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Lamy 2000 And The Origins Of Lamy Design

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#91 MYU


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Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:38

Brandon, congratulations on a thorough and exhaustive treatise on the Lamy 2000 and origins of Lamy design. I'm glad you were able to use portions of my content on the Lamy 27 and 2000 to assist.

The new 2000M is most impressive. I'm glad I never bothered to buy the original all metal 2000, as the newer one seems to have some very welcome improvements.

Regarding the ballpoint, I ended up getting a new M61 cartridge for mine and found that it writes VERY smoothly. You don't have to exert much pressure to make the ink flow, unlike most ballpoints. I don't know if they've changed the formulation or if the ink thickens with age.

Anyway, reading your documentary has inspired me to take my 2000 out of mothballs and get it going again. I took a hiatus on using it for a while, as I packed it away along with many other of my writing instruments save for a select few. I have a customized nib on it, a stubbed version of the broad nib.
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#92 hari317



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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:23

Hey Myu, welcome back!

#93 Dillo


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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:26


Myu is back!

Anyway, If I get a 2000 again, I think I would stick with the regular model. It's been many years since I have owned a 2000 although I see them often. I like the way the ink window works. It disappears when the pen is full and reappears when you need to refill your pen. It's like the light on some Macbooks. It disappears when it is not needed and appears when it is.

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#94 Namo



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Posted 09 February 2013 - 00:19

By tradition they embody the Bauhaus principle of functional design: 'form follows function'.

In my opinion, the Lamy 2000 is not a good example of this principle. It was designed with blind faith that a simplified, streamlined and "elegant" form would prove to be the most functional, rather than starting with functionality and letting the form fall where it may. The 2000's tragically inadequate ink window, skinny and insecure grip, and pocket clip seemingly designed to chew up pockets are all evidence of "elegant" design decisions that don't work as well as its less stylish competitors. (I notice how the Lamy Safari decisively corrects each of these problems, which is not to say that the Safari is flawless either.)

The Lamy 2000 is an object Steve Jobs would have loved, I'm sure. Several Apple products under his reign suffered from the same design philosophy, including, notably, the one-button mouse and the G4 Cube.

For a recent example of form actually following function, I'd point to the somewhat homely but highly usable TWSBI Vac 700. (And I think the looks are growing on me. Give it 40+ years and it might become a classic too!)

Well, the Bauhaus "mantra" is to not be understood in this unidimensional way. One have to consider materials used for the pen and other features like the semi hooded nib, the lack of step at the section, the small "ears" so the cap will always close... from what I understand, the founder of Lamy took its inspiration from several existing pens: the 51 is obvious, but the Lamy from 1966 didn't cover the nib that much (always found this to be a problem with the 51); he took the piston filling mecanism from the German pens, reducting the ink window to its simplest function: not to see how much ink there is left, but to see when refill is needed (one can argue about this choice, of course, but with THIS function in mind, the window makes perfect sens). THe shape seems to me to be of a great ergonomic quality: it's the most comfortable pen of this size IMHO, and I think the shape have something to do with it. The grip is too small? I am not sure what one should call "the grip" section, since, really, the whole body of the pen is a grip section. This allows for multiple grip positions, which is nice (I loved vintage Pelicans, but the grip section is too short for me and the screw ended up hurting my middle finger). If you add the question of using the most modern material available at the time (and a titanium Lamy, or a carbon Lamy would make pefect sens today), the L2K is a perfect example of a Bauhaus inspiration. Now, does it work so well? Maybe not. It does for me at least.

I would like to add that I am sure TWSBI are great pens, but you will indeed have to wait for 40 years before you can say it's a classic: what is astonishing about the 2K is its durability. I have a first r second year of production L2K, and it work remarquably well. The piston will need some lub soon, but that's all...

PS Steve Job would have loved this pen somewhere at the begining of the 20th Century. But the great ideas of Apple are totaly inspired but the idea of an interface between the machine and the human body and mind - hence the mouse, hence the tactil screen and so on. Not Bauhaus, but something like a post-modern, post-human Bauhaus if this makes any sens at all...

Edited by Namo, 09 February 2013 - 00:22.

#95 bphollin



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Posted 09 February 2013 - 03:25

Hey Myu, welcome back!

Myu is back!

Yay! It is good to see you back on FPN!

Brandon, congratulations on a thorough and exhaustive treatise on the Lamy 2000 and origins of Lamy design. I'm glad you were able to use portions of my content on the Lamy 27 and 2000 to assist.
Anyway, reading your documentary has inspired me to take my 2000 out of mothballs and get it going again.

Thanks for allowing me to take liberties in quoting your work. Those early posts by you got me itching for a Lamy and the 2000 in particular in my pre- and early-FPN days. I'm glad I could return the favor by having you pull your 2000 out of mothballs after reading this.

Be well.

#96 finallzj


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Posted 09 November 2013 - 12:34

What a thorough one!

#97 Dickkooty2


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Posted 23 November 2013 - 06:29

Thank you for this revue of the Lamy 2000! A complete walk-through with the insightful integration of design, history, marketing, materials, the need for cost-effective manufacturing processes, and the wonderful focus on the parts and particulars of the 2000 itself. Bravo!


I was particularly impressed with your handling of The Bauhaus. The short-hand of 'form follows function' to describe the contributions of this remarkable school in its' short life does not do justice to the many opportunities for design of fabric, typography, painting, illustration, clothing, sculpture, and even stage sets, that go far beyond the simple expectation of the short-hand description. The school actually produced income through the licensing of various consumer products. The description perhaps best fits when applied to the focus on architecture.


I have only acquired examples of Pelikan pens from the 100 through the 400 including the Rappen and the Ibis, and these only as an illustration of design moving through a time period. So I am not a collector in the distinguished sense represented on this FPN blog. But I am completely convinced that I needed the Lamy 2000 and 2000 mechanical pencil. Just because of their summation of the 10 Principals for Good Design by Dieter Rams.


Thank you for adding to my enjoyment and understanding of my new purchases. By the way, if anyone would like a good history of The Bauhaus, Taschen has published bauhaus by magdelena droste 1919 - 1933.