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Fountain Pen Review: Lamy Aion


Introduction

A prominent force in the fountain pen market, Lamy have produced some of the most iconic pens of all time. For example, the Lamy 2000 is now so revered that it now features in art museums, the Lamy Safari is widely recognised as one of the go-to pens for those new to fountain pens and the Lamy Studio is one of the most popular mid-tier pens on the market right now. Now they're aiming to do the same with the Lamy Aion. 

Lately Lamy have played it safe by only releasing different variants and special editions of already established pens such as the Black XL Safari. Pens such as the Safari and 2000 have been around for decades, therefore it comes as a surprise that Lamy have released a completely new fountain pen. Lamy's new release: the Lamy Aion aims to draw inspiration from the classy 2000 whilst still trying to make the pen affordable to the general public. 

Specs

 

  • Body Material: Aluminium
  • Weight: 33 grams
  • Nib size: Medium
  • Length capped: 14.3cm
  • Length uncapped: 13.7cm
  • Nib Material: Steel
  • Trim: Aluminium
  • Ink Refill: Lamy cartridge & converter

Aesthetics

Aesthetically, the Lamy Aion draws a lot of inspiration from the iconic Lamy 2000; the Aion sports a similar minimalistic, clean and sleek theme as the 2000. Furthermore, like the 2000, the Aion only comes in two sleek designs: silver and black. This classy, minimalistic theme helps the Aion distinguish itself from the Lamy's cheaper bold fountain pens such as the Safari and position itself next to the premium Lamy 2000.

At a time where many fountain pens are ditching the cigar shape for a sleek, tapered shape; the Aion keeps the cigar shape and makes it work well with the overall modest design of the pen. The Aion is on the chunkier side of most fountain pens resulting in abit of a blocky aesthetic. Additionally, the Aion's black barrel features various different textures: the body has a brushed finish, the grip has a buttery-smooth finish and the cap has a jagged feel to it.

The near all black design of the Lamy Aion is complimented by a gleaming clip and nib. Similar to the overall theme, the clip possesses a simplistic, humble design; the rectangular clip features rounded corners and a small "LAMY" engraving on the side. Additionally, Lamy have introduced a new nib design with a more curved, unobtrusive design. Not only have they introduced a curved nib but they have also implemented rounded finials on the barrel and a rounded finish on the cap. The matte finish of the barrel and cap, alongside the rounded finish add to the unassuming aesthetic of the pen. 

One area where Lamy always let themselves down is packaging premium pens in unbelievably tacky boxes. Fortunately, this is not the case with the Lamy Aion; the Lamy Aion is presented in a classy, textured box which does give the impression that you are opening something of real value. The small emphasis on the box makes the unboxing experience ten times more satisfying. 

In conclusion, the clean lines, matte finish and unobtrusive nature give this pen a sleek, premium-looking aesthetic. Lamy have done exceptionally well to disassociate the Lamy Aion from their cheaper, tacky-looking pens such as the Lamy Safari.   

Construction Quality

The Aion is definitely one of the larger fountain pens on the market. Not only is it very chunky, it measures in at an astonishing 14.3 cm. The Lamy Aion is made out of aluminium, it's metal made nature combined with it's largeness makes for a extremely-sturdy fountain pen. Unlike the Lamy Safari, not one area of the pen feels flimsy or fragile; instead Lamy have paid attention to every aspect to make it as functional and as robust as possible.

Lamy's clip is well attached to the body and stays clipped to all materials, rarely does it feel like its going to fall. Additionally, taking the cap off is smooth and it's well fitted meaning you don't have to worry about the ink drying out through the cap. The Lamy Aion has no threads, thus you're not going to hurt your fingers when holding it. Similarly, the grip section features a good balance of being grippy and being smooth. 

Another area which Lamy have improved upon is the introduction of a scratch-resistant barrel; annoyingly, the other Lamy's at this price range all pick up scratches relatively easy therefore this is a very welcome improvement. Not only does it not pick up scratches easily but when it does, the scratches are far from prominent due to the texture of the barrel and cap. Similarly due to the texture of the barrel and cap, fingerprints are non-existent thus you don't have to worry about wiping it every couple of uses.  

Despite taking a lot of inspiration from the Lamy 2000, the Aion has a few differences in its construction. Firstly, the cigar shape is squared rather than tapered and round like the the 2000. Similarly, the rectangular clip is larger than 2000 and lastly, the Aion features no metal tabs unlike the awkward tabs on the 2000. Overall, this is an extremely well constructed fountain pen; it feels robust and sturdy whilst being smooth and sleek. 

Ergonomics

Measuring at 14.3cm and weighing 33 grams, this is undoubtedly a large pen. Having said that, the pen does not feel extremely heavy. You can feel its presence but due to it being extremely well balanced, you can write for longer periods of time without it feeling uncomfortable or tiring. Furthermore, even when the cap is posted (which makes it a ridiculously long pen), the pen still feels balanced and comfortable to write with.

Additionally, the Lamy Aion has a very different grip texture compared to some of their other releases such as the Safari and Studio. Unlike the standard buttery smooth grips they usually utilise, the Aion has a more grippy texture. Those who found the Lamy grip to be too slippery will be very pleased with this addition.

As previously mentioned, the pen features no metal tabs, meaning those who were bothered about the metal tabs on the Lamy 2000 getting in the way of their grip can rest assured.The only complaint one can have with the Lamy Aion is the unusually wide grip section. It doesn't look out of place but for those with smaller hands, it'd be wise to try to get a feel for the pen before purchasing.

Writing Experience

Lamy are known for their standard nib being used on most of their fountain pens, surprisingly they've decided to replace their uniform nib on the Aion for a more curved, tiny steel nib. Strangely, despite it being such a small nib, it doesn't look out of place at all on the Aion. The new nib is on the thicker side, producing broader lines compared to the Lamy Studio. Its fair to say, the new nib is a great improvement on their old uniform nib; it's buttery smooth, providing very little feedback and you should expect to see no hard starting/skipping from this pen. 

On the positive side, the ink flow on the Aion is as good as it gets. The Lamy Aion walks the fine line between being too wet and too dry; it's wet enough to produce clean, smooth lines whilst drying quickly enough to not worry about smudging or smearing your work.

Unfortunately for those who want their fountain pens to look a little bit more premium and want an extra bounce to their writing experience, the Aion does not offer a variant with a gold nib. Furthermore, you're not able to use the interchangable nibs that come with the Lamy Safari's due to the Aion's new nib being a slightly different shape. 

Maintenance

The Lamy Aion supports both Lamy's proprietary ink cartridges and the use of a converter. Despite the higher-end price tag, annoyingly the Lamy Aion does not come with a converter; you're forced to either find it at a high-street stationer or buy it from an online retailer such as their own website or Amazon. Not only is it inconvenient to go and find your own converter but Lamy's converter's are quite pricey meaning you're forced to spend more than you envisioned.

Another drawback to the Lamy Aion is you're forced to use Lamy's ink cartridges due to all of Lamy's products operating within their own ecosystem. This can make finding the specific Lamy ink cartridge needed a long complex as not all high-street stationers will sell them; its likely that you'll need to buy them online. Furthermore, Lamy's ink cartridges are more expensive than most regular ink cartridges; the expense of Lamy's ink cartridges alongside having to invest in a separate converter make maintaining the Lamy Aion quite expensive. 

The filling system gets the job done but can be a messy process, especially if you're using the converter due to it's fiddly nature. Despite being messy, the process to refill with the Lamy converter is fairly simple, all you need is a piston converter which is usually supplied, then u can dip your nib into a bottle of ink and twist the pen to suck the ink up to the reservoir. 

Value For Money & Conclusion

The Lamy Aion is priced between £40 and £60 depending on where you look, for the modest price-tag you're getting a fountain pen that is a noticeable upgrade from their Safari and Studio range. If the addition of a more classy design, a premium feel, robust construction quality and a slightly better writing experience appeal to you, then you should consider choosing the Lamy Aion over the Lamy Studio or Safari.

Whilst these are noticeable improvements upon their more budget releases, the Lamy Aion does fall short in a few areas; alot of people are going to find the grip to be quite uncomfortable due to it's enormous width, those who prefer lightweight pens will instantly feel the hefty nature of the Aion and the maintenance of the pen can be quite costly. 

Overall, this fountain pen does exceed expectations for it's price tag and being a step up from previous, similar priced Lamy fountain pens. This pen does great to bridge the gap between Lamy's cheaper options such as the Safari and their more premium options such as the iconic Lamy 2000. 

 

 

 

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