Lamy Safari Week – Day Three: Trying to Be Reasonable

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This is a nice discontinued Safari in the “Flame” colors — orange pen, red clip.

I found it one year at the Chicago Pen Show for pretty much the regular price, maybe a tiny bit higher.  No biggie.  No one else wanted it; it had been sitting out on the table for two days.  And that is how it should be, I think.

These pens, much as I love them, are plastic pens with steel nibs.  Let’s be honest.  I have written over 1,000 words this week about how much I like Safaris.  I love them.  But one Safari writes the same as the next.  I’ve seen the Flame listed for $200, and it can sell for over $100.  The very old Safaris go for much more.  The word that comes to mind is “tulipmania.”

Look at it up there. It’s nice, right? But is it any nicer than any other Safari? No, it is not. I say this even owning it — even though it’s in my interest to talk it up, so that if I ever have to sell it, I can make eleventy zillion dollars on it. Or even $200.

I’d just like to be honest here. If there’s a limited edition color you missed, and can’t find near the standard price, consider buying a new one in a current color instead.  Or buy a used Safari that isn’t “rare.” They all are fun.  If you like to use orange inks, the yellow would be nice. Or consider an orange pen from another brand. Remember that Lamy might bring out another orange, or light blue or insert-color-here Safari in the future. In fact the Pink Safari went through a few limited editions and then joined the regular line.

If you have $200 to spend on a discontinued pen, you could look instead at a vintage pen with a gold nib.  You’ll still have a great pen and a piece of history, and you’ll have money left over.

Of course, if you are an investor in Safaris, knock yourself out. Or if you are a real collector, that’s your thing, and I wish you only enjoyment. But otherwise, there are lots of fountain pens in the world, and you can find some amazing pens for less than the price of most older Safaris in this current market.

2 thoughts on “Lamy Safari Week – Day Three: Trying to Be Reasonable

  1. Yeah. It’s human nature, of course. But I’m old enough to remember when kids collected beer cans and Beanie Babies. These things usually don’t end well.

    Honestly, the thing that’s come close to turning me off the Safari in recent years hasn’t been reading how “ugly” they are, over and over. Though that can be tiresome. 🙂 But it has been seeing people trying to sell them for hundreds of dollars, people talking about rare cap tops, etc. To top it off, counterfeit Safaris have arrived — not copycat or homage pens, but counterfeits sold as Lamy Safaris. And we better believe the counterfeiters will figure out how to make a red clip, too, as well as how to make every one of the older colors. Counterfeit Aquamarine Safaris are already being sold.

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  2. woah, this is BRIGHT! I think it would look great with some Sailor Jentle Apricot peeking out the window 🙂 Or go for contrast and use a nice bright blue, maybe that Waterman Serenity you featured earlier!

    I had to look up ‘tulipmania’ and yeah, that does ring true 😛 I love a good historical reference! I agree, the speculation around some pens does seem a bit silly. I wonder if it might be an unfortunate by-product of FPs in general being such a niche product. If they were used as everyday pens by loads of people, I doubt this kind of thing would go far 🙂

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