Matte Black Lamy CP1 0.7mm Mechanical Pencil
It seems to us, at Choosing Keeping, obvious that the fountain pen market is dominated today by German manufacturers. Aside for a general national respect and enthusiasm for industry - indeed Germany is the second largest exporter of goods after China - singularity of vision and commitment to quality have endowed German pen makers with solid, long lasting businesses. Lamy, Pelikan, Kaweco, Montblanc are all German owned and made household names, while the Parkers, Conway Stewarts and Watermans of this world have been victims of many mergers and acquisitions, and are today either dead or have one foot in the grave...
One German company which deserves particular attention for its unique point of view is Lamy GmbH. Much like Braun and Olivetti, post-war companies interested with ideas of modernity, Lamy broke with the past by creating mass-manufactured quality writing tools with a design focused approach.
The company was founded by Josef Lamy in 1930. Prior to starting his own business, Josef Lamy had in fact been working as a sales rep for Parker. This influence can be found in Lamy's early pens, which used the same filling system as Parker, and whose conservative designs were loosely based on the classic 1921 Duofold.
Where he, and his son Dr. Manfred Lamy, did innovate radically is by using moulded plastics - as opposed to hand-turned acrylics and celluloids. This functional and democratic material remains at the core of their business to this day. Indeed, from the 1960s onwards Lamy really hit its stride producing pens in complete opposition to what was being made in the industry. The most successful Lamy pens were those born from collaborations with clever designers, for whom Bauhaus values were given full importance.
Whilst the Lamy 2000 represents the company's most recognisable Bauhaus design, the CP1 perhaps better exemplifies the movement's function-meets-form values. With its sleek lines and minimal design features, including brushed steel clip and push button mechanism, it is an understated and practical addition to the Lamy family.
The body is made of coated metal which makes the pencil light, yet well-weighted, smooth to the touch, and provides its soft, matte finish. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it too was designed by Gerd A. Muller a few years after his collaboration with Lamy to create the iconic Lamy 2000; the two models share the same modern simplicity in classic Bauhaus design.
Body material: Coated metal with brushed steel clip
Mechanism: Push button
Refill type: Takes 0.7mm standard leads
Dimensions: 14cm long
Included: several HB leads in the barrel and eraser under the button