Lamy Safari. The marmite of fountain pens?

by Stuart Lennon

From Lamy themselves.

"Write different.

The LAMY safari

The LAMY safari is a timelessly modern pen for the young – and the young at heart – and is in a class of its own. It created a stir during its market launch at the beginning of the eighties with its avant-garde design and its prominent, spring-loaded clip. It also features extraordinary robustness. Additional writing systems and continuously new product colours have made the LAMY safari a global success and a modern design classic that has established itself as a much sought-after lifestyle product in many countries around the world.

Design: Wolfgang Fabian"

The Safari turned up in 1980. Bauhaus? Brutalist? Modernist? Sort of, I suppose. The pen is not expensive (in fountain pen terms), is robust, and comes in a myriad of colours. The design is opinionated. The grip section is sculpted, favouring the traditional tripod grip. The nibs are stainless steel, and solid. As a starter fountain pen, or an everyday carry, it's just the thing. You can load it with a Lamy cartridge in a variety of colours for easy convenience, or you can pick up a converter if you'd like to dip your toe into the rainbow world of bottled ink.

What does Team Nero's think?

Clare (non-fountain pen user). "It looks nice."
Scribble. "Nice-looking, but lack character in the hand."
Amanda. "Hate the pens. Next?"
Stu. "Umm...never tried one."

I have a Lamy 2000, which is at the higher end of the Lamy range. Initially, I didn't get on with it at all. However, a cooling-off period and a change of ink and we've become firm friends.

Overall, hardly a ringing endorsement. However, I wanted to get some. Why?

I'll tell you.

Writing with a fountain pen is functionally no different to writing with a ballpoint. They both make marks on the page. However, taking up a fountain pen sparks something. A tiny glimmer of intentionality, or creativity. People are reluctant to try them. They seem complicated, specialised and fragile. The safari isn't. It's a game little duck, prepared to take on anything. It's a perfect starter pen. Visibly "designed" and opinionated. Hell, it even tries to teach you how to hold it.

The safari is a perfect first fountain pen, and a perfect gift pen.

I can't wait to try one from our range.