Feb 26

Fountain Pen Reviews: Lamy Dialog 3 Fountain Pen

When you invest in a Lamy pen you’re getting more than just a pen. In fact you’re getting a combination of German efficiency with Swiss precision and style built in so you’ll own something that you simply won’t see anywhere else. Lamy as a company have a proud history of creating fountain pens, which are functional and also works of art, dating back to the 1930s and produce over 6 million (6,000,000) fine writing instruments per year; they’re the leading producer of fountain pens in Germany period.

Then when it comes to the design elements Lamy don’t do things by halves and instead have their own designers create something new, truly unique and utterly functional every single time. When it comes to the Lamy Dialog 3 fountain pen you get to see the design influences of Franco Clivio at work; a visionary who has also designed products for Siemens, Garden and Rodenstock among others. These multi-faceted influences are obvious when you see the Lamy Dialog 3 fountain pen for the first time because it looks so utterly sleek and innovative.

Lamy Dialog 3 Fountain Pen

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The Exterior

The finish of the Lamy Dialog 3 fountain pen is the first thing that will probably catch your eye – this fine fountain pen is finished in palladium which isn’t a metal you see used very often outside of the manufacture of electronics or very fine jewelry. Palladium as a metal is a great alternative to using platinum, is significantly lighter and can also be used to produce a much thinner “skin” for a pen like the Lamy 3 Dialog so you get a much sleeker finish. Plus you also have the social perk of owning a pen finished in palladium, a metal most people won’t even be familiar with – it sounds like something from an X-Men movie.

Retractable Nib

After you’ve gotten over the finish of the Lamy Dialog 3 the next thing you’ll notice is that there’s no cap and in fact there’s no nib! Wait is this some weird design flaw or did you get a faulty fountain pen, after all how can you write without a nib? This is where you get to see a modern twist on a traditional fountain pen design. Instead of having the 14K gold nib exposed the entire time or clumsily covered with an antiquated cap all you need to do is twist the Lamy 3 and you’ll notice that not only does the nib appear but the pen clip also retracts into the body of the pen so as not to get in your way when you’re writing.

And when you twist the pen again to close it the opening for the nib is covered by a special cover to stop the nib and ink from drying out and of course the clip pops back out so you can attach it to your shirt or jacket pocket. This fountain pen was specifically designed to have the nib retracted before the pen clip engages – to prevent leaks and the dry-cleaning bills that come afterwards.

Retractable fountain pens are manufactured by other companies but even at that are quite rare and none of them can compare to the Lamy Dialog 3 in terms of ingenuity and simplicity of action.

Smooth Writing Action

The Lamy Dialog 3 comes with a solid gold 14K bi-color medium sized nib which gives very smooth ink output with no bleeding. This fountain pen is marketed as a medium sized pen but is actually quite large and heavy so if you have especially small hands this is something to be aware of. When it comes to filling this fountain pen with ink you have the choice of either using ink or ink cartridges using the built-in converter which you can access by just twisting the main body of the pen apart; this might seem daunting but is actually very simple to do once you take care and do it slowly and gently.

What Finishes Are Available?

The Lamy Dialog 3 pen only comes in a palladium finish from head to toe with the small exception of some gold detailing on the nib itself. Normally with luxury fountain pens you expect a variety of finishes to be available to you but the Dialog 3 looks so stunning in palladium that you wouldn’t want it available in anything other finish than this sleek “silver” look – especially when you see the nib retracted into the body of the pen itself.

Additional Features

One curious design feature is that the nib of the pin extends from what would traditionally be seen as the “top” of a fountain pen, where the clip is located. Although this isn’t necessarily a separate feature we just felt it was worth noting here for prospective buyers of this fine fountain pen.

Included Accessories

The Lamy Dialog 3 comes with a beech wood case for the pen which again works with the entire design concept of the pen and complements it very well.


  • You’re getting a truly unique pen for the $200 price range.
  • The retractable nib and clip are ingenious design features and have been put through tens of thousands of cycles without failing.
  • Using palladium in the finish of this pen gives it that extra “Je ne sais quoi” in terms of overall appeal – it just looks fantastic.
  • It can use both ink and ink cartridges so you have a versatile luxury writing instrument at your disposal.


  • As we mentioned earlier this pen is quite large and quite heavy so if you struggle with bulkier pens of any kind this fountain pen might not be for you.
  • Lamy will only honor the warranty on their products if they’ve been purchased from an authorized dealer, like Amazon, so be careful who you buy from.


The Lamy Dialog 3 fountain pen makes a very strong design statement by just being what it is – truly unique. It’s not the only retractable fountain pen in the world but it is most definitely one of the most stylish and you can thank Franco Clivio for that. A great fountain pen which delivers great results and at a very reasonable price.

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