Pens LM1 Flame Red Limited Edition 2007
by Jim Mamoulides, December 12, 2007
It's Red Hot!
Classic Pens LM1 Flame Red Fountain Pen 2007
In November, 2007 Classic Pens announced their newest Limited Edition, the LM1 Flame Red, based on the new full-size Classic Pens Legend 766 fountain pen. The new LM designation, following CP, LS and others, comes from the surname initials of the president, Andreas Lambrou, and vice president, Armen J. Malikian, of Classic Pens, Inc. The company designed the Legend line giving it a traditional and balanced look and feel in the hand, while also seeking the very best materials and manufacturing sources available. The Legend will also serve as the base pen for many exciting Maki-E designs from Classic Pens.
The Legend 766 is a cartridge / converter pen fitted with a large number 6 full size two-tone 18 karat gold nib centered with the new Classic logo. It is complimented with a full-size matching rollerball / ballpoint pen, the Legend 762, that uses the same cap and barrel design and incorporates a self-contained section unit that can accommodate both Parker and Schmidt rollerball and ballpoint refills.
Detail of Classic Pens LM1 Flame Red showing nib design and cap engraving
The edition is limited to 375 fountain pens and 125 rollerball / ballpoint pens. Fountain pen and rollerball pens will be available with matching edition numbers.
The striking flame red acrilyc is a custom fabricated diffusion bonded material made especially for Classic Pens by Carville in the UK, one of the world's oldest plastics machining companies, established by Frederick Carville in 1928. The company is a leader in diffusion bonding technology, manufacturing high tech parts used in water quality analysis, industrial applications, pharmaceuticals, and medical applications. Diffusion bonded acrylic is much more durable, stable, and costly than traditional acrylic materials, giving the LM1 Flame Red a tough and high-tech base, complimented by traditional gold plated appointments.
Attention was given to every aspect of the pen design, from the overall shape, the high quality materials, to details such as the new "cravat" shaped clip, designed by Classic Pens. The clip tip, with two diamond facets joined in the center, forms the new Classic logo, which symbolizes the fusion of Eastern and Western culture, as seen with Classic Pen's work with Maki-E designs. The design process included creating a clean, straightforward, and elegant nib design that flows from the thought process of the logo design. The philosophy is that a simple, strong design is best. Other elements, such as the quick turn, single start thread on the cap and barrel, the rollerball / ballpoint unit, to the elegant box design all bring the LM1 together as a top quality pen.
LM1 Flame Red
Classic Pens LM1 Flame Red Rollerball / Ballpoint Pen 2007
Identification guide and features:
Unique flame red diffusion bonded acrylic cap and barrel
5/16 inch wide gold plated engraved cap band with Classic logo, Flame Red edition name and edition number engraved, and with single trim line engraved at edges
Gold plated clip, with Classic Pens logo design
Solid 18 karat gold two-tone platinum plated nib with Classic Pens logo design and "18K" and "750"
Available with 4 nib choices, including fine, medium, broad, and broad stub / italic
About 5 3/4 inches long capped, about 6 3/4 inches long with the cap posted on the end of the barrel
Cartridge / converter filling system
Retail price the fountain pen (model L766) is US $575 and matching roller/ball pen (L762) is US $475
Presented in an elegant wooden gift box covered in red leatherette material, accompanied by a signed Certificate of Authenticity and Lifetime Warranty.
The LM1 is the second pen from Classic Pens based on the new Legend design. Though the overall shape has a familiar look to it, one that goes back to the late 1940s, the extensive time spent by Classic Pens on every design element has resulted in a pen that won't be mistaken for any other. The whole pen has a "something old, something new" feeling to it. It's quite a large size pen, measuring 5 3/4 inches capped and nearly 6 3/4 inches with the cap posted on the end of the barrel. The pen is plenty big enough to write with comfortably unposted, and I found this my favorite writing position. It's a cartridge / converter filler, and the converter is an especially nice unit that works very smoothly.
Detail of Classic Pens LM1 Flame Red showing nib design and unique diffusion bonded acrylic
Although the brilliant red diffusion bonded cap and barrel grabs the eye initially, it's the striking gold plated clip that is the statement on this pen. It's a bold and unique design that gets its inspiration from the top mounted clip of the Soennecken 111 Superior, a highly prized and high quality German pen designed to compete with the large Montblanc piston fillers in the 1950s. The team at Classic Pens If one is looking for design inspiration, this would certainly be one of the best places to look. The V shaped tip of the clip also serves as the key design element for the new Classic Pens logo. The clip often becomes the manufacturer's logo, as with the Parker Arrow, and this design succeeds in saying this is a Classic Pens product. The clip has enough spring to let the pen ride high and securely in the pocket, even thick flannel shirts (I tried it), but I believe this pen will spend more time in the hand than waiting for its next assignment.
Getting back to the cap and barrel material, which is so hard to ignore, I should point out that it is like nothing else I have seen on a pen. The red and translucent pearl layers are stacked vertically much as with a Parker Vacumatic, but they blend and have such incredible depth that the impression is much like looking into the red spot on Jupiter. It stands out from the swirly and often odd colored resin pens that are proliferating today. The material polishes very brightly and has a hefty feel to it, undobtedly not only from how it's made, but the fact that it is cut with quite thick walls. This gives the pen a quite substantial feel for a non-metal pen and it weighs in at nearly 2 ounces, about the same as the all brass base Cross Townsend. Though I did not drop test the pen, Classic Pens reports that the material is not fragile, either, especially since the diffusion bonding process was intended to create very durable materials.
The bold flame red material and statement clip is accessorized by the gold plated 5/16 inch wide cap band flanked by two gold plated 1/8 inch trim pieces, one on the barrel end and one making the washer for the clip. The cap band forms the cap lip and is engraved with the new Classic logo on the front face, the Flame Red edition name, and the edition number clockwise around the band, flanked by a single line top and bottom. It's a very nice looking job and centers the pen well.
Detail of Classic Pens LM1 Flame Red showing nib design and cap engraving
Removing the cap reveals that all the attention to the design detail also extended to the nib design, a handsome two-tone platinum masked finish with the new Classic logo stamped in the center. I should point out that the cap thread is very fast and secure, and the wide look is quite attractive. I doubt stripped threads will be an issue with this pen. The nib I tried was the medium, and it writes wet and even and has a nice spring to it. Writers who like some flex in their nib will be pleased with this one. It's also nice to have an italic in the standard nib offering, a rarity today. I love the large size and the writing experience. This is a really nice nib.
One question people will ask is, "Why the black section? Why not a flame red section to match the cap and barrel?" There were prototypes made with the same flame red section (that's another article - stay tuned), but the material is translucent and Classic Pens was concerned that ink would be visible through the section material, creating an undesireable appearance and a difficult cleaning problem. I think the black section looks great, so I don't see this as an issue, having seen it both ways. I can also say I am happy with no trim ring at the end of the section as this is a potential corrosion point for many pens. I know that Classic Pens is aware of that issue would not have put a trim ring there if they thought there was any chance for long term corrosion problems.
Classic Pens LM1 Flame Red Fountain Pen and Rollerball / Ballpoint Pen 2007
The LM1 pens are packaged in gorgeous wooden boxes with complimentary color heavy grained leather like material outside and plush leather like material inside. The boxes are nice enough to leave on your desk so the pens have a classy place to reside when you are away. If the pen is to be a gift, the box signals that something very nice indeed is inside.
The buyers question on this pen for me comes down to, "Would I use it?" In spite of being a true limited edition, Classic Pens has created a knockout daily user pen priced in the neighborhood with many other non-limited edition pens, such as the Parker Duofold and many Italian offerings. Not only would I use this pen, I ordered one for myself! With only 375 fountain pens in this edition, the great design and exciting materials, and the obvious ability to handle the daily grind, this is an easy decision. It's worth the money. I can also say that the rollerball model is an excellent companion or solo pen for those who would rather have an inked ball on paper experience. I think this edition will sell out quickly and will be one limited edition that will find itself in regular use by happy owners.
This pens and selected photos shown in this article were loaned by Classic Pens for this article. We would like to thank Andy Lambrou for providing the pens, graphics, and the background information for the article.