Here is a brief overview of the pen. There is a link at the end to the full version on my blog. Please note that while the review is on the 50th Anniversary model of the Scala, it also applies to all other models (aside from the nib part for the steel nibbed versions).
The Scala is often overlooked. Part of the problem is that Lamy alone have a number of other pens that rival it, all cheaper. This includes the ever popular Studio.
Appearance & Design
This is a smart looking pen following the Bauhaus design philosophy. It is deceptively simple in appearance, but at the same time rather smart and classical looking. The chromed components work well with the rest of the body, though at the same time they do prove to be fingerprint magnets. The cap snaps on/off with a satisfying click and can be posted, though this moves the balance point too far to the rear for my liking, however the pen is longer than it first appears, so for many this will not be an issue.
Construction & Quality
The pen is made of steel, with the finial and grip sections being chromed over. My pen has seen a fair bit of abuse over it's time of use and I've not seen any scratches or chips appear. The balance point feels like it is about half way along the barrel, which works very well for me. The one downside for me was the tines of the nib were slightly misaligned. Only noticeable on some strokes in one direction, but still annoying on a pen where the nib is manually tested.
Weight & Dimensions
Being a steel pen, it is not light, but at the same time I do not consider it to be heavy. With the long, gently nib tapered section, and the point of balance I find I can comfortably use this pen for long periods of time.
Nib & Performance
As mentioned above, the tines were very slightly out of alignment. Easy to fix, but annoying. Once sorted then the pen became very pleasant to use. In typical Lamy gold nib fashion the writing experience is slightly springy, buttery soft, and on the wet side. The fine nib produces a line closer to a western steel medium.
Filling System & Maintenance
This is the standard Lamy system. All Scala pens (in the UK at least) come with a converter. This model came with a 50ml bottle of blue ink instead of the ubiquitous cartridge. The Lamy system is reliable, well known, and in the event of a converter failure, cheap.
Cost & Value
This is where it gets interesting. From what I can tell, Scala sales suffer as the pen is about 30% more than the Studio, which it both rivals and pre-dates it. With the latter being popular, this also affects take up. I actually feel the Scala is the superior pen and while more expensive, the extra cost is worth it. When you get to models with gold nibs, the percentage difference is a lot less and I personally think the look and feel of the pen suit the gold nib more and would actually recommend this pen. As to the Glacier version I reviewed. Like all the other Lamy 50th Anniversary edition pens, there was an additional price hike. Fortunately, unlike on the 2k, most shops seemed to discount it back down to the price of the other gold nibbed special editions.
This is an often over-looked pen, and from threads else where there is a split in views as to which is the better pen, the Scala or the Studio. I much prefer the former and have considered getting another (probably one of the annual editions), where as I'm not looking to get a second studio despite the appeal of the recent colour choices (a Scala in British Racing Green would appeal me). Certainly this is a pen I'm happy to recommend to others.
My full write up can be found at: