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View Full Version : Lamy Dialog 3 Review - Form over Function?



AndrewW
June 12th, 2014, 02:09 PM
As of a few days ago, I now have my very own Lamy Dialog 3. A bit of an odd beast, this pen is, and as such, a review is in order. Not to mention that it's one of very few modern pens in my stable...

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32508821/IMG_20140609_170115.jpg

Initial Impression, Taking the pen out for the first time...



The packaging for the pen was really quite simple - a white, cardboard sleeve over a simple two-piece box. However, once you slide off the sleeve and open the box, you're greeted with a cartridge, and papers, which for me, masked the actual pen case.


https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32508821/IMG_20140612_143852.jpg

Wait a sec, a Lamy 2000? Dang it, stop trying to sneak your way into all of my Lamy photos!

Red herrings aside.

Removing the peripherals such as a stamped warranty card from Bromfield Pen Show (no affiliation, but really great folks there), reveals the simple, understated pen case. My first thoughts really were, ooh, can I put glasses in this case? Sadly, no, as it's a bit too thin.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32508821/IMG_20140612_144314.jpg

...Of course, now comes the pen itself.



The Pen...

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32508821/IMG_20140612_144205.jpg

Upon taking it out of the case, the first thing I thought was heavy. Oof! 50 (not 35, as I previously thought) grams? This thing weighs a boatload in the hand, when you're not using it at least. However, once I settled into my normal writing position, I immediately thought to myself, 'wait, where did the weight go?!' The reason for this is the balance - the D3 is definitely a pen that balances towards the front, moreso than the unposted Lamy 2000.

To quote SBREBrown...

Whoop! Nib!
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32508821/IMG_20140609_170315.jpg

Whoop! It's gone!
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32508821/IMG_20140609_170158.jpg

(I'll get to the nib in a moment)

The retractable mechanism, I find is slightly...Rough, but to a point it makes you feel like you're operating something mechanical, not electrical. It's very reminiscent of...Oh, say, a well maintained bike, for me, at least. There's always some slight friction to it, but, if maintained and made well, you always get a sense of quality and reliability each time you use it. It's the same here, a rough, mechanical charm to it. And yes, it has an o-ring on the back barrel, which I supposed is to help with sealing issues. Not that I've run into any, over my few days of use. To be frank, the ink doesn't even darken if I let it set overnight.



While some people might find it an ugly pen, I personally found it quite refreshing to look at in the face of all of my vintage examples - it stands for something new, modern, and elegant without being obtrusive about it. And I haven't even gotten to the nib yet.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32508821/IMG_20140609_170252.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32508821/IMG_20140609_170220.jpg

The Nib

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32508821/IMG_20140609_165958.jpg

The nib is Lamy's 'standard' 14k nib that you'll find on all models starting from the Studio Palladium and up, with exception to the Lamy 2000 and many vintage Lamys. That said however, mine, a 14k broad, is a soft, springy beast that writes a lovely wet line. No tuning or smoothing was needed out of the box. Just looks a bit dirty under LED lighting, for whatever reason. Might need to wash it a bit, but no matter.

Of course, it's now inked up, writing well with some DC Supershow Blue. Of which I'm running low on, but that's besides the point. No dryout problems to report of.



Filling

Simple. A cartridge/converter system, proprietary to Lamy. That said, it does seem a little limited in ink capacity, so, I'm tempted to try to find a vintage Parker converter to try to cram that in, considering their slightly increased capacity and compatibility. Parker and Lamy converters can be used both ways, in my experience. That said, the converter does exhibit some slight resistance to turning, but not much. I may recoat the piston with some 100% pure silicone grease again, at some point.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32508821/IMG_20140609_190932.jpg

Cost



Overall, the pen cost me a grand total of $335 after tax. While yes, I'm aware that online, it can be had for much less, I wanted to support my local pen store and also have a place where I could easily get service, if needed. For the price, I certainly feel that it was very worthwhile. The pen certain feels like it was fully worth the value, and writes like a pen of this price range should - smoothly and reliably. I'll be adding a writing sample later, but these are my first impressions of the one pen I've wanted for this year.



And now, here's some more comparison photos, next to some well known pens.



All torpedo tubes loaded, sir...

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32508821/IMG_20140610_161124.jpg



Torpedoes armed!

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32508821/IMG_20140610_161435%20(1).jpg



Torpedoes away!


https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32508821/IMG_20140610_161511.jpg


And of course, a writing sample. Still need to get a better camera and setup for this part, but, it'll do.

Paper is Rhodia grid/graph paper.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32508821/_20140612_145133.JPG


Transcript of small sample:



As the demon sleeps, man turns upon man
His own blood and madness soon cover the earth
From the depths of despair awaken the Razgriz
Its wings ablaze in majestic light

earthdawn
June 12th, 2014, 11:17 PM
Excellent detailed review.

Super pictures.

Thanks for taking the time to write it up and share with us. :thumb:

amk
June 13th, 2014, 11:24 AM
I passed up the chance to get a Dialog as I found the clip was a bit annoying while I was writing; I may have a different hold from you, then again, if I'd persevered I might have found it less annoying in time. What certainly was an attraction was the nib - Lamy seems to get those gold nibs just right, nicely soft and smooth, despite their unassuming looks, but I have mine fitted to Lamy Accents not a Dialog.

BTW Is that a lime green Parker 51 lurking in the torpedo tubes? Wow! Where did that come from?

AndrewW
June 13th, 2014, 02:03 PM
I passed up the chance to get a Dialog as I found the clip was a bit annoying while I was writing; I may have a different hold from you, then again, if I'd persevered I might have found it less annoying in time. What certainly was an attraction was the nib - Lamy seems to get those gold nibs just right, nicely soft and smooth, despite their unassuming looks, but I have mine fitted to Lamy Accents not a Dialog.

BTW Is that a lime green Parker 51 lurking in the torpedo tubes? Wow! Where did that come from?

I have to admit, it's kind of true with these retractable fountain pens - the clip can either make or break your experience. In my experience with the VP line, I found the clip a touch too obtrusive, and the general style rather lacking in...style. Something about the style of the VP, excepting the Fermo and any Raden versions, reminds me too much of a run-of-the-mill ballpoint.
That said, about the D3 nib, it's exactly what I've found, with these Lamy 14k nibs. A soft, smooth writing experience that makes even mundane jottings a joy.

Regarding the 51, yup, it's a very green 51. Specifically, it's a fantasy pen made with some leftover 51 Special internals I had, a nearly ruined-then-repaired medium-broad 51 nib, and a fantasy green hood/barrel set.

amk
June 14th, 2014, 03:46 AM
Sounds like your fantasy 51 has a story just as interesting as its colour suggests!