Lamy 2000

Back in 1966, when this mutiple-award-winning design was introduced, there was something of a micro-vogue for things milennial. In the decade or so that followed, we got movies (2001: A Space Odyssey) and TV shows (Space: 1999), and even nonfiction authors like Alvin Toffler and Marshall McLuhan squinted into their crystal balls to discern what life might be like in another three decades or so. Based on the prevailing fashion trends, the Lamy 2000 was probably as good a guess as any as to the fountain pen of the future.

Little did all those screenwriters and authors know that the turning of the milennium would mean little beyond outbreaks of apocalypse cult hysteria, and an immovable deadline for harrassed software developers. Indeed, the sticklers remind us that the milennium actually begins on 1/1/01 and not 1/1/00 as most people suppose. And, little did Lamy know that the kinds of luxury pens we'd be buying in 1998 would all be ostentatiously roccoco, very much a post-modern polar opposite to the neu-Bauhaus utilitarianism of this pen

Indeed, the Lamy 2000 is almost maniacally plain. It is so subdued and colorless that I was actually able to render these scans in grayscale with no visible loss. Aside from a discreet "LAMY" engraved on the side of the clip, the pen bears absolutely no nomenclature of any kind.

A closer look, however, reveals the extremely high quality of design and construction of this pen. The point is actually 14k gold, plated with platinum to harmonize with the austere color scheme. The clip is a solid billet of stainless steel, spring loaded inside the cap. Two tiny tabs in the section secure the cap with a satisfying click, and the pen uses a piston filler of the classic German type, with a small ink window (the section can be removed to permit easy cleaning of the pen). The various portions of the barrel, and the filler knob, are joined by practically invisible seams.

The forward portion of the section features a brushed stainless "hood", covering most of the fairly flexible, smooth-writing point. The ABS-like Makrolon plastic, has a similar "stealth" finish that should very effectively resist scratching and fingerprints, making the Lamy 2000 very much a workaday pen.

Think of the Lamy 2000 as an "anti-Montblanc": the kind of pen you might whip out when you want to make a fashion statement about not making a fashion statement. The Lamy 2000 is still with us, and should make its way into its namesake year and beyond, together with its ballpoint and pencil companions. A thirty-plus year run of the same design is nothing to be sneezed at, and at $140 list, the "L2K" (as we would call it now) is also something of a bargain among luxury pens.

This file last posted on:
2005-Jan-20 17:50:26 CST
MCMVIII, the red network