When a new year rolls around, we at Milligram get excited for the special edition LAMY AL-star release. This year's special edition release is the LAMY AL-star bronze, a honey coloured bronze that brings warmth to your words.
The LAMY AL-star bronze is available in fountain, rollerball and ballpoint pens, as well as ink cartridges and T10 bottles of ink. We test out the fountain pen in a medium nib with the gorgeous new ink.
Your initial reaction to the LAMY AL-star bronze pen might be that it's an orange pen — I had the same reaction. However, when I compared it to the LAMY AL-star copper orange (a special edition from 2015) and the LAMY Lx in rose gold, you can see the LAMY AL-star bronze is actually quite different, more of a rich brass colour.
Just like any standard LAMY AL-star fountain pen, the LAMY AL-star bronze fountain pen in a medium nib features an anodised aluminium body, chrome pen clip and the AL-star's unique ergonomic, black transparent pen grip. With a stainless steel nib, this pen writes smoothly, especially on coated paper.
As with every year, LAMY releases a special edition ink to go with their LAMY AL-star release. This year's LAMY AL-star bronze ink is probably more of an orange ink than a bronze. A pretty consistent orange that's rich and fruity, the ink darkens where heavy pools of ink gather.
Different to the 2018 special edition vibrant pink ink, the bronze ink does not contain metallic particles, so there's no sheen or metallic finishes to the ink. This makes it more office friendly and a good ink to sketch with.
We test the inks out on 3 types of notepads to see how it reacts with the paper.
- Rhodia Pad #18 in A4 plain with the black cover.
- Life Stationery Margin Report Notepad in A4 ruled.
- Tomoe River Fountain Pen Paper Pad in A4 plain cream paper.
Rhodia is pretty much the go-to brand at Milligram when we want good paper — their coated paper notepad is a staple at our office.
The paper shows a touch of ghosting but definitely no bleed through or feathering. The ink takes about 7+ seconds to dry. This paper pairs well with the LAMY AL-star bronze fountain.
Life Stationery Pad
There are a lot of plain or dot grid fans at the Milligram office but the ruled page is still one of the most popular page formats. This Life Stationery Pad has a 4cm margin marked in a pink line. The 0.5cm lines on the paper are a soft blue colour so it's not too distracting. At the bottom right hand corner of each page is the Life stationery logo, which I really like.
The first thing I noticed when I used this pad was I could see the ink separate when I went over the blue lines. After drying, you can see the blue lines strike through my writing.
Just like the Rhodia pad, the Life Stationery pad is super smooth and shows a bit of ghosting but no bleed through or feathering. The ink does take a little longer to seep into the page. This might be because the paper is just so darn smooth. Interesting note, it's blank on the other side of the page.
Tomoe River pad
Tomoe River is renowned for being a thin fountain pen friendly paper at 52 gsm. Just touching the paper, it doesn’t feel as smooth as the other pads we tested on but the pen writes quite well on it. There is a bit of ghosting, you can actually see what's been written on previous pages. With that said though, there's no feathering and bleed through.
The paper is plain but the great thing about Tomoe River is it does come with a cardboard guide so you can write in a straight line without actually needing lines.
What’s the verdict?
- A great office-friendly orange ink.
- Great for headings if you want an alternative to a red ink.
- Writes well on a range of papers.
- Bronze pen looks luxe without the price tag so it’s great as a gift for when you’re on a budget.
- I just really wish there were some metallic particles in the ink to give my writing a bit more pizazz.