Showing posts with label Lamy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lamy. Show all posts

04 August 2020

Safari in Japan

The well-known Lamy Safari is a popular pen in Japan. And that despite the high price this pen commands—JPY 4000, plus tax, at this moment. Yes, you can find it for less at discount shops, but the starting point is about twice the price in Europe.

The popularity in Japan can be seen on the large number of editions made exclusively for this market and for specific shops. The last example of this is the following Vista model (transparent Safari) with the brand name imprinted on the barrel both in alphabet and in the Japanese syllabary katakana (ラミー).

The Lamy Vista Katakana.

This pen is for sale at just one shop in Japan, and its price is higher than usual: JPY 4500, plus tax.

As I said, this is just the last example of a special edition focused on the Japanese market. The following picture shows some of them:

From front to back,

1. 2005. Griso edition made for the magazine Shumi-no Bungubako.

2. 2008. Vista made for Shumi-no Bungubako. 100 units.

3. 2010. White with red clip and red dot. Re-issued in 2013. Edition for Japan.

4. 2011. Black with yellow clip and red tassie. 150 years of friendship between Japan and Germany.

5. 2018. White with red clip and grey cross tasie. Edition for Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.

6. 2019. White with black clip. For Japan.

7. 2020. Vista with Lamy in katakana on the barrel. Exclusive for a shop in Japan.

For more information on special editions of the Safari in East Asia you can check KMPN's blog. However, it seems that a comprehensive list of editions and variations of the Lamy Safari has not yet been compiled.

And the rehashing continues...

Pilot Capless LS – Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-budo

Bruno Taut
Nakano, August 3rd 2020
etiquetas: Lamy, Japón, mercado, Shumi no Bungubako

02 April 2018

Red Clip

The Lamy Safari is a well known model to all of us stylophiles. It is indeed a classic pen given the fact that it was launched in 1980—38 years ago. Yet, Lamy keeps on milking it… annually, and then more. On top of the yearly editions in original colors, Lamy is also keen on marketing local editions and to partner with other companies (::1::, ::2::) to generate special versions.

More anxiety... for some.

A local edition is this last Lamy Safari—a white pen with a red clip. This model was released on March 7th (2018), and its distribution is limited to Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. Or even more limited, as in the case of Japan, this pen is for sale at only three shops: Isetan department store in Shinjuku, Itoya headquarters in Ginza, and Lamy’s shop in Aoyama. All of them in Tokyo.

A new presentation for the not so new pen. Its price is the same as of regular Safari: JPY 4000, plus tax. However, the limited distribution makes it impossible to find it at discount shops.

In itself, the pen is not particularly original. White Lamy Safari with red clip has shown in the market in several occasions: In 2010 in Japan, with a re-edition in 2013; and a similar version in Taiwan also in 2010. However, there is a difference. On these versions from 2010 and 2013, the cap is finished with a very obvious red dot whereas this edition of 2018 carries the traditional cross, in white, on the cap top.

The version of 2013 sold in Japan. Note the red dot on the cap top.

The regular white Safari together with the new version with red clip.

So, more milk from the old cow; more pens to trigger the collector’s anxiety. But the trick works, although this case might have something to do with the proliferation of Chinese copies of the Lamy Safari (::1::, ::2::).

Pelikan M200 Cognac – Diamine Graphite

Bruno Taut
Nakano, March 29th 2018
etiquetas: Lamy, mercado, Japón, Corea del Sur, Taiwan

15 July 2016

Matching (XXI). Oaso 'Safari'

After having reported on the Lanbitou 757, that obvious copy of the Lamy Safari, it is only natural to speak about the Oaso ‘Safari’, another kid on the block of copies.

The Oaso 'Safari'. The official name might be completely different, though.

Oaso is a small brand and little information about it is available. Some say it is a second brand of the well-known Picasso, from Shanghai. Both brands appear as related on (retrieved July 15, 2016), the website of the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group. Nothing can I say about the official model name, either.

Which one is the Chinese; which one the German? The names are written on the barrels and on the nibs.

This is indeed an obvious copy of the Lamy Safari, but less so than the already reviewed Lanbitou 757. The Oaso shows a very clear difference with respect to the original: the cap jewel. The Lamy cross is now the logo of Oaso, a sort of an ‘O’.

The cap jewels are different.

The material of this matte black copy is a bit darker and more polished than that of the charcoal (or umbra) variation of the Lamy Safari. The Chinese nib is made of steel and is chromium coated instead of the black look of some Lamy nibs. However, as was the case with the Lanbitou 757, Lamy’s and Oaso’s nibs are interchangeable.

The nibs are interchangeable. Their qualities are on par.

Their feeds are almost identical. The Chinese version has a worse finish, but the ink flow is correct.

Writing samples of the Oaso 'Safari' with tow nibs--an Oaso F, and a Lamy F. These two nibs behave in a similar fashion.

So are the converters. The Oaso version seems to be an almost exact clone of the Lamy Z28 unit save for the color of the materials. The Chinese copy even has the notches to hook it to the pen. Both are marked with their brand names.

The converters are also interchangeable. They are almost identical.

All in all, the Oaso ‘Safari’ is a knockoff of decent quality. And the question is why all these companies bothered copying inexpensive models. The reason seems to lay on the Chinese domestic market, where the Lamy Safari holds relatively high prices. And it seems that these Chinese companies –Lanbitou, Hero, Picasso, Oaso…– have had an effect: Lamy has lowered the prices of the Lamy Safari in the Chinese market to remain competitive.

My thanks to Mr. Mizukushi.

Bank-ei in black urushi – Pilot Blue

Bruno Taut
Nakano, July 15th, 2016
etiquetas: China, mercado, Lanbitou, Oaso, Lamy

25 February 2016

Matching (XX). Lanbitou 757

Some years ago (::1::, ::2::), the Chinese Shanghai Hero Pen Company surprised the fountain pen community by launching an unabashed copy of the very popular model Lamy Safari. That Hero model, the 359, opened the gates for other Chinese companies to follow suit. The Jinhao 599A is one of those.

However, both Jinghao and Hero models show some very clear differences with respect to the original Lamy Safari: clip and nib for the Jinhao, barrel and cap top for the Hero, were the more evident distinctions.

The Lanbitou 757.

The Lanbitou 757 seems to be even more faithful to the Lamy Safari. Nibs are interchangeable, barrels match both in shape and in size… The external differences are limited to the inner cap –black plastic on the Lanbitou, shiny metal on the Lamy--, and the engraving on the barrel.

Lamy Vista (Safari demonstrator) and Lanbitou 757, side by side. Can you spot the differences?

A closer inspection shows that the materials of these demonstrator versions are different, and the feeds also follow separate ways. But most parts are interchangeable between Lamy’s and Lanbitou’s pens.

The feeds are different: one slit for the Lanbitou, two for the Lamy.

Nibs can be swapped.

The plastics are different.

Both cap tops carry the emblematic cross of Safari fountain pens.

The writing quality of the Lanbitou is more than acceptable. It has a reliable flow that is up to the challenge of much broader nibs than that provided with the pen. This original nib is on the dry side, but could easily be tuned to make it wetter. It is not labeled in any way, but I guess it corresponds to an F point. As I implied before, the pen accepts Lamy nibs without any problem.

Lamy nibs are richer in ink than the Lambitou one, but this is nothing can could be changed easily. Note how the feed is able to provide the ink for all of the points.

All in all, this Lanbitou 757 is nothing else than a knockoff of the Lamy Safari, and all the arguments exposed to finally absolve Hero of any legal infringement do apply here as well. Very few legal grounds could Lamy find to protect a design from 1980.

The question, then, is a different one—is it worth to copy an inexpensive good as the Lamy Safari or the Pilot Petit-1? Let the market speak.

My thanks to Mr. Mizukushi.

Lanbitou 757 with Lamy 1.1 nib – Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake

Bruno Taut
Nakano; February 25th, 2016
etiquetas: Lamy, Hero, Lanbitou, Jinghao, mercado

15 February 2013

Rhetorical Question (II)

For 金野さん

Lamy 2000 in stainless steel.

-- My last purchase was a Lamy 2000 in stainless steel.
-- Oh! Nice. But, isn’t it too heavy?
-- Who’s gonna write with it?

Pilot Myu 701 – Sailor Yama-dori

Bruno Taut
Shinjuku, February 7th, 2013
labels: Lamy, estilofilia

09 February 2013

Rhetorical Question (I)

Recently, a friend confessed –yes, that is the right word— that she had purchased a luxury mechanical pencil for the amount of JPY 1575 (about EUR 16 or USD 17), and that was expensive. Sure enough, to any normal person, to any healthy mind, any writing tool over EUR 10 (or USD 10, or JPY 1000), is expensive. We stylophiles are the abnormal ones in here, and we might need to rethink our perceptions on what is cheap or expensive in our small world.

Lamy Safari, JPY 3800. Cartridge-converter. Converter not included.

Parker IM, JPY 2900. Cartridge-converter. Converter not included.

Pilot Prera, JPY 3500. Converter included.

Twsbi Diamond 540, USD 40. Piston filler.

Case in point—can we really say that a EUR 30 fountain pen is an entry level fountain pen? Can we seduce any sane person into buying a writing tool that is about 10 times more expensive than those regular pens he might use?

Sailor Profit Junior, music nib – Diamine Graphite

Bruno Taut
Yokohama, January 30th, 2013
labels: mercado, estilofilia, Lamy, Parker, Pilot, Twsbi

23 June 2011

Safari Japonés

La Lamy Safari es una pluma bien conocida. Es uno de los diseños más característicos de Lamy, que es una marca que se caracteriza por sus diseños innovadores desde que a principios de los 60 Manfred Lamy se hizo cargo de la empresa. El modelo Safari en particular fue diseñado por Wolfgang Fabian y Bernt Spiegel y salió al mercado en 1980. Desde entonces, esta pluma ha pasado por varias modificaciones –hasta cuatro— sin que apenas afectaran al aspecto externo.

El material básico de esta pluma es plástico inyectado. Por tanto, la creación de una gran variedad de colores es fácil y está presente en el catálogo de la marca desde el comienzo del modelo. A principios de los 90, con la tercera generación de la Safari, Lamy lanza al mercado la versión transparente, que muchos consideran la primera edición limitada de esta pluma. Posteriormente, con el nombre de Lamy Vista se incorporó al catálogo como un modelo más. Desde entonces, los cambios de color y las ediciones limitadas han sido una constante en este modelo. Después de todo, estas tiradas reducidas alimentan la demanda del producto e incrementan el negocio. La última de estas ediciones especiales, la del año 2011, está hecha en color azul: es la Safari Aguamarina (Aquamarine).

La portada del último ejemplar hasta el momento de la revista Shumi no Bungubako. Las pluma de la portada es la Sailor del centésimo aniversario. También merecen mención especial la Safari Aguamarina.

Y la pluma que aquí presento es otra de ellas. Se trata de una edición hecha para la revista japonesa Shumi-no Bungubako (趣味の文具箱). En estos momentos, esta revista cuatrimestral es la referencia de obligada consulta en el mundo de la estilográfica japonesa.

Por cierto, la Safari es muy popular en Japón.

(Pilot Vpen – Diamnie Teal)

Bruno Taut
22 de junio de 2011
[labels: Lamy, Shumi no Bungubako]

30 May 2010

Peco & Paco


This past Sunday (May 23rd), the monthly Pen Clinic organized by the Wagner association took place in Tokyo, at the same location as the Wagner 2010 Pen Show already reported on these chronicles.

These monthly events have the main purpose of fixing and tuning the pens of those attending it. About six pen gurus were ready to listen to our concerns about our beloved pens and work quickly and efficiently on them. The charismatic leader of Wagner, Mr. Mori, doubles as a pen doctor on duty. Two others are Peco –we met her at the Pen Show—, and Paco. Both are masters in the art of smoothing and tuning the nibs.


...and Paco.

Other than that, the clinic works as a social gathering to exchange information and to test each other’s pens. Magnificent pens were scattered on the tables. Kimi Tarusawa showed a very rare Pelikan M800 with brown tortoise shell. According to some sources, Pelikan archivist Jürgen Dittmer among them, it was commissioned in 1987 by some Spanish vendors.

Peco-san is the proud owner of a trio of exquisite Soennecken Lady 111 in mint condition. A real pleasure to write with them!

Mr. Capless also joined us. He has the complete collection of Pilot/Namiki Capless (Vanishing Point the US market). To this event, he brought only a small sample of his collection to show the differences between Namiki Vanishing Point and Pilot Capless.

The box also included his recently purchased Lamy Dialog 3, and the pair composed by the Pilot Capless in regular black finish and its apparent twin --the black urushi Capless Pilot released on the occasion of the Maki-e Fair in Itoya.

How to make a flexible Sailor nib. Final tuning by Paco-san.

Other variations on the form of being obsessed.

Excellent pens and excellent people with great knowledge on their object of their obsessions.

(Morison Pocket Pen 14 K – Pelikan Brilliant Brown)

Bruno Taut
(Inagi, 25 May 2010)
[labels: Evento, Pelikan, Japón, Tokyo, Soennecken, Pilot, Lamy]