Lamy 2000 Rollerball - Pen Review

I first want to thank my sweet wife for this one.  She isn't really "into pens" per se, but she is pretty understanding of the hobby (obsession) for the most part and sometimes even surprises me with a pen gift from time to time.  This may have been a pen that she was saving for Christmas, but out of the blue decided to spring it on me.  Let's just say I was very surprised. :)

Like most pen lovers, the Lamy 2000 usually ranks pretty high on your list of "pens to buy someday" because, let's face it, it is a classic and is considered by many to be one of the most iconic pen designs on the market (or ever).  I don't have the Holy Grail fountain pen version as of yet, but have the ballpoint and now the rollerball which will tide me over for a bit...

There are a lot of other reviews of the Lamy 2000 line in the pen blog world for you to read up about:

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen -

Lamy 2000 Ballpoint -

Lamy 2000 Rollerball - continue reading...

Cool Lamy box...

The black/dark grey barreled "Makrolon" 2000 comes with a brushed finish that provides a bit of texture.  After doing some reading, the brushed finish has not always been a part of the 2000.  When the design was originally released over 50 years ago, the barrels were polished smooth which exposed more of the manufacturing scratches of the polycarbonate.  It being a "plastic" of sorts, the barrel is prone to scratches over time when posting the cap and through general use.  (To read more about Makrolon patented by Bayer, here is a link to their page)  

Being a composite material you would think the pen to be really light, but it carries a nice weight and feel.  I found that posting the cap while writing to be very comfortable.  The way Lamy designed the cap to stay on the barrel when the pen is closed is pretty cool.  There are "fingers" as some people call them that stick out just enough from the barrel to grab a ring from inside the cap.  

The fingers are actually a part of a spring tension ring that fits snugly inside the barrel.  Bravo on engineering for this one.  This means no threading in the grip section for your fingers to get caught on which is a feature many people love.  I don't find the fingers to be intrusive, but some might.

The tip of the pen is a brushed stainless steel which adds some nice weight to the front and is kind of cool to the touch when you start writing with it.  I love this design element of the pen as it adds a nice break in color and is such a striking contrast.  When gripping the pen to write it feels so solid and sturdy.  The pen just feels wonderfully made and is an experience to use.  

The clip, also stainless, is a modern monolithic style with sharp edges that taper out towards the top of the pen.  Against the dark barrel, it stands out so boldly and really is the most striking feature of the pen.  Sometimes the clip seems to be an afterthought in pen design or simply as a mere function, but with the 2000 it seemed to take center stage.  The clip needed to be as much a showcase as the pen itself.  It is a spring clip which provides some ease in pocketing.

This is a pen that you will find yourself admiring for its design elements as much as you will in writing.  If a pen does that, I'd say you often have a winner on your hands that you will enjoy for a long time.

One thing that astounds me in the 2000 line (including my ballpoint) are the break points in the barrel to insert the refill.  The break is integrated with the arc of the barrel shape and is so well concealed that you could easily miss it if you weren't looking for it.

Can you see it? (a little out of focus...)

I've shown these pens to some friends and each time I separate the barrel sections I get a "whoa".  Lamy very easily could have done as most pen manufacturers do by creating a threaded section between the grip and barrel to remove the refill from the tip but they did not.  The stainless steel grip section would be an ideal place to do so, but the break in the rollerball edition is actually in the end of the pen similar to where the piston mechanism is on the fountain pen version.  

If you are not quite into fountain pens (yet), but are still intrigued by the styling and design of the 2000, in my opinion the rollerball would be a great choice to add to your collection.  In looks, it is identical to the fountain pen less the nib and ink reservoir windows and would provide the Lamy 2000 "fix" you're looking for.  There isn't the fuss of a fountain pen, but you get the iconic looks to enjoy.

That being said, a recommendation I do have is to perhaps give the Lamy M63 rollerball refill a go if you can.  I personally enjoy the refill, but I've heard others give it a hit-and-miss review.  It lays down a nice dark line which is pretty broad.  I've not had a big issue with skipping or inconsistency but paper seems to make a difference.  The rollerball Safari takes the exact same refill and can be found for as cheap as $15 or $20 online.  With the 2000 rollerball normal retail price upwards of $120, this might be a good option to "try before you buy" as far as the refill is concerned.

Overall, this pen is a beauty and I enjoy having it.  I don't use it everyday, but when I do it definitely makes a statement (although not overly flashy) and is one I can't wait to get out of my pocket to write with.