Monday, March 27, 2017

Fountain Pen Review: 2017 Special Edition Lamy AL-star Pacific

Lamy AL-star PACIFIC is here!!! Woohoo!!! Lamy has granted my wish for an aquamarine AL-star this year!!! In my Charged Green AL-star review last year, I mentioned that an aquamarine or yellow AL-star fountain pen would be cool. Well, here it is. Here is the 2017 Special Edition Lamy AL-star fountain pen in a lovely metallic aquamarine color that perfectly complements the 2011 Aquamarine Safari.

Since 2014, Lamy has used compact cardboard boxes as presentation boxes for their pens, instead of the bulky plastic ones. An elastic in the felt-lined bed inside the box ensures that the pen stays in place, preventing breakage during transport. These boxes are sturdy, easy to store, and do not take up too much space. Last year's special edition AL-star and Safari pens came in similar compact boxes, too.

The 2017 Special Edition Lamy AL-star Pacific in its presentation box.

The AL-star Pacific pen in this review is a fountain pen, but the line also includes a ballpoint and a rollerball. For the last four years, Lamy has been coming up with special edition ink colors to match their special edition pens. This year, the AL-star Pacific fountain pen has an accompanying ink available in T52 bottles and Giant ink cartridges that fit most Lamy fountain pens. An ink-x eraser is also available in the same color as the Pacific pens and ink.

Lamy's recent special edition AL-star pens (Bluegreen, Copper Orange, Charged Green, and Pacific) come in lovely bright colors. The Pacific, whose color depicts both ocean and sky, has a deep, almost 'electric' aquamarine shade and green undertones in an anodized aluminum finish. I love this pen's aquamarine color because it's a happy and cheery blue.

The Pacific has a happy blue color.

The Lamy AL-star is a good pen for all fountain pen users -- newbies/beginners, collectors, students, and artists. At 22 grams and 5.5 inches (capped), the AL-star is a well-balanced fountain pen: not too short, but not too long, either. It's not heavy, but not light. It's just right for small or big hands, comfortable to use, and sturdy, too!

The AL-star's barrel has an ink window that shows the ink converter or cartridge inside. It allows me to check on my pen’s ink level without having to unscrew the barrel from the section. The AL-star's cap is round, but two sides of the barrel are flattened. The Lamy logo is etched on one side of the barrel, towards the end.

The AL-star has a transparent gray plastic section.

The AL-star's signature triangular section has a grip that gives the writer a firm hold on the pen while writing. An anti-slipping brake near the end of the section prevents the writer's fingers from slipping into the nib while writing. Unlike the Safari pens’ matching body and section materials/colors, AL-stars have transparent gray plastic section.

A great feature of Lamy fountain pens is the interchangeability of their nibs across most of their product lines. The AL-star shares the same feed and nib with the Safari, Vista, Joy, Nexx, and Studio. The available nibs are extra-fine (EF), fine (F), medium (M), broad (B), and left-handed. The AL-star can also be fitted with italic nibs ranging from 1.1mm to 1.9mm.

Lamy's proprietary piston operated Z24 and Z26 converters can be used to fill the fountain pen with ink from a bottle, but the Z24 is a more suitable converter because it has two tiny nipples that fit snugly into the small grooves in the upper part of the section. When the nipples are fitted in the grooves, the converter stays in place, preventing messy ink spills. Giant ink cartridges are also available in Pacific and Lamy's regular ink colors (blue washable, black, red, turquoise, green and blue-black).

The Z24 converter fits snugly into the AL-star section.

Lamy has previously issued two blue AL-star pens: Silver Blue and Blue Ocean. Silver Blue was discontinued in 2010 (I cannot find any reference to its year of issue), but Ocean Blue is included in Lamy's regular AL-star lineup since 2009 after its first issue as a special edition pen in 2007.
Three blue AL-star fountain pens: Silver Blue, Ocean Blue, and Pacific.

Note that the Lamy logo in the Silver Blue and Blue Ocean pens have deeper and more pronounced lines, compared to the logo of the Pacific.
The Pacific AL-star is the aluminum version of the 2011 Aquamarine Safari, but I'm not complaining.

I have done a number of AL-star and Safari fountain pen reviews in the past, but I have not discussed the differences between these two pens. The greatest difference is the pens' materials: AL-star is aluminum, Safari is plastic. The AL-star has a transparent gray plastic section, while the Safari matches the pen body's material and color. The AL-star is a bit heavier than the Safari, although this is not noticeable. Aside from these, there are some subtle differences in their design, see the photos below. 
Both pens share the same clip, but the Safari's cap has an indentation where the clip is inserted into the cap.

AL-star fountain pens have black plastic cross finials, and most Safaris have the same finials. The Safari in this picture was issued in 2011, when Lamy made Safaris with finials in the same color and material of the pen's body.
The Lamy logo is debossed in the Safari, while the outline is simply engraved in the AL-star.

The AL-star's barrel end has a plastic black button cap, while the Safari's button is from the same color and material of its body. Both are engraved "Germany."

Lamy AL-star fountain pens (from top): Aluminum, Graphite, Silver Green, Silver Blue, Ocean Blue, Black Purple, Ruby Red, Pearl, Bluegreen, Charged Green, Copper Orange, and Pacific.

The matching ink for the Pacific pen, also called Pacific, is a lovely bright turquoise/aqumarine ink with more blue than green. It reminds me of the sea and the sky on a bright summer day.

The Pacific ink is available in proprietary Lamy cartridges and in 50ml T52 bottles that come with a roll of ink blotter to clean the pen after filling, or to blot writing. The bottle has a small basin at the bottom, to allow filling when the ink level is low.

The Pacific ink (right) is the same as the Turquoise ink in Lamy's regular production line. I'm not sure why Lamy did not issue a new ink for the Pacific, or why they had to repackage their Turquoise ink. If you already have Lamy Turqouise, then getting a bottle of the Pacific is not really necessary. I noticed though, that the Pacific ink comes in the new special edition presentation box, and bottle cap matches the pen's aquamarine color.

Below are swatches of the Pacific ink together with other turquoise/aqumarine inks.

Lamy Pacific ink in single and double passes. The double passes swab shows a darker shade of the ink. 

Pacific and Turquoise. Same ink, no difference at all.

Lamy Pacific is almost similar to J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche, although the Pacific is more expressive. Pacific is lighter than Robert Oster Bondi Blue, which has more shading and sheen. 

I noticed this red sheen while looking at the double passes ink swab of the Pacific ink. It's beautiful, and I'd love to see this when I write with this ink.

The Pacific is a well-behaved ink. It has excellent flow and lubrication, medium to high shading, with average drying time. This ink is very easy to clean, does not stain, and has a pretty color.

Like all the previous special edition AL-star fountain pens, I love the Pacific and the ink that came with it. The fountain pen is versatile (has interchangeable nibs), simple, minimalistic, and helpful to newbies (triangular section grip). The metallic finish has a special glow that brings warmth to the aquamarine color of the Pacific AL-star. The AL-star may be prone to scratches because of its material, but given the proper care, these pens will last for a long time.

If you haven't gotten one of these special edition Pacific AL-star fountain pens yet, go get one now!

I received the fountain pen in this review at no cost from Lamy's authorized and exclusive distributor in the Philippines, the Times Trading Company. In the Philippines, the AL-star Pacific fountain pen and ink (and other Lamy products) are made available by Times Trading Company, through their kiosks at National Bookstore branches around Metro Manila.

Lamy products are also available at Scribe Writing Essentials, a specialty store offering fountain pens, inks, and paper products. For their complete location/address, contact numbers, and store hours, visit

Lamy AL-star pens are widely available from pen sellers worldwide. For a list of Lamy retailers, visit


  1. Anonymous2:56 PM

    Thank You for the nice review for Lamy Pacific Al-Star. I hope you got the new Lamy Safari Petrol and get the chance to make a review as well. - Enzo Reynon/Lamy Philippines

    1. Thank you! I am still to receive the Petrol. Will review as soon as I receive it.