In the crowded world of pens, it’s always nice to see something new. So when we stumbled across the Pico from Lamy, we knew we had to give it a try. Designed by Franco Clivio, this little German marvel features an interesting actuation, transforming from a simply cylinder to a full sized ballpoint with the press of a button. Lamy was kind enough to send one our way for testing, so read on to see how it stacks up.
Out of the box, the first thing we noticed about the Pico was its finish. The reflective “matte chromium” model is gorgeous, though it does take fingerprints rather quickly. We were also struck by its thickness, showing more girth than either of our Fisher Space Pens. It’s about as wide around as a traditional Sharpie, with a length (12 cm open, 9cm closed) roughly equivalent to our Bullet.
Lamy’s website describes the pen’s construction simply as “metal.” While we were unable to determine the exact composition, we can tell you that it’s certainly lightweight. The metal tube itself is quite thin, and mechanical innards appear to be composed of plastic. As a result, the Pico doesn’t feel quite as rugged in the hand as we’d expected. These weight-saving measures yield a few ergonomic advantages, however. The lightness helps to offset any discomfort caused by the pen’s wide grip profile, allowing users to avoid finger cramps. It also allows the pen to ride comfortably in the pocket.
Let’s talk about Lamy’s “anti-roll” device. It doesn’t look like much – A tiny bit of branding raised a few millimeters from the surface of the barrel. Honestly, we thought it was just a place to put the logo. But when you actually set the pen on the table, you’ll realize its importance. The anti-roll feature is true to its name, keeping the Pico from tumbling off desks, countertops, and conference tables. It’s a nice touch, and we’re glad it’s there.
4 stars out of 5
The Lamy Pico is, without question, the smoothest writing ballpoint pen we’ve tested. It lays down effortless lines, with very little smear or spotting. The girth of the pen, however, does lead to some eventual issues. We stated above that the lightness helps offset cramping. And it does, for a minute or two. After that, the slick finish and thick surface of the Pico started to wear on our hands. Users with large mitts may not have an issue but, for our average sized hands, it was a bit difficult to use during extended writing sessions.
But perhaps that’s not what Lamy was going for here. The quick-deploying nature of the pen makes it perfect for impromptu notes and short jots. Even our favorite pocket pen, the Fisher Backpacker, takes a few moments to uncap and post. With the Lamy, there’s no such issue. Pull, press, and set to paper – It’s a simple and satisfying process.
4.5 stars out of 5
Though it may not possess the “Write Anywhere” capability of the Fisher, we feel The Pico has created a niche all its own. Its mechanical actuation and smooth writing capability make it an interesting EDC pen, especially in an office or white collar setting. It stood up to our testing with ease, and we can see no issues which would affect quality in the long term. M22 cartridge refills are available in the $7 range online, though you may have trouble finding them in brick and mortar retailers. These cartidges are noticeable smaller than most standard refills, so we’re not sure if they’ll last as long as those from Parker or Fisher.
If you’re looking for an easily pocketable pen with a more elegant feel than a Space Pen, the Pico could prove to be an excellent long term companion.
4.5 stars out of 5
Hovering around the $30 mark, the Pico isn’t cheap. But consider what you’re getting – A quick deploying, sharp looking, smooth writing pocket pen perfectly suited for office EDC. Users of this unique device are sure to attract attention around the conference table, something that can’t be said of other popular pens such as the Parker Jotter. The quality construction and beautiful lines also provide strong arguments in favor of the Pico. In the end, we feel that Lamy’s pocket offering does a decent job of justifying its rather hefty price tag.
4 stars out of 5
Custom engraving available through Lamy.
Where to Buy
Amazon (4.4 out of 5 stars over 44 Customer Reviews)