Lamy’s modular nibs aren’t particularly complex, but there are some basics concepts to know if you want to get the most out of them, as well as some rather long lists you might want to refer to (that aren’t worth memorizing). This article well help you get your head around Lamy’s steel and gold fountain pen nibs.
Lamy Nib Basics
Here are the absolute basics that you’ll want to know.
- Lamy’s nibs are modular, which means the same nib will fit on almost all Lamy pens. The notable exception is the Lamy 2000 fountain pen
- The nibs are sold in steel (silver colored steel is the Z50, bi-colored gold is the Z55)
- The nibs are sold in black as well (steel is the Z52, bi-colored gold is the Z57)
- The gold is 14K
- The nibs are made of folded metal or gold that slides on to a plastic feed
- These are not flex nibs
Lamy Nib Sizes
If you are in the market for a fountain pen one of the most important decisions you need to make is for the nib size. If your pen uses a swappable nib (like Lamy does) this isn’t as big of a decision, but if you are buying a pen with a fixed or very expensive nib, this is critical selection.
Common Nib Sizes
The most common sizes you’ll see Lamy nibs in are:
- Extra Fine
Uncommon Nib Sizes
Lamy has a number of less than common sizes that are still sold as well. These are:
- Double Broad – The Lamy 2000 fountain pen technically is still sold in a BB
- Left-handed – This is not exactly rare, but you don’t see it too often. You can buy this on a Safari but it’s mostly sold as a standalone steel nib.
These aren’t popular any longer, but they are still sold. They are generally used to correct for a slanted grip or to add interesting line variation to fancier writing.
- Oblique Medium (OM)
- Oblique Broad (OB)
- Oblique Double Broad (OBB)
- 1.1 mm
- 1.5 mm
- 1.9 mm
Lamy’s Gold Nibs
Lamy sells a 14K (aka 585) gold nib in silver and gold bi-color as well as black and gold bi-color. These are sold both on the aftermarket and included with some models of higher-end fountain pens, like the Scala and Studio.
These nibs are expensive but add more line variation to your writing. They generally not smoother than the standard nibs. They are more interesting to write with than their steel counterparts, plus they look great.
The gold nibs are sold in all the common and oblique nib sizes above.
Lamy Nib Variants
Lamy nibs are almost entirely standardized but there are some interesting variants available if you are watching closely.
Z53 – Lamy Aion Nib
The new-ish (released in 1997) Aion is sold with Lamy’s steel nib, but it actually looks different than the standard Z50. The Aion’s nib is swappable for the standard nib, so it’s just aesthetically different from the normal model. This special design was said to be a request from the pen’s designer, Jasper Morrison.
Older Lamy nibs that use the standardized design are often blank. These old blank nibs came in all black or polished steel and they have no logo or size information on them. The are interchangeable with modern nibs.
Since old Lamy nibs were blank, the company still needed people to be able to tell gold nibs from steel ones (both are the color of polished steel). Lamy marked the gold nibs with “585” which is the percentage of gold found in 14 carat gold.
Lamy Nib Models
Lamy nibs have model numbers are seldomly used but can be helpful from time to time…
- Z50: Polished steel, silver color, the standard nib
- Z52: Polished black, PVD coated steel, the standard nib on the Lamy Lx
- Z53: Polished steel, silver color, round profile, the Aion nib
- Z55: 14K gold bi-color, mostly silver colored
- Z57: 14K gold bi-color, mostly black
How to Change a Lamy Nib
See the full article and video on swapping Lamy nibs.