This year, one of the most iconic pens in Lamy's lineup (one of the most iconic pens ever made, really) turns 50 years old. The Lamy 2000 has had an amazing run and Lamy is still producing them today.
Yes. I know... There are a ton of reviews about the Lamy 2000. Brad Dowdy, Ed Jelley, Mike Dudek, Matt Armstrong... The list goes on and on. Most of the reviews are glowing, and I agree with just about everything they say. So, in order to save you from reading yet another Lamy 2000 review, I just wanted to take a few minutes to talk about this iconic pen and outline some of the reasons why it is part of the ensemble of stationery products that accompany me every day.
For me, an everyday carry fountain pen has to meet a few specific criteria:
- Large(ish) Ink Capacity
The Lamy 2000 is my EDC pick because it meets all of the criteria above and it meets them better than any other pen I've used, period.
The brushed makrolon finish of the body and cap is durable, resists scratches and dings and holds up well whether being carried in a pocket, bag or pen case. The stainless clip has a nice spring mechanism which makes it easy to clip the pen to a pocket or notebook. The grip section is stainless as well which feels nice and resists wear and tear.
As a piston filler, the Lamy 2000 holds plenty of ink in its reservoir. In fact, I've never run out of ink in a single day no matter how much I've written. And, I hope I never have to write that much. Ever. To be completely fair, I've never run out of ink after a full fill on any pen, but I could go several days or longer on a full fill of the Lamy 2000, making it perfect for a one-pen, one-notebook travel companion where I won't have access to ink bottles, etc., but still want a fountain pen.
Probably the biggest downside to the L2K in regards to the ink capacity is the ink window. I find it hard to use. If you have plenty of light behind it, it works to let you know there's ink in the pen, but the frosted finish and tiny "windows" make it a bit unusable in reality. This is one area where this pen exhibits form over function. Yes, it's unobtrusive and doesn't break up the clean, subtle lines of the pen, but it's also a bit difficult to use. I find that turning the pen nib-down and holding it in front of a bright computer screen affords me the ability to see if my ink level has dropped below the window and that's good enough for me, I suppose.
I've had a few Lamy 2000s and they have all been wonderful. It took me a few to figure out what nib size worked best for me, but I've settled on a Medium, which works beautifully. No special "sweet spot" to hit. No catching or scratching. Just a smooth-writing nib with a hint of feedback and a clean, consistent line. Totally reliable and predictable. Almost boring. Which is just what I want in a daily carry pen. I don't want to uncap the pen during a meeting with a client to be surprised or have to switch to a different pen because the one at hand is skipping or hard-starting. None of that nonsense here.
And speaking of uncapping, the Lamy 2000 uses a slip cap making it quick to deploy and omits threading the cap, unscrewing it, etc. The stainless section resists staining and rarely, if ever, picks up ink colors and is always easy to clean.
I will say that some reviewers (Brad Dowdy, for one) have experienced some inconsistency with their Lamy 2000 nibs and I know others have as well. Perhaps I'm just lucky, but I got great nibs right out of the box every time. Your mileage may vary, but if you buy from a reputable source, you can always swap it out. Or, better yet, get one at a pen show and try it out in-person.
This is highly subjective because what might be affordable to me, may be far outside of your budget and vice versa, but I'm going to talk about it anyway. In fact, perhaps "affordability" isn't the right term. Maybe "value" is better suited here... In that regard, I find the Lamy 2000 to be both affordable and a great value. The Lamy 2000 retails for $160 and can be had for less from places like PenChalet.com where they often run sales and discount codes. In fact, if you listen to The Pen Addict podcast, they often give a discount code there that will land you this pen at under $150 (and it's even cheaper if you get one lightly used, which is how I got mine).
So what does that stack of bills get you? A wonderfully-made pen with a 14k gold nib, a durable body, no-nonsense capping and posting and a large ink capacity. Everything you need for a day in the classroom or boardroom.
There's a reason this pen has been around for half a century. In fact, there are a lot of reasons and they are the same reasons I carry this pen with me nearly everyday. I'm not afraid to throw it in a pants pocket or bag or pen case because I know that it can take a few knocks and perform flawlessly. And it'll do so all day, everyday.
I'm excited to see what Lamy might have in store for the 50th anniversary of this wonderful pen. Maybe a special edition? I'm sure they're up to something. Regardless, I'd suggest picking one of these up as I think there's room in every collection for a Lamy 2000.
Thanks for reading,