We have a battle for the ages as two of our most popular starter pens are going to duke it out to see who will reign supreme! Favorites among newbies and enthusiasts alike, both the Pilot Metropolitan and LAMY Safari offer a great writing experience for under $30! Let’s take a closer look at our two challengers:
- Made in Germany, very Bauhaus-inspired
- Wide variety of colors with annual special editions
- European nib sizing, available in EF, F, M, B 1.1mm stub, 1.5mm, and 1.9mm
- Weighs 17g and made of resin
- $29.60 Price Tag
- Made in Japan
- Many regular colors, but no special editions
- Japanese nib sizing, finer detail
- Available in F, M, 1.0mm stub
- Weighs 26g and made of lacquered metal
- $23.99 Price Tag
Now that we have some of the technical specs and facts out of the way, why might you choose one over the other? Adrianne from our Customer Care team sides with the LAMY Safari for a number of reasons. The ergonomic triangular grip and lightweight design make it a great option for longer writing sessions. The nibs are easily swappable throughout various LAMY models including the Safari, so you can go from an Extra-Fine nib to 1.9mm stub nib in the blink of an eye, offering dramatic line variation. The Safari is also built with very intentional design choices as well, such as the converter notches lining up exactly where it needs to be installed, making it that much easier to use.
Colin, our Community Coordinator, plants his flag for the Pilot Metropolitan. He argues that the heavier body gives the pen a more substantial and durable feel while also having a more classic design. The Japanese-styled nib allows for a finer line which makes it a great choice for students who use cheaper paper. The Metropolitan also comes with a converter, which the Safari doesn’t! This adds to the savings as you don’t need to shell out another $6 for a converter to use your favorite bottled ink right away.
Get more information and read reviews of these two amazing workhorse fountain pens by checking out GouletPens.com!
Now where do you stand on this heated debate? Which side do you stand on? Leave a comment below and let us know if you’re Team Safari or Team Metropolitan!
The Goulet Pen Company Team
With the holidays in the rearview mirror, it’s time to shift your focus and treat yourself! After diligently curating the perfect gifts for all your friends and family, why not splurge a little on yourself? Did you receive a Goulet e-gift card? Here are 7 perfect ways to indulge on fountain pens, inks, or cases that you normally wouldn’t. Treat yourself!
Treat Yourself… to your First Flex Pen: Conklin Duragraph with Omniflex Nib
Been eyeing a flex nib to add to your collection but haven’t pulled the trigger yet? The Conklin Duragraph with Omniflex nib offers a fountain pen with vintage appeal, but also a modern flex nib to show off great line variation!
Treat Yourself… to Fountain Pens On-The-Go: Girologio Pen Cases
Take your favorite fountain pens wherever you go in a safe & secure case from Girologio! These leather cases come in a variety of colors, like Oxblood, and in a variety of sizes!
Treat Yourself… to your First Gold Nib: LAMY 2000
Taking the plunge into gold nib pens is almost a rite of passage for fountain pen users. The LAMY 2000 offers an easy transition as it’s one of our favorite entry-level gold nibs around! Enjoy a smooth-writing experience with the hooded nib along with the no-nonsense Makrolon design.
Treat Yourself… to Pen Cleaning Nirvana: Goulet Pen Cleaning Set
Cleaning your pens can be a headache, especially if you don’t have the right tools! Fix that and find yourself in pen cleaning bliss with the Goulet Pen Cleaning Set. Featuring 2 ink syringes, a bulb syringe, and a bottle of Goulet Pen Flush, stubborn ink won’t stand a chance!
Treat Yourself… to your First Visconti: Visconti Mirage
Visconti has plenty of grail-worthy pens, but the newly available Visconti Mirage is their most affordable pen model yet! At under $130, the Mirage has a swirling resin body and satisfying magnetic cap. Great option to try out the Visconti brand.
Treat Yourself… to a Complete Rainbow of Inks: Monteverde Emotions Ink Set
With so many colors and brands to choose from, finding the perfect inks to add to your collection can be a stressful endeavor. Check all your inky boxes with one purchase by going with the Emotions 10 Ink Set from Monteverde!
Treat Yourself… to Better Handwriting: CursiveLogic Workbook
Has your handwriting seen better days? Up your game with the CursiveLogic Workbook! This comprehensive manual offers an intelligent way to re-learn cursive writing. From step-by-step instructions to practice sheets, this workbook will have your handwriting looking better each day!
Be sure to find all of these great products in our helpful shopping guide! Have you been treating yourself to any new pens, ink, or accessories this holiday season? Leave a comment below and let us know!
The Goulet Pen Company Team
Goulet Q&A Episode 238: 7 Deadly Fountain Pen Sins, Restoring Old Found-In-Drawer Pens, and Pens in Film Scenes
In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about his 7 deadly fountain pen sins, restoring “found” desk pens, and his favorite fountain pen spotting in a film.
- Had daughter’s birthday, Christmas, New Years, lots going on at the Goulet house!
- wasn’t planning to shoot Q&A this week, wanted to squeeze it in
- dug into the archives to get questions, keeping it short and sweet
- team has been SO busy here, it’s been way busier than expected!
- lots and lots of closeouts, definitely check those out on the site, started with 180 items on closeout, now closer to 100
- there’s a lot we stocked up on for the holidays, some sold through, some didn’t, so we’re wanting to lighten up our inventory to free up cash to invest in new products and projects for the new year
- we live and die by how we manage our inventory!
- Yafa ink deal extended on select pens, Purple Rembrandt, Violet Aero, Pelikan m800 Stone Garden and m600 Vibrant Orange, a number of inks we’re clearing out that we won’t continue carrying
- Some new stuff will be coming but not a lot for the next few weeks, we and everyone else are getting into the swing of things still
- Coming up on Write Now number 100! Can’t believe it! We’re also going to hit our 10th year selling fountain pens
- Just talked about New Years resolutions, and I’m already making progress towards mine!
1) Anonymous- Facebook (12:55)
“What are your 7 deadly sins of fountain pens?
- Greed- most expensive and inexpensive item in your collection.- Namiki Yukari Moonlight, and I guess free Noodler’s pens that came with my ink!
- Wrath- item you love to hate.- Flex pens! Any anything eyedropper
- Gluttony- your most delicious product.- anything LAMY, TWSBI, I don’t even think about it I just get it. And a lot of special inks!
- Sloth- your most neglected product.- pretty much any pen that needs to be cleaned, though I have gotten better about it!
- Pride- item you’re most proud of.- Any exclusives or co-branded stuff
- Lust- the product your really want but just can’t get.- the next pen, whatever that is! Clearly I struggle with FOMO. But really Sailor and Montblanc, let’s be real
- Envy- who in the pen community do you envy the most?”- really no one, but I do really appreciate the skills of nibmeisters and could have lived an alternate life doing that work full time!
2) Rob B- Facebook (21:34)
- Haha, asking for a friend, eh Rob?
- Yup! Totally interchangeable between these models
- Swap away!
3) @LucyHoneychurch- Twitter (22:23)
I use the Leuchtturm notebooks as a diary and never quite know what to do with the perforates pages. I use them to try out ink but I never need 8 pages for this. I’m curious what other people do with the perforated pages. Wish you the best for 2019!
- I’ve been using them for years and never torn out a single page
- I don’t think those pages are there for people who use them as regular diaries
- It’s more if you want to use it like a notepad, tearing off directions to give to someone else, making a to-do list you intend to throw out, whatever, it’s literally meant to be disposed of! I’m curious to hear what others do with it
4) Curt A- Facebook (26:37)
People keep finding old, abandoned pens in desk drawers. How about a “How-to” for resurrecting them?
- this is something I get asked about a lot, which is tough because i’m not a pen restorer!
- depending on the age, condition, type of pen there could be a lot of steps to be taken, that all vary and need pro advice
- The best I can do is give a few first steps:
- You can almost always assume there’s ink dried up in the pen that won’t work
- the dried ink will need to be cleaned out, and it will be difficult
- the dried ink will often clog the pen entirely, so it won’t be easy to flush the pen
- you can pretty much assume you’ll need a pen flush, as that’s what’ll help break down the dried ink
- soaking the grip of the pen will be most helpful, and probably require a couple of days
- an ultrasonic cleaner does wonders in this scenario, best to just do the whole dang pen
- if this doesn’t do it, then you’re into restoration territory, and that’s outta my specialty!
- unfortunately I don’t know of many people that do restoration work, but this is where FPN and Goulet Nation can help
5) Tyler H- Facebook (38:10)
What is your favorite Movie/TV Show scene that showed a fountain pen?
- truth be told, I haven’t noticed all that many, but there are threads about that stuff on FPN and Reddit
- I guess this is my favorite? It’s at least the most notable and memorable one that I’ve seen: from an old Mickey Mouse short called “Thu The Mirror” where Mickey’s dreaming and becomes miniature in a room where inanimate objects come to life
- He uses a lever-filling fountain pen like a machine gun to fend off invading playing cards chasing him for having danced with the “queen” card
- It’s kinda messed up and a little creepy, but the fountain pen is prominent and unmistakable!
QOTW: What are you looking to accomplish in 2019? (43:59)
Writing Prompt: Write down a SMART version of your New Years resolution (a goal for 2019). (44:39)
Brian here, and these are my picks for the 10 hottest pens of 2018, at least from what has come through Goulet Pens. It’s not in any particular order except for my #1 pick at the end. This was so tough to narrow down because there are so many great pens that came out this year, some are gone and some are still with us, but all are noteworthy.
- Black with Rose Gold was the first pen with the Omniflex nib
- This color combination was a limited edition, not available anymore
- Not without its controversy, par for the course with flex nibs
- Affordable at $60, looked great, and had legit flexibility to it
- Despite its challenges, it was overwhelmingly popular and paved the way for other Conklin and Monteverde flex nib pens
- Shop all Conklin flex pens starting at $52 (plus free Monteverde ink through 12/31/18!)
Jinhao 993 Shark
- We definitely jumped the shark with these ones!
- This wasn’t brand new to Jinhao but it was new to us
- We started with just 5 of the colors and quickly carried all of them because there was such a feeding frenzy
- Inexpensive, write surprisingly well, and c’mon it’s a shark!
- Shop all Jinhao 993 Shark pens at $3.95 each
- Montegrappa’s lowest priced fountain pen to date at under $200
- Rosso Cilegia (red) and Verde Altipiano (green) to start
- Great shape, deep materials, good weight
- Beautiful German-made #6 JoWo steel nibs
- Montegrappa really nailed it with these pens and we will see more exclusive limited-run colors in 2019
- Shop the Montegrappa Elmo at $175
- Diplomat changed US distributorship and their new distributor is doing a lot to get this brand out there
- This pen was a total sleeper
- The Magnum has been around for 40 years! But no one had really heard of it
- $20, steel JoWo nib, nice colors, light weight
- Where had this pen been all our lives? It was always there, but now it’s here to stay and I think we’ll see more coming from this exciting (not) new model
- Shop all Diplomat Magnums at $20 (plus free Monteverde ink through 12/31/18!)
- After coming out with the 580 and Eco, you’d think TWSBI would rest on their laurels but they didn’t
- The GO is an EVEN MORE affordable and simpler to use version of the Eco
- While it’s tough to unseat these other TWSBIs, the company is working to disrupt themselves, and we’re all getting to benefit with yet another innovative pen in their lineup
- Shop all TWSBI GOs at $18.99
Opus 88 Demo
- Opus 88 is a whole new pen company to us, making a name with demonstrator eyedropper pens most of which also include ebonite but this one is all resin
- While they’ve come out with a number of eye catching pens, the Demonstrator stands out
- Large pen, beautiful clear and frosted components
- Ink-sloshing satisfaction
- #6 JoWo nibs are great writers
- For the effort involved in making a pen like this the price is fair at around $120, so much so they’ve had a hard time making enough to keep them in stock
- New translucent colors coming in early 2019!
- Shop all Opus 88 Demonstrators at $120
LAMY Special Editions
- LAMY’s been in a good way with their special editions the last several years
- Following up with pens like the Pacific, Petrol, Dark Lilac, leaves some big shoes to fill
- VibrantPink Al-Star launched and we were able to show it off with footage of its assembly from the factory, which just upped the cool factor
- Coupled it with legit supply of matching ink, which was also a great color
- Safari All Black was a little more stealthy, didn’t make a huge splash at launch but it’s been quietly making its way into a lot of your hands
- LAMY’s cooking up some great stuff in 2019 too
- Shop the LAMY Safari All-Black at a closeout price of $19.99 or the LAMY AL-Star VibrantPink at $37.60
Platinum #3776 Century Kumpoo
- Remember this one? It was gone so fast you might not
- This was an LE earlier from this summer, and it flew because the color is so stunning
- Not only was the color amazing but the texture too
- More of these please Platinum? Please??
- Shop all Platinum #3776 Century pens starting at $176
Pineider La Grande Bellezza Gemstones
- Pineider is finding its sea legs with Dante Delvecchio basically building their pen line from scratch
- Not to rest on his laurels, Dante redesigned his La Grande Bellezza only about 6 months after releasing the first edition
- The remodel featured a new quill nib which is the star feature of this pen
- It also had new colors, a new material he designed which includes actual marble in the resin, and a lower price
- This pen has put Pineider on the radar of the pen world
- Shop all Pineider La Grande Bellezza pens, currently on sale through 12/31/18 for only $299!
Namiki 7 Gods of Good Fortune Set
- I’m saving the best for last here, though this one really just stands out on its own
- This is really 7 pens in one set, that we did a full unboxing video on
- Pilot wanted to celebrate their 100th anniversary, and boy did they
- I’ve never seen anything that even comes close to this presentation
- Artisans worked for about 3 years on 25 of these sets, and 4 made it to the US, one here
- While it’s not exactly something available to many of us, the devotion to their craft, their passion, their romance about the craft of what founded their company is so felt through this set
- It’s the kind of pen set that only comes around every 100 years, so it tops my 2018 list!
- View other Namiki maki-e pens
There are so many other fantastic pens that came out in 2018 and I’m sure you have opinions you’d like to share about which were your favorite. Be sure to comment below and let us have it!
A new year brings with it the promise of some exciting new moments and the hope for resolutions come true. But in this exciting time, we often forget to look back at all the previous year had to offer. The Goulet Pens team took a moment to reflect on the good things from 2018 and share their proudest moments as 2019 dawns on us in the coming days. Read on to discover the reflections our team members shared about what made them feel most proud in the past year.
Crystal (Quality and Production Specialist) – I’m proud that I kept my new year’s resolution for 2018 to take one day a month just for myself as a mental health/personal growth day.
Adrianne (Customer Care) – I’m most proud of my husband for how hard he works at his job and how he is being recognized for it.
Zippy (Customer Care) – I’m proud of myself for learning to prioritize and take care of myself so that I can effectively work on becoming the best version of me for myself and others.
Sarah (Lead Photographer) – I’m most proud of taking the big step with Ross to buy our first home and growing closer together through the process.
Lydia (Community Coordinator) – I’m proud of getting my puppy, Fenway, and surviving the first few stressful months of puppy ownership. We’re learning how to co-exist so that everyone is happy.
Jeremy Wh. (Data Analyst) – I’m proud of Simon (my son) and all of the hilariously wacky stuff he comes up with. And I’m proud of the transition to Shopify and the fact that we got to keep most of the customer data and order history. Also, I’m proud of the progress I’ve made with nib customization/grinding.
Whitney (Product Photographer) – I’m proud of figuring out how to make cinemagraphs and learning to be less hard on myself.
Katie (Fulfillment Team Supervisor) – The thing I’m most proud of from 2018 is watching my daughter try numerous times and then finally taking her first steps right in front of me and my husband!
Susan (Customer Care) – I am proud of my daughters, their successes and how they handle anything that is less than successful.
Margaret (Media Team Manager) – I’m most proud of continuing to learn how to balance my different roles… wife, mom, a team member at work, friend. I have a better understanding of what I want to say “yes” to and what I can say “no” to and that is freeing.
Brian (Co-President) – In 2018, I’m most proud of my wife. She feels the tug of many responsibilities as a small business owner and full-time working mother, and she’s had her challenges with anxiety and other health issues in recent years. This year, she’s been an inspiring example to me and many others of what it looks like to accept herself with all her complexities, judge herself less and care for others without losing herself. This is a tough balance to find for many working mothers and I am so proud of her for the progress she’s made this year. I’m blessed to have her as my wife and business partner.
We hope you enjoyed reading our reflections! What was your proudest moment of 2018? Share with us in the comments below!
The Goulet Pen Company Team
For Goulet Q&A Episode 237 (our last Q&A of 2018!), Brian crafted his own version of this classic Christmas tale to warm the hearts of all the fountain pen lovers out there. Check out the video above to see it!