This is a big, stout pen. The cotton fiber resin makes it lighter than it looks and the large circumference gives it a lot of control. Fact is, I look for large pens and this is hefty around the middle.
The body is a flat black color, very discreet looking. It has a different kind of texture than Iím use to seeing. Maybe the word is porous. It feels right in the hand no matter how long itís held. It feels ďsoftĒ if you can picture that. I have had two sessions with it where Iíve written for an hour or more and my hand felt no sign of fatigue. I have found a good fit between a pen and my hand. And I think the balance is very good and I use it un-posted. The palladium fittings make this pen an eye pleaser. I feel it loses something when done with the gold. The pocket clip has the little roller on the end to ease pocketing and removal. It makes for a fun decorative fixture even if the pen sees no pocket time. The ring on the cap has a serpentine design with the Words OMAS and Italy struck so light I need my glasses on to see it. On the barrel end cap, thereís a man/woman outline of what I take to be the Bologna logo from the box. This sounds tacky but itís really not and doesnít take away from the aesthetics of the pen.
The Bologna is a cartridge/converter fed pen. I prefer cartridges at the moment but when I get more familiar with fountain pens and inks, Iíll switch to the converter. The Omas takes the international short cartridge, which now makes it generic, with more choices of inks from different manufacturers than from just the one pen company. A bonus if one chooses to just use the cartridges. The cartridge seats firmly but Iím not too wild about it being short. A trick I saw somewhere suggests keeping an additional cartridge piggybacked on top of the other inside the barrel. I have not used the converter but it takes a bit of gentle pressure to seat and remove and it has stamped on it, in the logo font, Omas. A nice touch, Iíve seen a few converters with no brand name on them. I think the Omas converter is also the best constructed converter Iíve seen to date. But proof is in using and Iíll report back when I try it.
The nib is 14 Kt gold with a rhodium mask, a Med, and is scaled well to match the size of the pen. It puts down an easy line with just a trace of tooth. This pen is an excellent writer. Itís a fine medium by my definition. It glides effortlessly across the page. I think the pen puts down a moderately wet line but doesnít soak the page. At this time Iím using the Paradise Pens brand ink cartridge in black and it seems to be a perfect combo for now. The nib seems to have some flex to it. Or maybe I mean itís not as stiff as the Japanese nibs. Although I heard a flex nib can be ordered from Omas as a special order, I doubt it came standard on this pen, being far from the top of the Omas line. Maybe itís me and not being use to this pen and weíll both settle down with more use.
The box is a slip top, lined with faux leather and thereís a suede lined pen sleeve included. The Bologna comes with more documentation than my last new vehicle. Nothing is left to chance here, six languages and line drawings get the owner up and running in minutes. With a nifty full color catalog too!
To sum up, I obviously like this pen a lot. I did a lot of research while considering it, reading customer remarks and the like. The cotton fiber and size turn a lot of people off on this one, but it made a strong favorable case in my selection process. Mostly, people were impressed with the Omas nib quality and writing experience and I have to agree with them. For the money, this is, in my opinion, a fine fountain pen and defiantly a keeper.
Edited by greencobra, 24 September 2006 - 04:07.