Showing posts with label Lanbitou. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lanbitou. Show all posts

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