Lamy Dark Lilac

1 Week, 1 Pen/Pencil: Week 4 Review

My Start Bay Navigator in Chic Tan and the Karas Kustoms Retrakt

My Start Bay Navigator in Chic Tan and the Karas Kustoms Retrakt

This week I have been using the Karas Kustoms Retrakt paired with the Pilot G2 black gel refill. Before starting out on this week I presumed I would enjoy using the Pilot G2 refill but maybe struggle a little bit with the Retrakt pen itself. This assumption was pretty spot on but I have also encountered a few barriers to the 1 pen challenge.

This week's failures

There have been a few occasions this week where I have been forced to deviate from the Karas Kustoms Retrakt and Pilot G2. First up was a passport application I needed to get filled out and sent. These forms have very specific requirements and you need to use a black ballpoint pen to fill out the forms. This meant that the gel ink pen was not useable in this situation. Secondly I had to send some post this week and I needed to use a Sharpie pen to fill out the shipping information on the box.

These deviations were forced and highlights that 1 pen cannot work in all scenarios. There are times when specific tools are needed to get the job done.

Things I didn't like this week.

I want to get the negative points out of the way first. This week marked the start of my final module with the Open University which has meant that the amount of time I spend writing has increased. Using the Retrakt for long periods of time has been quite strenuous. This pen is heavy, being made from aluminium, and when writing for long stretches of time I found that my wrist began to ache, a lot! I have found it quite uncomfortable in a way I don't think I would have with a fountain pen and definitely not with a pencil.

Poor sight line on the G2 tip

Poor sight line on the G2 tip

In keeping with this theme, the Retrakt grip section is something I cannot persuade myself to like. I find the it too chunky and the sight line to the pen tip poor. This has only been a slight irritation when I have been writing for long periods of time with this pen. For shorter note taking tasks this is less of an issue.

The Pilot G2 refill

The Pilot G2 refill

There are some good points

The Pilot G2 refill is strong. The black line is crisp and dark giving a brilliantly fine line on the page. It flows well and is really smooth to write with. I have particularly enjoyed using this in my Midori Weekly Refill (019) for recording a snippet of the day's events.

The Retrakt is a nice looking, smart pen. It's not one I use regularly simply because it gets bumped mainly by fountain pens. But actually it's a nice pen and it has it’s place as part of my writing toolkit, but as a standalone pen to use day in and day out, I am not sure the Retrakt barrel would work for me.

Overall thoughts.

This pairing is really strong and I have enjoyed using both of them together. I couldn't use the Retrakt and the Pilot G2 as my only pen choice but actually what this exercise has made me realise is it has its place as part of my writing toolkit. As a result I will be carrying this pen around with me a lot more, rather than leaving it outcast on my desk.

Week 5

Moving into next week I will be using the Lamy Safari and Lamy Dark Lilac ink. I really love this ink colour and the Safari is one of those entry level pens people recommend because it is very reasonably priced. It does have its downsides like the mounded grip section, so using only this pen for a full week could be interesting.

Check back next week to see how I've held up.

Lamy Dark Lilac Ink Review

The Lamy Dark Lilac T-10 ink cartridges and my Lamy Safari 

The Lamy Dark Lilac T-10 ink cartridges and my Lamy Safari 

The Lamy Dark Lilac ink is part of the 2016 limited edition Lamy range. This fountain pen ink has been reviewed a tonne and has been very popular with stores selling out their inventory really quickly.

I opted for a pack of five T-10 cartridges to use with my Lamy Safari fountain pen. I chose cartridges as I wasn’t sure whether this would be an ink I was going to like and I am trying to buy stationery items I will use (see here for more details on this). I was also mindful that I have numerous bottles of ink that I am making no headway in depleting therefore felt cartridges would suffice.

The Lamy Dark Lilac colour is really lovely. I personally enjoy purple inks, which was part of the initial attraction and the Lamy Dark Lilac is a real purple. It has some gorgeous shading which is really prominent on high quality paper stock. You can even see some gold sheen with the Midori and Tomoe River paper.

A sample page from my Travelers Notebook using Lamy Dark Lilac 

A sample page from my Travelers Notebook using Lamy Dark Lilac 

I have found that the ink behaves well. You get a nice flow in the fountain pen and it’s a wet ink which helps to get the gold sheen even with a fine nib fountain pen. As it’s a dark shade of purple you can easily use this as an everyday ink option.

A comparison against some of my favourite purple inks

A comparison against some of my favourite purple inks

If you have a chance to try this ink out and enjoy purple inks I would highly recommend it. This is my first foray into a Lamy ink outside of the standard black T-10 cartridges and I am really impressed. I think this is a true purple ink that doesn’t have too much of another colour included as you can see with the J. Herbin and Diamine samples in the above photo. Lamy have found a way to make a simple lilac ink interesting without deviating too much from the base colour.