Fall Color Fountain Pens: Lamy Studio Olive, Lamy Studio Terracotta, Pelikan M205 Olivine, Kaweco AL-Sport Night, Sailor Professional Gear Earth and a Pair of Nakaya Shu’s

Normally I mark the arrival of the fall season’s arrival by switching out my inks to fall colors, but this year I seem to have done that with new pens. Maybe pen companies bring out new autumnal pen colors every year, and I’ve only noticed this year because they are pen companies I like, but I can’t remember a year I’ve seen so many tempting new pens so late in the year.

I do not think this is fair.

First, I had the chance in August to pick up a used Nakaya in Unpolished Shu, that is absolutely gorgeous, with an amazing BB flex stub nib. As luck would have it, more recently I added a second, a Piccolo in Polished Shu with a wonderful fine nib. Which gives me … and yes, I’m going to say it again … a pair of Shu’s.

Unfortunately, because I have bought too many other pens this year, I’ll have to sell those onward soon. But they are amazing to use, and to look at. I really love the dark red of Shu.

Pelikan M205 Olivine, Lamy Studio Olive and Terracotta, Kaweco AL-Sport Night, Sailor Earth, Nakaya Shu

But even the Nakayas weren’t first. First was a Sailor. Not the 1911L in Key Lime that came out in September. Though it’s stunning, the Key Lime is yellow-green and doesn’t feel autumnal. No, I am talking about the Sailor Professional Gear Earth, which I bought earlier this year for its killer extra-fine nib. The translucent brown color of Earth comes into its own this time of year.

And then there are the brand new pens.

First came the Pelikan M600 Vibrant Orange, which is a fall pen for me because I’ve pre-ordered it, even though it doesn’t arrive till November.

Then last week, unexpectedly, the deluge.

I realized — in the worst possible way — that Pelikan’s annual M200-style pen the Olivine is an M205, with the silver-colored trim. Silver-trimmed Pelikans happen to be my biggest weakness. You might well ask, What’s the worst way to learn this? The answer is: when you’re holding one in your hand.

Unfortunately for me, the M205 Olivine also is a killer shade of translucent dark green. Even the medium stainless steel nib is excellent.

So I’m dead now.

You might ask, since I’m dead anyway, what was my second-biggest weakness? That is apparently simple: all other pens.

But I only thought I was dead. Apparently I am a Halloween zombie, because I died a second time. I got a surprise: along with the M205 Olivine, Dan Smith, the Nibsmith, sent me, without telling me, three new pens to review. That should have been safe: one I hadn’t heard of, and the other two I wasn’t interested in.

Pelikan M205 Olivine, Lamy Studio Olive and Terracotta, Kaweco AL-Sport Night

The one I hadn’t heard of is a Kaweco AL-Sport in all-black, with a matte finish, called the Night Edition. I don’t even like all-black pens — it’s such a basic and boring pen color, why use more of it? So why, when I opened the box, puzzled, and pulled out this pen, so dark as to be almost invisible, did I immediately say, “ZOMG, mine.” Because it is that excellent.

The two fountain pens I wasn’t interested in are Lamy Studios, in Olive and Terracotta. I mean, I’m a Safari and Al-Star fan, not a Studio fan. These are newish. It turns out Dan got his hand on a few, but they aren’t even US releases for some reason I don’t understand.

What I do understand is that these are essentially the same colors as the two original Lamy Safari colors, Savannah and Terracotta. Now, I am the world’s biggest and nearly only Lamy Safari fan, as you know, and it just so happens that I’ve spent years suggesting/begging that Lamy reissue the Savannah and Terracotta Safaris. So I should be very annoyed that Lamy finally did so, except in the form of a Studio. A Studio is more formal, and heavier, and has a better section. It’s also more expensive. And not a Safari. So who needs Studios in these colors?

Apparently, me. Thanks, Lamy. The truth is, these are great colors that look great on the Studio.

They aren’t actually that expensive, even. Dan is charging $87 for these, which I know because someone at my pen club saw “my two” yesterday, and immediately wanted to buy one for himself, so I had to ask. Dan fitted the Terracotta with a 14k gold nib, which is an upcharge of $89, which is worth it if you want a more refined writing experience. Though I personally like even the stainless steel nib just fine. Even the shiny steel section doesn’t bother me, on these pens. Because the pens are so gorgeous

Pelikan M205 Olivine Lamy Studio Olive and Terracotta

If I were to justify them — which I manifestly will not do, so don’t even suggest that — I’d point out that $87 for the Studio with steel nib is comparable to an Kaweco AL-Sport, except the Studio has a better converter and doesn’t need to be used posted. Add $89 for the gold nib, and your Studio then compares to the smaller size Sailor Professional Gear Slim or 1911S — except the size of the Studio is, for me, much better than Sailor’s smaller sized pens. The gold nib Studio is nicely comparable to the gold nib Pilot Custom 74, and it’s much cheaper than Sailor’s larger size pens.

Unfortunately, I am way past the point of making sensible comparisons. And well past my budget. I cannot own every pen I want to own. But how I’m going to figure this out is a problem for another day. For now, it’s harvest season, and pens are the crop.

Pelikan M205 Olivine, Lamy Studio Olive and Terracotta, Kaweco AL-Sport Night, Sailor Earth, Nakaya Shu

21 thoughts on “Fall Color Fountain Pens: Lamy Studio Olive, Lamy Studio Terracotta, Pelikan M205 Olivine, Kaweco AL-Sport Night, Sailor Professional Gear Earth and a Pair of Nakaya Shu’s

  1. I think this is the first occasion on which I already had perfect inks in stock for the two new Lamy Studios: Diamine Anniversary Safari for the Olive green and Diamine Cocoa Shimmer for the Terracotta. I managed to impress two lawyers with my Terracotta signature this week…
    But if Studios are now travelling in pairs, and Safaris come as a pastel threesome, should we expect Al-Stars to come galumphing over the hill in a herd?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice ink choices! I believe I used Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu for the Olive and Montblanc Leonardo Red Chalk for the Terracotta. These are such nice color pens.

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  2. “nearly the only fan” heh

    Good to see the safari/terracotta. I’ve heard about these before but couldn’t quite picture the colour. They look fantastic both individually and together. I’m surprised that they look a bit 1970s – weren’t Safaris made in the early ’80s?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right, on both counts. The Safari came out in 1982, near as I remember, at least in the US. And I do mean, actually “remember,” since I bought the first Safari I ever saw, and that was in 1982. Mine was red. So it’s not surprising if the colors hark back to the late 1970s. And I wouldn’t be surprised if buyers back then thought they look a little dated: Lamy kept the red, yellow and blue Safari in the lineup, but stopped producing the Savannah and Terracotta very quickly.

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  3. Very autumny colours indeed!
    The Pelikan Olivine perfectly ticks all my boxes (green, demonstrator, silver trim) – would’ve already bought it if I was not so disappointed with my previous M205 nib (EF with baby’s bottom and permanent skips, and far too wide for my japanese taste). Any advice?
    Also, did you already wrote anything about the Sailors EF nib?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you! For years I’ve absolutely loathed the Pelikan M200 nibs. I got rid of the EF and F steel nibs I’d had, in sheer frustration, and I swapped in other Pelikan nibs, including two architect’s nibs bought from Dan. For the Olivine, I asked for an M. I wasn’t going to keep it, anyway. And you know what?! It’s excellent. 🤯 I am absolutely shocked, but in a good way.

      So this is my advice: go for M in the steel nib; or upgrade to the 14k M400 nib (which isn’t very narrow in an EF, but is a good nib); or buy an EF or F and take it to a nibmeister (or buy from a nibmeister) and get it modified (stubbed, architected or just narrowed to a needlepoint, or made to write better). If you buy from Dan Smith the Nibsmith or Classic Fountain Pens (which only sells the 14k nibs), I’m pretty sure they will at your request tune and smooth the nib for free; and they could also grind it to make it narrower for an extra charge. If it were me, I’d probably combine the second and third options: buy the 14k M400 EF nib and ask Dan or John’s crew (or a different nibmeister at a pen show) to narrow it.

      Did I write anything about the Sailor EF nib? Probably only in passing. Anything should be under the tag Sailor. I currently have in my possession all four Sailor nib sizes between EF and M, however, so I am going to do a post comparing them. But you can see some EF writing samples here: https://fountainpenfollies.com/2018/08/13/a-peek-at-the-sailor-professional-gear-shooting-star-of-jonuma-and-the-sailor-medium-fine-nib/

      The Sailor EF is my favorite Japanese extra-fine, because it’s one that best combines smooth and fine, for my tastes. The Pilot and Platinum EF nibs I’ve used haven’t been as smooth, but have been more dry-writing. And anything finer — the UEF from Sailor or the extra-extra-fines from Pilot or Platinum also are too dry-writing and too fine for me. I love my Sailor EF. I’ve had it inked continuously except for cleaning since the day I bought it, and it’s now my most used pen for work.

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    1. Sit down for this: the Piccolo is actually a smidge longer than the full-size Pro Gear, capped or uncapped. 🤯

      Both of them are nicely girthy, and have a similar sized section, too. They are both very comfortable. In fact, the revelation of owning a Piccolo and using it for longer writing sessions has been how its size really works! When I’d just held the Piccolo briefly at pen shows, I was convinced it was too short, but nope. (I write unposted with every pen, other than mini-pens like a Kaweco Sport or Pilot Petit.)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks, that’s really helpful to know. I found a photo somewhere of an uncapped Piccolo alongside a Platinum 3776 and was quite suprised to see that the Piccolo was not that much shorter than the 3776. I quite like ‘stockier’ pens, so this is all good (apart from for my bank balance…)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. >> the Piccolo is actually a smidge longer than the full-size Pro Gear, capped or uncapped.

        Nooowwww you’ve done it. I’ve never managed to compare the Piccolo with any of mu favorites, so had always convinced myself of their lack of stature. Now here you are, shattering that one, and giving me no reason not to start seriously looking at them.

        Just when I thought it might be safe to go to the Toronto pen show with my wife.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. What an excellent post! Some of your quips had me laughing out loud. I really don’t need more pens, but those Studios look fantastic. I’ve been trying to avoid buying the Olivine ink, but that just might have to jump in my ink drawer. Luckily I have a trip to Vanness planned next month… Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Olivine is a very nice, well-behaved, dark green ink. It does have much more interest with a wider nib, but still can shine with a smaller nib that is italic or stub.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love the ink, too! Now, I am that rarest of birds — a fan of narrow nibs — so my favorite Olivine ink pen is a Pelikan with EF nib. Though Olivine ink also looks very nice from the Nakaya with BB stub. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  5. “My name is Imelda Marcos, and I approve this message. From the grave, even.”

    Having gotten that out of the way, now I’m concerned that you will have a Fall and can’t get up. It happens, don’t laugh. Those are all nice pens, some much nicer than others, and the colors are all lovely. Of course, you are caught out in another one of your hoisted-petards: you have ragged on “boring black pens” in the past and now you fall for one.

    “Fall for one”. I’m killing myself here. Ok, I’ll stop. Nice pen survey.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So, I’ve been very happy the pen manufacturers quit with all the teal and turquoise pens, because there are still at least three out there that I’d love to have but alas cannot afford.
    I’m sorry that my wallet happiness is your wallet sadness.

    Liked by 1 person

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