Thoughts on the Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen
I was super surprised to receive a Lamy 2000 as a Christmas gift from my parents. This is one of those “grail pens”, a pen you really want to try, but for whatever reason it’s just out of reach. Sure I was working towards getting one some day in the future, but it wasn’t a pressing thing – not a super high priority. I have other grail pens – but this particular pen is an outstanding choice for me. Let me go over it.
The pen is an old design, but you really couldn’t tell that from looking at it. Conceived and launched in 1966, the pen is the epitome of the design philosophy of Bauhaus. It’s simple, sleek lines, solid but light clip, the small but perfectly functional ink viewing port, the hidden piston filling mechanism and nib head are all seriously thought out and considered approaches to pen design.
It’s just beautiful and timeless. Hard to think that this pen has been in production since 1966 when Gerd A. Müller unleashed this piece of minimalism onto the world.
The box is suitably understated and quite weighty for what will be a moderately light pen. It’s a card slipcase, solid box with magnetic closure that is quite firm. Opening it up reveals a smaller square box containing the pen, and a small sheet of paper that initially looks like a catalogue of Lamy products. It’s also the amazing obtuse instruction “manual”, although I’ll come to that in due course.
The pen was wrapped in a layer of thin paper, and had a price tag attached to the clip area.
As mentioned the pen is moderately light. It’s heavy enough – striking the balance of being heavy enough to know you’re holding a quality instrument, but light enough to not exhaust your hand during longer writing sessions.
Filling and Writing
It took a while to get the piston filling mechanism to the point where I understood how it works. However, I’ve taken to not filling it this way. I just don’t like shoving the nib and hood into the bottle of ink. Instead I support the pen with the hood part removed, and syringe the ink into the body. This way I feel I have more control, I can see how much ink is in there. And I don’t have to do that weird ‘expel a couple of drops’ process that is in their manual.
As for the writing experience, it’s sublime. For a lefty like me, the fountain pen nib can be occasionally problematic – however, I’ve rarely had issues. My beloved Parker 25 was obviously secondhand and writes well. My Namisu Horizon with it’s Bock nibs is somewhat okay although I’ve had to purchase a number of nibs owing to some horrendous quality control issues. The Jowo nib in the TWSBI Vac 700 was flawless.
The Lamy 2000 writes really really well. It’s a little wet on a majority of inks, but not too wet that it’s causing issues. It’s super smooth, has a wide range of ‘acceptance’ for it’s sweet spot to write with – especially as a lefty.
There’s not a lot to maintain. My issues with piston filling above are a personal thing, and I’ve taken to using the syringe method.
The instruction manual is seriously minimalistic, too much so. When I first got the pen I had to look up the filling instructions on the internet (this is bad, Lamy, very bad!). The build quality meant I really could not see where the piston cap was, or even where the nib assembly came apart. Now it’s been done a few times, I’ve found it more obvious. After 7 months use, there’s no wear and tear. I do dread thinking what process would be needed to completely strip and disassemble the pen should I experience a problem or decide that using a shimmer ink in a $200 pen (a true definition of insanity!).
The look and feel of the pen is fantastic. It’s lightweight which is great for me. The thickness, even in my own small hands is also spot-on, providing ample space for grip and control. The wetness of the nib (which is largely dependent on ink used) is somewhat problematic, but only in a minor “ugh, I’ve got to wait for the ink to dry before turning the page” way. Some paper I have in my Filofax soaks up ink better than others (but shows through horribly). Such is the compromise of using fountain pens.
I love the medium nib, but sometimes wish I had an ‘F’ fine nib too. Maybe that’s something I’ll look at sourcing at a later date. Much like my Namisu Horizon Ti which I have a range of Bock nibs for, it’ll be great to swap them out depending on my mood.
Overall, a perfect pen for me. Top build quality and performance, match by a classic design ethos I absolutely love. Would recommend testing or buying blind (if you’ve used Lamy pens before).