It was about eight years ago when I first came across the Lamy dialog 3.
From dislike to like
Back then I didn’t like it. I thought it is too big and modern ..but somehow, over the years, I warmed up to it, more and more – up to the point when I started to actively want one.
Funnily enough, my wife’s favourite ballpoint pen, the pico, is from the same designer: Franco Clivio. Both, the pico and the dialog 3 have a similar shape, a bit like a test tube, but round on both ends.
Price variations (£99 – £250)
Well, I didn’t think I’d get a new >£100 fountain pen in the next few years, but somehow (actually because of Christmas) it did happen. Well, I say >£100 fountain pen, but WH Smith is regularly selling the palladium version with an M nib for £99 (~$122; €114), but most shops will charge you £200 – £250 for this pen. The one I got for Christmas was also a cheap one, that’s why I got an F nib. I would have preferred an EF nib, but there was no EF version available for a good price. I can always buy an EF nib if I want and it would have still been a very good price compared to the RRP.
The whole price situation of the dialog 3 reminds me of the blue Pelikan M605 – every few years Kaufhof seems to sell it for a good price. I paid €99 (~$105; £85) for mine.
There have been many blog posts looking at this pen, with the one from Dries being one of the latest ones, so I don’t see a need to write more about the pen itself. Instead, I want to tell you that the nib on my dialog 3 is the smoothest nib I have ever used (and I have used quite a few gold nibs over the years). As I haven’t seen too many raving reviews about this nib I am not sure whether all of Lamy’s Z55 gold nibs or even all Z55 F nibs are that good, but mine is excellent. As described in Ian’s review here this nib can be used in all modern Lamys except the Lamy 2000.
The nib is however not only smooth, it also has a pleasant amount of springiness. I have seen nibs advertised as flexible that offer less line variation than this nib.
The dialog 3 used to come with a wooden case. Lamy stopped supplying the case, but many shops still advertise the pen as coming in this case, so that might be old stock.
According to Lamy, the wooden case is not being offered anymore. I suspect the case was stopped when the dialog 3 was redesigned (there were some complaints about the pen drying out soon in the original version).
If you want to get the wooden case the only way to get it now, as far as I know, is to buy it used or to find old stock. My pen didn’t come with the case so I had to get it separately.
I tried to make a short film showing my dialog 3 (and the case), but I guess I shouldn’t make a car (to pull the camera) from some toys lying around in the living room. The owner of the toys came to get them back during filming…
Well, before I finish the blog post, here’s a picture of the ‘camera car’ that was used for the film, now you know why he wanted it back…
Exchange rates: January 2017
You can read more about the dialog 3 at The Pencilcase Blog, Pentorium, Goulet Pen’s blog, The Clicky Post, The Gold Standard, No Pen Intended, The Well-Appointed Desk, Writer’s Bloc, The Silent Cartographer, and even Wired.