Lamy


Fresher 6

For many years there hasn’t been much going on in terms of new Caran d’Ache mechanical pencils. There is a lot of choice when it comes to ballpoint pens but there wasn’t much to look at in terms of affordable (<£50) mechanical pencils (there are unusually many in the ‘above £500’ range, though).

In recent years this changed to some extent with the 849 mechanical pencil being available in a few new colours and editions, e.g. Black Code. There are, however, not many shops here in the UK that actually stock these.

Image © Caran d’Ache

Today a new pencil joined the Caran d’Ache offering, available in a set with a ballpoint pen as a limited edition, the Set Fresher.

Image © Caran d’Ache

I am happy to see more mechanical pencils from Caran d’Ache, even though it is basically just the same pencil in different colours. I wish they’d do something else, e.g. offering a 0.5 mm version, but for now, just seeing more colours are a nice change.

Caran d’Ache seems to be starting the different colour limited editions game for their mechanical pencils and lead holders, or maybe not starting it but taking it up a notch, while Lamy is by now really good at the ‘new colour game’. Every time I think I won’t buy another Safari they come up with more good colours: last year the re-release of the original colours, this year the beautiful strawberry and cream colours, with matching clip etc.

Kaweco is also really good at this, with a mix of happy affordable colours and more posh looking ones that are slightly more expensive.

In terms of new innovation there have also been some news.

The new Kurutoga Dive is not only rotating the lead like previous versions, but is also advancing it. It is a capped and a limited edition. I wonder if the cap is there to protect the mechanism when not in use. Maybe the front is not as sturdy (in the current version) as previous Kurutogas with less complicated mechanisms. If that’s the case there might be a regular version without a cap in the future. This thought might explain why this is a limited edition: maybe they want to see first how this mechanism fares in the real world, or the manufacturing process isn’t automated enough for mass market production and some manual labour is currently involved in assembly which doesn’t make it quite mass market ready yet….


I believe that the use of the images in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


The Lamy exact – older than the Lamy 2000

Unfortunately work didn’t leave me much spare time so I didn’t get round to finishing the Cento3 graphene pencil blog post yet, but with the previous blog post here being four weeks old I thought it’s time for a quick ‘Bleistift is still alive’ post.

Today I want to show you a fifty year old advert for the Lamy exact and some other Lamy pens, including the Lamy 2000. At the time the Lamy 2000 was about five years old.

This advert is currently being sold on eBay and is listed as being from 1971.

I have translated the text for you:

You may be able to afford illegible handwriting, but not an unclean one.
Leave the cleanliness of your handwriting to LAMY exact. The ballpoint pen with the perfect technology and functional design.
Its large capacity refill with a stainless steel tip guarantees a problem-free 10,000 m writing line. With a single
refill you will write evenly and cleanly for at least a year.
Every time you click this refill ready for writing, it turns by 120 degrees. Like this it cannot be worn down on one side only, cannot blot, cannot smudge. Additionally, the ‘signal marker’ indicates whether the refill is extended.
In short, any advantage that is imaginable for a ballpoint pen – the LAMY exact has it. For an always clean and
exact handwriting.
You can find the LAMY exact range with large capacity refill in leading stationery stores.


In the price list the Lamy 2000 range is being referred to as ‘The manly range’. The more affordable Lamy design 20 range is being referred to as “The young range’.

For reference: In 1971 10 DM were equivalent to 3 US Dollars or £1.20.

According to Lamy’s history page the Lamy exact came out in 1964 and was Germany’s first ballpoint pen with a large capacity refill.

I plan to add information from this advert to Stationery.wiki’s Lamy page.


In praise of Lamy’s watercolours 1

I am not sure how the rainbow drawings at the beginning of the pandemic started. The narrative in the UK seems to be that the rainbow is the NHS rainbow to support the country’s national health system and its workers. I am sure other countries have similar country-specific and country-centric explanations. The rainbow as a symbol for hope in pandemic times might have started in Italy, but I’m not 100% sure, so if you have more information, please let us know in the comments.

Faded rainbows in a window

Our son couldn’t resist drawing a rainbow with his battered Lamy aquaplus watercolour set either. Stationery use is always encouraged!

Still going strong, one year in

You might know that England’s Northwest isn’t exactly the sunshine capital of the world, so I was quite surprised to see that into the middle of the Summer 2020 many rainbow pictures in windows were already rather faded. With the sun being so weak here I assume the many faded rainbows must be due to cheap supermarket-own-brand stationery that can be pretty awful. I don’t remember seeing any non-faded rainbows in the last months (except our Lamy one).

Close-up of the beautifully strong Lamy colours, one year in.

What I really like about the Lamy set is that each colour is individually replaceable, not that I will have much luck finding replacements in the UK, though… Yes, it’s € 5.90 while some no-name alternatives are only £1, but I think it’s so much better than the cheap watercolour sets!


If you are interested in more scientifically done long time tests have a look at Dave’s Paper Mate Biodegradable Mechanical Pencil Biodegradability Test or at his Blue Lead Fade Testing.


D1 ≠ D1 3

Not everyone shares this opinion, not even everyone in my household, but I think gel refills are so much nicer than ballpoint refills. My holbein x Rotring 600 3 in 1 came with ballpoint refills, so it was a prime candidate for an upgrade: replacing the ballpoint refills with gel or hybrid refills. I had the idea after A.J. talked about the D1 refills in a comment on my video about this pen.

I started by consulting Ana’s refill guide to look for some nice refills.

It didn’t take long to pick some cool stuff for my order, not only refills, also a new pen (the Jetstream Edge in white). To get free postage with my order I also picked a few more refills with the intention of improving my wife’s Lamy 2000 multipen (the original Lamy ballpoint refills often skip when you start writing).

The two patients of this operation: Lamy 2000 and holbein x Rotring 600 3 in 1

What did I order? Jetstream refills, I like them based on my positive experience with them from the Hobonichi pens and from my Jetstream 4 in 1. I also got some Zebra refills. I haven’t used them myself but bought them before to go with a pen I gave someone as a gift.

When trying to fit the Zebra refills into the Lamy 2000 there was big disappointment. They didn’t fit. A quick look at the end revealed that the Lamy refills are slightly slimmer. Maybe D1 isn’t quite as standardised as I thought. I have to admit though that I don’t have much D1 experience as I generally prefer pencils and fountain pens.

A quick check with the callipers revealed that there are minute differences in the diameter. The Lamy M21 diameter is 2.32 mm, the Zebra JSB 0.5 diameter is 2.36 mm. 0.04 mm (0.0016 inches) difference. I also measured the Uni SXR-200-07 which turned out to have a diameter of 2.33 mm. Even though the Zebra didn’t fit the Lamy 2000 I managed to squeeze it into the Rotring 600. That left me with the uni for the Lamy 2000. The refill is only 0.01 mm wider but that was enough the turn a relaxing Sunday drive refill with butterflies (and the Loving You song in the background) into a heavy metal squeeze fest (with some Rammstein song playing from a broken stereo) with thoughts in my head that the Lamy 2000 will crumble under all the pressure. In the end it did, luckily, work. According to my own refill guide the D1 diameter is 2.35 mm. Who would have thought a fraction of a millimetre makes such a difference…

Since I talked about Holbein: Radio 4’s book of the week happens to be about him: The King’s Painter: The Life and Times and Hans Holbein.