Lamy Safari

If you were to point to an event and say "hmm, this is where it started going wrong", then this is precisely that point.

I walked into Milligram's Melbourne Central store, to buy my first fountain pen, but still not knowing if I'd go for the Lamy Safari, a Pilot Metropolitan or something else. After a good experiment with a demo Safari which they had in multiple nib sizes, I decided to get the medium. I couldn't decide on colours, but the very helpful person serving me suggested charcoal was a pretty good place to start, and in hindsight, I agree.

Released in 1980 at the Frankfurt Fair, and targeted at 10-15 year old students, it has become a popular introductory fountain pen. It is made out of ABS plastic, and has a very handy triangular grip that means that holding it comfortably you keep yourself in the pen's sweet spot. It has a very handy ink window to check supplies, which also led me to check the ink levels way too often. The clip I'd describe as heavy duty, but very functional, and no nonsense with it when I slip it in to my jeans pocket when the clip facing out.

To avoid the impending ink dilemma I purposely purchased no ink, as the Safari comes with a single cartridge of Lamy's Blue ink, along with the fountain pen friendly Rhodia A5 dotpad, and went on my way.

The medium nib writes relatively smoothly, and leaves enough ink on the page to leave some shimmer. I also purchased an extra fine nib at the same time so I could see how much of a difference nib width makes to the line size. For when I need to write in small spaces (between the 5mm dots on the dotpad for example), it works very well but does feel scratchy

Overall, I'm very happy with this Pen and can see why it's recommended so often as a starter pen

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