LAMY Studio brushed steel – an outré that demands an encore
I have a manic fascination for LAMY fountain pens – near neurotic, because the fixation borders on an almost frenzied obsession. But before I get carried away with the reasons behind my fascination, let us take a quick dekho at LAMY and its history, especially the early years – a time before I was born.
Orthos Füllfederhalter-Fabrik was established in 1930 by Josef Lamy in Heidelberg. Josef Lamy had, till then worked with a writing instrument manufacturer of American origin. The fledgling business was more or less a success, as by 1939 when the World War II broke out, LAMY was producing more than 200,000 pens carrying the brand names Orthos and Artus annually. No mean achievement for a relative new comer, considering the fact that those pre-war years are often termed as the golden age for writing instruments and some of the biggest names in the industry were burning bright on the German sky. The war years were an aberration and we will pick up the threads of the story in 1952 , when the company moved its headquarters to the present location in the Heidelberg district of Wieblingen.
Now to 1966 – the year I was born. The ball point pen had already started its march forward and in the post-war era of new beginnings, the need to seize the initiative to surge ahead need not be overemphasised. This was the time when the young Marketing Manager Dr Manfred Lamy met designer, Gerd A. Müller. Together, they defined a joint project: designing a fountain pen based on the Bauhaus tradition. The rest, like they say, is history.
The LAMY 2000 was launched in the autumn of 1966 – calling it revolutionary will be putting things mildly, for unlike available writing instruments, it featured no material surplus or design accoutrements. Based on the Bauhaus principle (form follows function) it focused on practical functionality and thus laid the foundation for the clear design language which still forms the basis for all Lamy writing instruments. The LAMY 2000 also set new standards in terms of workmanship, as the material combination of matt-ground stainless steel and Makrolon is extremely challenging to work with and was completely new in the mid-sixties. I will resist my temptation to ramble on about the LAMY 2000, for the simple reason that I had gifted myself one more (yes, I am the proud owner of more than one) on my birthday last year and the story is here (http://inkedhappiness.com/lamy-2000-the-future-proof-fountain-pen/) for those who want to read it. Instead, let me tell you about the gift that I am indulging myself with this year – the LAMY Studio in Brushed Steel.
The LAMY Studio is another example of a perfect marriage – between art and functionality. That LAMY makes writing instruments that are way above par needs no elucidation, but the fact that the same odes to perfection can be aesthetically so pleasing, so minimalistic in their being, yet so striking to the eyes – a space that is now synonymous with LAMY – has to be seen to be believed. When I un-boxed my studio and held it in my hands, believe me, the sheer awe that its raw sensuality induced in me, was like a blow in the solar plexus – a sledge-hammer blow to be precise.
The LAMY Studio has been designed by Hannes Wettstein, who was born in 1958 in Ascona, Switzerland. The precision of the instrument; the seamlessly flowing lines; the muted cylindricality of the body; the quirky, yet signature twist in the clip; the complete lack of everything unnecessary; the feel of the brushed steel in the hand – all looked like elegance that has been deliberately frozen in time – the brief interlude after the end of the performance and before the applause, for a horological encore of sorts. German Ingenieurskuns meeting Swiss Präzision.Unabashedly pure passion of a primal sort.
I will naturally not belittle LAMY by slipping in the mandatory lines about the balance of the pen, of how seamlessly it makes the transition between the cartridge and the converter, about how effortlessly the ink flows or even what a sheer pleasure it is to write with one. A LAMY is a forever pen, one that is acquired with the understanding that it will be something worth bequeathing, that all the qualities that one has to look for in instruments for writing and more, can be taken for granted and are synonymous with the LAMY name.
This will be one hell of a Birthday. Thank You LAMY!
The LAMY Studio is available at: https://www.lamyshop.in/in_en/fountain-pen-lamy-studio-brushed-m-1216447.html