I can spot a Lamy a mile away. Maybe it is because I am looking at them all the time in person or online but there is no doubting that their designs are distinctive. Many of their most popular pens are built around the Safari model, and of course there are higher end designs like the Studio and the Dialog 3 (swoon). You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a great pen though, and the Lamy Tipo is the embodiment of that.
I haven’t personally used some of the higher end Lamy models but I think they really thrive in the entry level market. Where else can you get a uniquely designed, distinctive pen with a high quality roller ball ink cartridge for about $10? The Tipo, while not perfect, pushes a lot of my buttons and I am really enjoying it.
The ink cartridge was a surprise for me. The ink doesn’t bleed near as much as I anticipated it would and is comparable to the Schmidt refill used in the Retro 51. One thing that may throw people off is how the knock is integrated into the clip. For me, I think it looks cool, works great, and acts as a safety if you like to clip the pen to your shirt pocket.
If there is any downside to the pen it is that the grip is somewhat slick. The ridges help out but I wouldn’t mind a little more tackiness in that area.
Overall, using the Tipo has been a great experience and I plan on picking up another one - most likely the orange barrel like Brian recently reviewed.