a fan of those black plastic inserts in the Al-star. The same finish of the finials is also found on the metal wire clip, which are also plated to match the rest of the pen.

The matching color of the anodized barrel and plated trims helps give the pen a more uniform, less cluttered look. The only thing I wish they would've also changed is the black plastic ring behind the section. It would've been really nice to see this made from the same plated metal as the rest of the trims. 
Lamy Lx fountain pen review
Branding is clean and unobtrusive, despite taking up quite some real estate on the barrel
There are two other details that set the Lx apart from the rest. One of which is the logo on the flat side of the barrel, which is now raised and has a glossy finish to make it stand out, but not too much. A small, but noticeable improvement over the cheap-looking stamped logo on the Al-star.
Lamy Lx fountain pen review
The second change is the nib, which received a small facelift. The black nib received a different coating compared to the regular black nibs. It's a deeper black color and it's glossier. The nib face also has a laser-etched design similar to the black-plated 14k gold Lamy nibs on the Lamy Imporium.
Lamy Lx fountain pen review
Oh, and I'd almost forget about the packaging. A big part of the upgrade (and probably also the price) comes from the matching anodized aluminium presentation case that each Lx comes in. It makes for a nice gift, and can be used as desk storage for your pen. Personally though, I'm not that big on the packaging. Apart from the initial moment of receiving the pen, it doesn't offer much added value for me. It's big and bulky to use as a carrying case, and the anodized finish is a paradise for scratches and bumps if you decide to throw it into your purse or bag.
Lamy Lx fountain pen review
Lamy Lx fountain pen review
L to R: Pelikan M805, Lamy aion, Lamy Studio, Lamy Lx, Lamy Safari, Lamy 2000
The Lx -just like the Al-star and Safari- is a relatively sizeable pen. it measures in at 13.9 cm (5.5") closed, and remains a comfortable 13 cm (5.1") uncapped. The aluminium and plastic construction makes for a very lightweight pen that -in combination with the triangular shaped section- makes for a rather comfortable writing experience. Shaped sections like this are the fundation for one of those forever ongoing arguments between good and bad. It's very much a personal preference, you'll find out rather fast if you love or hate it. For me, it's comfortable up until a certain point. I can write with it for quite a while, but eventually I'll start feeling the need to adjust my grip.

Then for the writing end: these new nibs are about 90% the same as any other steel Lamy nib. Nothing you haven't seen or used before... I was fairly convinced at first that they had a somewhat 'grittier' feel on the paper with more feedback. But when I did a side-by-side comparison with regular steel Lamy nibs, I couldn't notice any difference. Lamy doesn't overpolish their nibs, so they always have some feedback to them. In return, this ensures that the nibs provide a consistent flow of ink and a crisp line without skips. 
Lamy Lx fountain pen review
Overall, the Lx is a bit of a tough call. The price increase is rather steep, and in essence it's still the same pen as the Al-star. I think they did an excellent job on the small details such as the finials, the colors and even the presentation. So much so that it feels like a more 'complete' Al-star... It's what the Al-star maybe should be? In that regard, it's not difficult to acknowledge that Lamy did something very right when designing the Lx. But it's without a doubt a rather large premium to pay. 

If I nitpick about the small details (and I do!), the Lx will always have my preference over any Al-star. So ultimately, if you should pay the premium depends on how much you personally care about the little details. Prices vary quite strongly depending on where you live: 55 EUR seems the going rate in Europe, while the MSRP is around 70 USD in the US. If you're in Australia, Milligram has them for 99 AUD.

GIVEAWAY CLOSED: NOW FOR THE BEST PART: YOU CAN WIN A BRAND NEW LAMY LX FOUNTAIN PEN FOR YOURSELF, COURTESY OF MILLIGRAM! ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ENTER IN THE RAFFLECOPTER WIDGET BELOW. GOOD LUCK!
RULES: Giveaway ends 5/8/2018. Winner will be chosen via random.org, and announced in a separate post. The winner will be contacted directly via email, if he/she fails to reply within one week, a new winner will be picked. Only entries with valid email address are eligible to win. Invalid entries are denied.

This product was sent to me by Milligram so I could write this review. I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared in this review are completely my own! This post does not contain affilate links.
Lamy Lx fountain pen review

53 comments:

  1. Great looking pen—I’m partial to rose gold myself, but I think I could also appreciate the regular gold.

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  2. What a thorough review, thank you!!!!

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  3. Got some Lamy Safari, but these look good !

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  4. I love my Safari and would love to have the LX! I already 3 different nibs that would fit it out of the box.

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  5. Thanks for the give away! I have a Lamy Al-Star and it would be fun to grow a collection.

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  6. I love my gold and palladium models. I need the other two to complete my set!

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  7. Really digging colorverse inks right now.

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  8. I’ve always been on the fence about these. Is it that much of a better experience than the Al-Star?

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  9. I've been feeling guilty that I don't use all of my pens enough, and today I used up the ink in 3 of them...I guess I'm doing all right. :D

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  10. Thanks for the review!

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  11. I have Lamy Logo and Safari, and like Lamy Lx, I love the scratch free design

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  12. I once made a really nice wooden pen in woodworking in high school. It still works.

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  13. Phenomenal review. I've been deciding whether to get one or not. Still thinking, but you have pushed me a bit further in the "yes" direction.

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  14. I have a Safari and a Vista. I love the steroids on these! What a thorough review of the Lx. Thanks.

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  15. I have the ruthenium one and it is certainly more luxurious than Al star. Great competition

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  16. Ever since I lost my Safari Lilac :-( I’ve been hunting for a suitable Lamy replacement.

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  17. I have the Rose Gold and love it

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  18. The LX's definitely look great

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  19. My favorite fountain pens are "Frankenpens" hybridized from 1970s Parker Big Red Ballpoint pens that I've replaced the assembly with a fountain pen assembly, usually from an inexpensive chinese FP or a Sheaffer school pen. They're beautiful "monsters"!

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  20. Great review and thanks for the opportunity. Lamy was my first fountain pen and I always seem to g9 back to them.

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  21. I have a LX pen and find the black nib writes better than the regular Lamy black nibs.

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  22. The LX is one of my faves. I can’t decide I like all 4, not mad about it. ✒️❤️

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  23. I'm new to the world of fountain pens and have never owned or used a Lamy fountain pen but am excited to try an LX after reading this review! I'm drooling over the metallic/pearlescent finish on these pens! (a y z i t d AT gmail dot com)

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  24. Oooooh de rose gold ❤ deze is nog mooier dan de vibrant pink van laatst..... in mijn favoriete nib ef.
    Ik vind de inkt ook mooi. Is hij vergelijkbaar met de lexington grey van noodlers? Classy.
    Fijne review dit. Komt op mijn wishlist!

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  25. I like them all but the gold one!

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  26. These are wonderful pens; I've got a Ruthenium inked up and it writes smoothly.

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  27. I find my Lamy Safari to be the most consistent everyday writer in my collection. The LX is a dressier version for sure, but I'm also sure it will be just as consistent. I really like the new black nib.

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  28. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  29. Great review! I have to admit, I'm a sucker for the iPhone colours ...

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  30. Nice pens and cool review! The gold is the best, but I'm not shure I would buy it for that price point.

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  31. It,s a beautiful pen... love the gold. Great review....

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  32. Appreciate your careful balanced review of the Lx - I agree, aesthetically it's a noticeable improvement on the AL-Star, but it's a bit of a judgment call whether it's worth the premium price tag!

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  33. I have one Lamy Lx Ruthenium and the pen can attract the look of the people!! Thanks for the review I enjoyed it a lot!

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  34. I really do like the lux look of the Lx but with that price tag, the utilitarian and clumsy part of me thinks though it's definitely a pen I'd use, it's not a thing I'd buy for myself but am more likely to be willing to slurge on it as a gift to someone else (it looks so pretty!).

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  35. My first and only fountain pen is a Lamy LX in rose gold! I love it but I’ve already run out of its first ink cartridge. I will be heading to Milligrams soon for some much needed advice on how to refill! I would love another one to start my collection!

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  36. Isaiah McdonaldMay 7, 2018 at 4:48 AM

    This is the first I've heard if this blog and I'm pretty excited! I'm new to the fountain pen community so it's cool to find new blogs: ). I have a Lamy Safari petrol blue that I love and will be getting a noodlers nib creamer here soon. My grail pen right now is either a pilot vanishing point or a Lamy studio 3. I just really like those retractable I guess haha.

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  37. Thanks for the giveaway! I am crossing my fingers!

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  38. I have to agree with your review in its entirety! I love the Al-Stars already (never used a Safari, but sort of mentally categorize them as "cheaper plastic Al-Stars") but can't help thinking of the Lx range just as Al-Stars with a nicer paint job. There's not much to set them apart from the Al-Stars but the nicer hardware. Of course, the Al-Stars are a great pen as is, so perhaps they decided not to fix what wasn't broken?

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  39. ����Such a lovely fountain pen ����

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  40. I like it when a pen flows along the paper and captures the essence of my intuitive thoughts.

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  41. Love Lamy pens, this would be great to have

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  42. I like the dark grey version. Have the charcoal Safari and it’s been great!

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  43. Thanks for the wonderful review. It is in my wishlist to own the Lx collection or at least the Rose Gold.

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  44. I’ve always written with fountain pens but it’s only been a couple years that I’m thinking about them as a hobby and as a collectible item and I’ve a Safari and an Al-Star that I really love. I’d be more than glad to try out a new LAMY ! Thanks for this great review ! Love from France, Marjorie
    [margessw(at)icloud(dot)com]

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  45. My first ever fountain pen was a Lamy safari (in blue), best pen I ever bought! I'm left handed so I find writing with regular pens tiring (english exams with all the essay writing killed my hand) and boring. You can write in any colour you choose and it looks pretty. I have had it since 2014 and it is still going strong, it is very reliable and is like an old friend. Since then I have aquired another Lamy Safari in limited edition dark lilac which I adore as well as the Logo Fountain Pen in Pearl which is also magic to write with and looks amazing. My Lamy mechanical pencil is great too and I use it most days. I love my Lamy stationary Thankyou very much for the giveaway, I hope it goes to someone deserving and I hope it brightens up their day. Also thankyou for your review. I love how detailed you were with it. :)

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  46. Great review as always! The LX look amazing. Love Lamy pens.

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