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06.11.06

Pen Junkie, Part 6: Lamy 99

I like Lamy pens. They may not be the flashiest pens on the market, but I like their designs. So far I have three Lamy writing instruments: a Red Safari fountain pen, and a Black Scribble mechanical pencil. There are a couple of more Lamy fountain pens on my wish list, however, and some day they will be mine.

I began checking Ebay for Lamys and saw this pen listed for $5 and decided it would be mine.

I tried to do a little research on the 99 but was unable to find any useful information. There were some other 99s for sale on ebay for a lot more, but they didn’t look like this one. This one is marked 99b on the body, so maybe it’s a different iteration in the 99 line. But I figured, what the hell, it’s only $5 ($11 with shipping).

So two things about this pen:

1. Even though it’s marked F on the body, it’s more like a fat medium.

and

2. It’s a hell of a writer. Smooth and skip free.

This pen is a piston loader with a large reservoir. It is loaded by unscrewing the back end, which reveals the piston, and dipping the nib into the ink.

Stylistically it’s a pretty basic pen with a couple of unexpected surprises. First, the nib is partially hooded, and second there are little round porthole-like windows on the grip that show the ink level.

So I’m pretty happy with this pen. It’s in great condition (some light tarnish on the nib and a small scratch on the cap) and writes beautifully. For $5 it was a great bargain.

Like I said, I was unable to find out anything about this pen, so if anybody has any information they can share, I would very much appreciate it.

05.25.06

Pen Junkie, Part 5: Faber-Castell Ambition

We’d been traveling around Eastern Europe for two and a half weeks and were on the last day of our tip. Well, the last four hours, really, because that was how much time we had to spend in Frankfurt before heading home to Seattle. In Salzburg we went into a store that had lots of lovely pens, but as that was the beginning of our trip, I decided not to buy and to wait and see what else we came across. Nothing, as it turned out. Well less than nothing as I actually managed to leave a beloved Levenger pen behind in a hostel in Budapest (a pen they no longer sell, and is therefore impossible to replace).

Any way, we were in Frankfurt and suddenly it began to pour rain. We ducked into a tunnel that led under a cross street and when we emerged it just so happened to be directly next to a Faber Castell shop. Nice.

We ducked in and I was in heaven. Granted I couldn’t afford most of the really nice pens, but I could afford this one.

I liked the styling and I liked how it wrote and so I made it mine.

This pen takes international cartridges and does not come with a converter. I bought one with a fine nib, and while I would have liked an extra fine, I’m quite pleased with how smoothly the pen writes.

My one complaint is that ink has a tendency to bead up on the nib when it’s capped and so I’m always having to wipe it off.

This is minor complaint in what is in all other ways a very fine pen.