Lamy Safari Week – Day Six: One Tough Customer


This is the current Charcoal Safari.  It might be a boring color for a Safari, but it’s one of my favorites to actually use.

Unlike the other regular-line Safaris, the Charcoal Safari has a matte, textured plastic body.   That makes it much more scratch and wear-resistant.  It’s also nice to grip.

I wish Lamy used this matte plastic more often.  It isn’t new to the Safari: it was used in the early Savannah Green and Terracotta models.  It’s tougher and it’s more discreet, which is nice at times.

And, as long as I’m writing a wish list, why not reissue the Savanna Green and Terracotta Safari for a while?  It would be a fitting tribute to the history of the pen to see those colors in the hands of users once again.

Lamy Safari Week – Day Four: Sunshine on a Cloudy Day


Yellow is (tied for) my favorite color.  Over the years they’ve changed the clip color from black to chrome, and the shade of yellow has changed slightly.  And sometimes a vendor comes up with a special edition yellow Safari.  So over the years, I’ve ended up with three different yellows.

This is the current Yellow Safari, the standard, normal one, and this is the only one I actually write with.  It would be enough on its own.  It always brightens my day.

Lamy Safari Week – Day Three: Trying to Be Reasonable


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.

Lamy Safari Week – Day Two: Dr. Seuss Would Approve


This is the current Pink Safari. I use it for pink and pinkish inks. So I use it often. I may own fancier pens than Safaris in typical colors: black, blue, red, green and even brown. But I own no pink pens that are not Safaris. And I love pink. This variety of fun colors is one of the best features of the Safari line.

I think of Dr. Seuss’s Red Fish, Blue Fish, Old Fish, New Fish. One character had a pet Yink who liked to drink pink ink. This pen is my Yink.

There have actually been a few variants of the pink issued, with different cap finials. Not to mention the 2014 Limited Edition Neon Coral, which is itself a nice pink. Thank you, Lamy, for the pink Safaris. Now if we can talk about finally getting a purple one?

Lamy Safari Week – Day One: Do You Think It’s “Ugly”? You Probably Are a Grown-Up.

Lamy Safari red fountain pen

I like Lamy Safaris, and I have a fair number of them. Can I talk about them for an entire week?

Today I want to talk about the design of the Safari. Even defend it. You cannot read about fountain pens on the internet without knowing that some people just hate the looks of the Lamy Safari.  You often hear it stated baldly: “It’s ugly.”

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Pen of the Day: Pelikan M700 Toledo


Pelikan M700 Toledo with extra-fine nib. This is the smaller of Pelikan’s two modern Toledos. It is based on the M400 body. The sleeve is sterling silver, with the decorative parts engraved by hand. It is then treated to darken the base and cover with gold the part of the design that stand in relief.


I bought the pen used and added the extra-fine nib later. Richard Binder ground the nib himself from a stock medium nib when he realized that he had run out of extra-fines. I know I got the better end of that deal; this is one great nib.

The ink is Pelikan Brilliant Black. It’s not a dark black, but a more gray black, and it’s a dry ink, so it keeps the line nicely narrow.


Ink Review: Diamine Wagner


Diamine Wagner.  This ink is part of Diamine’s outstanding Music Set.   Wagner is an unusual color, but I think it’s gorgeous.  I have used it with a Lamy Safari with medium nib and here with an inexpensive Jetpens Chibi with a fine nib. It is better suited to pens with wetter nibs, like the Chibi.

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