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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.



free 70 pages graphic novel. Enjoy!

#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.

#98 sirmartin


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Posted 26 April 2014 - 14:51

Wow this is the standard reading for me about the Lamy 2000 I have the pen on my list for some time.

Thank you for the detailed and technical article. Great.



Edited by sirmartin, 26 April 2014 - 14:51.

#99 s.av


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Posted 06 July 2014 - 20:26

This Sir is one of the most comprehensive and beautifully written review I have ever stumbled upon . I have recently started using fountain pens and currently I am using a Lamy safari , thus the interest in this particular pen .

Writing with a safari only is such a fine experience that I can not now fathom how amazing owning a lamy 2000 will be . Just created a new account to say this and probably will now stick around for even more . 


Thank you for such an amazing read once again and all the effort put into this review 

#100 The Blue Knight

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 21:31

I have read this article a few times over the years and it has convinced me I must add a 2000 to my "group" of pens. I'm not 100% about the design however it is an icon never the less and one I feel it would be important to own.

#101 KAC



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Posted 06 July 2014 - 23:56

That is an OUTSTANDING piece of work! The 2000 was Henry Kissenger's pen-of-choice and, like him, it had serious flaws and major redeeming features.

#102 HamFist



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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:23

That is an OUTSTANDING piece of work! The 2000 was Henry Kissenger's pen-of-choice and, like him, it had serious flaws and major redeeming features.

There is a whole section of Jokes that was dedicated to Mr. Kissinger, that man was THE diplomat. 

#103 capsposted


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Posted 10 July 2014 - 19:38

Hi to everybody! This is my first post in this forum.  :)

More or less because I was so glad to read this fulminant review, I bought a Lamy 2000 with ef-nib and am quite content with it.
In a German fountainpen geekish forum I found an interesting posting about how to clean the grease off the Lamy 2000. The benefit is, that it's an answer directly out of the Lamy Headquarters Service Department in Heidelberg itself!
Somebody in this German forum asked the Lamy Service Department by mail how to clean the pen and this is what Lamy answered (translated more or less via google translator):

Dear Mr. ...,
first thank you for your email. The fact that the surface of the devices of the series 2000 with constant use over time gets "greasy", is an unavoidable phenomenon. If we receive such equipment in our repair center, we tarnish this manually; this we use a kind of plastic sponge, from the company Scotch, which is slightly aggressive. After matting the device first it gets gray, which is why a light greasing with Vaseline is done to darken the color again.
The sponge is also mentioned for cleaning pots and pans with the label "extra strong pot cleaner" under the registered trademark "Scotch-Brite" [German: "Scotch-Brite – Topfreiniger extra stark"; the sponge looks like this: http://www.officeb2b...f/deu_21516.pdf]; it is important that you at applying the sponge only moves exactly along the device.
If you are not convinced of self-repairing, we offer you a dealing free rework.
In this case, please send the device in a padded envelope by registered letter with a printout of this e-mail to:
C. Josef Lamy GmbH
Mr Günther
69111 Heidelberg
Sincerely, / Kind regards



From time to time I treat my Lamy 2000 pen, ballpoint and pencil like described in this mail – with best results. 

Although I recommend doing so (and the people of this German pen-forum, too), like every time said: To do so is at your own risk!


(sorry for my awful English!)

Edited by capsposted, 10 July 2014 - 21:49.

#104 readonly


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Posted 09 August 2014 - 21:14

Steps to disassemble the piston
This is probably the coolest part of the Lamy 2000, but also the most cringe-worthy if you've never done it before: the piston screws right out without use of any special tools (well, one's fingers are quite special thankyouverymuch but that's beside the point). Here's how to do it.

1. Loosely unscrew the piston knob as if you were inking the pen. You'll feel it when the piston gasket gets to the end of the barrel.

2. Take a deep breath.

3. Keep unscrewing in the same direction. You may hear some clicking. After a few turns, the piston knob will come free.

4. There is a dark grey (newer model) or clear (older model) piece that will come out with the piston knob. Put that back in the body and twist it to reengage the threads just slightly so that you can get purchase on the piston rod to pull it and the rest of the piston assembly straight out.


I'm surprised nobody has---anywhere on the internet---mentioned this yet: be advised that this procedure causes permanent damage to the piston rod on newer models (black piston rod). This doesn't seem to affect piston operation, though. I don't have any long-term experience, however, if this leads to problems further down the line if you disassemble it over and over again.


What actually happens when you turn the knob further than intended is that the female part will shear off one or two thread turns of the rod. You can observe this damage in the pictures of this thread (go to flickr and request original size). If you do it yourself for the first time, you will also encounter loose small black bits of plastic.


Surprisingly, this "problem" did not exist with the older version of the rod. Just like OP mentioned, this material was sturdier. But then again, perhaps they changed this specifically in order to introduce a predetermined breaking point to make sure that the Makrolon body doesn't break.


Edit: attached some illustrations.





Edited by readonly, 09 August 2014 - 21:34.

#105 pen2paper


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Posted 09 August 2014 - 22:20

frustration, cannot seem to post today without it disappearing..


Thanks for sharing this change and with photo evidence. People with interest in these instruments often tinker and adjust, enjoying seeing the internal working mechanisms, part by part. 

the 200 is a nice pen, would have had one long ago if it fit my hand correctly.

Posted Image~Hi! fountain pen enthusiast here~

#106 Pen Engineer

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 09:19

and that's the reason why the Bauhaus slogan does not fit this design.  if form would follow function than it would fit your hand.

I am happy to explain

Edited by Pen Engineer, 12 August 2014 - 09:20.

#107 Pen Engineer

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 09:30

interesting reading... at some design decission making I took part... reluctantly... I realised that most fountain pen users are very patient and forgiving when it comes to their favourite writing utensil...

any questions?  I can answer a few.


I am in the process publishing a blog that focuses more on function, design, research and manufacturing of fountain pens


Have a look there.  Any technical questions I will also publish there.  Your questions will determin what's next