Lamy 2000 – forever in steel and makrolon
It has been in continuous production since its introduction in 1966. Like the Coca-Cola contour glass bottle, the Rolex Oyster perpetual and the Porsche 911 it has not had a major design overhaul since inception and continues to remain the main battle tank for the company making its marketing blitzkrieg. Legend has it that its design is so iconic that the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has considered it as an item for permanent display and any serious conversation about period pieces that are still revered, sooner than later, veers towards it.
Yes, we are talking about the Lamy 2000.
There is another reason why I just had to have one in the collection – I too, was born in 1966 and share my birth year with the Lamy 2000, which kind of makes it the ideal gift to splurge on one’s self. Happy Birthday!
But there are serious reasons behind the Lamy 2000 acquiring its position of pre-eminence. Oh yes, each one of them have been recounted like a million of times, but I guess, we birthday boys can be excused for repeating the obvious.
1966, the year John Lennon had gone on record stating that they (the Beatles) are “more popular than Jesus now”. Naturally, the old order was changing, yielding place for the new and when the Lamy 2000 was introduced, it was a radical departure from anything anyone had imagined in a fountain pen before.
The Lamy 2000 was designed by Gerd A. Müller and is a prime example of the German school of art, Bauhaus. The thought behind the design, sensibilities rather, which gives it the edgy timelessness for which it is celebrated till date, is simple: it is function alone that should determine the form. In a world that was used to being predominantly kitsch, the Lamy 2000 was, literally “the first writing instrument of the modern era which did not seek to be a status symbol but simply an honest, high-precision tool for writing by hand”. There is a certain elegance in minimalism and one must see (and feel) the Lamy 2000 to touch eternity, as it were.
The Lamy 2000 was also unique in the use of materials – it was made of stainless steel and Makrolon which was a distinct departure from the set standards of the day. I do not wish to delve into the chemistry and will restrict myself to just putting on record that the material is surprisingly lightweight, is sturdy like a rock and is a delight to hold. The texture has that delightfully rough edge that is a tactile treat and to use it once is to be tied to it forever.
The Makrolon body and the stainless-steel grip both have that brushed matt look and grow into each other the way light and darkness are pitted against each other in an eternal embrace. And for the digitally damned, it comes with Windows pre-loaded. Aw, that’s the ink window to indicate the level of ink that is, which too is very subtly coordinated into the overall scheme of things. In terms of sheer looks, the Lamy 2000 is a stunner – a breath taking beauty that never fails to cast its hypnotic spell.
The next thing that must be mentioned is that the pen is a piston filler. Well, no great sakes about it ordinarily, but the Lamy 2000 is no ordinary pen and the fact demands a mention. Mention, because the engineering is so uber perfect that any normal untrained eye is bound to miss the seam towards the distal end of the pen. Needless to say, the filling mechanism works with the precision of perfection.
On the other end is a partially platinised 14 carat gold hooded nib that is, again perfectly, integrated into the barrel, the engineering execution so brilliant that it looks as though the nib has evolved from the barrel over millennia. And yes, it writes as though it was crafted exclusively for Wilhelm Richard Wagner to pen his Librettos.
The Lamy 2000 has often been disparaged for the inconsistency of its nib. Mine is way better than anything I have ever dreamt about, and I personally think that the German term “überkritisch” is apt in the context – it is mostly cases of critics being hyper critical for the sake of finding faults, exercising what they think, is their right to question even the sacrosanct.
Note : Gerd A. Müller was born in 1932; he studied at the Werkkunstschule Wiesbaden before working as a designer at Braun AG from 1955 to 1960. He is credited with giving the world the LAMY 2000, LAMY cp1, LAMY st and theLAMY unic.
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