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Lamy 2000 - understated but much appreciated


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#1 MYU

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 20:52

Ok, I know this pen has been reviewed (a couple of times), but I felt like it was time for another... at least, a sharing of my perspective and some additional information. I hope you enjoy it.


[Stock photo]

Background
Over forty years ago, Lamy introduced a pen that set the stage for what would become known as the "Lamy style". German industrial designer Gerd A. Müller (of Braun electric shaver fame) was commissioned to create it and the result was the Bauhaus-inspired Lamy 2000 that went into production in 1966. His intention was to develop a pen that nicely blends both form and function. And in a short period of time after production began, it became apparent that the mission was accomplished. In 1984, the Lamy 2000 won the Busse Long Life design prize. It has been included in almost every selection of German and European historic design reviews. Unfortunately Mr. Müller passed away in 1991, but his pen has lived on as a continuing source of revenue for Lamy even up to the present day. That's a 40 year track record, even longer than "the world's most wanted pen"--the famous Parker 51. And yet in the USA, the Lamy 2000 remains in comparatively quiet obscurity.


Gerd Alfred Müller (1932 - 1991) at his drafting desk sometime in the early 70's--seems he liked black, eh?
(Note: the inset photo is actually Gerd, sometime in the late 1980's)



To commemorate the millenium for Lamy's namesake product, a limited edition 2000 was released with brushed stainless steel replacing the black Makrolon. Since it was priced nearly twice as much as the original, is noticeably heavier than its black Makrolon sibling, and the ink window was eliminated, desirability is rather subjective. Rick Conner's Lamy 2000 Edition Review is worth reading.

Lamy 2000 Millenium Edition


Dr. Manfred Lamy

In 2006, the 40th anniversary of the Lamy 2000 and Dr. Lamy's tenure as CEO was celebrated. Dr. Manfred Lamy figuratively and literally cleaned out his desk as he prepared to retire on November 10th, his 70th birthday. For at least a decade, plans for a Lamy 2000 rollerball had been in his desk drawer, but the time and market never seemed quite right. "Dr. Lamy is the kind of person who hates to leave things undone," explained Erich Daniel, Lamy's director of international sales. With the clock running down, Lamy realized that it was time to take the plans out of the drawer and implement them. And that is how and why the Lamy 2000 LE Ceramicon rollerball came to be released. Sadly, the pen was not teamed up with a fountain pen version.

Lamy 2000 LE Ceramicon

First Impressions (4/5)
This is a great pen and I really enjoy writing with it. I consider it a "workhorse" pen, and it looks the part well--no flash or attention grabbing. The size, weight, balance, and finish all work together quite well. With the large ink capacity and low quantity of metal, this makes a great travel pen as well (I've worn it through air port security metal detectors without being stopped).

Design and Features (4/5)
The Lamy 2000 is the epitome of subtlety. Leveraging the minimalist and sleek designs of the Bauhaus era, the 2000 accomplishes an understated highly functional writing capability. One may easily miss noticing the presence of a 2000, but once recognized and tried it can be appreciated for what it offers to the writer. Despite its rather simplistic looks (an all matte black pen with just two brushed steel accents), the Lamy 2000 has some very nice features that include: a spring loaded clip (for ease of shirt pocket stowage), an ink window, integrated piston filling mechanism with nearly seemless turn screw, modular nib section for easy interchange, convenient slip-on cap secured by two subtle clip stubs or "ears", and full body composition of Makrolon (a very durable material that is matte in appearance, facilitates sufficient grip, and is scratch resistant). Unlike other pens that scream their brand name from the highest mountain peak (e.g. Montblanc and its famous star topped cap), the Lamy 2000 gently whispers its name. You will not know the brand name unless you look closely at the brushed steel clip and notice the small imprint of "Lamy" on the right side of the clip near the hinge. There is also a subtle "W. Germany" imprinted on the underside of the clip.




Construction and Quality (5/5)
This is a solid pen but not at all heavy. Everything fits nicely together as it should with nothing out of place. It is a first rate quality pen. You can't even tell it's a piston filler, as the seam between the body and piston screw is hard to detect. The matte black Makrolon barrel holds up well to scratches, but does take on a slight semi-gloss appearance if you have oily skin (but it can be easily cleansed). Lamy has stated that the Makrolon will take on a pleasing patina with use over the years. The cap posts very nicely to the end of the barrel and is recommended for optimal balance. The scratch resistant Makrolon obviates any concern of the cap leaving post markings on the barrel.

Technical Details
Length Capped: 138.5mm
Length Uncapped: 123.3mm
Length Posted: 152.5mm
Max Barrel Diameter: 13.0mm
Max Section Diameter: 10.5mm
Max Cap Diameter: 14.2mm
Body Weight: 12.3g
Cap Weight: 8.9g
Total Weight: 21.2g

Filling mechanism (4/5)
The Lamy 2000 is a very competent piston filler that has a nice ink capacity of 1.4 ml. Out of the box, it usually works smoothly and effectively with small traces of air when completely filled. However, there have been some pens known to arrive to customers with pistons that feel sticky and some undue friction when turning. This is easily remedied with lubrication, either self-administered or taken care of for free by Lamy product service. After filling, you will notice that the subtle translucent ink window has darkened. It is not a very easy-to-read ink window, but it does work once the ink level has dropped to at least 3/4. You need to wait for the ink to slide off the inner walls in order to read the level.



Nib and Performance (4.5/5)
The semi-hooded nib "peeks out" from a brushed steel nib section with no visual exposure of markings (I don't know if this nib is stamped at all) that is plated with platinum. The underside reveals the small breather hole and an artistic angular cut through the brushed steel section to compliment the tapered profile of the nib. Generally speaking, the Lamy 2000 writes almost one nib size larger than stated. Lamy 2000 nibs are known to be smooth writers and are available in a variety of sizes (EF, F, M, OM, B, BB, OB, OBB). The oblique and double-broad nibs are easily obtained in Europe and practically impossible to find through USA based retail stores. However, you can obtain the European nibs through Lamy USA service--a free exchange is possible with brand-new pens. Another nice attribute is that the nib section unscrews rather easily, so you could effectively own several nibs and interchange them at will (akin to a Pelikan or Pilot/Namiki Vanishing Point).



[Oblique Medium nib -- noticeably 'left foot']

The Lamy 2000 tends to be a wet writer. I have personally tried two different nibs and found this to be the case. Also, the nib sensitivity changes with various inks--some (like Waterman Blue) can result in too saturated a line. If a writer with a fine line preference finds the Lamy 2000 appealing and wishes to have a more narrow writing line, they can have the nib reground by a nib specialist. Overall, the nib glides smoothly across paper and combined with the near perfect weight distribution, it is a definitely contender for extensive writing. I've chosen to use the OM (oblique medium) nib in my Lamy 2000. It writes more like an OB, though, so I plan to either have it reground or replaced with a finer nib.



Maintenance (4.5/5)
The Lamy 2000 is a low maintenance pen. It is very easily cleaned, lubricated, and repaired. Since the pen is still in production, parts are readily available--the pen has hardly changed since its inception in 1966. Thus, even an older issue Lamy 2000 can use present-day parts.

Cost & Value (4/5)
The average selling price of these pens at on-line retailers is about $120. However, you can often obtain these on auction websites for around $100, with the occasional deal in the double-digits. I've rarely seen these up for sale used. Based on how the pen performs, I'd say it's a very good value.

Other Observations
I wish the ink window was about double the current width. It is hard to tell that ink is low until it is really low. You have to let the ink settle down until the window becomes semi-translucent, then slowly tip the pen sideways until you see the window cloud over with ink. If the window was double the size, the ink level would be more readily seen. In fact, it would have been nice if the designer let the ink window "peek out" slightly from under the closed cap. But I think in keeping with the minimalist approach, Gerd kept the ink window as a covert feature, not to draw attention away from the rest of the pen. It certainly is functional, though. Some people have reported slight leaks from the nib section, occasionally depositing some ink into the cap or a small blob appearing in the edge between the nib section and nib. I recommend periodic cleaning and avoiding storage of the pen with the nib tilted downward. Also, the cap top "puck" has a soft edge that is slightly prone to indentations--I wish Lamy had encompassed it with a flush mounted brushed steel enclosure that would compliment the appearance of the clip. One other thing--it is easy to think that at first you will feel like complaining about the "clip ears" that extend between the nib section and barrel (they are used to secure the cap when closed). At first I was surprised to feel them and wondered if they'd bother me to no end. I actually find that they don't intrude on my writing experience and actually serve as a useful "pen orientation" guide for holding the 2000 in the optimal position.

Summary (4.5/5)
The Lamy 2000 is a great pen with a distinct yet subtle appearance and a very nice value for the price. It is a workhorse daily-writer pen that is undoubtedly not in line for any beauty contest. But clearly, this pen design was very well thought out. It is a great successor to Lamy's previous top selling pen--the Lamy 27 (of which I think has a beautiful Art Deco design that competes head-to-head with the Parker 51). Thank you Gerd Müller for your wonderful enduring creation, and thanks to Lamy for continuing to make this living legend.

Side note: The name "Lamy" is pronounced as "lah-MEE" (accent on 2nd syllable).

~Gary

NEXT: The predecessor to the Lamy 2000 -- The Lamy 27 Review

Edited by MYU, 22 June 2009 - 19:22.

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#2 Emil

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 22:23

Thanks for nice review!
 

#3 Phthalo

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 22:54

Very nicely written. I've been meaning to add a 2000 to my collection for some time, and your write-up reminds me why. smile.gif
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#4 Johnson

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 22:58

What an informative review about a truly great pen. Thanks so much for taking the time.
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#5 hunter186

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 23:38

I'll be graduating from college relatively soon, and I've started to look into a graduation gift from me. I really think it'll be a 2000, unless something else comes along or I've already managed to acquire one. Either that or a VP.

#6 Chris_PA

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 03:37

Thanks for the review - very nice! Think that may be one of my "next one" pens.

#7 davidmigl

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 04:19

Which width nib do you have? How do you like it?

#8 MYU

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 05:06

You're welcome, folks. I'm glad I've made an appreciated contribution. smile.gif I promise to get photos up soon (I know many people have posted their personal photos, but I'd like to do a few of my own).

Johnson, did you get your serviced Lamy 2000 back yet? I hope it's working nicely now.

As for nib choice, I'm using an oblique medium nib. I like it over the medium, as it introduces some nice subtle line variation. I wish Lamy made an OF nib for the 2000, actually! But I do have plenty of fine nib pens... this has to be one of my favorite medium to broad nibbed pens.

Edited by MYU, 24 February 2007 - 05:08.

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#9 rbbrock

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 10:43

Thanks for the great review. I just received my 2000 recently and agree point-for-point with your review. The 2000 is undoubtedly the smoothest-writing pen I have ever used, bar none. When it comes to effortlessly laying down a thick, wet line, there is no equal.

#10 jonro

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 13:20

Thanks for a very informative review. It's easy to see why you're a fan of this pen.

#11 davidmigl

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 13:50

Great review!!

May I ask, did you have any problems with the infamous "ears" that the clip attaches to?

#12 MYU

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 14:21

QUOTE (davidmigl @ Feb 24 2007, 08:50 AM)
May I ask, did you have any problems with the infamous "ears" that the clip attaches to?

Good question, David. I should probably talk about this in the review as I know it is a concern for some folks (this is the 3rd time I've seen a question raised about them). At first, I thought that I would be annoyed by them. But in actuality, I am not. In fact, they're great "position finders" on getting your optimal pen orientation in the hand. For me, one touches the center of my index finger tip and the other on my thumb. You feel them, but they're really subtle because they extend out just slightly.

I think that at first the reaction is one of "uh oh--are these going to bother me?", but then once you write for a bit you begin to realize that they become a useful part of the pen (the orientation bit).

So it's a definite "yes" to not having any problems with the clip ears. smile.gif
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#13 krooj

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 18:06

I must procure one of these with a fine nib after my midterms. Anyone know of a reliable and affordable vendor in Canada? Barring that, any good vendors in the states that will take Canadian orders and not ship via UPS?

#14 Mike S.

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 21:05

Krooj -- If I were going to buy a Lamy 2000 and lived in Toronto, CA, I would get one from Pam at www.oscarbraunpens.com. She has the best prices and is great to work with. I believe she's located in Michigan and ships via U.S. Mail.

#15 JRodriguez

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 00:48

Great review. And boy do I love my 2000s!

#16 scribbler

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 03:33

Great review--never too many reviews of this pen. biggrin.gif

If Lamy ever decided to make a retractable (VP-style) 2000, I would think I'd died and gone to heaven!




#17 cmeisenzahl

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 00:07

Fantastic review, great pen, thanks!

#18 davidmigl

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 03:36

*eagerly awaits personal photos of pen* smile.gif

Edited by davidmigl, 28 February 2007 - 03:39.


#19 abp

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 22:06

Great review. I really like my 2000, there's something so Sixties cool about it; I think its the rippled finish. There's also a great similarity with the Parker 45 another robust workhorse.

I have a feeling that there was an all aluminium version of the 2000 that I saw in Berlin a few years ago...am I dreaming or is it real? I've never seen one on the internet...

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#20 MikeLip

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 22:08

I just picked up L2K #2 - this time in an extra fine. Now we're talking! Very nice nib indeed. This one is a keeper! The fine was veyr nice, but a bit too wide. The EF is just right for me!

#21 saintsimon

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 23:41

QUOTE (abp @ Mar 1 2007, 12:06 AM)
...
I have a feeling that there was an all aluminium version of the 2000 that I saw in Berlin a few years ago...am I dreaming or is it real? I've never seen one on the internet...

Antony

You're not dreaming. The stainless steel 2000 version was made only in the year 2000 as a SE/LE/whatever and is quite rare.

#22 MYU

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 16:47

Updated with some user photographs. If anyone has some nice detailed photos of the stainless steel version, please post. smile.gif


Oh, btw... those cap clutch prongs affectionately called "ears" by some folks... I just noticed a similarity to an icon from days gone by. Remember the neck bolts on Frankenstein's monster? Um... maybe we should call them "franken bolts"! laugh.gif

Edited by MYU, 15 May 2007 - 20:08.

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#23 davidmigl

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 20:07

Thanks for the added pictures! One interesting thing to note - the inscription under your clip reads "W Germany," but on mine (bought a few months ago) it simply reads "Germany" with a 2 to the side. That definitely attests to the 2000's long production run!

#24 abp

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 20:17

Or "Frankenprongs"?!

Has any one got one of those rare stainless steel 2000's then? One that might be for sale???! wink.gif

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#25 MYU

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 15:19

QUOTE(davidmigl @ May 15 2007, 04:07 PM) View Post
Thanks for the added pictures! One interesting thing to note - the inscription under your clip reads "W Germany," but on mine (bought a few months ago) it simply reads "Germany" with a 2 to the side. That definitely attests to the 2000's long production run!

You're welcome. smile.gif Yes, my particular Lamy 2000 was obtained second hand, so the original purchaser must have bought it before Germany was reunited (or it came from stock that was left over soon after the wall came down). I haven't been able to find any information about the markings... maybe there is a "Germany 1", "Germany 2", and so on for each production run?

I think member "Kaweco" indicated his has an "L" imprint on the piston filler knob, and his was obtained from one of the early production runs.

I wish every pen maker followed the Pilot date code system--very handy (simply MMYY with a single letter prefix).

Edited by MYU, 16 May 2007 - 15:20.

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#26 isellpens

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 21:04

I just got the x-fine back in stock and also have all the other nib sizes to for $99.00. These are definitely a workhorse of a pen that won't let you down and great review.

#27 aderoy

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 12:27

QUOTE(krooj @ Feb 24 2007, 06:06 PM) View Post
I must procure one of these with a fine nib after my midterms. Anyone know of a reliable and affordable vendor in Canada? Barring that, any good vendors in the states that will take Canadian orders and not ship via UPS?


Try Laywines in Toronto Ontario. They are having a year end sale (until end of May)

Also Stylo.ca carries the Lamy 2000, ship via Canada Post - will need to sign for the package. $210 CDN

http://www.laywines.com
http://stylo.ca




#28 jonro

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 13:57

Thanks for writing such a thorough review of this iconic pen.

#29 Penache

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 15:55

QUOTE(aderoy @ May 21 2007, 12:27 PM) View Post
QUOTE(krooj @ Feb 24 2007, 06:06 PM) View Post
I must procure one of these with a fine nib after my midterms. Anyone know of a reliable and affordable vendor in Canada? Barring that, any good vendors in the states that will take Canadian orders and not ship via UPS?


Try Laywines in Toronto Ontario. They are having a year end sale (until end of May)

Also Stylo.ca carries the Lamy 2000, ship via Canada Post - will need to sign for the package. $210 CDN

http://www.laywines.com
http://stylo.ca


Just checked with Laywines over the weekend and Lamy 2000s are out of stock. sad.gif
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#30 Melnicki

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 00:50

since the nib/section can screw out, is it possible to fill the barrel with a syringe (as you would an eyedropper?)

I don't like dunking my nibs into the bottle of ink for fear of contaminating the bottle. (Yes, I know set aside portions in vials that can be dipped into, but I have too many inks to make that practical!)


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