Review: Lamy Aion
Let me go straight to the conclusion: The Lamy Aion is a superb fountain pen. It exceeded all my expectations. I simply love it! Disclaimer: Yes, I am a Lamy fan, and I haven't met a Lamy fountain pen I didn't like. The Aion is no exception.
Background Designed by British product and furniture designer Jasper Morrison, the Lamy Aion was released globally in September 2017. It is Lamy's latest addition to its lineup. It features a drawn aluminum body and a stainless steel nib. Color options are black and silver. It is also available as a rollerball and ballpoint. Packaging The Lamy Aion arrived in the same type of box as my Lamy Studio and Lamy 2000. It is a simple, no-fuss, cardboard box, which I really like. I think it reflects Lamy's principle of "form follows function." The pen came with a proprietary cartridge and a booklet about Lamy's products. The pen also uses Lamy's Z26 / Z27 converter, which could be ordered separately.
First Impressions and Description Upon opening the box, my first reaction was: "Wow!" Pictures do not do this pen justice. It's beautiful in its simplicity. And you have to *feel* the pen. The tactile experience is unlike any other Lamy model that I have. Unlike the aluminum finish of the Lamy Al-Star, the Aion isn't very shiny nor slippery. It's also different from the "warm" makrolon of the Lamy 2000. It has a metallic, yet "velvety" feel to it (if that even makes sense!). There is definitely something unique about its aluminum finish that makes it very comfortable to hold.
The pen also feels solid and sturdy. It has some reassuring heft to it. (It's a tad heavier than the Lamy 2000 and the Pilot Vanishing Point.) Its weight and its size make it a rather substantial pen. Capped and uncapped, it is taller than the Lamy 2000, Lamy Studio and the Vista/Safari/Al-Star. Posted, however, the Vista/Safari/Al-Star is taller.
The grip section of the pen is anodized aluminum that is matte and isn't slippery. It is very easy to hold and to write with.
The clip of the pen is spring-loaded, just as that of the Lamy 2000. Pressing lightly on the top of the clip widens the gap between the clip and the cap, and makes it easy to attach to one's pocket or to a page.
The Aion has a stainless steel nib designed particularly for this model. It is more curved towards the tip compared to the Z50 stainless steel nibs used in the Safari, Vista, Al-Star, Studio, Scala, Accent, etc. However, these nibs could also be used with the Aion. (It also merits mentioning that removing the Aion's nib from the feed was much easier than removing a Z50 nib from a Safari. No need to use Scotch tape to take it off!)
Update (May 2018): The Lamy Aion Z53 nib is now available for purchase. Available sizes are EF, F, M, and B. They could be used with the Aion and other models that take the Z50 nib.
If you want to go full "stealth mode," you could also replace the Aion's nib with the black Z50 steel nib.
Writing Experience So how does it write? Exceptionally well! The nib is firm and solid; there is no spring, softness, or flex to it. It wasn't designed to do that. However, it is a very smooth and reliable writer. I ordered mine with a broad nib, and writing with it is a very enjoyable experience. It glides on the page steadily and effortlessly, a testimony to the quality of its construction. Among the Lamy pens I own, its writing experience is topped only by the 2000.
Here's a comparison with other broad-nibbed pens. The Aion appears to write a bit less broadly than the others, but still broad enough for my liking. To be fair, the proper way to do this comparison is to use the same ink in each pen, which I didn't do.
Conclusion I only have positive things to say about this pen. In terms of both function and form, the Aion is outstanding. Its minimalist design appeals to me aesthetically. It has no frills, no adornments. The allure is in its restraint. This is a pen that is clearly meant to be used, not displayed. And using it is a very satisfying experience, indeed.