We can sometimes overuse words like icon and iconic. It seems that anything can be labelled as an icon whether or not it deserves the title, we have iconic cars, iconic buildings & iconic landmarks.
In the fountain pen world there are not too many pens which can truly be called an icon, however there is one which stands out as being deserved of that title, a true icon of design and function, one which has stood the test of time for more than half a century, and that pen is the Lamy 2000.
The Lamy 2000 was designed by Gerd A Müller and inspired by the Bauhaus design movement of ‘form follows function’. It was first introduced to the world in 1966 and in 2016 celebrated its 50th anniversary.
What stands out for me about this pen is just how striking the design of it is. For a pen which is over 50 years old in its basic design appearance, it still looks fresh and modern, even somewhat futuristic. If you did not know its age then it could easily be passed off as a contemporary design. The fact that the Lamy 2000 is an exhibit at the Museum Of Modern Art really goes to show just how true a design classic this pen truly is.
Apart from its design, another unique aspect of the pen is the material which it is manufactured from, a material called Makrolon®. I had never heard of this material before I purchased the pen but research allowed me to discover that it is a Polycarbonate Fibre-Glass Resin which means that it is lightweight yet strong (a perfect choice of material for a pen).
It has a brushed finish and feels nice in the hand, almost taking on a warmth when you hold it.
Aside from the Black Makrolon® finish, the pen is also available in a Stainless Steel finish and for the pens 50th anniversary, Lamy also produced a version which they called ‘Black Amber’.
In the standard Makrolon® finish, along with the fountain pen, you can also purchase a ballpoint, rollerball, mechanical pencil and a four colour multi-pen.
LAMY 2000 (Makrolon® Finish) FOUNTAIN PEN SPECIFICATIONS:
Country of manufacture: Germany
Material: Makrolon® and Stainless Steel (Brushed)
Nib: 14K Gold (Platinum Coated)
Nib Options: EF, F, M, B, BB, OM, OB, OBB
Filler Type: Piston Filler
Length (Capped): 138.6mm / 5.45″
Length (Uncapped): 123.9mm / 4.87″
Length (Posted): 153.1mm / 6.03″
Barrel Diameter: 13.2mm / 0.52″
Section Diameter: 10.7mm / 0.42″
Cap Length: 64.3mm / 2.53″
Weight (Cap): 8.9g
Filled Weight (Body + Cap): 26.7g
Filled Weight (Body): 17.8g
Empty Weight (Body + Cap): 25.8g
Empty Weight (Body): 16.8g
Ink capacity of the Lamy 2000 is around 1.4ml, so it will hold a generous amount of ink for a daily writing pen if you choose to use it as such.
Note – These weights and measurements have all been taken by myself and as such may differ slightly from officially published figures or those available on other websites.
The pen arrives in a simple, thick, heavy, black card box with silver coloured end pieces. On the front there is a raised, silver coloured square with a raised Lamy logo. The box has two flaps which open out to reveal the pen sitting in a simple tray. (one of these flaps has a cut out which fits over the raised square to secure the box closed).
I purchased my Lamy 2000 with a medium nib.
One thing which you immediately notice when you hold the pen is how well constructed it is. It feels like a solid, well built writing instrument.
The tolerances of the machining are extremely tight. This pen is a piston filler and the seam between the barrel and piston knob is almost indistinguishable as it is that precise.
Lets start our tour around the parts of the pen by looking at the cap. The cap is round and tapers down to a round, plastic finial, there being a slight recess between the two. The clip is metal and spring loaded. It does its job well and holds the pen securely. Being spring loaded makes for easier one handed operation. The clip is not attached to the finial but set into the cap itself.
There is a small Lamy logo engraved into the top of one side of the clip (apart from this, there is no other branding on the pen). The cap is snap on and does so nice and securely with a satisfying click. It is push topmost which it also does deeply and securely, I have no worries about the cap becoming loose whilst writing.
The barrel of the pen is wider in the middle and tapers down towards both ends. The end of the piston knob has a small inset circular piece of brushed stainless steel.
Moving down the barrel, about 1/3 up from then is there is a small ink window just above where the barrel and section unscrew. There are four horizontal, thin, transparent (almost frosted in appearance) sections which work very well in allowing you to see ink levels within the pen.
Below the ink window are two small metal studs which protrude from the side of the section and are part of how the cap is held on to the pen to keep it secure (they are on a small metal ring which sits in a recess within the top the section so please be careful not to loose this piece if you unscrew the section from the barrel for cleaning).
If you like to hold hold your pen further up the section then you may rest your fingers over these studs but they are not sharp or intrusive and I find that I can’t really feel them so they are not really an issue for me.
Moving further down, there is a transition from the Black Makrolon® to brushed stainless steel on the lower part of the section. The metal here does not feel slippery if you are gripping the pen at this point.
The underside of the stainless steel, on the lower part of the section, has a small hole for the uptake of ink when dipped into an ink bottle. I have found that sometimes and with certain inks and colours that the stainless steel can take on a small amount of staining from the ink but this will normally wipe away fairly easily and I have so far not experience any significant staining issues.
The Makrolon® makes the pen lightweight but it still also feels substantial. It is nicely weighted in the hand and long enough to be comfortably used un-posted. I prefer to write with mine posted and again this is comfortable and the cap is also lightweight so there are no issues with balance. The Lamy 2000 is very comfortable to use for long writing sessions.
Finally we come to the nib, which on the Lamy 2000 is semi-hooded (meaning that the bottom half of the nib sits fully inside the section and so is not visible) 14K Gold Nib with a Platinum coating. There are no markings on the visible part of the nib.
It should be noted that the nib on the Lamy 2000 is a different nib to the standard Lamy Z50 or Z53 ‘Aion’ Nibs used on all other Lamy fountain pens and so therefore is not interchangeable. Spare or replacement nibs for the Lamy 2000 are not available to purchase.
In terms of performance it is a very nice and very smooth writer. The medium nib on my pen writes quite wt and I would say that it is maybe a tad more towards the broader side of medium.
My pen wrote excellent straight from the box although I have read that some nibs maybe didn’t write as well straight off. There is also talk of the narrow sweet spot with this nib but again I don’t seem to have any problems here either, my personal experience with this nib has been a very positive one but these are points to be aware of.
All of my writing experiences have been excellent and I have never experienced any skipping or hard-starts from this pen when I write with it.
Lamy 2000 – The Good Points:
- Iconic pen
- Timeless design
- Manufactured from a unique and interesting material (Makrolon®)
- Pen feels nice to hold, well balanced and comfortable
- Piston Filler
- Good ink capacity
- Very nice, smooth, 14K gold nib
- Large variety of nib options available
Lamy 2000 – The Not So Good Points:
- Some users report nib issues out of the box and a sweet spot with the nib when writing
- Brushed stainless steel on section can occasionally pick up minor ink staining
I purchased my Lamy 2000 from WH Smith Online a popular high street newsagent and stationer in the UK. https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/lamy-2000-black-fibreglass-and-brushed-stainless-steel-fountain-pen-me/4014519635390.html
They only stock the pen with a medium nib (I think you can also only buy the pen from them online as I have never seen it stocked in any of their highstreet stores).
The current price of the pen at WH Smith Online is £175 which is about the average price you will pay for the Lamy 2000. When I purchased mine they had a sale running and so I picked it up for the relative bargain price of £100.
The Lamy 2000 is a pen that fascinated me for a long time and when I finally got one, I was very pleased with its performance. This is a pen which as survived in production, unchanged for over 50 years. it is a pen which performs well every time. The Lamy 2000 is a pen which many use as their daily writing pen because of its comfort, performance and reliability.
It is always a joy when I ink up this pen and write with it. I have no doubt in my mind that this timeless classic fountain pen will still be around in another 50 years and will still look as fresh then as it does now.
It is always worth remembering that the best way to experience a particular fountain pen is to try it out first where possible, although for many I realise that this may not be a viable option. When you read a review like the one above, you are getting the personal experiences, opinions and reflections of the reviewer, which may differ from your own experiences with the pen.
This review was originally posted in December 2018 and reposted in August 2019.