My Lamy 2000 fountain pen and I.

Having time at home now, I have enjoyed looking back through the many pen photos stored on my computer and my list of previous posts in this blog. I was surprised to find that I had not yet written about the Lamy 2000.

This is probably because I never really got on with it all that well. Perhaps, it was from a feeling of “If you have nothing nice to say, it’s better to say nothing at all.” Well, it’s not that bad. There are lots of features that I like about it, except that mine never wrote as effortlessly and enjoyably as I had hoped for.

The classic, understated Lamy 2000 fountain pen.

I remember buying my Lamy 2000, in May of 2014. It was in a lovely pen shop in Brighton, called Websters, sadly not there any more. After having a good look around the display cases and having bought a couple of bottles of Watermans ink and a Lamy Logo fountain pen, I had strong urge to take home a Lamy 2000. At £175.00 it may have then been my most expensive pen purchase to date and requiring of spousal approval, which was duly sought and granted.

The pen came with a medium nib. There were no other options at the point of sale. The packaging was simple and modest. I admired the pen in the train on our way home to London that evening and was excited to try it out.

The medium nib that my pen came with, in 2014

I should add here, that the brushed metal Lamy Logo fountain pen that I also bought that day, with its Safari-style steel nib, proved to be buttery smooth. At almost six times the price, I had high hopes for the gold nibbed Lamy 2000.

Unfortunately writing with the 2000 was frustrating. The medium nib was smooth but dry and needed constant effort to write. Over the following weeks, I tried several different inks, flushed the nib and feed numerous times and tried different papers. I wrote pages and pages and drew spoked wheels to see in what direction the driest lines were occurring. Being a lefty overwriter, I need a wetter nib as the pen does more pushing forwards and sideways and not many downstrokes to recharge the nib.

Disassembled for cleaning. Over the years I probably enjoyed cleaning the pen more than writing with it.

I did not want to take a chance on adjusting the gold nib myself. To cut a long story short, I eventually gave up on the pen and put it away. I had others that wrote better.

However, some six months later, something prompted me to get in touch with Lamy and I sent them an email to ask if anything could be done. They replied and invited me to send the pen back to them in Germany, which I did, with a note requesting an adjustment to my nib, or else a replacement nib, perhaps a broad.

To their great credit, notwithstanding the passage of several months since purchase, Lamy returned my pen a few days later, free of charge with a new nib. And this time it was a stubby broad.

A new broad nib brings new hope.

Once again I went through the process of filling the pen, trying it on different papers and writing pages and pages. It was better than before! I liked the line produced by the broad nib. Yet, it still suffered from the problem of needing pressure to make it write, to get ink to flow but of course this pressure caused friction and resistance as the pen moved across the paper. All in all it was hard work and not enjoyable. What’s more, the nib literally squeaked on the paper.

Enjoying the Cult Pens Deep Dark Blue ink.

From time to time over the years I would get it out again, thinking that a different ink would make the difference. But always I would end up flushing the ink and putting the pen away again and so for almost six years the pen has been unfulfilled and largely unused. Yet, even now as I write this, I am tempted to give it another try. Maybe it just needs the nib tweaked to open up the tines more. How hard can that be? Whereas in the past I was not brave enough to try it, I think I may have reached the “past caring” point at which I am prepared to take the risk. And if all else fails, I could get it done by an experienced nibmeister.

I know that so many enthusiasts speak highly of their L2K’s and I want a part of that enjoyment. I do admire the minimalist, understated design; the barely visible seam where the piston knob meets the barrel; the clever mechanism for the push-on cap; the free-floating nib which can be so easily removed for cleaning; the unique finish of the Makrolon body and the clean juxtaposition with the brushed stainless steel section and the subtle, platinum coated gold nib. I also know that I am not alone and that others have found the pen hard to use.

Yet, the design wins me over every time and makes me want to give it another chance. We will see how this turns out.

Who can resist this unique design?

Update, 9 April 2020:

The exercise of writing this post had the effect of focusing my mind on the problem with my nib. This morning, I awoke with a resolve to try to adjust the nib myself, with some very simple tine spreading.

I examined the nib again under the loupe to remind myself of the problem. I then pushed the nib downwards against my thumb nail, in a few very gentle, controlled presses, and examined the nib again. Within moments, the tines had opened up. I thought that I might have overdone it and flipped the pen over and tried pushing again to close the gap. I found that it was easier to open the gap than to close it.

I tried dipping the pen in ink and wrote a few lines. All indications were that it was still writing smoothly, with the tines level, but that the wetness would be increased. I then filled the pen properly, with Waterman Serenity Blue and enjoyed writing for a page or so of A4. I tried a few different notebooks and found marked differences in absorbency between different types of paper.

Trying the effect of opening up the tines a little. Much wetter now, but without being too wet.

The nib and feed kept up without problems for a full page. The nib still squeaks and needs careful handling to keep to the sweet spot. But it is now wetter and better lubricated than before and this will be a much needed improvement for my style of writing.

After a few brave moments of opening up the gap between the tines.

16 thoughts on “My Lamy 2000 fountain pen and I.

  1. That’s a nice account, thank you! You’re being a lot fairer and nicer about the Lamy than I can bring myself to be!

    I had 2000 re-worked by a nib expert – at more cost – then gave it away. It wrote fine after the work, but I was fed up with it. In fact, I’ve never actually made a Lamy purchase I’ve kept for more than a few months. Maybe I’ve just been unlucky.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Paul. I do recall you sending yours away for nib work and facing a wait for it to come back. Sorry it didn’t work out in the end.
      I do want to like mine, but it’s not been easy. It occurred to me recently that nearly every Lamy I have tried has an uncomfortable or impractical section. I had better not get you started on the Safari 🙂

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  2. I have several Lamys…mostly All-Stars. I liked the design and the colors. But I don’t use them anymore. Somehow I just could not keep up my enthusiasm for them. I still have to resist when I see one in a new, pretty color – but I do resist.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. An interesting read. I became a serious collector in June of last year, and my first purchase was a Lamy Al Star which I have used extensively at work. Like you, I prefer a wet write and have found this model to be a superb workhorse, writing smoothly and efficiently as soon as the nib touches paper. It’s not an attractive pen, but it is a favourite now, only to be superseded by the recent acquisition of a TWSBI Eco. I hope you won’t be offended, but for the price paid for the 2000 I do not like the design and if it does not write like butter melting on a toasted tea cake, then I would feel very cheated. As the most I’ve paid for a pen was £75 for a second-hand FWP Brush pen (also a smooth operator), I’ve come to the conclusion that staying within my low budget brings the best writing experience. But I’m always open to new ideas . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! The Lamy AL-Star and the TWSBI Eco at a similar price, are both great pens, the latter giving you the benefits of a demonstrator barrel and a piston filler. Paying more does not always guarantee that a pen will write any better and if you are happy with your line up, then that is good to hear. It can be very tempting to go on and on searching for a better writing experience and it is easy to slip into the trap of spending ever increasing amounts as you delve into this hobby!

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  4. My Lamy 2000 has also been awkward for the opposite reasons, it’s a medium and really wet so writes like a broad which isn’t so good with my smaller writing. Drier inks tended to give a blobby look as the initial stroke was dry and thin to the point of almost no ink flowing then a blob at the base as the line direction causes the tines to “flex” slightly which gets the ink flowing. However, I’ve recently decided that the dry inks were the issue and filled with Pure Pens Cadwaladr and it’s great, still quite wet but a nicer line and the flow issue is gone, so seems high shading inks were part of the issue. It is a lovely smooth writer at least and one of the most comfortable and hansom pens I own.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and for your interesting comments. It reminds us that even two medium nibs from the same manufacturer can turn out very different. Also people’s needs vary according to their writing style and I have found that my lefty-overwriter style needs a wetter nib. Inks also make a big difference. The Cadwaladr that you mention is a lovely deep dark red and I have a bottle of this too. Also, some paper types need wetter inks for added lubrication and so pairing your pen with the most suitable type of paper will also help.

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  5. I’ve had similar success with *VERY* *CAREFULLY* spreading the tines on my PilotCapless “F” nib. I was surprised how little effort went into spreading the tines

    I too am a lefty, but not an overwriter; more of a mirror image writer – paper canted almost 90 degrees so the top is to my right and i write pulling towards myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and for your comments. I was interested to read that you are left handed and write in an unconventional manner but are able to use the Pilot Capless. I have avoided this pen as I believe that the pen clip would be in the way of my grip.
      As I rotate the nib inwards a little, it means that my left thumb would be over the centre of the pen, just where the clip is. I have managed to make the new Platinum Curidas work for me but only by removing the detachable metal clip and then filing off the bump on the barrel, so that I can place my thumb there!

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  6. Thanks for posting this. It’s nice to read up on someone else’s experiences with the Lamy2K! I myself am a lefty overwriter as well, so it was doubly interesting to read about your writing issues with it. I also had some similar problems with mine; it was a broad and it was wonderful at exactly one angle and it wasn’t the angle I wrote with. I loved it regardless and wondered how I could make it work.

    I’m lucky in that I have a nibmeister locally that knows how I write and grind my pens exactly how I use them. I ended up getting a double grind, a B stub on the front side and a M stub on the reverse. He also made the sweetspot larger and so now I have zero issues with the pen.

    I will say that I do have a sentimental soft spot for my Lamy2k, as I bought off of a friend, and another friend did the grind, so ymmv. But may I suggest you try for a different grind on it? You might like it in the end! It wasn’t the nib, but the body of the pen that I gravitated to first; so with my modifications on it it’s now among my favourites 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience with your Lamy 2000, as a fellow lefty-overwriter. I was most interested to hear that you now have a double grind on your nib, with a broad stub on one side and a medium stub on the other. Two nibs in one! It was well worth persevering with the pen to make it work for you.

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  7. Lamy quality control is hit and miss all through their product range, especially when it comes to nibs. They will fix something if it is not right, but for such a simple product manufactured in Germany, flaws should be very rare. That has not been my experience. Fortunately I am very experienced with restoring writing instruments, so I can usually fix the flaws.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and for your comments.
      I have bought quite a few of the lower end Lamy fountain pens over the last 10 years or so and have generally been happy with the nibs. I understand that they have a state of the art factory and that every nib gets dipped and tested. The gold nibs for the Lamy 2000 do seem to be quite unique and do not suit everyone, sometimes being very sensitive to how they are aligned. I can cope with this to some extent but do like a wetter nib to give a smoother ride for lefty overwriting! Fortunately, this just needs an adjustment that is fairly basic.

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