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I just going to say it... I personally hate the look of the Lamy Safari and All TWSBIs.



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3 hours ago, collectorofmanythings said:

Also, as a student, having something that can be mistaken for a vape pen is very problematic.

Teacher here, and yes, some pens have been confused for that before. My vac, filled with a liquid, was thought to be a large vape pen.

 

I will say that I've appreciated all your replies. Sometimes posters ask a question, and then disappear. It's great to see you reading, replying, and conversing.

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17 hours ago, Muncle said:

Teacher here, and yes, some pens have been confused for that before. My vac, filled with a liquid, was thought to be a large vape pen.

 

I will say that I've appreciated all your replies. Sometimes posters ask a question, and then disappear. It's great to see you reading, replying, and conversing.

Thank you! That’s why I made this post, to start a conversation and (hopefully) make me appreciate these pens more. And I have really appreciated your replies as well!

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  • 2 months later...

Actually for me, it is the big, bold colors of the Lamy Safaris that first got me into fountain pens. A loud, yellow Lamy Safari was my very first fountain pen.

So different from ordinary ball-points, which are mostly thin and lacklustre. So "real" in their heft, so playful in their colors. They are everything ordinary writing instruments are not.

Agreed, they are not classically elegant, but there is elegance in their simplicity as well, which is what the Bauhaus was about. And that's before you even use them. I've actually used Lamys to explain to my young nephews what "ergonomic" means, no further questions asked!  😇

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I kind of agree about the see-through TWSBIS. I actually started a discussion on my hate of see-through plastic pens and demonstrators. They've grown on me, but I do not own any and I'm not planning to.

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I seem to have participated in an earlier thread on this very subject. As far as I am concerned, I think my attitude coincides with Bauhaus philosophy, in that function and simplicity come before anything. I have about a dozen safari/AL star/vista pens in all different colours, so that I can tell which ink is in which one. Apart from the ridiculously large paper clip, I cannot criticise the aesthetics. The triangular section is fine by me. I have large hands: my first finger locates on the flat part, and my second under it; the thumb sits comfortably between the flat part and somewhere near the window. The broad nibs suit me fine, though I do wonder why the tolerance on width is so wide in something that is manufactured by a computer-controlled machine. The rest is just well-engineered, in my opinon, and the price is reasonable. I also have two LAMY 2000 pens that I love.

 

I only have one TWSBI -- the Swift, which I bought because a review recommended it, stating that the well-rehearsed defects of previous models had been eliminated. I do not find it particularly attractive, and would dispense with its services before those of any safari, as it seems to have no functional advantage in its favour and cost over twice as much.

 

I have one Montblanc: a 22, which I bought for its very broad nib. If it were not for the hooded nib, I should find the design utterly boring. The expensive (i.e. up to 15x the price of a safari) Montblanc pens, that many currently drool over, hold no charms for me. The same can be said of most Waterman pens, with the exception of the Carène, which I bought exclusively for its cool nib, which many accurately described as extremely smooth.

 

Apart from this, the pens that I value greatly are Parkers: 51s, 61s and 45s, with a preference for the balance in the hand of the flighter models.

 

I am aware that in all this, as many opinions, I am swimming upstream. (And dont get me started on Apple, who are asking $100 for a replacement cover for my 2-year old iPad, the old one having almost self-destructed.)

 

David

 

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To the OP:  You have another option with regard to trying the Safari.  Buy one of the super-inexpensive Chinese knock-offs homages.  One such is the Jinhao 599, which is probably best in opaque plastic. The clip and nib are a little different, but the section is very much the same.  Jinhao's transparent plastic is quite prone to failure, IMX.  My 992 developed cracks around the barrel finial/plug, and my 599, which I only kept to lend to coworkers who were curious about fountain pens, cracked and started leaking.  Both were transparent orange.  You might buy from this link; the shop has a good reputation here.  His Nibs also sells the Jinhao 599; his price premium is related to his practice of inspecting every nib, and ensuring good alignment, prior to shipping.

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5 hours ago, Arkanabar said:

To the OP:  You have another option with regard to trying the Safari.  Buy one of the super-inexpensive Chinese knock-offs homages.

With all the disadvantages you list, they dont sound like much of a viable alternative to me.

 

David

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Round here safaris are in most stationer’s or drug store, and not packaged, so you can easily pick one up and see how it feels in the hand.

 

David

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I find it takes at least a half-page of writing for the issues I have with the Safari to crop up.  I am fortunate that the nearest FP shop keeps one inked and ready to try, attached to a display with a cable.  But here in the US, I've only seen them in display cases or blister cards.  Our OP is apparently in New Jersey.

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12 hours ago, david-p said:

With all the disadvantages you list, they dont sound like much of a viable alternative to me.

 

David

Well, because someone gave me a metal body Jinhao 599, I learned that I *could* get used to the triangular grip on a Safari.  So they're good in that respect.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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You like what appeals to you.  I have never thought this could be rationalized and taken apart.  Sometimes your taste might change over time.  The appeal is that you like it, or not.  Taking the design apart to enumerate the design features might be good for a design class.  I don't think it will help you to like something.  Safaris are good knockabout pens that happen to have a following of collectors.  Interesting colors and cool clips.  Easy to change nibs.  They appeal to me slightly.  But they are no Parker 51s.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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On 4/10/2021 at 4:35 AM, collectorofmanythings said:

I really want to know what the appeal is.

 

33 minutes ago, pajaro said:

I don't think it will help you to like something.

 

I don't think the O.P. expressed any intent or desire to like the Lamy Safari better.

 

If I was asking the question, it wouldn't be the pen model I want to take apart and understand, but (some aspect of) its fans I want to understand, either to satisfy my idle curiosity or use the information to my advantage.

 

36 minutes ago, pajaro said:

But they are no Parker 51s.

 

Suddenly my perception of the Lamy Safari has become a tad more positive, upon the reminder that it is not a Parker. :)

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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46 minutes ago, pajaro said:

Sometimes your taste might change over time.  The appeal is that you like it, or not.  

True enough.  I didn't like Safaris at first (the clips, while eminently functional, just remind me of giant paperclips, and I didn't think I could get used to the triangular section).  I now have 3 Safaris, 2 al-Stars, and an LX.  But whether I get more of any of them is mostly going to come down to the color; all of my Safaris were SE/LE models and all have colored clips on them, just as it happens -- the standard colors don't wow me somehow, except for *maybe* the bright yellow (and I mean the standard yellow, not Mango).  Nothing wrong with the colors, of course; it just comes down to personal preference.  Even on the LE/SE ones -- I couldn't wait to get my hands on the Dark Lilac, but the next year's Petrol?  Wasn't remotely interested in that color (and ditto for the reissued original colors, or some of the Pastels).

Some people of course are trying to get one in every color ever made.  Everyone has different tastes, and we can agree that fountain pens are way more fun to write with than BPS, and we can agree to disagree on everything else.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

edited for typos

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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A Lamy Safari with F nib was the first fountain pen that I used extensively. I really liked that F nib since it actually offered some line variation. Sometimes you do luck yourself into a gem of a nib grind rather than a lemon. :lol:

 

I find the section grip to be very comfortable so I guess my way of holding a pen is compatible with the intended ergonomic considerations of the Lamy designers at the time.  

 

I moved on to other pens as part of my adventure with fountain pens and haven’t really gone back to using a Safari, Vista or AlStar though I did purchase and use all of them at some point. I just find other fountain pens to be at least as comfortable, far more interesting and in many instances, more functional. 

 

Only one thing I dislike about the Safari et al design, is the clip. I see the idea behind the clip design, in that, it’s a classic example of function over form. It’s robust, thanks to its dual anchor points on the cap vs a single anchor point. The double bars also allow for a good hold on whatever it’s clipped to.  However, I very much dislike the look of the clip. 

 

Everything about the pen is about simplicity and usability while offering a decent overall appearance. 

 

I think it an absolutely classic entry level fountain pen.  Kudos to Lamy. The success of the pen is not at all surprising, although not everyone has to like one.  After all it’s not only about function. 

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On 4/10/2021 at 8:42 AM, Mercian said:

I always found the Safari to be very ugly.
I disliked the shape of the solid-coloured shiny-plastic Safari, and I disliked the appearance of its huge, bright, 'paperclip'-shaped clip.

 

But I was intrigued by how very many people on FPN sang the pen's praises - so I bought myself a Vista.

I think that all the 'brightware' actually looks quite nice against the transparent plastic, and I also like that the transparency disguises the ugly shape of the grip-section.

 

After using my Vista for a couple of years I also bought the Safari in its 'Charcoal' (aka 'Umbra') textured matte plastic version, with the black (as opposed to bright 'silver') clip.

Somehow, the Safari's plastic body looks less 'ugly' when it has that textured matte finish than when it has a smooth and shiny finish.

I then bought the 'Dark Violet' edition of the Safari when that came out. It too has a matte texture on its body, and a black clip.
The year after that I also found that I 'had to' buy the 'Petrol' edition of the Safari - again with the textured matte plastic body, and black clip and black nib.

They really are well-designed and well-made pens.
They are reliable, and sturdy, and the clip is also reliable and sturdy. I like the ink-window, and I love the fact that LAMY has designed the converter for the Safari so that it clips in to the body of the pen. No worries about one becoming loose inside the pen. And I like the fact that their nibs are so easily interchangeable.
I can now carry a set of 'the same' pen, but with EF, F, & M nibs on my different coloured pens.
LAMY also make the same nibs in B, 1.1mm italic, 1.5mm italic, and 1.9mm italic, so one has a good range of options available.

I still don't like the look of the Safaris that have smooth, shiny plastic bodies and silver clips - except for the 2011 LE 'Aquamarine' one.
Which I am still kicking myself for NOT buying when I saw it in a store in 2012, because they cost a fortune now! 🤦‍♂️

 

On 4/10/2021 at 5:32 AM, HDoug said:

I'm a big fan. Especially of the Safari in matt textures like the charcoal black, and most recently the Terra which is a rerelease of their first Safari. I like the simple lines, the "Bauhaus" look if you will. I like the interchangeable nibs which I have used to grind down to my own preferred size and sharpness of italic. I like the aluminum versions as well and have a bunch. I use the blue as every day work carry. 

Here's my most recent, the Terra:

 

Edit update: I notice the color of the pen here is redder than it is in real life. Must have been the lighting...
 

51105717723_2098f9ceb4_o.jpg

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I agree with all of you, I personally dislike the Lamy Safari design, the plastic barrel certainly is ugly and bad overall, yet I love the grip and the pen. It’s about functionality. I personally think that if Lamy improves the design, the sales would be even better.

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9 hours ago, maclink said:

Only one thing I dislike about the Safari et al design, is the clip. I see the idea behind the clip design, in that, it’s a classic example of function over form. It’s robust, thanks to its dual anchor points on the cap vs a single anchor point. The double bars also allow for a good hold on whatever it’s clipped to.  However, I very much dislike the look of the clip. 

No disagreement from me here.  The clips on Safaris/al-Stars/LX pens look like giant paperclips.  But boy do they work well.  

I have to be careful with some of the arrow clips on my Parkers, especially if I'm clipping the pen to the neckline on a shirt -- the arrow point part often catches on the neckline seam.  But I never have to worry about that with the Safari clips.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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19 hours ago, inkstainedruth said:

he clips on Safaris/al-Stars/LX pens look like giant paperclips.  But boy do they work well.  

I have to be careful with some of the arrow clips on my Parkers, especially if I'm clipping the pen to the neckline on a shirt -- the arrow point part often catches on the neckline seam.  But I never have to worry about that with the Safari clips.

 

That's a very good point.
I have now 'spanged' the clips on two of my Parkers through my own sheer idiocy absent-mindedness 😞

 

Ten years apart, I ruined a Frontier and an Urban by carrying them between my kitchen and my lounge in the pocket of a cardigan.
When I got to the lounge and pulled the pen out of the cardigan's pocket, the arrowhead of the clip got caught in the woven fabric of the cardigan. Once lodged in that fabric, it acted just like a real arrowhead would, and resisted removal. Because I am an idiot, I was pulling the pen out of my pocket quickly. The clip on each pen bent back away from the cap and will now not bend back towards the body of the cap 🤦‍♂️

 

My attempt to repair the Frontier destroyed the clip.
I now need to research the construction of the cap of the Urban. I am going to need to remove the clip assembly from its cap to try to bend the clip back at its 'elbow'.
I am hoping to 'grip' the inner-cap with a dowel and to then try to unscrew the cap finial & clip assembly from its top.
This exercise is complicated by the fact that the pen is one of the 'Chiselled Ebony' lacquer-finish Urbans. I know that if I grip it too tight I will only 'succeed' in scratching off the lacquer/chewing-up the 'chiselling'.

If my past history of attempting any kind of practical maintenance (of any thing) is any guide, I expect that I will probably only manage to wreck the dowel, wreck the pen's inner cap, and wreck the lacquer. Oh, I might also manage to break the clip too.

 

I'm doomed I tell ye; doooomed 😢

Foul in clear conditions, but handsome in the fog.

mini-postcard-exc.png

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