A Lamy Lament: The Lamy Balloon Liquid Ink Roller Ball Pen (0.7 mm)

For the record, I love my Lamy fountain pens, of which I have a fistful. But this is not a love story.

The Lamy Balloon Roller Ball’s translucent body and spot-on green color sucked me in. The white clip is cool. And it’s a Lamy. Lamy is a German pen company and I’m never disappointed by German stuff (German grandparents, German car, fabulous road trip in Germany in the 80′s, even sauerkraut). Until now.

While the body is stunning, lightweight, and fun, the writing experience is, bluntly put, just atrocious. There’s no way around it. Here’s a sample:

And the same sample a little bit closer:

And the sample again with all of the skips circled:

Every few months I get the pen out in hopes that it has miraculously cured itself. (Irrational, I know.) No such luck. A quick check of the reviews on www.jetpens.com shows that I’m not the only one disappointed in the way this pen writes. The overwhelming verdict is that the pen skips, and skips badly. Others have swapped out refills only to encounter the same problem, so it doesn’t appear to be an occasional issue.

A while back I wrote to Lamy USA (with the pen!) and pointed out how badly the pen writes. What I heard back was…..crickets. Not a peep.

So, my advice? Run away from the Lamy Balloon. Run far, far away.

A few closing questions:
1) Anyone else suffering from Lamy Balloon frustration?
2) Are there any other refills that can be hacked into the body? I’d love to put it into action with a refill that does the body justice.
3) Why, Lamy, why?!