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6 replies to this topic

#1 humble botanist

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 18:29

I have finally decided to give something (a little something) back to this great community. So here it is: a simple comparison between my two favorite pens. Rotring 600 and Lamy 2000.

Background (or why this is completely subjective)
My fascination for “fine writing instruments” started when I watched my father design using a Rotring Newton mechanical pencil. Since those impressionable years as a youth, I have collected more Rotring then any other pen. I started with rollerballs and only bought my first fountain pen of this set recently (as in, last night), inching my fountain pen collection out of the single digits. Needless to say, I am emotionally attached to this clan of pens.

I purchased a Lamy Safari about three years ago and slowly became indoctrinated in the joy of fountain pens. I bought a Lamy 2000 as my first quality pen and quickly fell in love with its lucid flow and amazing design.

Now that you know how these pens connect to my life, it is important to discuss there actual application. I am a chemist and consequently spend most of my life in a lab with some fairly toxic materials. Therefore, I need a pen that can write under a variety of conditions and increase my productivity- not interfere. Also, I do not like ostentatious design, my aesthetic preference is simple, elegant....taoist even? Anyway, I also like heavy pens as they seem to be more durable (yes-I do realize that this is mostly in my mind).

Overall Design
As someone that loves the stereotypical German design philosophy, both of these pens are winners. The sturdy nature of the Rotring complements its strict geometric design. I feel like I could take the 600 to hell and back, stabbing all in my way, and have the pen be just as dependable as when I started that fantastical journey. It truly feels like a pen-sword. My only complaint is that the pen is way too long when the cap is posted. The body is a perfect size, but I can not tolerate an extra inch and a half of heavy aluminum on the back. It completely throws off one’s sense of balance. Finally, the 600 works marvelously in the lab setting. I have actually spilled hydroxyl amine and a few other nasties on it, only to have the pen shrug it off like water.

The 2000 is light. I mean really light for my hand. However, this pen is as sturdy as they come. The composite texture is great and the retro-futuristic design is fashionable without being loud. I love the hooded nib design and feel like it is better applied in this pen then in my p51 demi. The major selling point in the overall design (for me at least) is the incorporation of a piston fill system. While I will talk about the fill system itself shortly, I must mention that the piston screw is nearly invisible and the fill hole is well placed.

Nib quality
My tastes may not be refined enough yet, but I can not tell a significant difference between the two nibs (both EF). The 600 is a strong steel nib that does not seem to flex much, while the 2000 is a fine gold nib. For the time being, I am going to have to keep this brief and equal. Both are smooth as butter and enjoyable to write with without any detracting qualities.

Filling system
Ah ha! We have a clear winner for this category. The Lamy 2000’s piston filling system is simply awesome. I wish every pen had as simple and flawless design as the 2000. On the other hand, the 600 has a cartridge- converter system, which I am not a fan of. I put a Monteblanc converter in the 600 and I have found it simple and hassel-free. That said, the 2000 is enjoyable to refill; the 600 simply cannot compete.

Overall
I love both of these pens. However, due to the nostalgia factor, I suspect the 600 will slowly inch the 2000 out of my heart. Both are great, simple and strong pens. While I love the 600 slightly more, my recommendation for someone without either would be to acquire the 2000 first. The Lamy is more affordable, more likely to work in the received condition (I have seen some pretty damaged 600s.... such an atrocity!), has slightly better design / function integration due to the piston system and has a larger number in its title (thus making the owner more masculine or feminine depending on preference).

My final thought: owning both of these pens is a bad idea, it turned me into the type of pen owner I never wanted to be..... I now carry two fountain pens on me at all times. Oh, the humanity!

-Note: I will update with photos when I get home!

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#2 Trom

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 18:45

I like it when the Germans are fighting amongst themselves.
Nice review!

#3 oberon

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 01:25

My two favorite pens at the moment as well, have Lamy 2000 BB nib and an old style 600 with a B nib.
Oberon

#4 Federmann

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 12:42

I like it when the Germans are fighting amongst themselves.
Nice review!

How funny Posted Image

My favorite is the Lamy 2000.

#5 mana

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 14:03

Thanks for the review! Thinking pretty much along the same lines here, I have a few 600s ( EF/B ) and a Lamy 2000 ( F ). They really are different and I like both designs.

Now if only someone were to install/retrofit a piston filling mechanism to a 600... That would be something. :drool:

Edited by mana, 10 December 2009 - 14:04.

Adopt, Don't Shop! Support Your Local Animal Shelters! - Let's make this world a better place together! Because... now is the only thing that is real...

"Indifference towards people and the reality in which they live is actually the one and only cardinal sin in design." - Dieter Rams
 

EDC: Post WWII green binde Pelikan 100N CI 14K B, Blue Marbled M200 F, 400NN Tortoise CI 14K BB. INKED: early 70s LAMY 2000 MK, Parker 51 Aerometric F & M, rOtring Art Pen 1.1 & Woodshed Pen Co. Red swirl 1.1 mm CI, Kaweco V12 14K B and then some... Inks: Pelikan 4001 BB & Turquoise, vintage Parker Quink, Lamy Turquoise, Diamine Eau de Nil, Sailor Souboku etc.


#6 MYU

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 17:04

Thanks for this interesting and creative comparative review. :) I own both of these pens and concur in many respects. It's obvious from your profession that the 600 is the better choice, as being able to ward off corrosive chemicals is something the 600 will win at hands down against any other metal pen in that price range.

The Rotring steel nibs are some of the best in the nib market. The one made for the 600 is undeniably stiff, while the 700 is a beauty with enough spring to satisfy most writers. However, the 600 nib is smooth out of the box. I prefer the 2000 nib to the 600, because it has more spring to it. And the Tintomatic feed design provides excellent flow.

Although the Lamy 2000 has the advantage of being a piston filler, the Rotring 600 will accept the extra long Waterman cartridges which will hold a little more. So, if you've got a blunt syringe handy and a Waterman extra long cartridge, you're sure to write for a longer stretch with the 600 (or 700--both accept it). :)

In the final analysis though, if I'm being deployed into a rugged situation, my preference will be the 600. Or the Core! ;) If you really like Rotring, I definitely recommend picking up a Core, as they're phenomenally cheap these days--an excellent value.

Edited by MYU, 10 December 2009 - 17:14.

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#7 Federmann

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 19:08

(..)extra long Waterman cartridges which will hold a little more. (..)

Are you sure?






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