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Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil 8

Welcome to my blog post about the Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil, which was provided for free by The Pen Company. This blog post has also been published on their blog.


50 years of the Lamy 2000

The Lamy 2000 was first released in 1966 so this year is its 50th anniversary – and after several special editions covering materials like grenadill wood, ceramic, titanium, and more, we can expect a new special edition in 2016. I went ahead and compiled a list of the special editions so far, which can be seen at the still unnamed pen wiki. I checked with the company that handles the launch of the 50 years Lamy 2000 special edition. They checked with Lamy and I was told that the list is complete. I wonder whether someone has all of them. Maybe the person who bought the Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson special edition in red?



The material

It’s still not clear how the special edition will look, but however it looks, the ‘normal’ edition is stunning in itself. The main body is made from Makrolon (polycarbonate) and the surface is brushed, which means that use over time will slowly start to polish the surface and it will become shinier. This reminds me very much of Lexikaliker’s ‘beauty through use’ post (Translation / Original). It is a beautiful concept and idea and just one of the things I love about the Lamy 2000.

The surface of the Lamy 2000 in the middle changed after years of use.

The surface of the Lamy 2000 in the middle changed after years of use.

The Lamy 2000 Fountain pen

Even though I’ve been using Lamy (Safari) fountain pens since the 1980s, I only bought my first Lamy 2000 fountain pen in 2008. The most expensive fountain pen I had before that was probably a Parker, which was less than half the 2000’s price. Before I bought it I was looking at the 2000 pen for several months before I decided that it’s worth the €89.95(~$102; £72) it cost back then, and in the end I got this pen as a Christmas gift that year from my wife. It’s a great pen! After I got it, it was the only fountain pen I used for a very long time. One unusual thing about my 2000 fountain pen is the enormous ink flow you get if you start using a bit of force. The M nibbed one I have is like this, but I wouldn’t know whether all Lamy 2000 in M are like that. Well, I liked this pen so much that I bought an EF version a bit later, mainly because of the fairly big line variation I got from my version in M.

Lamy 2000 fountain pen and mechanical pencil

Lamy 2000 fountain pen and mechanical pencil

Even today, after Lamy has increased their prices a few times, they provide excellent value for money. You won’t find many piston fillers with a gold nib for the price the Lamy 2000 fountain pen sells for – and you’ll find even fewer fountain pens as handsome as the Lamy 2000, especially not for this price.

The Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil

The Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil

The Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil

Well, technically it’s not really the 50th anniversary of the Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil; even though the fountain pen was released in 1966 the mechanical pencil was only added in 1970 (and the ballpoint pen in 1968).

Despite loving wood-cased and mechanical pencils, and despite the good reviews out there, I hadn’t had the pleasure of using a Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil until I got one from The Pen Company in January 2016.




My first impressions: the Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil was much lighter than expected. I know these numbers won’t mean much to most readers, but in case you want to compare it to another pen, here are the vitals: The length of the pen is just under 14cm, with the thickest part of the barrel having a diameter of 12mm. The weight is just under 19g. The centre of gravity is very much in the middle as you can see from the picture where the 2000 is balanced on a type.

What a well-balanced pencil!

What a well-balanced pencil!

Look and Feel

One of the other things I noticed first was that the Lamy 2000 pencil is much slimmer than the Lamy 2000 fountain pen version. As I was used to the thickness of the fountain pen version I did initially find the mechanical pencil too slim, but by now I like it the way it is. The clip has a similar design as the fountain pen, but again, is slimmer. This is a good thing as many users of mechanical pencils will rotate them in their hand, so a slimmer clip makes it less obtrusive when it rests on the purlicue between the thumb and index finger. You’ll still notice the clip in your hand though, because the corners are not rounded – the clip is still quite noticeable and can even be distracting.

The clip

The clip

If you write using a fairly acute angle, i.e. if you hold the pencil very flat, the pencil’s body can still be too wide, especially when writing near the spine in a notebook where the pages don’t lie flat. In that case, the body of the pen can touch the paper, making writing difficult – but this issue doesn’t usually occur.

The grip section

The grip section

The good thing about the cap is that it fits quite firmly on the pen and there is no danger of it falling off by mistake. I mention this because the cap of the my Caran d’Ache 844 is quite loose and can come off easily.



Speaking of the cap: the 5 on the cap seems to be laser etched, similar to what you get on some keyboards, so I don’t expect the 5 to rub off anytime soon.




This is a great mechanical pencil. I am sure I will enjoy it for many years to come. Since I got it, it has been my most used mechanical pencil.

The fountain pen and the mechanical pencil – easy to distinguish in your shirt pocket

The fountain pen and the mechanical pencil – easy to distinguish in your shirt pocket

Price: 2008

Exchange rates: April 2016

I would like to thank The PenCompany for providing this pen free of charge for this review.

You can find more about the origins of the Lamy 2000 design on the Fountain Pen Network.

Dave has a review of the Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil too.

If you like the Lamy 2000, have a look at the Lamy Scribble, as well.



Noris & Co 2

IMG_1336A manly Noris

Well, I guess this is proof that the Noris is a very manly pencil, assuming that wood work is manly:

I saw this book in my local supermarket and spotted that the Noris is playing an important part.



A Hobonichi Tradition

Nice to see the Staedtler Tradition being featured in the latest Hobonichi video

You can see more at


A cineatic Noris

There also a cinema ad for the Noris, unfortunately it’s for the Noris Colour, not for the Noris graphite pencil



I also noticed that Monocle magazine, mentioned previously, has a penmanship supplement. Unfortunately there isn’t much there except a nice big photos showing a few pens, most of them expensive.


A Noris Print and Egg

Since we’ve been talking about the Noris, have a look at this Noris print from the Well -Appointed Desk

…or this Noris Easter Egg from Lexikaliker.


A graphite Pac-Man

…and for all fans of graph paper and classic video games: The original notebook sketches for Pac-Man.

More Mongols 2

Eberhard Faber Mongol pencils at the surrender in Reims (Image © probably Pathé News)

Eberhard Faber Mongol pencils at the surrender in Reims (Image © probably Pathé News)

Well, there are not many blog posts about vintage pencils here, but thanks to Henrik’s comments here’s a quick follow up on the previous blog post and the Mongol.

Eberhard Faber Mongol pencils at the surrender in Reims (Image © probably Pathé News)

Eberhard Faber Mongol pencils at the surrender in Reims (Image © probably Pathé News)

The Mongol is the pencil that was used for taking notes at the surrender in Reims (ending WWII in Europe), while the Parker 51 was used to sign the actual documents.

Eberhard Faber Mongol pencils at the surrender in Reims (Image © probably Pathé News)

Eberhard Faber Mongol pencils at the surrender in Reims (Image © probably Pathé News)

If you want to have a closer look at these pencils: Sean has a blog post about the Mongols made in 1944, near the height of U.S. production for the Second World War.

Eberhard Faber Mongol pencils at the surrender in Reims (Image © probably Pathé News)

Preparing the Eberhard Faber Mongol pencils for the surrender in Reims (Image © probably Pathé News)

I believe that the use of the image shown in this blog post, falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

More Mongols:

Lexikaliker has a nice Mongol ad from the 1920s and on Sola’s blog you can admire some of the Mongol’s great packaging.

…and just earlier this week Jinnie had a look at the Mongol 482

There also more Mongol spotting going on at Orange Crate Art, actually so much that I only picked one to link to. Michael has some great Mongol ads, too. This one is on my wall in the office.


Muji’s pencils 3

This week I had a quick look at Manchester’s Muji store, where I found wood cased pencils and a desktop pencil sharpener.

Manchester used to have a bigger Muji store, but it closed down, maybe about ten years ago. We now only have a smaller Muji store in Selfridges.

Manchester’s Muji didn’t have these pencils and the sharpener earlier this year1, but it could be that bigger stores were stocking these products for a while already.

Muji's pencils and sharpener

Muji’s pencils and sharpener

I didn’t buy them, just because Japanese pencils in HB can be to soft for my style of writing (I want a fine point that lasts) and for the kind of paper I use (normal paper). An example of this would be Tombow’s Drawing pencil in HB. I thought Muji’s 2B pencils are most likely too soft for me so I didn’t want to buy them and then end up not using them.

The pens left of the pencils seem very similar to OHTO Tasche pens.

  1. They used to sell wood cased coloured pencils, though. []

Faber-Castell Columbus 16

Faber-Castell Columbus

Today: Faber-Castell’s Columbus pencil, which you might remember from Contrapuntalism’s blog post about the Columbus’ catalogue number.

Last October1 I bought a dozen Columbus in HB for £6.98 including postage from eBay (~$10.10; €9). I like pencils with a theme, and with the Columbus theme and the little ship printed on the pen this pencil doesn’t disappoint2.

Faber-Castell Columbus


The Columbus did have many different article numbers since it was first released. It’s current number is 2103 (the six digit number is 113100) and even though it survived it is only officially available in Ireland where it is actually distributed by Tom Martin and Company Limited, the Irish agents for Faber-Castell, not by Faber-Castell directly.

Faber-Castell Columbus

Faber-Castell in Ireland

(Image © Irish Examiner)

(Image © Irish Examiner)

In 1954 Roland Graf von Faber-Castell3 set up a factory in Fermoy in Ireland4. In the 1960s the factory was expanded further. This factory is where the Faber-Castell Columbus was being made until the factory closed down in 1990. Similar pencils where made there, too, like the (pre-)Bonanza seen at Contrapuntalism. It looks as if Ireland got so used to the Columbus pencil and as if there was still a demand for this pencil, so after the factory in Fermoy closed down Faber-Castell started making the pencil elsewhere. Tom Martin is now distributing it to satisfy national demand.

Faber-Castell Columbus

In its life the Columbus has been made in many different places: the USA, Ireland, Franconia (Bavaria). I am not sure where the current Columbus is made, the box and the pencil don’t have a “Made in” imprint, but if I was a betting man I would say they’re from Indonesia, where the Bonanza and the Goldfaber are being made.

Faber-Castell Columbus


The packaging features an EcoPencil sign, something Faber-Castell is using to highlight some of their environmentally friendly pencils, but there doesn’t seem to be a definite criteria needed to get this Faber-Castell stamp of eco approval. Some Brazilian pencils with this stamp are FSC certified, but the Columbus isn’t . Instead the Columbus has PEFC certification (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes). Another  reason why the Columbus got the EcoPencil sign is its more eco friendly varnish.

Faber-Castell Columbus


The Columbus delivers solid performance, as expected from Faber-Castell. The line is very similar to what you would get from a Bonanza and from a Goldfaber. This pencil is nice and pleasant to write with. Like many Faber-Castell pencils it feels a bit harder and lighter than the same grade from other manufacturers like Staedtler, so depending on your taste you might want to buy this pencils in a slightly softer grade.

This blog post has been brought to you by the Columbus 2103 and Cyrano Jones - tribble merchant. Buy one, get ten free. Surplus quadrotriticale bought.

Price: October 2015

Exchange rates: February 2016

I’d like to thank Róisín Fleming from Tom Martin and Company Limited for the information about the EcoPencil label.

You can find more photos from Faber-Castell in Fermoy (including photos of Roland Graf von Faber-Castell)  at the Faber-Castell album on the Fermoy Facebook page.

I believe that the use of the image from from the Irish Examiner, shown in this blog post, falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.



  1. A fitting month to buy a Columbus pencil. []
  2. …but using the article bumber 1492 instead of 2103 would make it even better []
  3. The father of Anton-Wolfgang Graf von Faber-Castell ..and nine other children. []
  4. see p.42, Faber-Castell anniversary magazine 1761-2011; p. 110 Das Bleistiftschloss []