Review: Lamy Persona

The Numbers:
Weight: 46g
Length (capped): 144mm
Length (uncapped): 121.4mm
Length of cap: 67.25mm
Price: USD$299 on eBay.com
Body Material: Brass coated with titanium oxide
Nib Material: 14k or 18k Gold
Filling Mechanism: Cartridge and Converter
Colours: Titanium, Matte Black, Platinum and Matte black with Palladium cap

Intro:
This beautiful vintage Lamy fountain pen is loaned to me by a member of the Singapore Fountain Pens Lovers. My thanks to him for his trust in me to take good care of his baby.

The Lamy Persona until its recent discontinuation at 2004 was Lamy's flagship luxury pen. It is designed by Mario Bellini and he was known for his architectural designs. The pen comes in 4 different finishes with the platinum plated edition being the most expensive. The one pictured in this review is the Lamy Persona Titanium.

The Lamy Persona has two different versions. The first version didn't come with an anti-rolling device. The device is just a small little protuding bump on the clip that helps to stop the pen from rolling off the table. However if the pen has got momentum going I doubt that small little bump would stop it. The version I am reviewing is one without the anti-rolling device. The Lamy Persona comes in either the 14k or 18k gold nib. The earlier models came with the 18k nib while the later ones had the 14k nibs.

Performance:
The first thing you notice about the Lamy Persona is the striking Art Deco design it has. I can see the architectural influences in the design of the Lamy Persona. The Lamy Persona Titanium has a smooth domed cap with a gold clip sitting in the middle of it. It looks almost like a cyclops with its singular long eye looking at you. The clip is ridged at the top of the clip. Normally the clip retracts flush against the cap but with just a little push upon the ridges the clip will extend. It is an easy one hand operation to clip the pen on even your jeans pocket. As your eye travel down the pen you will notice the fluted barrel that looks just like a Greek column. The barrel is of a slightly lighter shade than the cap. The entire pen is made of brass contributing to the heft of the pen. It is also coated with titanium oxide. The Lamy Persona Titanium has a dull silver finish which adds to the sense of mystery it holds.

The screw on cap disengaged from the barrel with just half a turn unlike most other pens. The grip section has a ribbed design which provides sufficient grip to hold onto the Lamy Persona easily. Though the pen weighs a hefty 46g, it is well balanced. This is especially important for a heavy pen. However if you feel the need to post the cap, the cap snaps onto the back of the barrel easily. Plus I particularly like that the grip section tappers down to a narrower width. There is almost no step from the barrel to the grip section.

Like most of Lamy's modern pens, the Lamy Persona has cartridge and converter system. The barrel unscrews to reveal the Z25 converter. The catridge and converter system helps with the easy clean up of the pen.

The nib is an 18k gold nib. However it doesn't have much spring to it, the later 14k gold nib are reputed to have a slight springy-ness to it. I like the beak like design of the nib. The nib wraped almost all the way round the feed. A quick search on the Fountain Networks reveals that the nib can be removed the same way the Lamy Safari nib is removed. The advantage of having interchangable nib is tempered by the fact that it isn't all that easy to buy nibs by themselves.

The nib lays a thick wet line. The ink flow is generous and I had to increase my writing size to not have them all turn into unreadable globs. The sweet spot on the Lamy Persona is narrower than my experience with modern Lamy pens. If I stray from the sweet spot, I can feel a slight feedback when I write. However this could be a lefty problem.

Conclusion:
I am sad that Lamy has discontinued the model because the Lamy Persona is a great writer with a distinctive look and innovative clip design. I particularly enjoy the 1/2 turn to uncap the pen. The weight of the pen might be a bit much for me but if the pen came in a lighter model I would be hunting the pen down on the forums. If you can get your hands on this at a reasonable price, the Lamy Persona is a worthy addition to your collection.

Once again my thanks to my fellow Singapore Fountain Pen Lover for loaning me the pen.

Pros:
* Striking design
* Innovative clip design
* Well balanced
* 1/2 turn to uncap
* Post-able
* Interchangable nibs

Cons:
* Too heavy for me

Additional Reading:
KMPN
The Pencil Case Blog

Posted on March 20, 2015 and filed under Fountain Pen, review.