For my first pen review, I’ve decided to jump straight in and talk about my favorite in a small but growing collection of fountain pens – the Lamy CP1.
Like most people who find themselves developing a rather serious interest in fountain pens, it didn’t take me long to come across the Lamy 2000. I was fairly uninterested at first, but the more I looked at it, the more it appealed to me – to the point that I would absolutely already own one if it wasn’t well over the hill of £100 – and that’s a hill I just can’t crest at the moment. So I thought that sleek, industrial design was out of my reach. Until I came across this little gem.
As you can see from the uninspiring iPhone photo above, the pen comes in a fold-out cardboard box and is supplied with a Lamy Blue (ick) cartridge and a Z26 converter. It’s all about as simple as can be, and when you open the box, the pen is just sitting there, unassuming and stoic.
The CP1 is obviously not quite in the same league as the 2000, but that similar minimalist feel comes from the fact that both pens were designed by Gerd Müller. Despite their obvious differences, the two pens are speaking the same language, and for less than £35, I could scratch that itch for a Müller-designed Lamy. And it’s a little powerhouse of a pen. It’s a bit underrated and not often reviewed, but I’ve carried it with me every day for a couple of months now and I can’t see myself leaving it at home any time soon.
It’s a metal-bodied (brass, I believe) pen with a matte-black finish. It’s sleek, smooth and slim, but it’s the thinness that seems to put some people off. And that just is what it is – if you hate thin pens, you’ll hate this one. It’s one of the thinnest fountain pens you can buy, but I find it extremely comfortable to write with – and I have done a lot of writing with it. It’s small and light, weighing about the same as a Lamy Safari, but because of its solid metal construction, it feels sturdy and has a reassuring heft in the hand.
When I first saw pictures of the CP1, I was actually put off by the ribbed plastic grip. I thought it looked cheap compared to the rest of the pen and it didn’t look like it would be very comfortable. I’ve actually come to love the grip, though. It’s smoother to the touch than it looks in photos and it does have just enough texture under your fingers to provide a decent grip.
The spring-loaded clip, made of brushed steel and simply etched with the word ‘LAMY’ on one side, is the most obvious sign that this is a direct relation of the Lamy 2000. It is functional, simple, and striking – which sums up the whole pen for me, really.
£35 is more than a fair price for this pen, but £35 is not small change to me, as it probably isn’t to many people. I describe myself as a person who can afford groceries mostly all of the time, some beers on payday and not much else. So buying this pen was something I considered for a couple of weeks. It’s definitely a ‘next step’ pen. But it’s a step worth taking.
I truly love the pen. It’s a comfortable little class-act which will hold me over until I dig deep for a Lamy 2000. But even when I do, I’m sure the CP1 will always be close at hand.