Monday, June 20, 2011
Lamy 2000 First Impression
Link to YouTube for more viewing options.
The Lamy 2000 is an iconic pen in the fountain pen world, with a cult following since 1966. It has a modern look even today. It's perfectly balanced, comfortable in the hand, and on paper. To me, the Lamy 2000 is a perfect example of German design and engineering.
It is made of a material called Makrolon, which is a combination of black fiberglass and stainless steel. It's a unique material that feels great in the hand and really gives a solid grip when you're writing, something important to fountain pen users. The nib is 14k yellow gold plated in platinum, so it has a silvery look to it that complements the stainless steel accents on the pen. The nib is the only shiny component of the pen, everything else is brushed, which is a great appeal of the design.
The nib is hooded, which means that it's partially covered by the grip section of the pen. The benefit of this is that it makes it harder to touch the nib with your fingers, which will keep you from accidentally inking up your digits :) The nibs are available in extra-fine, fine, medium, and broad. They tend to run on the broad end like most Lamy pens, especially if you're used to Japanese pens like Sailor, Platinum, or Pilot. If you're used to those, order a size smaller than what you're used to...so if you like Sailor fines, get a Lamy extra-fine.
The Lamy 2000 is a piston-fill pen, which means the filling mechanism is entirely built into the pen. As a result, the pen must be used with bottled ink, no cartridges for this one. The back unscrews, which allows you to fill the pen, and an ink window helps to let you know when you'll need to refill. The best part about the piston fill is its large ink capacity, which is easily two or three times the capacity of any cartridge/converter pen.
The one quirk when filling this pen is that you may need to tap the nib a bit to get it flowing after a fresh fill. There is a hole in the back of the grip section (see the pic below) which is where the pen fills, and the ink will need to be forced down a little bit from the body of the pen down into the nib the first time you write. About 5 seconds of light tapping should do it (just like I do in the video), and once it gets flowing you should not have any more starting issues.
The box is neat, it unfolds from overlapping top and bottom sections to reveal the pen resting inside. It's some kind of cardboard box, but it's sturdy. It's not the kind of thing you'll feel really guilty about throwing away, but it's also not an eyesore.
I can see the appeal of this pen. Though I don't have this one in my personal collection, I can see it working its way in there fairly soon. The one downside to these pens is that they recently made quite an upward jump in price. In early 2011 they were only around $130 list price (selling many places for $100 or less, a killer deal!). But they jumped up to a list price of $175 in Spring of 2011. At this price it makes the Lamy 2000 a pen you need to seriously consider, whereas before it was a no-brainer.
At GouletPens.com we're selling the Lamy 2000 for $140. In my opinion, it's still worth the price even after the jump. But then I sell them, so take what I say with a grain of salt. I will say that after inking up and using the 2000, I can really see why these pens have been so popular for the last 45 years.
One thing I do want to add after having posted the video is that I probably shouldn't recommend tapping the nib on the page as the first 'go-to' step to helping ink into the feed on a fresh ink-up like I did in the video. What I would recommend is filling your pen, then flushing the ink back into the bottle, then filling again, just like I do in this video. Or, fill the pen, cap it, and let it rest horizontally on your desk for a minute while the ink works its way down the feed.
Tapping is a method you should use at your own risk, as you could potentially misalign the nib tines if you tap too hard. It looks like I was tapping harder in the video than I really was, and I assure you, the pen is no worse for the wear because of what I did. But the risk is there. I did the tap as a split-second decision to save time in the video, which was already running long! In retrospect, I would have done it differently, but, I left it as is to maintain the integrity of my true first impression of the pen. A retake wouldn't have been my first impression ;)
What do you think?