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Omas Bologna L'acqua Rollerball Review

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5 replies to this topic

#1 Braindrain



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Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:20

I've recently been in receipt of a new Omas Bologna rollerball in blue/green colour, or what Omas calls "l'Acqua". However, here's the story behind the purchase. I'm an avid mechanical watch collector and was flipping through my current issue of WatchTime. Now, this magazine always has a fountain pen review but there was a particular pen review that really, really just caught my eye. Edison pens were featured and there was a great story behind the company. More importantly, I thought the pen pictured (a limited edition urushi, I think) was just gorgeous. So, I do a bit of an internet search, and wind up on FPN. From watch collecting, I knew the best thing to do was wait awhile and just read up on all the different reviews and opinions. Before long, I had come to a conclusion of what I liked - a ballpoint or rollerball (for the work practicality aspect) but in "creative colours". Looking around, I had decided on either the Visconti Van Gogh or the Delta Dolce Vita - both very popular pens.

So, fast forward to the pen shop. I had dropped my Mont Blanc (BP) a while ago and there was a crack in the cap. Man, those things are brittle! (But, that's a different story.) I give it to the pen shop to send to Mont Blanc to replace (which MB did a great job, BTW) and thought I'd just browse a bit. They did have all the Visconti Van Goghs on display so I decided to spend some time looking at them. While very nice, something just 'nagged' at me. As a result, I spent some time looking around and BAM! They had the Omas Bologna on display (in the l'Acqua colour) and I immediately fell in love with it. Doing my best to fight off an impulse purchase, I return to the office/home to do a bit of research.

As these are luxury items, and with watch experience, I knew the feeling when you just find something unexpected and it just makes you feel "better" than all the others. I decided to purchase from Bry over at Pentime and the deal was done. It's worth mentioning that I actually bought 2 pens from Bry and had an issue with 1 of them. Bry handled this like a gentleman should. So, a big shout out to Bry and a vote of confidence for others if they're thinking of buying from him.

So, with all that build up, here's my review.

First Impressions - The boxes were quite impressive. the interior cover of the internal box reads "Italian Creativity, History, Craftsmanship. The Pleasure of Writing." The pen itself came in a case and was wrapped in celophane with a QC sticker on it. Nice to see the spend the time to do that. Under the celophane, I saw the colours of the pen that just drew me to it.

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Appearance & Design - 10/10 - As a pen newbie, I don't quite know all the names for the pen designs but it does seem more "modern" to me. I like that it's not cigar-shaped and the "Omas" ring where the cap screws on to the body. The colour, of course, is very modern. There is quite a deep richness to the l'Acqua colour that kept me staring at it for a long time. The l'Acqua colour is supposed to be reminiscent of the water around Bologna. While I've been to Italy a few times, I've never been to Bologna so I'll have to take their word for it. There's also a purple variant to this pen, but I thought the blue colour scheme just kept it manly enough. :lol: I believe it's made of resin but am not sure exactly what type. At work, where I've used it about a week, everyone just keeps staring at my new pen and one person just reached for it. Boy, that's a no-no!

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Construction & Quality - 9/10 - The pen is very well made. It feels solid, screws on well, and the resin doesn't look cheap. There is a good weight to it and it just feels "balanced" when posted. At the tip of the pen, there's a picture of Bologna's famous "porticoes", as per the website. I was very happy to see the rollerball refill was a standard 8126 so I'm not completely stuck to using an Omas refill. I actually dropped the cap once onto my carpeted office floor. However, it did bang around the desk a few times before dropping. Based on my experience with MB, I was expecting the worst. However, there were no marks on it at all. Disaster averted!

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Weight & Dimensions - 9/10 - As mentioned earlier, it's not a light pen but it's also not heavy. I'd say it's nicely balanced. As for size, I don't have the exact dimensions but it's almost identical to the Visconti Van Gogh maxi. It fits my hand well and my hand doesn't fatigue when I write my chicken scratch during meetings.

Nib & Performance - n/a - Since it's a rollerball, I can't really rate it. However, the Omas rollerball refill writes a good and even fine line and doesn't blotch up at any time. It's quite a pleasure to use.

Filling System & Maintenance - n/a - Again, since it's a rollerball, I can't rate it.

Cost & Value - 9/10 - I bought it off Bry from Chatterley/Pentime. The MSRP is $275 ($290 in Canada) and I got it for $190 + shipping. That's an excellent deal, IMO.

Conclusion (Final score - 6/6) - I'm giving this a perfect score. I was after a well-made rollerball that would have a design to reflect my creative side without being gaudy. I think this pen does that well. In fact, it's an absolute pleasure to use and my MB is now sitting, unloved, in my drawer. :embarrassed_smile: Originally, I was thinking of spending around $200 and thought this pen was out of my price range. I was pleasantly surprised. Would I sell this pen? Never say never, but I really have no intention or reason to do that.

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#2 empyrean


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Posted 18 March 2012 - 03:49

Nice review! I've seriously been considering a rollerball. Something I would not have considered last year; but a nicely made pen, smooth writer, and a pen that doesn't have to find its "favorite ink" :rolleyes: would be nice to have in my stable of fountain pens, some of which can be finicky at times...downright divas :roflmho: .
empyrean Conklin,Stipula Pyrite, Bon Voyage & Tuscany Dreams Siena, Levengers, Sailor 1911,Pelikan M200, Bexley BX802, AoLiWen Music Notes pen, Jinhao's,1935 Parker Deluxe Challenger, 1930s Eversharp Gold Seal RingTop, 1940s Sheaffer Tuckaway, 1944 Sheaffer Triumph, Visconti Van Gogh midi, Esties!(SJ, T, and J),Cross Townsend Medalist & Aventura, 1930s Mentmore Autoflow, A bunch of Conway-Stewarts 84, Platinum 3776 Chartres Blue(med); Montegrappa Elmo (broad nib), Delta "The Journal" (med nib), Conklin Yellowstone (med nib)

#3 olivier78860


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Posted 18 March 2012 - 08:16

This is a very beautiful pen, congrats on the purchase !
I hope I don't come across the corresponding fountain pen, I might have to sell another kidney to indulge myself ;)

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#4 Horseknitter



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Posted 19 March 2012 - 00:19

I bought the fountain pen in this material by Omas. Love it! Good writer. Like to us Noodler's Navaho Turquoise. I'm sure you and your pen will be a long and satisfying relationship.

#5 Joly



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Posted 26 October 2013 - 20:29

It's a great pen, I've got the fountainpen and it writes so smoothly.

Cleaning is bno problem and it never skips or won't start writing.

Please visit my blog to read my ink and pen reviews (and more) http://ladyfangtasia.wordpress.com/

#6 cruise



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Posted 27 October 2013 - 18:52

nice pen, however fp might be more fun to write with

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