Lamy Studio, a Bauhaus fountain pen
My Lamy Studio fountain pen sucked when I first bought it because it came with a lousy nib. After buying my second replacement nib (fine), I finally got it to work like it’s supposed to. Fountain pens are great when you have a good one, but QC and consistency on the nibs is very spotty. Even for much more expensive pens than a Lamy Studio.
The Lamy Studio is an interesting pen. On the one hand it’s sort of ugly, but it has an impressive German precision about it that makes you admire it (except for the inconsistent nibs). When I first got the pen, I spent a lot of time just looking at it and holding it trying to figure out the mystery of why it’s considered a “Bauhaus” design. I suppose the thing about Bauhaus is that it’s like Justice Stewart’s famous explanation of pornography, that you know it when you see it. Except that I’m not even sure that I know it when I see it. The only way to be sure that you have something with a Bauhaus design is to verify that the guy who designed it, in this case Hannes Wettstein, is known as a Bauhaus designer.
The tenets of Bauhaus are that (1) there should be no superfluous adornment or decoration; and (2) form follows function.
Indeed, the Studio has hardly any decorative design elements. What’s missing here that’s on just about every other pen is some kind of ring around either the end of the cap, or where the body meets the “section” (the area where you hold the pen). This ring is not really superfluous at all, because it’s a lot more difficult to manufacture a pen where the cap, when capped on the pen, is perfectly flush with the body, and that’s the case with the Lamy Studio (although you can’t see that in the photo above where the cap is posted on the top of the pen).
The unusual shaped clip, however, violates the rule of form follow function, because it works a lot less well for holding the pen in a shirt pocket than the clips found on even cheap $2 pens, and it also scratches the surface of the cap where it meets (which has bothered some people on internet pen forums although you don’t notice the scratch except on a very close inspection). Because this allegedly Bauhaus clip is actually less functional than the standard bourgeoisie clip on every other pen, this makes me wonder whether Bauhaus is just a big crock of b**s***.
In this official White House photo, Barrack Obama can be seen using a black Lamy Studio, perhaps confirming the viewpoint that Bauhaus designs are mostly preferred by people from the political left. However, Obama is using the ballpoint or rollerball version of the Studio because Obama does not write with fountain pens. He doesn’t even use fountain pens to sign or veto important laws.