February 13, 2016 – “Green” Lamy Safari & Safari Al-Star Fountain Pens

A number of our members are enthusiast collectors of Lamy fountain pens, and their Safari and Safari Al-Star(Al-Star), in particular.  Lamy has just released a “Charged Green” Al-Star, which prompted one member to show us his new Charged Green Al-Star and matching ink, another brought his collection of Green Lamy Safaris and Al-Stars and others to show off their collection “just” Al-Stars.

First up, the Charged Green Al-Star followed by a Charged Green Al-Star and a Parker 75, both with matching ink on a Rhodia pad:

charged green LAMY al-star and ink@ charged green LAMY al-star and ink

The next picture is of the almost all the Lamy “Greens”, from the left: Yellow Safari, Lime Safari (2008), Apple Green Safari (2012), Neon Safari (2013), Neon Lime Safari (2015), Silver Green Al-star (discontinued 2008), Bluegreen Al-Star (2014) and on top is the Charged Green Al-star (2016).

Lamy safari greens

And here is the collections of Al-Stars – the first is missing a Graphite model and the second is missing a Raspberry one.  Here are the colours and dates of the first collection, from L-R:

Aluminium(the original Al-Star, released in 1997, discontinued is 2015)
Graphite (missing from photo)
Silver Blue (discontinued around 2010)
Raspberry (2008 Special or Limited Edition)
Ocean Blue (2007 Special or Limited Edition, now in regular line up)
Ruby (2011 Special or Limited Edition)
Black Purple (2009 Special or Limited Edition, now in regular line up)
Silver Green (discontinued around 2008)
Pearl (2013 Special or Limited Edition)
Blue Green (2014 Special or Limited Edition)
Coffee (2010 Special or Limited Edition)
Black (2013 Special or Limited Edition, now in regular line up)
Copper Orange (2015 Special or Limited Edition)
Charged Green (2016 Special or Limited Edition)

 

LAMY al-stars

and the colours and dates of the second collection, from L-R:

Aluminium (the original Al-Star, released in 1997, discontinued is 2015)
Graphite
Silver Blue (discontinued around 2010)
Silver Green (discontinued around 2008)
Ocean Blue (2007 Special or Limited Edition, now in regular line up)
Raspberry (missing from photo) (2008 Special or Limited Edition)
Black Purple (2009 Special or Limited Edition, now in regular line up)
Coffee (2010 Special or Limited Edition)
Ruby (2011 Special or Limited Edition)
Pearl (2013 Special or Limited Edition)
Black (2013 Special or Limited Edition, now in regular line up)
Blue Green (2014 Special or Limited Edition)
Copper Orange (2015 Special or Limited Edition)
Charged Green (2016 Special or Limited Edition)

LAMY al-stars2

The owner of this second collection is looking for a “2008 Limited Edition Raspberry” Al-star, if anyone has one for sale at a reasonable price (the one on eBay currently offered at $236 is not reasonable!), let us know as he is quite interested.

The dates are from this helpful page – http://kmpn.blogspot.ca/2011/03/lamy-al-star-collection.html

Heavy Metal (Pens that is)!

Somewhere in an alternate universe, with the music of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Metallica blasting in the background, the rebels of the London Pen & Motorcycle Club gathered at their Williams on Wonderland HQ to binge on coffee and show off their new ink, like this beauty that Doc showed up with (he’s not a real Doctor, that’s just a name he picked up somewhere):

From Fenix Tattoos in Seattle
From Fenix Tattoos in Seattle

Well, that’s not exactly what happened … we did binge on coffee and heavy metal, pens that is …if a pen sticks to a magnet, it meets the test!! Bring your flighters, filigrees, overlays, signets, silver, gold (more likely gold-filled), aluminum, titanium, gunmetal, shiny or matte and all combinations and permutations thereof. Some like their pens with a patina (you might say potana) and others like them looking brand spanking shiny new. They could be factory or farm fresh – maybe have a few scratches and dents or even some brassing, we won’t hold that against them. And don’t forget your pens that are part-metal, i.e., they might have a metal cap with a resin or other body; however, metal trim-only is not enough metal, sorry.

To wit, a great collection, in a large variety of makes, models and finishes – Sheaffer Targas and a significant number of Parker:

whole bunch more

Anyone for a Parker 75 – just pick your finish:

whack of 75s

Some Parkers, at least one Sheaffer (a Targa, I think) and a Pilot Birdie(?):

table shot

A Waterman 452 1/2V sterling silver filigree (pierced work) overlay and a bottle of Herbin Vert Olive:

small waterman w overlayA true classic, the Parker 75 Cisele:

parker 75

Another Parker 75, a Sheaffer Connoisseur and a Pilot Birdie:

P75 connoisseur and birdie

Quite a mixed bag here from L to R – a Montblanc Meisterstuck Sterling Silver Solitaire Le Grand 146, a Dani Trio Phantas aka the “snake pen”, a Sheaffer Imperial and an older model of the Visconti Travelling Inkwell:

MB146 and snake pen

A close-up of the Dani Trio Phantas (snake pen) …

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… and a close-up of the Sheaffer Imperial Brass engraving:

sheaffer imperial brassA couple of one-piece metal pens, i.e., an integrated nib, a titanium Parker 50 aka the “Falcon” and a Namiki-Pilot M90:
integrated nibs M90 and P50 falcon

Not sure this Stipula/Chatterley Pens Carbon Future Oversized Etruria LE qualifies but it is one sweet writer with that 1.1 mm stub nib!

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Remember these Cross pens – graduation presents, wedding gifts, they were ubiquitous:

cross cross cross

Can you say vermeil?  Rotring 600s, Sheaffer Targas and Imperials and a couple of Parkers:

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The old hidden compartment pen … how did that bottle of ink get in the picture?

hidden compartment pen

What – is this a remnant from the alternate universe, a Waterman Harley-Davidson:

Harley

A number of Parker Flighters with a couple of 75s for good measure:

flighters and 75s

We have some Sheaffers, a Lamy Studio and a blue Kaweco off to the side

bns

The pen in focus is an Aurora 80th Anniversary Limited Edition, a brilliant guilloche pattern cut in sterling silver while the pen slightly out of focus is a Conway Stewart “Drake” LE:aurora guilloche untitled

A side shot (above) and head-on shot (below) of the Aurora 80th anniversary LE, a Conway Stewart “Drake” LE (this is a massive pen, made from a solid rod of sterling silver, guilloche engraved in a classic wave pattern), a Conway Stewart J. Rake Demonstrator (based on their classic Duro design), a Parker 51 Special Edition (from 2002), a Parker 51 Flighter, a Visconti Spider, a Visconti Skeleton, a Waterman Carene Deluxe, a Waterman Exception Night and Day Gold, and of course, a Waterman Edson:

MAW2

What about you?  We always love to hear what you think of these Heavy Metal Pens as well as about your own Heavy Metal pens.  Do you have a particular favourite?  Surely you have at least one?

LPC Goes Green – at least for one day!

Yes, tis true – the LPC went green for our Saturday, March 15, 2014 meeting to honour St. Patrick and the Irish people, including our own Irishman Stan O’ Waterman!  We have the photos to prove it – including some from a member in northern Manitoba, IIRC (Thanks O’wen, always good to hear from you!)

So, get yourself a drink (a pint o’ Guinness or a shot or two of Bushmills or Jameson whiskey), stream some Irish music (Celtic Thunder, Irish Tenors, etc.), sit back and enjoy more green pens and ink than you ever thought possible!

Of course, it wouldn’t be right if we did not have a proper blessing, so here goes:

“May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.”

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GreenInk001

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These last few pictures come from a member who moved away from London a few years ago.  Thanks O’wen!!

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Iconic Pens

The theme for our Saturday, October 24, 2011 meeting was “Iconic Fountain Pens”.   

What makes an item, such as a pen, iconic?  When most of us hear the word “iconic” we think of people, places or things that are famous, well-known, widely-known, celebrated, renowned, fabled, legendary, notorious, infamous, illustrious,  or perhaps even “the one”.  At least, those are some of the words that come to mind when I think of something that is “iconic”.  

The theme for this week was for our members to share their thoughts on those fountain pens that were icons from their perspective as well as the reason(s) for their selections.  We asked them to think about whether it was a popular or well-known pen?  Was it something to do with the pen’s design or looks?  Maybe it revolutionized the look, function of pens or even how pens write?  Has it developed a bit of a cult following?  Perhaps it is not famous but infamous?  Is it inexpensive or does it cost a small fortune?  Was it made by one of the “iconic” brands or do you have trouble pronouncing or even remembering its brand?  

If you were to build a collection of pens based on an “iconic” theme, what would you consider to be the “must-have” pens?  These hypothetical exercises are great – there are no limits, e.g., you are not restricted to modern or vintage pens, etc.  You don’t have to own the pen, have ever owned the pen or even want to own the pen!  Heck, you don’t even have to have any money!  Although, I don’t want to suggest that a pen’s cost necessarily influences its status as an icon.  I can think of very expensive pens that I would not be surprised if many thought of them as an icon, or conversely, others thinking of one of any number of inexpensive (dare I say, “cheap”?) pens that could easily fit the bill, e.g., Lamy Safari. 

Enough of my dribble, here are several groups of pens (with photos) that different members of the LPC view as being iconic and why:

 

1. Sheaffer Balance. 1930s. The Balance began the tradition of streamlining the shape of pens with tapered caps and barrel ends, along with the use of plastics in colours not seen before. 

2. Parker Vacumatic.  1930s. Striped plastics, ink stored right in the barrel rather than a sac, and an “interesting” filling system – the Vac is still what I think of when I think of vintage pens. 

3.  Parker “51”.  1940’s. A hooded nib. “Writes Dry with Wet Ink” to quote the advertising of the day.  Introduced in 1939 and in production until 1972, the Parker “51” sold in the millions and is of the most successful fountain pens of all time. 

4.  Sheaffer Snorkel.  1950’s. The Sheaffer Triumph nib (also known as the wrap around nib or conical nib) was continued on the Snorkel filler.  One of the coolest and most complicated of the filling systems, the Snorkel was made in a multitude of colours and finishes. 

5.  Sheaffer Imperial/Lifetime.  1960’s. I don’t have a Sheaffer Pen For Men (PFM) so I am including my 1963 Lifetime with the famous inlaid nib.  The PFM introduced the now iconic inlaid nib that Sheaffer continues to use on their pens to this day.  The Imperial, Targa, Intrigue and Valor models all have the inlaid nib. 

6.  Parker 75 in Sterling Silver cisele pattern.  1960’s. A classy looking pen.  I am still waiting to see one on the TV series “Mad Men”. 

7.  Lamy Safari.  1980’s. The Safari was first introduced in 1980 and hasn’t changed in 30 years.  A great starter or school pen that is available in an array of colours and nib sizes.

 Another member’s group of “Iconic Pens”:
 
  1. Aurora 88.  An elegant Italian design that functions perfectly and has a hidden cache of ink, if needed.
  2. Sheaffer Targa.  Simplicity and variety.  One could spend a lifetime collecting these classic fountain pens with the inlaid nib.  Just check out one of the best pen sites on the internet – sheaffertarga.com
  3. Pilot/Namiki Vanishing Point.  Many people think this pen has a cult following but I disagree.  How many people do you know that own at least one Vanishing Point?  I would not be surprised if 3 out of 4 pen owners have one – that’s not a cult, that’s a club!
  4. Delta Dolce Vita.  Ah, the sweet life!  The first time I saw this pen I thought it was a bit much, I mean, who has the nerve to use a bright orange pen like this, especially a conservative business man like me.  It did not take too much longer before I owned one.  Actually, I have the double desk set as well!
  5. Conklin Crescent Filler.  Even non-pen people know this pen, it’s the one that Mark Twain uses – because it won’t roll off of a table.
  6. Lamy 2000.  A wonderful example of design and functionality. A simple design, the pen is made of black makrolon and is a piston filler, holding a ton of ink.  The flagship pen of LAMY.
  7. OMAS 360.  The non-conformist’s fountain pen because of its unconventional triangulated form.  It’s the type of pen that you either love or hate.  I happen to love it.  Unfortunately, OMAS screwed up its original design when it redesigned its line of pens.  If you want one of these, get the older “vintage” model.
  8. Pelikan M800 Souverän.   I loved this fountain pen from the very first time I saw its green striped barrel at Sleuth & Statesman in Toronto.  While I actually bought the black-blue model with silver trim first, I just had to have the original black-green model with gold trim.  In my mind, the green striped barrel makes it the quintessential fountain pen!
  9. Parker Duofold.  Not a big surprise that the Duofold is on this list, although most people would probably cite the vintage “Big Red” model.  Most people would put the Big Red as one of a dozen or so pens in a core collection of pens.  I like the blue ones myself, especially this remake of the “True Blue”.
  10. Waterman Edson.  A legendary and elegant pen.
  11. Conway Stewart #28 “Cracked Ice”.  Colourful plastics have been a signature of Conway Stewart.  The names of many of these colours, such as this one in Cracked Ice, have been adopted by collectors over the years. Other personal favourites include Reverse Cracked Ice and Tiger Eye.  Truth be told, my favourite models are #27 and #60 – I just grabbed the first Cracked Ice that I came across so please forgive my oversight!

 One more member’s quartet of Icons:
 
 

From top to bottom:

  1. Parker Vacumatic. Hey, it’s a Vacumatic, what more is there to say?
  2. Sheaffer Autograph.  The Autograph has a much wider cap band than the Sheaffer Signature and used to be one of their most expensive models.  It has the clip and the cap band made out of solid 14K gold. In fact, you could send the pen to Sheaffer along with your signature and they would engrave it on the cap band. This cap band has yet to be engraved.
  3. Esterbrook.  A classic double jewel J (full sized).
  4. Parker 51.  This aerometric filler with gold filled cap is Cocoa in colour, while not as rare as Nassau Green or Plum, is fairly uncommon.

A different view of the same quartet: 

 
And finally, the best part of every pen club meeting – writing with someone else’s iconic pen – in this case, a Parker 65 Flighter! 
 
 
Maybe you agree with these selections, maybe you have your own views.  We would love to hear from you!  Let us know what your iconic pen is and why?
 

01/20/08 Hilights – New Lamy Al Star & Pear Tree Pen’s Ink Samples

Sometimes people are busy and such was the case on Saturday, January 20, 2008.  Only 3 + 1 were able to attend – Rick, Gord and Doug + “Bennie” aka “Bennett”.  A good time was had nevertheless (and as usual)!
Rick had just received the Lamy Al Star Safari Fountain Pen – Ocean Blue pen (from The Pear Tree Pen Company).  IT IS A REALLY SUPER iteration of the Safari AL Star series.  The blue is really deep and catches your eye much like the Waterman Edson Blue – that deep rich unique tone of blue.  The nib was a ‘very’ fine one (a little too much so for those who prefer the fine-medium feel of a nib on paper).  All agreed however that this pen was one that was one of the best in the AL Star series.  (The previous light-blue  was at best wishy-washy … a blue pretending to be the original silver).
Lamy Al Star Safari Fountain Pen - Ocean BlueLamy Al Star Safari Fountain Pen - Ocean BlueLamy Al Star Safari Fountain Pen - Ocean BlueLamy Al Star Safari Fountain Pen - Ocean Blue
Rick also purchased a Pear Tree Company Ink Sampler.  Four 1cc vials of ink in a vacuum-sealed plastic package – from your choice of nearly 400 shades from bottles of fountain pen ink.  Each ink was labeled and in its own screw topped vial. To say they were “mini” samples is not quite right – super-mini is more accurate.  We had to swish the nib in the ink to even be able to get enough on the nib to ‘dip’ it.  There may have been a pen load in the bottle but you would need a syringe to get it out of the bottle and into your pen.  On the other hand the whole cost of this set of samples was only $4.00. James Partridge (the owner of The Pear Tree Pen Company) cannot be making a ton on this what with the cost of labeling the ink bottles and shrink wrapping them.  Nevertheless, James’ idea is a great one (maybe  put in a request for a double portion and pay $8 …  or 2 double samples if you only want to spend $4) that would allow you a good test.  It should also be noted that you can get a bottle with an eyedropper-cap for an extra $1.60.  If the review sounds negative, it is just not so.  We thought the idea was a great one and well worth a try but perhaps one might better spend a bit more money and getting a better sized sample or a bottle with an eyedropper-cap.  We know James and he is to be commended for his innovation and terrific customer service!
Next week’s theme will be centennial Duofolds – and we might get lucky and see the unveiling of a new True Blue!  Hope to see you then!
YIPPIE (Yours in pens, paper, ink & ephemera),
Mike
PS.  I found a few great pics of the Lamy pen that really shows off the Ocean Blue, so I have added them below.  Enjoy!
Lamy Ocean Blue AL Safari
Very nice indeed!
Lamy Ocean Blue AL Safari