Let's talk about what is probably the most controversial pen of the year: the Lamy 2000 50th anniversary 'Black Amber'!
But before we begin, a short intermezzo about 'preferences':
As every normal human being, I have preferences. In the pen scene, one of those preferences happens to be the brand Lamy. Their minimalist, simple design appeals to me, and I generally like how they write. But as I said that's just part of my personal preferences, I like the way their nibs write, others may hate them. I don't think we -bloggers in general- specify this enough, but your mileage may vary, different blogs will tell different stories because behind the blog is a normal person that just writes his or her opinion. I'm writing this now because I know that some people will not agree on my opinion about this pen, probably more so than with other reviews. Just keep the above in mind when you read this -and any other review for that matter! I might actually do a blog post about this later on because it seems quite a 'hot' topic within the pen community at the moment.
|The simple, but stylish presentation box, it comes with a bottle of Lamy Blue black ink|
Loooong before the first product pictures of the Black Amber were released, people speculated -en masse- about what it would or could end up looking like. Loads of thoughts passed the revue, some extravagant (gold everywhere, neon colors,...), others more conservative and in line with Lamy's design philosophy. I actually read some really good ideas on forums: all-titanium, brushed demonstrator macrolon,...
|A small and unobtrusive engraved '50' marks this anniversary edition. It's simple and unobtrusive, as we're used to from Lamy.|
But none of those things eventually turned out to be what Lamy went with. Don't get me wrong, I would've liked a titanium 2000, but the criticism I read online after the first product shots and the -admittedly quite high- price were released? Phew! Never judge a book by its cover I'd say. So I gave the Black Amber a chance to prove itself in real life.
And in person, it's totally unlike any of the product shots I had seen from Lamy. They went for a special galvanised coating over the regular Lamy 2000M, which has a matte satin finish instead of the usual brushed finish. The coating is indeed someting of a warm, greyish color, depending on the lighting conditions, so I can actually understand where they got the name from. My only gripe so far is that I don't know how durable this finish will be over prolonged use. So far it's still looks like new, but only time will tell how it holds up.
The surface of the pen is smooth and soft to the touch. It's slightly less tactile than the brushed finish, but that doesn't seem to make it more or less slippery than the macrolon or 2000M. An interesting property of the coating is that it picks up fingerprints very easily, which makes it appear darker. This is one of very few pens that I don't wipe all the time because I actually like the 'dirty' aged effect it creates.
It's of course still a lamy 2000 underneat, and apart from the finish it's nothing different from the steel 2000M. The clip and nib are still platinum coated, the nib is still 14k gold and is interchangeable with the other 2000 models. It's still the same trusty old pen, but in a new coat(ing). The choice of steel for the construction of this anniversary edition -even though the macrolon version is THE original- makes for a premium-feeling, luxurious pen, appropriate for celebrating Lamy's 50th birthday.
The Black Amber is, just like the 2000M, quite a heavy pen. As I said, the added weight makes for a more premium feel in the hand. When compared to the 2000 Macrolon, a lot of people find the steel and black amber too heavy, and the difference is indeed quite huge. Especially when capped, where the macrolon is super comfortable, the steel versions are imbalanced and unpleasant to use. Uncapped at 12.5cm, it's just the right length for me to be comfortable, and with 30 grams it's more reasonable in weight as well.
|Three of a kind. The same but different.|
For what it's worth: the Black Amber is Lamy's first ever numbered limited edition pen. This certainly adds some value to the pen, perceived value of course, but it's quite common practise to pay more for something exclusive. From this point of view, I can think of many pens and brands that ask much more for their limited editions. I think Lamy can hold their own in the limited edition market, it's just a big transition from what they used to focus on before with a collection of more affordable pens.
But now comes the really important question: Is it really worth the retail price of 495EUR/ 470USD? Probably not. A lot of pens in this price range are probably not really worth the money. But of course there's always an argument to be made for why buying that really expensive pen is justified (You just really need it, right?). For me it's worth the money because of a mixture of exclusivity and personal emotional value (It's the brand that got both me and my dad started into collecting pens!), so it made sense to get their anniversary pen to complete the collection. If you just want a Lamy 2000 to write with, the regular macrolon and steel versions will definitely offer a better value for you.
Note: Penworld Supports this blog. I received a discount on this purchase, so I could write this review. I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared here are completely my own. This review does not contain any affilate links.