In the tale of Goldilocks and the three bears, Goldilocks breaks into the empty bears' house and eats the food, and vandalizes the chairs and stalks the bears in their beds. Perhaps that is left out of the kid's version. The point is that each object she finds comes in three sizes, one each for the daddy bear, momma bear and baby bear. And she tries all three. The porridges are too hot, too cold and just right, the chairs are too big, too small, and just right, and the beds are too hard, too soft and also just right.
The Lamy 2000 fountain pen, despite having it’s 50 years anniversary last year, is that pen that is also just right. Not too big or small. Not too heavy or light. Not too long or short. It is a perfect #EDC fountain pen and is my daily use pen.
The Lamy 2000 fountain pen comes in a black Makrolon finish. Makrolon is a lightly textured polycarbonate material that looks like fibreglass. The pen’s material appears as tactile fibres aligned lengthwise down the pen and is a semi-gloss black. The design of the pen is very smooth and sleek in the Bauhaus style with little to distract from the lines and no artistic flourishes. The nib section is made from brushed stainless steel and blends in with the Makrolon body with no step. There is a transparent ink-window about a third of the way up the pen and two slightly noticeable silver tabs protrude from the otherwise completely smooth body to allow the cap to clip on to the body. A silver end cap finishes off the body.
The cap is of the same material and features a square-design brushed stainless steel clip with Lamy discreetly on the side. A black cap with a contrasting gloss black end holds the clip in place. The cap is friction fit and clips securely to close the pen as well as posts nicely. Fit is good and the inner cap sleeve seems to keep the nib from drying up, even when stored for some time.
The Lamy 2000 uses a 14K hooded nib. A hooded nib houses the majority of the fountain pen nib within the body of the pen - in a hooded section. This allows for some interesting design aesthetics as well as the more practical reason of preventing drying of ink in the nib and feed unit by reducing air exposure by shielding the nib. In the L2K, the exposed nib is very short and this adds to the smooth, retro-futuristic look of the pen. The 14k gold nib is plated in platinum to give a matching silver finish to the rest of the pen. Given the short exposed nib, there is little flex, but I find the gold nib does has a slightly softer feel than steel nibs - you don’t feel like you are writing with a nail with this nib.
The Lamy 2000 is a piston filling fountain pen - the ink reservoir is contained inside the pen and not accessible. The rear of the pen body is a knob that unscrews to move the piston within the ink reservoir to create a vacuum and draw the ink through the nib. This knob aligns seamlessly with the body and is very hard to detect. As the L2K is a piston filler, it has a very large ink capacity and is great for daily use where you do not want to change inks very often or don’t want to run out in the middle of something important.
I recommend using care in colour choice when filling this pen - on my last fill, I used a new-to-me ink - Robert Oster’s Fire and Ice - which I found to be too green for my daily use, as I usually prefer blue ink. It took me *forever* to finish the ink in the pen so I could refill it! Also, being a piston filler with a hooded nib, cleaning is a much slower process than cartridge converter pens where you can easily remove the parts for faster cleaning.
My Lamy 2000 is fitted with an extra fine (EF) nib. This is a European-style extra fine nib which is more comparable to a Japanese fine and is perfect for those, like me, that have small handwriting. It was super smooth from the box and needed absolutely no tuning at all!
The weight of the pen (25g posted, 18g unposted) is just right. It feels solid in my hand, but not heavy and I can write without strain for extended periods.
The Lamy 2000 is 5.5” closed, 4.85” unposted and a respectable 6” when posted. I prefer to use the pen posted, as I find unposted a little too short to fit in my large hands. Balance is just right when capped, not too forward not too backward. Just right.
I bought the Lamy 2000 from Perks Pens in Vancouver, at their old location on Cambie. Perks is still in the Lonsdale Key in North Vancouver and still sells Lamy products.
Purchasing in person allowed me to test the nib (with a dip test) to make sure I was comfortable with the line width and feel. There have been some reports online that Lamy 2000 nibs may be inconsistent out of the box, and having the ability to test the nib led to the perfect nib for me.
The other thing to look at closely is the body of the pen. Some areas of the Makrolon finish may have whiter shaded areas that come and go. Mine does sometimes. Usually, the oils from my hand are enough to make them go away, but I wish I had known to look for this when I purchased the pen.
The Lamy 2000 is not an inexpensive pen - I seem to recall it was around $250 Canadian in store, but that was a few years ago and I don’t recall exactly. There are less expensive online options, but you may want to consider any potential nib challenges into your decision. You may want to consider asking the vendor to test it for you.
Lamy 2000 history
The Lamy 2000 was designed in 1966, over 50 years ago. The pen still looks modern but one can easily imagine the Jetson’s ideas of futuristic utilities in it’s design. It still holds up well, despite being a somewhat conservative colour choice.
Lamy have released a few versions of the L2K over the 50 year life span. There is a stainless steel version on the market and last year Lamy released a (arguably disappointing) limited edition Black Amber colour. Unfortunately, both of the other designs lose the ink window and are otherwise identical to the Makrolon version. Both come at a higher price point and for value, the Makrolon version is excellent value for money.
Despite the historic design, the Lamy 2000 is my daily carry pen. I usually ink it with Montblanc Royal Blue and it has never let me down once. It is great for meetings and desk work and doesn’t appear pretentious. The nib is fantastic and it is very consistent. I keep coming back to this pen, even though I regularly acquire many more. It always is in my pen roll, filled and ready to write.
What else can I say about a 50 year old pen - it is just right! And history agrees.