Some fountain pens are designed to be showpieces, while others are designed to be used every day without ever breaking down. Yet, everyone once in a while, you find a truly special pen that somehow rides the line between both. In this case, we’re talking about a pen that stands the test of time while simultaneously being beautiful to hold and look at—the Lamy 2000.
The Lamy 2000 is a flagship piston-filled fountain pen first designed and released by Gerd A. Müller in 1966. Today, it is considered to be one of his most iconic designs, based on Bauhaus principles of the time. The pen is constructed with a durable Makrolon barrel and can be outfitted with a number of nibs in various sizes and materials.
In this review, I will take a closer look at the Lamy 2000 and discuss what makes it unique. This will include a brief history of its design, an overview of its specs, and a breakdown of the many features that can be customized and adapted to your style.
Table of Contents
A History that Stretches Back to Nearly 60 Years Ago
The origins of the Lamy 2000 date back to the 1960s when Lamy first approached German industrial designer Gerd A. Müller to create a new line of pens. At that point, Müller had already made a name for himself in the world of product design and, with a deep well of knowledge, would go on to create some of Lamy’s most iconic products, including the Lamy 27 and Lamy Safari.
For the Lamy 2000, Müller took inspiration from the Bauhaus movement of the 1920s and 30s. This was a time when many artists and designers were exploring the relationship between form and function. Müller’s goal was to create a pen that was both beautiful and practical, with a simple yet timeless design.
By 1966, he had finally put the finishing touches on the pen and the Lamy 2000 was released later that year. It quickly became a popular choice for both students and professionals, thanks to its simple yet elegant design and it remains a favorite among fountain pen enthusiasts nearly 60 years later.
The Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen at First Glance
In terms of design, the Lamy 2000 is a clean and modernistic pen that subtly blends together functionality and sophistication. Whereas some may prefer a flashier design, the Lamy 2000’s restraint allows the writer to focus on their work without the constant distraction of an inlaid or engraved writing utensil.
The Lamy 2000 is constructed from a brushed Makrolon barrel with a vanishing point hooded nib that’s covered by much of the grip section. For those who are unfamiliar, Makrolon is a poly-carbonate material made from a mixture of resin and stainless steel that is both incredibly durable yet lightweight in the hand.
In terms of nibs, Lamy offers the following stainless-steel and gold options:
- EF – An extra-fine nib measuring 0.36 mm (plus-or-minus 0.06 mm). This nib produces a very fine line that can often be faint or difficult to read if used with a lighter-colored ink.
- F – Lamy’s fine nib measures 0.46 mm (plus-or-minus 0.06 mm) and is the standard and best option for a Lamy 2000. It produces a beautifully clean and elegant line that works well with standard handwriting, cursive, or calligraphy. I personally opted for the fine nib!
- M – Lamy’s medium nib measures 0.56 mm (plus-or-mins 0.06 mm) and creates a slightly bolder line than the fine nib with more ink producing a darker color.
- B – The broad nib measures 0.675 mm (plus-or-minus 0.075 mm) and creates a heavier line that can help add boldness to your text, however it may be more difficult to control for beginners.
Additionally, Lamy offers a range of premium nibs cast in 14K gold and finished in platinum, as well as left-handed and oblique nibs for buyers with unique writing styles. Nevertheless, I recommend using the fine nib, as it produces the perfect balance between line width and ink flow for the majority of writers.
The Lamy 2000 Piston Filling Mechanism
One of the most defining features of the Lamy 2000 is its piston-filling system, which allows the pen to hold a significantly larger ink capacity than a standard cartridge pen. This is a great feature for writers who want to avoid constantly having to refill their pen, as the Lamy 2000 can hold up to 2.5 mL of ink.
Before the Lamy 2000, I hadn’t used piston-filling pens very much, so it took a little getting used to. Plus as I watched various Youtube videos, I felt I was getting conflicting information on how to properly fill the Lamy 2000.
But after a few tries, I got the filling down, and now I really enjoy filling the Lamy 2000.
To refill the pen:
- Unscrew the knob at the end of the barrel to release the built-in piston filler and dip the nib into an ink bottle.
- Screw the knob back into place and pump the piston up and down until it is full. Depending on the thickness of your ink, this process can take anywhere from 10 to 20 pumps.
- Once the pen is full, simply recap it and you’re ready to write! You may have to tap the nib slightly after refilling to get the ink flowing but this is normal.
It’s important to note that, because the Lamy 2000 is a piston-filled pen, it cannot be used with standard cartridges. Additionally, you will not have to purchase a separate converter, as the piston is already built into the barrel of the pen.
A Pleasurable and Smooth Writing Experience
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, it’s essential to have a pen that is both comfortable to hold and produces a smooth and consistent line. In this regard, the Lamy 2000 truly shines.
The pen is balanced perfectly in the hand, thanks to its sleek and minimalist design. The grip section is also large enough to cover much of the pen nib, helping to prevent your fingers from slipping while writing, making it a great option for writers with larger hands.
In terms of ink flow, it is consistent and smooth, with no skipping or hard starts. Be aware, though, that Lamy nibs do tend to run wider than many Japanese brands, so you may find that it’s a little faster than you’re used to. If you’re coming from a Pilot or Sailor pen, you may want to purchase a small nib. This is why I recommend the fine nib over the medium.
Breaking Down the Pros and Cons
Overall, the Lamy 2000 is a great pen and its long history supports that claim. For a fountain pen that’s been on the market for nearly 60 years, it aged incredibly well and is still just as stylish and effective as the day it was released. But, as with anything, it does have its flaws.
In this next section, I’ll dive deeper into some of the Lamy 2000’s strengths and weaknesses to help you get a better idea of this pen works.
Where the Lamy 2000 Shines
- It’s easy to find – An uncommon pen may seem luxurious at first but you’ll soon find that it’s harder to replace parts than you’d like. The Lamy 2000 is a flagship model available in most professional stationery stores, along with nibs, ink wells, and any other parts you may need to replace. Even if you lose your pen, you can quickly replace it and get back to writing.
- It’s lightweight and designed to flow – When Müller first designed the Lamy 2000, he hit the mark with an evenly balanced bullet shape that easily rests against the hand without dumping weight into the wrist. The lightweight Makrolon material seemingly disappears as you write, helping the pen to flow across the page no matter how long you’re writing.
- Its simple design is perfectly understated – Sometimes it’s better to fade into the background than to steal the spotlight. The Lamy 2000 is a workhorse of a pen that’s suitable for office spaces and public events, thanks to its stylish yet never flashy presentation. Even with a 14K gold nib, the Lamy 2000 pulls back and restrains its glamor to a simple line of gold along the tines.
- It actually posts – Many fountain pens are designed with a clip on their cap yet when you try to post the pens on anything, their clips are often too tight to budge. The Lamy 2000 features a fully functional clip that posts deeply into any pocket protector, briefcase, or carry-on bag, helping to keep your pen in place, no matter where you go.
Where the Lamy 2000 Could Improve
- The nib tines – Lamy is notorious for its nib tines, which are often poorly aligned and prone to springing apart. This can produce an unpleasant scratchiness and cause your writing to run off-kilter. No matter how weightless the pen feels in your hand, this can be enough to ruin the writing experience if you’re unlucky enough to purchase a faulty nib.
- The cap is imprecise – The grip of the Lamy 2000 was designed to seamlessly flow from the rear end of the barrel into the hooded nib. Essentially, it doesn’t have a grip. There is however a small locking feature meant to catch the cap. The downside to this is that the cap often feels as if it’s in place, even if it’s not fully locked in.
- The ink window is too dark – Last but not least, the Lamy 2000’s ink window is virtually impossible to see into, especially if you’re using a standard black pen. You may be able to see into it with a light but, under normal conditions, you’ll struggle to tell how much ink is inside the reservoir. I actually like the hazy look of the ink window because it adds to the design, but I know some people might not like it.
Pricing the Lamy 2000
For a flagship pen that’s been on the market for more than a half-century, the Lamy 2000 is quite reasonably priced, especially for a pen normally sold with a 14K gold nib. Depending on where you purchase it, you can pick up a new Lammy 2000 for between $120 and $200, placing it in the lower price range, especially for a premium pen.
Best of all, if you discover that you don’t like the writing experience, you should be able to resell the pen for near its original price. Unlike other fountain pens, the Lamy 2000 generally holds its value, as long as you don’t damage the pen. Thanks to its longstanding history, popularity among fountain pen enthusiasts, and high-quality craftsmanship, it’s known as a common second-hand pen.
Is the Lamy 2000 Worth It?
The Lamy 2000 is a classic German pen that has been on the market for nearly 60 years. In that time, it has gained a reputation for being both a durable and reliable writing instrument, making it a great choice for writers of all skill levels. Although it’s not without its flaws, I still think it’s one of the best everyday pens out there.
The only mentionable downsides to the Lamy 2000 are that the quality of its nibs can sometimes be low, poorly aligned, and produce an unpleasant writing experience. Additionally, the ink window is quite dark and it can be difficult to tell how much ink is left in the reservoir.
If you can live with these shortcomings, the Lamy 2000 is an excellent pen and a great choice for anyone wanting a classic design, functional piston-filling system, and a wide range of customizable nib options. For a pen that costs less than $200, the Lammy is definitely worth its value and reputation.
I’ve had the Lamy 2000 for a few months now, and it has become my everyday pen. I still love my Tactile Turn pens, but there is a timeless aspect to the Lamy 2000, which makes it my go-to pen. I highly recommend this pen!!
Summing it All Up
Most fountain pen companies have one or two models that they can boast have been on the market for several decades. To look at them, though, you quickly realize that the features and designs have been updated, modified, and improved beyond recognition. The Lamy 2000 breaks the mold with a 60-year-old fountain pen that still harkens back to its original, sophisticated German design.
It’s a pen that oozes functionality and simplicity without sacrificing style. Thanks to excellent quality control and subtle refinements, it’s become a popular working pen amount enthusiasts and collectors alike. So, if you ever get the chance to purchase or experience the smooth flow of a Lamy 2000, I highly recommend it.
If you are interested in purchasing the Lamy 2000, you can conveniently buy it on Amazon.com
- Made of a combination of black fiberglass and brushed stainless steel known as Makrolon
- It is piston filled and as such can only be used with an ink bottle and not with ink cartridges
- 14K gold, platinum-coated extra fine nib
- The Lamy 2000 is so revered that it is on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Art and has won countless design...
- The pen barrel also features four small window sections above the grip to view the ink inside