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Omas Bologna L'acqua Rollerball Review
Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:20
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.
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. 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!
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!
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. 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.
Posted 18 March 2012 - 03:49
Posted 18 March 2012 - 08:16
I hope I don't come across the corresponding fountain pen, I might have to sell another kidney to indulge myself
Posted 19 March 2012 - 00:19
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.