In November 2016 I bought a Lamy 2000, with medium nib, on sale at WH Smith. I think it cost me £90, which seemed like a lot at the time.
That pen is still with me today. It has seen heavy use, although less now that I have 30 other pens — some ten times the price — vying for attention.
And today, it’s probably the pen I’ve had in regular use for longest. As a serial pen flipper, surviving three years is an achievement.
With the arrival of the Lamy 2000 Bauhaus, I’m taking a fresh view of this workhorse and semi-seriously wondering if I would have been better off stopping searching for new pens once WH Smith delivered.
For the 2000 is a fine pen, and something of a bargain.
Even on paper, the specs are impressive. Piston filler, gold nib, ink window, machined clip, made in Germany. For £130ish, that’s a fine spec.
In the hand, other virtues quickly become apparent. Beautiful and utterly timeless aesthetics, practical slip-cap, extremely high standards of assembly, deep posting, grippy and wear-resistant brushed finish from Makrolon and steel. It never dries out, the clip is sprung and works well, and it’s easy to clean off after filling.
The Makrolon version is light and agile — in fact, in a moment’s suspicion that it was perhaps too light, I bought a stainless version of the 2000 and found I preferred the feel of the original after all. I’m sure if Lamy made an oversize version of the 2000 I’d buy it, then decide that the original had nailed the size, too.
I’ve only had one problem, with a crack in the cap. Lamy sorted it fast, and the cap came with a different design inside. The problem hasn’t recurred.
Some find the 2000 small, others say the nib is temperamental. I’ve had an M, an F and an EF, and every one has been a joy, hitting my high bar for wetness, smoothness and personality (my EF is almost an architect grind) out of the box. And for me, the curvaceous shape means I have always been able to find a comfortable hold.
In fact, to me the 2000 is almost perfect.
So if the 2000 is beautiful, practical, comfortable, historic, and a great writer, I can’t help but feel a little like I could have stopped right there in November 2016, and saved myself not just thousands of pounds, but the pain of bad nib QC, the discomfort of sharp threads, the frustration of drying-out nibs, and all the other petty problems that other pens have brought me.
That’s an absurd thing to suggest, for a pen explorer like me, and I have had so much joy from the variety of experience in my acquisition journey that I wouldn’t change a thing, really. But it does reveal the depth of feeling I have for the 2000, and the esteem I hold it in. This is a great pen. For its price, perhaps the best pen.
The new Bauhaus Limited Edition? Well, it’s lovely. The dark blue finish can be mistaken for black in some lights, but it’s definitely blue, and a pretty one.
It comes in a huge box with a huge thick hardback A5 notebook. It’s a limited edition of 1919, celebrating the centenary of the Bauhaus movement that inspired the original design (mine is number 412). The front face of the clip is mirror-polished instead of brushed. And really, that’s about it. The colour is the only noticeable thing that changed. And would I have wanted Lamy to have changed anything else? No, I probably wouldn’t.