When I found out that Dapprman had a Lamy Imporium, I practically jumped up and down with glee to try it. And then he let me borrow it! See, the pen community is a wonderful thing.
The Imporium is Lamy’s flagship, descended from the 1990s Persona. It’s an uncommon pen.
I am a huge fan of Lamy gold nibs, after a positive experience with my Dialog 3. They are smooth, juicy and bouncy, and I happen to think they’re enormously attractive, too.
So the Imporium, equipped with such a nib, was off to a good start, in my book. This one is a fine, and it lays a nice wet medium. Just as expected.
The second big plus point was the design. This is an incredibly striking pen, like a classical column hewn out of sandblasted metal. Uncapped, the column turns into a tower of Hanoi for the section. The cap is smooth, with a neatly integrated sprung clip.
The Imporium looks like nothing else, in Lamy’s portfolio or anyone else’s.
The version I borrowed from Dapprman is all matte black, accented with a gold clip, gold barrel finial, and a gold accent on the nib.
I personally prefer the titanium version, but this colour scheme is pretty funky too. And since this one has been in daily use for a decent amount of time, and still looks pristine, I think we can vouch for the robustness of the finish.
In the hand and once the sizeable cap is removed, the Imporium is quite small, short and very, very dense. I wouldn’t even think about posting it, even if I wasn’t concerned about damaging the finish on someone else’s pen.
Unfortunately, this is where I didn’t quite get on with the Imporium. Don’t get me wrong, I could use it, but I noticed a degree of discomfort after just a few minutes. I can’t blame the nib… as expected, it was smooth and willing, and needed only the weight of the pen to start writing a fluid line in Lamy Black.
Instead, I blame pressure points caused by the ridges on the section, the steep slope down to the nib, and the tiny-but-sharp step up to the barrel, combined with the sheer mass of the pen. Anyway, I found it distracting. Which is a shame, because the small size, the density of the Imporium makes it quite agile for scribbling.
There are some other downsides, mostly minor. The cap threads are famously shallow, almost invisibly so, and prone to cross-threading. There’s a simple solution, which is to twist slightly in the uncapping direction to make sure the cap is properly aligned before tightening it down. I didn’t find it a problem. But the cap did take a little too much twisting to remove — I noticed the delay when trying to capture notes on a call at work.
The Imporium fills through the same basic converter as any other Lamy, with the barrel-section interface on chunky plastic threads. For a pen that retails usually for around 250 quid, I might have liked a fancier filling mechanism (I’ll give the Dialog a pass because of its complicated engineering). But again, a minor complaint.
Compared to the fancy flush clip on the ancestral Persona, the clip on the Imporium is a little more conventional. But I can’t argue against its function.
And surprisingly, that’s all I have to say about the Imporium, really. It looks very busy, but this is quite a simple pen.
I wanted to like it a lot, because hell, it’s another vehicle for the amazing Z55 gold nib, as well as being a striking and storied design exercise. But actually I found it very heavy and rather uncomfortable, and I found myself wishing for a Z55 nib in a more ergonomic body.
Which is a shame, because right now the Imporium is available on Amazon for about £175, which is a very good price. Or get it from a proper pen shop like Iguanasell for about £250.