Predictably, I crumbled, and bought another fountain pen. It was heavily reduced from list price, and that is good because the list price is expensive. It is, my research/the advertisements tells me, a classic design which has been in existence since the mid-1960s, and it is gorgeous. It is, as you’ve insinuated from the title, the Lamy 2000: a beautiful arc of a pen with the tightest tolerances I think I’ve ever seen. There is no perceptible ridge or gap between the brushed steel section and the main body of the pen. The ink window incorporated into the pen body (and I don’t know how this has been made) is similarly impalpable. The pen fills using a screw-based system incorporated into the top of the pen – there is a barely-visible line when screwed down and this is the most significant engineering flaw I can find with the pen. It is German-made indeed. The cap clicks down solidly when attached although I’ve noticed that the clutch mechanism can ‘pop’ the cap off the back of the barrel when posted, which is annoying.
It’s a rather different writer to the Karas Kustoms’ Ink. It’s much wetter – even though they are both medium nibs, the Lamy lays down a much thicker line with much more ink in it than the, erm, Ink does. Fortunately, it also has a huge reservoir (a significant portion of the pen body) compared to the Ink and so still just about lasts the day. The nib definitely borders on bold – probably ought to have gone for a fine, but live and learn. It glides nicely over the page on a cushion of ink, making it a pretty smooth operator.
People generally don’t notice or comment on a person using a fountain pen, but when they do they often ask ‘why?’. They then look askance at me as I rave like a madman about how smooth the writing is, how a fountain pen makes every letter, phrase and word I write a quantum of joy, how it provokes me to take that tiny touch more care with every curve, every dot, every sweeping character, how using one makes the shadow of that most mundane of tasks – paperwork – a little brighter around the edges.
Or they would, if that’s actually what I said. What I actually say is “well, it’s just really nice to write with.” and if they’re really interested, that I never need to throw a pen away when I can just refill it.
Then I go back to my writing.