Lamy 2000

LAMY 2000 – Set / DEMAG

This is a guest post by Sebastian Becker:

Almost unimaginable today, but: Yes, there was a time when employees spent their entire working lives, from training to retirement, with just one employer. A time when companies lasted and sometimes outlasted whole generations. Corporations and conglomerates with which people associated a degree of identification that went beyond the purely professional.

There is no doubt that Duisburg DEMAG was one of these companies, which lasted from 1910 to 1973, with roots going back to 1819. DEMAG – a name that still means something to many people on the Rhine and Ruhr.

Those who had been associated with such a company for a long time were given a gift, a token of appreciation, on their work anniversary – after 25 and 40 years with the company – in addition to an extra month’s salary.

A famous example of this is SIEMENS; to this day, a very high-quality wristwatch from a German manufacturer is given to mark the anniversary: the Ludwig from NOMOS in the corresponding SIEMENS edition (one of the few companies in the present day that still has such long ties).

What is the exception today was the rule in post-war West Germany: high-quality gifts on anniversaries.

Recently, while walking through a flea market in Duisburg, I discovered just such an anniversary present: a beautiful, originally packaged, actually never used LAMY 2000 gift set, consisting of a piston fountain pen and a biro, both engraved with the DEMAG logo.My father spent his working life in the ThyssenKrupp Group. I remember that when I was a child – the 1990s! – writing instruments, often from LAMY, and also pocket knives (Victorinox) were often given away in a professional context. Whole drawers were filled with LAMY pens and miniature pocket knives. These “normal” promotional gifts often had an equivalent value of € 5.00-10.00; something like a LAMY 2000 was only given on very special occasions.

Back to the flea market in question: The seller himself was not the youngest – but too young to have worked at DEMAG himself. An heirloom from his father? Probably. Written on the box in sharpie: Black fountain pen, black biros” – the beautiful set, it ended up in some cupboard, a drawer, maybe even in the attic, as soon as it was received. A package with obvious contents, after all, the writing instruments are clearly pictured on it, and yet the previous owner felt called upon to note the contents again in full.

In the cupboard, in the drawer or in the attic, this box must have lain for decades until it was sold to me. Why were the writing instruments never used? Perhaps they were “too bad” (although one might argue that it was too bad just NOT to use them). Or maybe they were simply not appreciated and only “archived” because that was the way official gifts were made at that time.

DEMAG existed until 1973, after which some former subsidiaries continued to bear the name – but it is unlikely that the gift was made after 1973. The iconic LAMY 2000, designed by Gerd A. Müller, came onto the market in 1966. The guarantee on the nib until the year 2000 is noted in the set .

Also based on the old LAMY branding, I assume that this beauty falls exactly into that period – i.e. 1966-1973. A wonderful set. And – in more ways than one – a piece of German history.

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The Lamy exact – older than the Lamy 2000

Unfortunately work didn’t leave me much spare time so I didn’t get round to finishing the Cento3 graphene pencil blog post yet, but with the previous blog post here being four weeks old I thought it’s time for a quick ‘Bleistift is still alive’ post.

Today I want to show you a fifty year old advert for the Lamy exact and some other Lamy pens, including the Lamy 2000. At the time the Lamy 2000 was about five years old.

This advert is currently being sold on eBay and is listed as being from 1971.

I have translated the text for you:

You may be able to afford illegible handwriting, but not an unclean one.
Leave the cleanliness of your handwriting to LAMY exact. The ballpoint pen with the perfect technology and functional design.
Its large capacity refill with a stainless steel tip guarantees a problem-free 10,000 m writing line. With a single
refill you will write evenly and cleanly for at least a year.
Every time you click this refill ready for writing, it turns by 120 degrees. Like this it cannot be worn down on one side only, cannot blot, cannot smudge. Additionally, the ‘signal marker’ indicates whether the refill is extended.
In short, any advantage that is imaginable for a ballpoint pen – the LAMY exact has it. For an always clean and
exact handwriting.
You can find the LAMY exact range with large capacity refill in leading stationery stores.

In the price list the Lamy 2000 range is being referred to as ‘The manly range’. The more affordable Lamy design 20 range is being referred to as “The young range’.

For reference: In 1971 10 DM were equivalent to 3 US Dollars or £1.20.

According to Lamy’s history page the Lamy exact came out in 1964 and was Germany’s first ballpoint pen with a large capacity refill.

I plan to add information from this advert to’s Lamy page.

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D1 ≠ D1

Not everyone shares this opinion, not even everyone in my household, but I think gel refills are so much nicer than ballpoint refills. My holbein x Rotring 600 3 in 1 came with ballpoint refills, so it was a prime candidate for an upgrade: replacing the ballpoint refills with gel or hybrid refills. I had the idea after A.J. talked about the D1 refills in a comment on my video about this pen.

I started by consulting Ana’s refill guide to look for some nice refills.

The Epic Refill Reference Guide: Rollerball, Gel and Ballpoints

It didn’t take long to pick some cool stuff for my order, not only refills, also a new pen (the Jetstream Edge in white). To get free postage with my order I also picked a few more refills with the intention of improving my wife’s Lamy 2000 multipen (the original Lamy ballpoint refills often skip when you start writing).

The two patients of this operation: Lamy 2000 and holbein x Rotring 600 3 in 1

What did I order? Jetstream refills, I like them based on my positive experience with them from the Hobonichi pens and from my Jetstream 4 in 1. I also got some Zebra refills. I haven’t used them myself but bought them before to go with a pen I gave someone as a gift.

When trying to fit the Zebra refills into the Lamy 2000 there was big disappointment. They didn’t fit. A quick look at the end revealed that the Lamy refills are slightly slimmer. Maybe D1 isn’t quite as standardised as I thought. I have to admit though that I don’t have much D1 experience as I generally prefer pencils and fountain pens.

A quick check with the callipers revealed that there are minute differences in the diameter. The Lamy M21 diameter is 2.32 mm, the Zebra JSB 0.5 diameter is 2.36 mm. 0.04 mm (0.0016 inches) difference. I also measured the Uni SXR-200-07 which turned out to have a diameter of 2.33 mm. Even though the Zebra didn’t fit the Lamy 2000 I managed to squeeze it into the Rotring 600. That left me with the uni for the Lamy 2000. The refill is only 0.01 mm wider but that was enough the turn a relaxing Sunday drive refill with butterflies (and the Loving You song in the background) into a heavy metal squeeze fest (with some Rammstein song playing from a broken stereo) with thoughts in my head that the Lamy 2000 will crumble under all the pressure. In the end it did, luckily, work. According to my own refill guide the D1 diameter is 2.35 mm. Who would have thought a fraction of a millimetre makes such a difference…

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Refills* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)

Since I talked about Holbein: Radio 4’s book of the week happens to be about him: The King’s Painter: The Life and Times and Hans Holbein.

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The Lamy Horror Picture Show

Think of a random number between 1 and 1000.

No, really. Please do.

Ok, now multiply this number by 3 and remember it.

Well, imagine the shock I got when I recently had a closer look at my Lamy 2000.

Lamy 2000 exploded view
Cleaning my Lamy in expectance of the new ink

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is ‘Not shocked at all’ and ’10’ is censored because of the expletives uttered, the number representing my shock was slightly higher than the number I just asked you to remember.

It all started with me happily going about my daily business and cleaning my Lamy 2000 (with an EF nib) in expectance of a Robert Oster ink from Kirit Dal, one of Robert Oster’s UK resellers.

When an ink ‘stain’ at the front of the Lamy’s grip section didn’t want to disappear I had a closer look and after moving the end of my fingernail over the ‘stain’ I started to have an ominous suspicion. Not much later the aforementioned shock happened [1]Well, where are the smelling salts and the defibrillator when you need them..

You’d think I’m a broken man now, looking back at the excitement and fun I once experienced when using fountain pens, but not able to have any joy anymore going forward from now on. The reality is different. I’ve come to stoically accept that mark on the grip section as something that makes this Lamy 2000 different to all its anonymous siblings that left Lamy’s conveyor belt since 1966. It is something, together with a dent on its body, that makes this Lamy mine. Who knows, maybe deep down, in some illogical part of the brain, I might even be a tiny bit ‘proud’ that I have my own unique Lamy 2000 now…

I am sorry for showing you all these gory details, especially after just showing you horrific pencil mutilations in the previous blog post. I guess you might be more careful form now on, avoiding to look at my blog anymore while eating food.

In case you’ve been sick over your pen collection while looking at these gory photos: I’ve heard that baking soda might eliminate the odour, but I haven’t tried it myself yet.

I thought of combining this blog post with a look at the ink I was expecting, but I didn’t do it because I thought someone who doesn’t read carefully and only looks at the pictures might that the ink I was expecting caused the issue. To avoid this the Oster ink I was expecting (cleaning the pen to be ready for this ink) will be covered in a separate blog post.

I have a suspicion which previously used ink might have caused the issue, but as I am not sure it was really that ink I don’t want to mention the brand in this blog post.


1 Well, where are the smelling salts and the defibrillator when you need them.

The Lamy Horror Picture Show Read More »