At the tail end of 2018 Lamy brought out a limited edition set that was available only in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. The only official way to purchase it was through the official Lamy shops and the local Lamy websites (which also confirmed the postal addresses were in the three areas so you could not order from another country – as a friend of mine tried to do). The limited edition set was a Safari with desk stand, pencil case, and extras, celebrating and licensed by Pokemon.
The Scala is an often overlooked pen in the Lamy range, as at launch it competed with the Studio, and in more recent times, with the LX and Aion. Price wise it is the most expensive of the bunch, both in standard steel nib form, in addition to the gold nibbed special/limited editions. I actually purchased this pen before any of its rivals in February 2017, first being attracted to its looks, then finding the pen in a sale at a good price. While the review here is for the specific model, much applies to all versions of the Scala fountain pen, and virtually all to the other gold nibbed versions.
The model is part of the range of limited editions created for the 50th anniversary celebration of Lamy. At the time there was criticism of the cost of the dark amber 2000 model and the higher pricing seemed to filter down as this pen was around £10-20 more than comparable Scala models at launch. Over time the prices started to come down to around £165, the more normal price then for a gold nibbed Scala (steel ones were and still are about £85).
When I started thinking about which pen to review next, little did I think it would be a recent purchase which I had been looking at, half-heartedly, for a few years. Additionally, the pen itself is a contradiction in design and hard to identify what market it is targeting.
Lamy is in an odd position. Despite bringing in a different industrial designer for each pen model they release, and the emphasis on following the Bauhaus design principals, to most people they are know for two pens. The low end stalwart of the school/first fountain pen market, the Safari (covering also the Al-Star and Vista variants), and the design icon, the 2000, considered by many outside of our hobby, a high end pen and a one time purchase. Also not helping is the wide array of models below the ‘2k’. The similar CP1, Logo, LineA, and ST, along with the Accent, Aion, Studio, and Scala, can make people forget that Lamy also produce higher products, chief of which is the Imporium.