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Lamy 2000 And The Origins Of Lamy Design


bphollin

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Thanks for your thoughtful and thorough review of the Lamy 2000. I read your review, placed an order for a Lamy 2000 Fine, inked it up with Noodler's Blue-Black on Thursday and have been enjoying this beautiful fountain pen immensely.

"There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice." -John Calvin

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  • 1 month later...

Hush, you! The value of FPN is our diversity of opinions and approaches. We don't have nearly enough on the 2000 family; of the Lamy 2000 threads on this site, very few are on non-FP models. I, for one, would love to read what you have to say on the BP, MP, and FP.

 

Just came across this wonderful and thorough review of Lamy 2000. I will have to re-read it in detail.

When the Lamy 2000 was released in the 1960's, what other products were included in the product lineup? Was a ball point and mechanical pencil included at the time?

Thank you for shearing this wealth of knowledge.

Victor.

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Wow, what a splendid review.

Thank you very much for the insights.

 

Between this and the destruction test review, the L2K went straight to the top of my to-buy list.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, would you look at what arrived in the mail today... I place full responsibility on this uber-review for drawing me to this pen. It really grew on me, and now that I've got it in hand, it's even better than I'd imagined. The sprung clip is definitely less stiff than I had imagined, and the makrolon feels *so nice*

Can't wait to post a review of my own soon (like we need another--haha)

Thanks bphollin! thumbup.gif

 

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8390/8452369360_a94a94e61e_c.jpg

 

- - -

 

Currently trying to sell a Pelikan M400 White Tortoise. PM if you're interested. :)

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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!)

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Tony, I think your remarks about the aesthetics of the 2000 are certainly on target. Bauhaus influence on this pen is a matter of aesthetics that were designed to draw attention to the function of the pen, implementing near-austerity to emphasize the job of the pen as writing. The polished makrolon on the cap and steel button on the bottom produce a stark contrast of the limited materials used in its design, emphasizing the conscious limitation of ornament in its design through choice of materials. No rippled hard rubber, engraved gold, clips in the shape of bird bills or arrows, and no obvious clues to the filling mechanism. The fact that there is an ink window at all is a sign of how insistent the design team must have been in keeping some awareness of ink in the process of writin, but not acceding to an aesthetic that would allow the ink to become a value in itself. In this philosophy of the ink window's function, all you really need to know is whether or not the pen is empty. Since most of my other pens offer no type of ink window at all, I do not feel slighted by this design decision. However, you raise an important comparison as Bauhaus relates to Apple. There is an important contrast between functionality and function. Functionality, per se, is the maximum amount of function endowed to a single object. This is the domain of the TWSBI demonstrator pens. Function, however, is the singularity of purpose--i.e. writing. Thus, to say the 2000 follows the principle of "Form Follows Function" is accurate in regard to this narrow focus on purpose.

Your analogy is quite accurate. This pen shares a lot of design philosophy with the Apple single-button mouse.

 

 

My experience differs from yours in regard to the clip. It is much more gentle in its clutch of my clothing than the clips on the Pilot VP, Ranga #3, and Parker 45. While I also think the clip is a bit too small to grip thicker clothing, it is adequate for the average shirt, including my thick chambray shirts. The clip does not catch at all when I remove it, and I anticipate only negligible wear to my clothing--no more than any other pen.

 

As for the grip, I find it comfortable. The brushed texture keeps my fingers from slipping, and it is a bit more stout than a Parker 45 or Hero 616 (sorry, I don't have experience with the estimable Parker 51) so even my large fingers find it inviting.

 

In accordance with the YMMV rule, my mileage has definitely varied.

 

 

Whew! Didn't realize I wrote so much until I finished. I enjoy discussing artistic philosophy. The 2000 is definitely a controversial design, and I'll admit it took a while for me to warm up to it. Really, it was bphollin's exhaustive report that made me reconsider the pen, and revisit it several times. I think you've said somewhere, Tony, that you would not recommend this pen to a beginner. I quite agree. It's a pen that you really need to make some decisions about before you commit. That process really enriched the pen in my view, and after all the pens I've tried, I am very happy to have arrived at this one. Not promising I'll keep it forever, but it's the most interesting pen (to me) in my collection.

 

Happy writing,

Tom

- - -

 

Currently trying to sell a Pelikan M400 White Tortoise. PM if you're interested. :)

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My experience differs from yours in regard to the clip. It is much more gentle in its clutch of my clothing than the clips on the Pilot VP, Ranga #3, and Parker 45. While I also think the clip is a bit too small to grip thicker clothing, it is adequate for the average shirt...

 

Yeah, the spring tension is okay, but the clearance is the problem. I guess my bias comes from my habit of wearing a canvas vest whenever I'm out of the house. Its pocket does indeed qualify as "thicker clothing". However... A solid majority of fountain pens I've owned have no problem with it.

 

 

As for the grip, I find it comfortable. The brushed texture keeps my fingers from slipping, and it is a bit more stout than a Parker 45 or Hero 616 (sorry, I don't have experience with the estimable Parker 51) so even my large fingers find it inviting.

 

I have a couple of Parker 45s tucked away, but I rarely use them. A better point of comparison for me is my collection of Sheaffer Imperials. They also have a grip that tapers to a point without any finger stop, and they're actually slick, not textured. However, they have that extra bit of girth that makes them feel solid to me. My fingers don't actually slip on the 2000, but it just doesn't feel secure to me. I suspect this is a subjective thing based on what you're used to. Since I've been using so many fat fountain pens, a lot of other pens (especially ballpoints) that I used to think were OK now feel awkwardly skinny.

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Tony, I agree about the cheap ballpoints. I can't believe I ever used those tiny little chopsticks! Haha.

I need to try a Sheaffer Imperial. I'm torn between one of those and a Vac 700 for a birthday pen this year. If I can get a few more pens of that style (I could probably borrow my wife's P45) then I may have to compile a comprehensive comparison of tapered grip pens--Lamy 2000, Sheaffer Imperial, Parker 45, Hero 616 Jumbo, and a slouchy old Bic Stic. Ergonomics is a very complicated art form that deserves more attention on FPN. If I ever get around to it, I'll give you all the credit for the idea. You've really got me thinking about it now... hmm1.gif

- - -

 

Currently trying to sell a Pelikan M400 White Tortoise. PM if you're interested. :)

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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.

[MYU's Pen Review Corner] | "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small

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Hi,

 

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.

 

Dillon

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Will someone with the name of "Jay" who emailed me through the email system provide me an email address? There was no email address provided, so I can't write back.

Dillon

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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

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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.

-bh

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  • 9 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

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.

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  • 5 months later...

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.

 

Martin

Edited by sirmartin
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  • 2 months later...

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

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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.

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