What is it? The limited edition color for 2016 of the Lamy Safari. It’s a dark purple with black hardware and it’s been a long time coming.
Notes: This isn’t going to be too crazy, you can read my original review of the Lamy Safari here. The Dark Lilac version, along with it’s own special ink were released as the 2016 limited edition. The color is nice and dark, and not too “in your face”. The Black hardware adds an overall low-profile look to the pen that I really like. Other than the color, there isn’t really anything different from the Lamy Safari that’s been around for over 30 years. The triangular grip, flat side, wire clip, and ink viewing window are all there, and yes – I like all of these features. It’s a great entry into the fountain pen world thanks to the swappable nibs. The Safari really helped me narrow down what I liked in a nib size. Interested in picking up your own Dark Lilac Safari? Hurry up. Lamy has already stopped making this limited edition, and it’s starting to sell out at various retailers. Thanks to JetPens for sending this one my way, you can snag one here!
I received this pen about a month ago, very (very) shortly after getting the aluminum version. After seeing a few people on Instagram with the Ti version, I checked out the specs. My main issue with the aluminum was that it’s just a bit too light. The titanium version weighs a bit more, and in my opinion, is the perfect weight and balance for a fountain pen. I didn’t go for the fancy titanium nib, so both of my Namisus have the steel medium. This review is more of a comparison than anything, so make sure to check out the original Namisu Nova Aluminum review here!
Titanium is one of my favorite metals, and for good reason. It’s strong, sturdy, and looks and feels great in the hand. It’s more robust than aluminum, weighs just a bit more, and takes a nice shiny polish. The titanium used on the Nova is no exception to any of these characteristics. The pen is perfectly balanced when writing. It has just enough weight to make writing effortless, while adding some substance. The metal is smooth and warms up when you use it. It’s got just enough texture as to not be slippery, but still retains some shine. The titanium version definitely feels better to write with than the aluminum.
Perfect weight / balance
Good price point
This version is less plain-looking than the anodized aluminum
Still rolls like crazy
Still doesn’t include cartridge or converter
I liked the aluminum Nova enough to get the titanium version, and I’m glad I did. At just under $80 (depending on the exchange rate) the titanium pen is a fantastic deal. It’s solid metal, exhibits super clean machining, and is comfortable to write with. As I’ve mentioned, I find the added weight to be in the “just right” range. It feels substantial, but doesn’t weigh me down. If I had to recommend one Namisu, it would definitely be the titanium.
I’ve been super on the fence about the Lamy Studio for years now. I think the most appealing part about it is the Safari / Al-Star style 14k gold nib. When I received the pen from Pen Chalet, the real test was to see if I was excited about the pen as a whole, or just the fact that I could trick out my Lamy Safari with an awesome gold nib… Read on to see how the Lamy Studio holds up!
The Lamy Studio comes in a nicely designed cardboard box, just like the Lamy 2000. I’ve said it about a million times now, but packaging isn’t a huge deal to me. The box is nice, not wasteful, and more than enough to make an impression should you decide to give this pen as a gift. The pen itself is a torpedo shaped, completely flush pen with a bright silver end cap on both the tail and cap of the pen. There’s a super glossy (fingerprint magnet) metal grip and propellor style clip made from the same material. There’s definitely a sense of style about the pen – it just looks sleek. I would say it looks like a Lamy 2000 that had to dress up for a slightly more formal occasion — less utilitarian and a bit more classy.
Nib Performance & Filling System:
The shining star of this entire pen is the 14k nib. It’s the same style as that seen on the Safari / Al-Star / various other pens in the Lamy lineup. It can easily be removed for cleaning or swapping over to another pen. It lays down a super wet, silky smooth line with just a tiny bit of cushion, courtesy of the 14k gold. I really like writing with this nib, and yes, I’ve already put a gold nib on a $24 Safari, and yes, it’s also great.
Unlike the 2000, the Studio fills via a proprietary cartridge/converter. I’ve never had an issue with this Lamy filling system, and I don’t foresee any problems with this one either. I can’t help but compare this pen to the 2000 again, because for the same price you get an awesome piston filling mechanism.
Feel & Construction:
Feel. This is where my issues lie with the Studio. The platinum grey coating has a wonderful textured feel to it, but it all goes out the window thanks to the grip. The super shiny, fingerprint magnet of a grip is incredibly slippery. It makes it hard to hold the pen for long writing sessions, and even then it takes me a few tries to find a comfortable grip where I don’t feel as though I’m going to drop the pen. The Studio does come in several other finishes and materials with different grips. I’d definitely recommend checking one of those out over this version BUT most of the better performing (hopefully) grips do not include the 14k gold nib.
Overall, the finishing on the pen is pretty decent. There are no blemishes, the grip fits into the body nicely, the nib wrote well right out of the box. There’s a small gap when closing the cap that makes me feel like the pen isn’t completely closed. If you look closely, you can see the grip shining through in the image above. It’s not ideal, but I’ve yet to have the pen pop open. I’ve also found that the cap snags a little when being put back on. This could be user error, so just make sure you’re putting the cap straight on should you pick one up.
14k gold nib is great
Matte body texture is very nice
Some less-than-ideal finishing
Highly competitive price range
By this point, you may be able to tell that I’m not a huge fan of the Lamy Studio. It’s by no means a bad pen, but the $150ish price range is highly competitive and there are plenty of better options out there. If it was between this pen and the Lamy 2000, I couldn’t see myself recommending this over it. The pen is highlighted by its 14k gold nib, but the ergonomics and finishing have me swapping the nib over to an Al-Star before reaching for the Studio. Let me know in the comments below if you have a Lamy Studio, I’d love to hear your experience with the pen!
Despite the name, J. Herbin’s Orange Indien is not an india ink, and it will perform just fine in your fountain pen. The ink writes a bit “thin”, which results in great flow, but low saturation. It’s not the brightest ink on the page, but it does exhibit some nice, low-key shading. The color isn’t very bright like Noodler’s Apache Sunset, making it a nice middle of the road orange. Orange Indien is definitely legible on bright white paper, but maybe not as much on cream or off-white. I’m not huge on this orange, but the small bottle is just enough to get a few good fills out of it! Thanks to JetPens for sending the bottle over for review!
Notes: The Mnemosyne line of notebooks by Maruman are definitely amongst my favorite. They look great, they’re filled with fountain pen friendly paper, and they come in a variety of convenient sizes and ruling. The inspiration book was designed with the creative in mind, featuring both blank and grid rulings. It’s the perfect size to toss in a bag and go. It also doesn’t take up a ton of desk real estate, but still provides enough room to sketch out ideas, take notes, and more. I’ve found that I tend to go through Maruman notebooks rather quickly. If that’s not a testament to how much I like them, I don’t know what is. This configuration is fast becoming one of my favorites. Make sure you check out the gallery below for a ton more pictures, all at full resolution!