When I first became curious about fountain pens, the Lamy abc was one of those first on my list of must-tries. Engineered as a pen for beginners, specifically children, I was debating on whether this one was a better choice over the Lamy Safari. The Safari won that time, since it was more readily available then. But now the abc has finally come to me, gifted by a friend who I think knows me quite well.
The abc’s body is a quirky combination of sturdy plastic and lightweight maple wood, which smells wonderful and feels nostalgic, bringing back memories of classrooms with wooden desks and chalkboards. The pen’s plastic components come in either primary red or blue. It has a snap-cap, which fits securely but is easily removable with one hand. It doesn’t have a clip; and instead has a flattened side with a recessed slot for a nameplate.
The end of the pen has a cube-shaped plastic roll-stop, with a similar spot for another identifying sticker. This, however, prevents the cap from being posted.
The pen is equipped with a non-slip, ergonomically-shaped grip. Unscrewing the barrel reveals the inner part to be made of the same hardy plastic. The lower half of the section where the cartridge is inserted is longer compared to the Safari, allowing for more guidance when inserting a Lamy T10 cartridge or Z28 converter. The pen weighs less than 15 grams.
The abc’s nib is durable stainless steel, labelled “A” for Anfänger, meaning beginner. It is stiff, and writes a little broader than the usual M nib. A left-handed option is also available. It can be swapped for other Lamy nibs, ranging from extra fine to 1.9 mm stub. For me, the pen wrote smoothly after initial flushing, laying down a moderately wet line using a Lamy ink cartridge. The tipping on the nib is more generous, which allows for a forgiving sweet spot.
Truth be told, I squealed with delight when I received this pen. I felt like a little child with a new toy. Given its aesthetics, the Lamy abc was truly designed for children, and children-at-heart. It looks vibrant and pleasing, especially to adults like me who like a little playfulness in their pens.
Functionally, it works well. It is light, and with a wider girth especially made for fingers that are still learning fine motor skills. The grip is rubberised, and shaped to encourage that optimal tripod placement ideal for relaxed and fluent writing. The nib is stiff yet smooth, made with a point that can withstand more pressure from less nuanced handwriting. Being able to swap out different nibs is an economical plus. The cap’s lack of a clip can be an advantage for kids; as that prevents the pen from catching on objects. Unposted, the pen feels good in my hand; and I think it would be unwieldy for smaller hands if posting were possible. The nifty name sticker affirms ownership, and fosters a sense of responsibility in children.
The Lamy abc feels like a solid pen, built to last through the learning curve of first-time users. It's likewise a fun pen for adults who appreciate an unusual yet effective design. I wish I had a pen like this while I was growing up, but now I’m glad I’ve had the pleasure of finally using it.
Written by Lekz Umali
Check out her art on Instagram!