It’s been a while since my last review, due to a stupid amount of coursework and exam preparation (and then Christmas hit). However – while I am sad about my delay in posting, I am more apologetic about delaying this particular post…
I’m not Lamy’s biggest fan. Yeah, the 2000 is cool, I’ll give them that. They make good pens, but they’re not for me: their business decisions as of late irk me too. The Safari/Al Star are good starter pens, sure, but the only reason I’m interested in it is the collectability of colours (and if I ever succumb then.. Please help me). The Dialog 3 is ugly and their inks are dry. But damn, Lamy really hit it out of the park with the Aion.
Have you ever heard of Betteridge’s law of headlines? In essence it states that “any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no“. Well this blog post is revolutionary, because I am going to disprove this.
“Is the Aion a budget Lamy 2000?”
The Aion is very sleek, like the 2000. It looks very stylish, and if it were a man it would be suited and booted with a fine cut suit and great aftershave. The Aion comes in two flavours: silver and black. I think that Lamy could have similar fun with the Aion as they do the Safari/Al Star with various colour ways. I’d start collecting, anyway. Though I feel Lamy feels itself too corporate to do such a thing; particularly with this pen (just consider the Black Amber 2000 that was met with grave disappointment). In a similar fashion to the 2000, the Aion is quite seamless. Many people often praise the 2000 with just how “uniform” it is with the piston knob and section. The Aion isn’t quite as flawless as the 2000, it must be said (cough budget version). But it has a similar aesthetic going for it and is gorgeous. The part where the section unscrews is fairly noticeable.
Unlike the 2000 the Aion nib isn’t semi-hooded – nor is it gold, but it is well performing. It provides with a smooth writing experience and a very nice flow. As far as I am aware, Lamy make their nibs in house and on their finer grades they have had quality control issues. But this medium nib performed well. Because of the price, I wouldn’t bother with buying this with the intention of “well, if it’s not how I want it to write then I will get it worked on as it’s worth the investment”. I’d just work on it myself. Unlike if I had bought a 2000, in which case I would seek to invest…… Convinced that the Aion is the budget 2000?
As is common with cheaper pens (Chinese and TWSBI excluded), this is a cartridge converter pen. Lamy use proprietary c/c mechanisms, which annoys me. For two reasons – the first is that this pen doesn’t come with a converter, so you have to get a Lamy specific one if you don’t already have one out of use. The second is that it means you are stuck with Lamy inks if you choose to use a cartridge. Yeah Dark Lilac cartridges are floating around here and there, but.. Meh.
In one word, I would describe this pen as sleek. It feels smooth, it’s weighted very nicely and fits perfectly in the hand as it is the right size (not too small, not too big). Just all around positive.
Here’s a size comparison:
This pen fits the sub £50 niche, and I think that this is a bracket that is seriously lacking. You have the TWSBI Eco and Faber Castell Loom/Basic pens and that’s about it unless you’re looking at £1-£20 (oh, the TWSBI Go also comes to mind).
It comes in at £47, so while it is ‘sub 50’, it’s at the higher end of this (about £20 extra than the TWSBI Eco, for example. So for roughly the same price you’d be able to get an Eco and a Go for one of these). Personally I think it’s correctly priced. Anything more would be a bit silly as I would just consider spending more to upgrade to a gold nib such as the Platinum 3776 or Lamy 2000. Anything less would be a steal (and I wouldn’t be complaining).
Would I buy it?
I’ve since sent this pen on to the next reviewer, and ever since cleaning it out I’ve been thinking of this as my next pen. I’ve not been buying much recently. The choice is between the new PenBBS ‘bulkfiller’ or this (…why not both?) and would be the first Lamy pen that I own.
If not this then what?
Well, you have the more expensive version, the Lamy 2000. At this price point, the options are rather limited. As I mentioned above, there’s the TWSBI Eco or the Go, which run cheaper. They have different filling mechanisms, though – but this also means they’re ready to be used instantly. The Faber Castell Loom/Basic is another good choice as I have heard their nibs are very good and reliable. The TWSBI 580 is essentially the same price, but you could also invest in the TWSBI Vac 700R, which is a bit more expensive at £70~.
So is this pen a budget version of the Lamy 2000? Well, the design is similar (albeit the hooded nib is different, I will admit to that) so on the aesthetic front I can see similarities. The nib uses a cheaper material (steel) compared to the 2000 (gold) which is an argument in favour, as well as the difference between filling systems as people usually attribute piston fillers to more expensive pens and C/Cs to cheaper pens. You might disagree, but I think it’s a very good way of describing this pen.
Disclaimer: This pen was sent by Lamy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own