New generation Zoom in da house

As much as I would like to support my local speciality stores, it seems Tombow still prefers to keep the relaunched Zoom line up to the Japanese domestic market. As such I have made these my final online purchase of 2023.

One thing I was certain was that I wanted the ‘floating knock’ C1 and the slim faceted L2. The semi-translucent rollerball L1 was pretty low on my list.

After some thinking, I selected the MP versions for both designs: Sand Silver for the C1, like a visual negative analog to the classic Lamy 2000. For the L2, I went with the full black - it just felt more versatile and easy to match with other slim all-black pens in my collection.

A close up of the eye candy that is the C1’s floating knock. It is a fun and elegant design and doesn’t detract from the solid feeling of the knock action.

Quick disassembly: I’m glad both MPs have metal clutches. The use of plastics in the rest of C1 mechanism is a tad higher that I expected but overall, it fees well balanced and very well finished.

The resin body of the L2 sports the new rubberized coating that is supposed to be resistant to hydrolysis. The key word being ‘resistant’… In the hand it has perceptible heft, so it feels really well balanced for its size.

Overall I am pleased with both. Aesthetically they feel just right for the urban modernity of today’s Japanese design. Who knows if they will achieve iconic status like the original Zoom lineup of 505, 606 and 707?

I’ll be heading to Tokyo with my wife for a short holiday over Christmas. While there, I hope to be able to see the other colors and also how the L1 holds up in person.


Funny, I have those waiting at my proxy, but chose the opposite colors… I thought the gap looks better in all black.


I had initially thought the Graphite Blue would be the nicest for C1, but then my obsession kicked in: which other pen would I be matching to such a C1 pencil? That is why I thought of the Lamy 2000, which I had been holding off for the longest time…

I may eventually get a Graphite Blue anyway, perhaps if I liked the L1 in the same color.