Lamy Safari


Fresher 6

For many years there hasn’t been much going on in terms of new Caran d’Ache mechanical pencils. There is a lot of choice when it comes to ballpoint pens but there wasn’t much to look at in terms of affordable (<£50) mechanical pencils (there are unusually many in the ‘above £500’ range, though).

In recent years this changed to some extent with the 849 mechanical pencil being available in a few new colours and editions, e.g. Black Code. There are, however, not many shops here in the UK that actually stock these.

Image © Caran d’Ache

Today a new pencil joined the Caran d’Ache offering, available in a set with a ballpoint pen as a limited edition, the Set Fresher.

Image © Caran d’Ache

I am happy to see more mechanical pencils from Caran d’Ache, even though it is basically just the same pencil in different colours. I wish they’d do something else, e.g. offering a 0.5 mm version, but for now, just seeing more colours are a nice change.

Caran d’Ache seems to be starting the different colour limited editions game for their mechanical pencils and lead holders, or maybe not starting it but taking it up a notch, while Lamy is by now really good at the ‘new colour game’. Every time I think I won’t buy another Safari they come up with more good colours: last year the re-release of the original colours, this year the beautiful strawberry and cream colours, with matching clip etc.

Kaweco is also really good at this, with a mix of happy affordable colours and more posh looking ones that are slightly more expensive.

In terms of new innovation there have also been some news.

The new Kurutoga Dive is not only rotating the lead like previous versions, but is also advancing it. It is a capped and a limited edition. I wonder if the cap is there to protect the mechanism when not in use. Maybe the front is not as sturdy (in the current version) as previous Kurutogas with less complicated mechanisms. If that’s the case there might be a regular version without a cap in the future. This thought might explain why this is a limited edition: maybe they want to see first how this mechanism fares in the real world, or the manufacturing process isn’t automated enough for mass market production and some manual labour is currently involved in assembly which doesn’t make it quite mass market ready yet….


I believe that the use of the images in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


Savannah green and terra red 11

Today: a very exciting arrival: My Lamy Safari collection got company.

The savannah green Safari next to a similarly coloured Caran d’Ache

For several years I was hoping that Lamy would re-release their original Safari colours. I think this idea started to grow in me when Lamy re-released their Lime Green special edition from 2008 in 2011 (with some small differences).

My thought were along the lines of “If they can re-release lime green, why not savannah green, one of the two original colours…”

By the way, if you want to have a look at what is probably the most comprehensive list of special Safari editions on the web, head over to the Lamy Safari article on stationery.wiki.

There are many differences that make it easy to distinguish the original versions from the 2021 versions, so there isn’t much danger of this re-release causing too much confusion – instead it represents a homage to Lamy’s original colours.
I have been a Lamy Safari user since the mid-1980s, but I have to admit that I don’t remember at all what my first Safari colour was. I am however quite sure that in came in a box like the one pictured below (linked to from Flickr). The box looked very cool, so I kept model figures in it for many years.

Safari Box 1
This is an embedded Flickr image. Click to go to this image on Flickr.
Safari Box 2
This is an embedded Flickr image. Click to go to this image on Flickr.

The Pen Company, where I got the engraved Caran d’Ache from, is just about the get new stock of the 2021 Lamy Safari colours in. I bought the savannah green and terra red fountain pens from Write Here and the savannah green ballpoint pen and rollerball from CultPens. Somehow Write Here’s search function seems to have a problem, so I didn’t even realise they also carry the non-fountain pens as they didn’t show up in a search. When I checked again today some of them did now show up.

The Write Here Logo that they managed to emboss on the official Lamy packaging came as a surprise – a great idea and looks fantastic.

Savannah green is certainly one of my favourite colours in terms of look, but it’s not quite my absolute favourite Safari – that is the grey version (sometimes referred to as griso). I had two and sent one to Sean of Contrapuntalism fame, but unfortunately the postal service managed to damage it in transport. The one I kept is still in it’s packaging. Maybe I should unpack it one of these days. It’s just too good looking to stay unused.

What are your favourite colours and do you prefer the ‘matt’ or the glossy’ pens?

For Sale: Vintage Lamy Safari Griso fountainpen and rollerball set. NOS. selling for 100€ including ww tracked shipping! rare set! Email me at miss.thundercat (at) gmail.com if your're interested. #forsale #pensforsale #selling #fountainpen #fpn #fountain
This is an embedded Flickr image. Click to go to this image on Flickr.

A New Special Edition Lamy Safari: LAMY BROWN The Black Edition 4

Lamy Line Friends 2018

Lamy’s store in K11 (on HuaiHai Road)

Like last year I found new special editions from Lamy in Shanghai, not available in the West.. This time it’s another Line Friends edition: LAMY BROWN The Black Edition.

Lamy Line Friends 2018

The amazing aluminium container

The one comes in an amazing packaging: a thick-walled aluminium tube (with screw lid). I haven’t seen any packaging like this for a Pen before.

The Lamy Safari itself is the Matte type with the Line character’s name BROWN embossed in the cap.

Lamy Line Friends 2018

The cardboard packaging that goes around the aluminium tube container

It also comes with a leather strap and metal buttons with browns face. The leather strap can be used to attach it to your belt, etc. The Lamy employee wore it around his neck.

Here’s a link to the official web page for this pen.

Lamy Line Friends 2018

The Safari with the leather strap, if worn as a necklace

In previous year’s people contacted me to ask whether I can get them the special edition, but I already left Shanghai at that time. To avoid this happening again I bought two of these special edition pens for interested readers. I hope I won’t regret this decision. If you are interested let me know as soon as possible by leaving a comment here or by emailing me (if you know my email address).

The price is £65 plus postage. The item is in the UK.

Here’s a video showing the aluminium tube.

Watch the aluminium tube on YouTube for HD video.

I will add this Special Edition to the list of Lamy Special Editions on stationery.wiki in a few days (if no one else has done it by then). That list contains (so far) 26 Special Editions of the Lamy Safari.

Line Friends 2018

Line Friends are popular in East Asia

Line Friends 2018

Line Friends are popular in East Asia


Lamy’s Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean pens 4

Sticking to the Lamy theme from the recent blog post about blue Lamy Safari fountain pens from the 1990s and now we’ve got another Lamy blog post today: Their special edition pens you normally don’t see in the West: the Pirates of the Caribbean (Dead Men Tell no Tales) and the Star Wars pens.

Lamy’s Special Editions

Lady’s special editions follow a similar recipe: Take Lamy’s Line Friends Safari, for example. It’s a Safari with a different colour and a clip attachment. The colour of the special editions isn’t always different and the main difference of these special editions to their ‘normal’ counterparts is the clip attachment. They also often have extras (converter, special packaging) and a higher price.

I’ve shown a few different Lamy shops in Shanghai. Here’s one I haven’t shown yet: The one in the Jing An Kerry Centre [1]Fun fact: many years ago Jing An was the only place in Shanghai with a Burger King, but now Burger King is ubiquitous..

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Pirates of the Carribean themed pen looks like a Safari in the current Petrol colour with clip attachement in the shape of a jolly roger skull. You also get a converter and a leather roll as part of your set.

The Pirates pen on the left and the leather roll in the background. Excuse the reflections in the photo. The pen was behind glass.

Star Wars

The Star Wars themed pens are Lamy joy [2]Lamy spells joy lower-case so I’ll stick to that in this this blog post fountain pens. If you are not familiar with the joy: the front section is the same as the Safari’s, but the main body is much longer. It is kind of a desk only version of the Safari. Desk only because the long body makes it unsuitable for easy transport [3]You can see one in this Bleistift blog post from 2011..

The Star Wars joys have ‘normal’ nibs. I mention this because the joy is also available as a calligraphy set with italic nibs of different widths.

The black joy comes with a Vader clip attachment. The white joy comes with a Stormtrooper themed clip attachment.

The price is only slightly higher than the price of a normal Lamy joy in Shanghai: A normal joy is ¥380 (~$56; £44; €50). The Star Wars set is ¥418 [4]This number sounds good in Chinese, a bit like ‘will be fortunate, for sure’. (~$$62; £48; €55). It comes with a converter.

 

You pay more, you get more

The price of the Lamy pens in Shanghai is a bit higher than in the West, but you also get more. The pens I’ve seen in Shanghai often come in nice boxes I haven’t seen in Europe. They also often seem to include converters that would be charged extra in the West.

The special edition pens are only slightly more expensive than the normal editions [5]Exactly 10% in the case of the Star Wars joy..

The Safari Petrol. I believe this version is also available in the West. Excuse the reflections in the photo. The pen was behind glass.

Not in the West

I assume the reason why you normally don’t see these special editions in the West has more to do with licensing than with demand, especially since they are not much more expensive than the normal versions of these pens, so they should sell well anywhere – but that’s just a guess.

As I know most of the readers of my blog I might as well write this publicly: If you want one of these pens let me know and I’ll try to get one for you.

 


Prices and exchange rates: June 2017

If you want to know more about Shanghai’s Lamy stores have a look at this blog post about the store in Raffles City, the stores in this comment or  the one in this blog post.

References

References
1Fun fact: many years ago Jing An was the only place in Shanghai with a Burger King, but now Burger King is ubiquitous.
2Lamy spells joy lower-case so I’ll stick to that in this this blog post
3You can see one in this Bleistift blog post from 2011.
4This number sounds good in Chinese, a bit like ‘will be fortunate, for sure’.
5Exactly 10% in the case of the Star Wars joy.