Penman on Safari (in Heidelberg)

Lamy makes a brightly colored plastic fountain pen called the Safari and I love mine. My favorite has an italic nib so I can imitate the sensuous sweeping strokes of Renaissance masters. I even have an optic yellow model I filled with (Japanese) fluorescent ink to use as a highlighter.

Though they’re fun and lightweight, lots of serious German precision and beaucoup robotics goes into each one, as this unprecedented factory footage reveals. The plant itself is a Bauhaus masterpiece; form follows function. Confession: I never knew how the company name was pronounced, which is rather lame of me I suppose.

Historians, contemplate the application of high tech to the somewhat anachronistic fountain pen, which is actually only a century and a half old. These latest iterations don’t leak, write smoother than anything else, and can give your signature a hipster cred that is hard to duplicate with a mass-market disposable ballpoint or soulless corporate rollerball.

Caps off to The Goulet Pen Company of Ashland, Virginia, for sharing this neat 15-minute tour: