Intro: I had read about this pen a little bit before I came across a pen store somewhere in London whilst holidaying. I walked into the store with the curious skulking gait that arrests my limbs whenever I pass a shop window in which I know I canít afford anything on display, but Iím going to go in and try and touch it all.
This pen grabbed my eye exactly because it is not eye-catching. In the line up of gaudy jewel encrusted jokes that have a nib stuck on one end, and a mortgage on the other, it was a mere black hole of fanciness, at the centre of which was a super dense nucleus of good taste.
I remember the two old ladies working in the store, who glared at me so intensely that the application of a laser cutter to my face would have been a welcome relief by comparison. Iím a young guy, fairly big, and wasnít dressed in a pinstriped suit, if the lack of class in my appearance can justify their icy reception of my friend and I. However, I smashed through their prejudice by rattling off the names of all the pens I wished to look at, and started a conversation about which inks they had etc.
I picked up the Lamy 2000, and old lady numero uno informed me that it was 240 pounds. I didnít think it weighed that much.
Inwardly I smirked, I knew I could buy one off ebay for less than half that. And thus I did. And hence this review 6 months post.
First Impressions: ďI swear the section shouldnít look like that?Ē I thought, in the store, Lamy in hand, a 2mm gap with some metal in it gleaming from between the section and the barrel. Someone hadnít put the pen together properly on display. Then I left the store, forgot about the pen and enjoyed the rest of my holiday.
Second Impression: Very plastic to the touch. Feels like the plastic that a gardening tools handle is made of. A rather astute description on my behalf, because it IS made of a plastic whose various uses include garden and industrial tool handles. The pen is made of makrolon, the same stuff that riot shields are made of. Makrolon also has a melting point of 267 degrees Celsius. So this pen might come in handy if your ever caught in a riot and are being assaulted with flammable weapons.
Build Quality: Built like an ox. An ox made out of plastic. That has had itís limbs removed. And been whittled down to hand size. And had a hole drilled through it and converted into a pen.
The texture reminds me of chalkboards that we used in primary school. Itís a feeling that has itís own uniqueness, in the same way ebonite pens do.
It feels very sturdy, and is less likely to scratch than a glossy lamy safari. Lamy have kindly taken all the stress out of worrying about scratching this pen for us, by scratching it up a lot anyway. For that reason alone, Iím glad Lamy only make pens, and not automobiles, windows, computers etc.
Wait (Western Australian Institute of Technology (the place where, incidentally I started writing this review today)) and Balance:
Itís not a heavy pen, but it has a very nice weight to it. If you look at a set of scales you should see, between 10 and 20 grams, a small division on there indicating the NICE weight. The elliptical shape fits the hand like an elliptical shape is wont to do i.e. like an ellipse, which I find very comfortable. It is my favourite shape for pens. This pen is well balanced when posted/unposted, as the cap keeps the shape of the pen elliptical also, and it weighs very little.
Some people have complained about the shiny, smooth aluminium section, that it makes their fingers slide off the pen. Thatís ridiculous. Itís the lack of friction between the skin of your fingers and the metal of the section that make your fingers slide off. I have not noticed this myself, because I hold a pen using my hand, not my fingertips.
Others have complained about the two metal buds sticking out of the section that help the cap lock in place. I find that I donít notice these when I write with the pen. Provided that the pen doesnít shift too much when you hold it, the sensory receptors in your fingertips get used to this feeling very quickly and shouldnít trouble anyone with a functioning nervous system. If your not nervous, the pen should be comfortable to write with too. These little buds are great, I would happily do a triple back flip with this pen clipped to my shirt, and have no worries about the pen falling out of the cap. I would however be concerned at the clip not staying on my shirt. The clip is strong, a solid piece of spring-loaded aluminium, that opens to ten degrees. So if the fabric of your shirt is 5mm thick, you wonít have to worry about the clip not fitting over it. You could concern your worries for more relevant things, like heat stroke, and dehydration.
Be warned: The cap fits snugly but it is very sly. A quality that most pen caps canít boast. Not that any of my pens, or their caps, boast much at all. A few pieces of metal in the cap ensures it fits well onto the back of the pen, but it works itself loose when your writing with it. This is fine if your not the kind of person to wildly gesticulate with a pen in your hand, but Gesticulators, beware! You might just end up losing your pen cap whilst wildly illustrating your fantastic ideas with limbs flailing in the air in your next meeting. At least if you fail to get your point across, youíll get your cap acrossÖthe room.
Filling System (Stealth Filling System): Itís a piston filler, which works fairly well. I especially like the blending of the surface of the piston knob and the barrel of the pen such that it is nearly invisible. Makes me feel that I know a lot more about this pen than the casual by-looker, and on-standers that see me writing with this pen. Sadly, all my pens ensure that I know a tonne more about them than anyone else, so the pleasure there is limited.
This is a very distracting filling system. Whereas the Pelikan fountain pens cover up the piston knob by not covering it up at all, and decorating it with bands of gold, I feel that this pen tries to sneak the piston knob by me. In some lights, this works, you canít make out the division at all. Very cool feature.
However, the threads of the piston knob let it down a lot. They are plastic, and feel rough and sticky; as though they were shaped with the same tool used to rough up the surface of the barrel. The threads sometimes catch, and this is disappointing.
Ink Windows: These little bits of clear makrolon can make it easy to determine how much ink is in the pen provided your not using a heavily saturated ink that will colour the transparent plastic. Mine has HoD in it, and I canít tell what the ink level actually is, and canít be bothered leaving the pen standing upright for an hour to let it clear. That, and leaving pens standing upright is just asking for trouble. Like leaving a baby on an open window sill. Except leaving a baby on an open window sill doesnít make it easier to read the amount of ink remaining in the baby.
Nib: I really like everything about this pen, but unfortunately this nib doesnít deserve the same level of celebration. The first nib I ordered with the pen was an EF, which wrote like an F, but it would stop and start all the time, and was also very scratchy. I am however, immensely pleased that I purchased the pen with a faulty nib:
I took this pen with me on my first day of university last year, and sat between two rather good looking young females, the kind that Iím always on my best behaviour around. One was eating a blueberry muffin. (I donít usually recall such details, but youíll see why in a moment) I was writing with my pen, when said blue-berry muffin consumer pulled the pen out of my hand, her fingers covered in blue-berry muffin, and tried to use the nib upside down. I smiled politely, and told her to correct her hold on the pen. Inside, my skeleton was agonisingly grinding all itís joints, my gastrointestinal tract was strangling my lungs, and my liver nearly lacerated itself in impotent desperation. I rescued the pen from said sadist, and had barely begun to breathe again when the other female to my left took the pen out of my hand (this girl has proclaimed herself to use ball point pens so heavily she ruins immense quantities of them) and stabbed the nib into one sheet of paper on a wooden desk. That is when I realised just how much this nib can flex. I nearly suffered a stroke that day. Amusingly, to my tortured physiology, the nib wrote wetter after that ordeal. It was still very scratchy though, so I returned the pen for an F nib.
The F nib writes smoothly, sometimes. It does have a sweet spot, which is incredibly glassy, but it is as hard to find as another Ėspot which is prefixed by a certain letter of the alphabet. When your not on the sweet spot, the nib is as scratchy as if I was writing with the side of an F Lamy safari steel nib. Very disappointing when everything else is so good. Some say this nib has flex. I donít really like to flex it. Or the nib. I would say it has a little character, like Charles Dickensí Tiny Tim. If itís not noticeable with light writing, Iím not going to put tonnes of pressure on top of it. Hence I donít think itís much of a flexible nib at all.
I like this pen a lot, but I think Iím definitely going to have to send it to a nibmeister for a tweaking soon.
Images stolen from: http://khiongcentric.../lamy-2000.html
Edited by bjcmatthews, 30 March 2011 - 14:47.