Inspired: Lamy AL-Star Ruby Red Limited Edition Fountain Pen

Lamy AL-Star Ruby Red
New to me

This pen popped up for sale on Twitter, via Dan Smith, one of the FPGeeks. The price was right, and I had a hankering for a red pen, so I asked Dan if it was still available. It was. Done deal.

I recently posted a review of the Limited Edition Apple Green Lamy Safari, and the AL-Star is basically the same pen, but with an aluminum body, so I won’t rehash the details found in that review. I did neglect to mention a couple of features, though, so this is a chance to make that right.

Neglected detail #1: The ink window. Found on the Safari and AL-Star models, this body cut-out gives you a peek at your ink supply so that you’re not surprised by an empty tank.

Ink window
Time to re-ink?

Neglected detail #2: The grip. The contoured grip. Some people love it, some people hate it, because you’re forced to hold the pen in a very specific way. If it works for you, you’re golden. If not, you might want to steer clear. Personally, I don’t mind the way the grip (transparent plastic, in this case) dictates where your fingers are placed, as it’s helped me achieve a more consistent writing grip. I don’t find it annoying, but others do.

AL-Star triangular grip
Love it or leave it

Aside from the sweet price and color, I was intrigued by the 1.1 mm stub nib. I usually go fine, and have a growing collection of mediums, but no broads, and no stubs. I’m a true novice. Time to change that.

1.1 mm nib
Breaking out of my fine nib rut

Inked with J. Herbin’s Eclat de Saphir, this pen and its juicy nib inspired me to write more than my usual pen-testing scribbles. The nib is so smooth, and so…um…NOT fine, that I had to write something more substantial than my name and the dogs’ names.

Tao Te Ching
Test driving the stub

Man, I love how this feels, and how it bumps up my handwriting a notch or two. And I love how words seem more substantial, more meaningful.

I’ve had a less than stellar work day, and I think I did the opposite of everything the Tao says. I worked with effort. I made the easy difficult. I thought of the small as large.

I’m tired, but still inspired. Inspired by a red pen with a stub nib. Inspired by blue ink. Inspired by those words.


Yup, inspired.

10 thoughts on “Inspired: Lamy AL-Star Ruby Red Limited Edition Fountain Pen

  1. Very nice – my Al-Star is “Ocean Blue”, but has the 1.1mm italic too. I love the way it writes, but have to be more careful about spacing my characters than I do with a round broad nib.

    At the moment, I have Lamy Purple in it, although the colour best matched to the pen is Diamine Majestic Blue :)

  2. Beautiful, deep color, and goes nicely with the clear grip/section. I have the Vista, but could be persuaded….

    BTW, whose translation of the Tao Te Ching are you using? I recognize the ideas but not the words (which would make Chuang-tzu laugh of course!).

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  5. I love your penmanship. I’m in a dilemma of either purchasing a 1.1 nib or 1.5 or none at all. Reason being that I’m a lefty and using fountainpens as a lefty is enough of a learning curve already. Not sure if you have any input or advice, but just wanted to at least say that your little quote is very pleasing to the eye. :D

    • Thank you for the compliment! I haven’t used a 1.5 mm so I can’t really comment on that. Because my handwriting is quite small, the 1.1 mm is as large as I like to go. It’s not a pen I can use every day, but it surely does let you see ink characteristics, like sheen and shading. Worth a try! :-)

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