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The Lamy ABC


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Nellie

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 22:18

As far as I know the ABC is the first /oldest of a number of beginners' pens sold in Germany. What I mean by saying that it was the first of its kind is that beginners' pens didn't use to be so chunky but were rather slim before the ABC came along. At € 11.90 it is probably the most expensive of these pens (the Pelikano Junior's recommended price, for example, is € 9.90), but it is still the lowest-priced Lamy and hence a good way to try a pen of this brand.

Originally fitted with either an 'A' or an 'L'-nib for right or left-handed beginners (='Anfänger' in German), the ABC can take all of Lamy's interchangeable steel nibs, including the Joy's italic nibs. Compared to the M-nib I used in the scan, the A nibs I tried seemed to write a bit wider, but were still in the range of 'medium' and not 'broad'. Like all Lamy steel nibs they are stiff ('nails') and do not feel soft and elastic like Pelikano Junior A-nibs. The idea is that they cannot be damaged as easily as regular nibs if a learner uses a lot of pressure. After increasing the pen's ink-flow (I like wet nibs) I've compared my M-nib to my PFM I medium nib, and I think their lines are the same width:

Lamy_ABC.jpg

What I really like about this pen is its unusual design: its barrel is made of wood on the outside and the section is covered with soft rubber material on the newer version of this pen (the old version was only available in red and had a hard plastic section). This makes the ABC very comfortable to hold, even if (like me) you don't have the tripod grip it is supposed to teach kids with its special indentations for thumb and first finger. As you can see in the scan, the section is fairly wide (as wide as my PFM's) and all in all this is by no means a small pen. It is, however, very light-weight at less than 15 grams and so it should be comfortable for long writing sessions. Because its cap won't go over the little 'dice' at the end of its barrel, the ABC cannot be posted.

This pen can use the same converter as Safaris (the piston converter with the red knob) and - of course - Lamy's proprietory cartridges. The inside of the barrel is all plastic and as there don't seem to be any holes in it, it might be possible to convert the pen into an eyedropper (if somebody wanted to do this. I can't see why, though, as the converter has quite a large capacity and works well).

The pen comes in a small cardboard box with some labels in several different colours that you can write your name on and attach to cap and 'dice' at the barrel end. As many German school kids use this pen (allegedly it's the best-selling primary school pen), these labels seem useful.
From what I've heard and seen at school, the ABC can take a lot of abuse and is very durable - some students use theirs from primary school to sixth form.

At the moment this pen doesn't seem to be available in the US, but you could always order from 'thewritingdesk.co.uk' or maybe a German eBay seller; a lot of them offer ABCs and shipping isn't much for just a pen (FP = 'Füller').

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#2 el3ssar

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 22:44

The Lamy ABC is quite popular in France, I now that my mom bought one for all my nephews and niece (thus her grandchildren !) when they started primary school and learned how to write. And she'll keep doing it, kids are growing up fast ! biggrin.gif

#3 acs1886

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 14:53

I've got a blue ABC pen but i can't seem to fit my safari converter into it. it attaches ok but you can't screw back on the wooden body. anyway, i really like this pen and i'm thinking of getting the red one as well. makes a good pair.


#4 FrankB

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 16:39

Thank you for an interesting review.

I have used Pelikano Juniors as beater pens for several years and I am very happy with them. I live in the U.S. where the Lamy ABC is not generally available, so I had difficulty finding one to even try. Last Christmas, a CONUS seller had several and I got one with the red components, "A" nib.

I think the ABC is an excellent pen. I think your assessment of the pen is accurate. I find it comfortable to hold, and very reliable. I do not have a converter for it yet, so I am using cartridges and it does write a fairly wide line. With dryer inks it will write a crisper line. Nonetheless, it is a really good writing pen. At its price point, I think it is an excellent buy.

Edited by FrankB, 04 May 2008 - 16:39.


#5 Readymade

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 18:11

QUOTE(acs1886 @ May 4 2008, 10:53 PM) View Post
I've got a blue ABC pen but i can't seem to fit my safari converter into it. it attaches ok but you can't screw back on the wooden body. anyway, i really like this pen and i'm thinking of getting the red one as well. makes a good pair.


That's odd. I assume you're using a Z24? That's the one with the red twist. I know for sure that the Z24 fits.

Perhaps you might need to use a bit more pressure to push the converter in a bit more?

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#6 acs1886

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 16:04

ok apologies!!! i just tried it again and it can fit. Actually what happened was when i bought my abc pen, it didn't come with the converter. In singapore, the safari comes with the converter but the abc pen doesn't come with one. to explain it, the guy took out one from the safari and showed that it wouldn't fit. so i had this impression all along that it wouldn't fit.

but after reading your reply i just tried it out again and yes, if you put it in properly, it can fit. Thanks!!

Edited by acs1886, 06 May 2008 - 16:16.


#7 cmeisenzahl

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 16:48

Nice work! I have what is probably the Rotring equivalent to that pen, looks almost identical.

#8 Nellie

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 13:19

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I didn't know kids used it in France, too. I only knew about the Netherlands and Britain.
FrankB, I always thought Lamy ink was rather dry? What are you going to put into the pen when you get a converter?


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#9 FrankB

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 17:36

For dryer inks, I prefer MB Sepia or Bordeaux, and I like J. Herbin inks. I will probably use the "Terre du Feu," "Cafe des Iles," or "Ambre du Birmanie." I hope I have spelled the French names correctly. These inks are simply my personal preferences, but I have had a lot of luck with them in pens with wide writing nibs.

#10 el3ssar

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 23:31

QUOTE(FrankB @ May 13 2008, 06:36 PM) View Post
For dryer inks, I prefer MB Sepia or Bordeaux, and I like J. Herbin inks. I will probably use the "Terre du Feu," "Cafe des Iles," or "Ambre du Birmanie." I hope I have spelled the French names correctly. These inks are simply my personal preferences, but I have had a lot of luck with them in pens with wide writing nibs.


Actually it's Terre de feu, Café des Îles and Ambre de Birmanie, but I'm only saying this coz you implicitly asked to be corrected smile.gif (And I hope my english is not too bad, otherwise shame on me biggrin.gif )

@ Nellie : yes, some kids use this pen in France. It is not as popular as some Stypen and Waterman school pen which are literally available everywhere from the smallest shop to the biggest mall, but when you're 6 yo I think the size and the material of this ABC are just right for your small hands.







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