I was positive that the Lamy Studio would be a good match for my tastes and style. My Safari had a lot of great qualities: hot-swap steel nibs, rugged construction, simple design, and an awesome clip. I figured that if Lamy were to take these sensibilities into a heavier offering with a more streamlined aesthetic, it was likely to be my new best friend.
Lamy offers the Studio in multiple color schemes, with a few different finishes. The "Imperial" blue and stainless steel versions were tempting, but the black version ultimately drew me in. At the time, I had a very specific endgame in mind: "Stealth Studio." I figured I could order a spare black rubber section from Lamy, toss a black nib on, and have one handsome pen at my disposal.
When I first got the Studio I was pleased. The powdery lacquer coating means the body of the pen retains good traction in-hand. The Studio has a decent heft at 30g, with that weight being distributed through the pen to convey a very solid and balanced feeling. The clip is sturdy with a unique look. Uncapping the pen yields an excellent visual contrast which FPGeeks captured best throughout their entire review. Sure, that shiny chrome section looks great against that black matte finish. But we'll come back to this.
The fit & finish seemed pretty excellent, until I actually started using the pen. The Studio's snap-on cap attaches via the tiny trim rings on the grip and butt of the pen. This is actually one of my biggest gripes. Whether closed or posted, the cap is actually free to spin around. Like a tiny, evil merry-go-round, that cap just whizzes about with only the slightest force or motion. Functionally, it doesn't really have any effect on the pen. But in use, this annoys the ever-loving stuffing out of me.
I've got another rant coming, but hold on - I've got to pretend like I'm giving this pen a fair shake.
The Studio has a cartridge/converter filling system. I have no beef with either of those offerings from Lamy.
If you're a fountain pen user, you've probably tried a Lamy Safari. The Studio uses the same interchangeable steel nibs, though the "fancy" Palladium/Platinum/Royal Red variants come with gold nibs instead. The Fine nib that came with my Studio was completely average and totally functional. It wrote smoothly with a reasonable ink flow and, of course, the stodgy rigidity of a 17th century nobleman watching anything by Seth MacFarlane.
In hand, the Studio fits me reasonably well when open. Posted, it feels more off-balance than I expected. Even though it's nearly identical to the Monteverde Invincia Stylus, the Studio posting experience is simply not an option for me.
I like the diameter of the section, though I really wish it didn't taper towards the nib. I'm not sure why no one on the design team questioned the idea of a taper on chrome. Really, guys? You couldn't give us a matte or brushed texture? Nope, slick-as-a-porpoise chrome! (I reckon it's probably stainless steel, but I'm calling it chrome) I'm sure it would have upset their aesthetic intentions, but if the section had simply flared back out before the nib then things would have gone a lot differently between the Studio and me. And no, the tiny trim ring at the end does not count. Not at all.
The slippery section bothered me so much that I eventually took sandpaper to it. I tried a light sanding to dull it, but the stainless steel (I'm assuming) only laughed it off, retaining the majority of its slipperocity. Eventually, I ended up with a "leopard grind" that provided my desired amount of traction.
If you dare, behold what my monstrous methods have unleashed
Horrific, right? I've never before performed such atrocities to a pen, and don't plan to again. I do, however, feel that I would use my Studio even less if I hadn't done this.
A year ago when I was still eyeing this pen, it looked like a great candidate for EDC. I had expected the weight, durability, and clean design to attract me on a daily basis. The Lamy Studio still offers all those things, but I simply do not enjoy using this pen. I still ink it up on occasion for sketching, and I can tolerate it, but writing with it is always a miserably boring experience. It's missing something - I feel like Lamy's marriage of style and function just didn't take with the Studio.
Maybe the Stainless Steel version with the plastic grip would suit me better? Maybe the gold nib would make its writing more enjoyable? But as is, this is not the pen for me. If your tastes match mine, I do not recommend the Lamy Studio.
In the end, with all the other amazing pens out there, why waste time on something that doesn't inspire you?
Oddly enough, my time spent being angry at the Studio has only made me More interested in the Lamy CP1. I've added it to my EA list. With black steel EF nib, it might actually live up to the dreams I once had for the Studio. (And it's cheaper!)