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Orium Major No. 100

orium wyvern student pen button filler

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21 replies to this topic

#1 Flounder

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 19:19

Here's a review of a vintage Orium Major no.100, by the Wyvern Pen Company. This is a pen I know next to nothing about.
 
OriumMajor100withspecs.jpg
 
Lol - is anyone still reading? I bought the Orium for three reasons; the attractive celluloid, the Greek key cap band, and what *appeared* to be the original nib.

The first two were as they appeared in the photos. The celluloid is like some sort of alien camouflage from a more vibrant world. The Greek key cap band is my first, and its severity contrasts wonderfully against the celluloid's chaotic earth tones.
 
OriumMajor100cap.jpg
 
 
Seeing the nib for the first time, however, was a hoot - a real face-palm moment. I had assumed the few letters I could discern in the auction photos to spell "Orium". Nope! It's a folded-tip Osmiroid 35 nib. Hah!
 
OriumMajor100Osmiroid35nib.jpg
 
 
With my self-satisfaction duly laughed out of the room, I spun the barrel around, to check the state of the lever, and instead met with a surprise. No lever! Wow, I really did my research this time around. It's a button filler.

Appearance
During cursory pre-purchase research of the Orium brand, a post by Garnet here on FPN was particularly helpful, explaining that they were Wyvern's mid-level school pens (Wyvern being recognisable to me in a small way, their 'wyvern shooting flames out its maw' logo being fairly memorable).

I've taken a photo of the 100 next to a modern school pen, the Lamy Vista, because I find the juxtaposition hilarious. If hypnotic celluloid and Greek key cap bands were a prerequisite of school pens back in the day, well, I say they were on to something! I've taken indoor and outdoor shots to hopefully show how the finish looks in different lighting conditions.
 
Outdoor:
 
OriumMajor100withLamyVista.jpg
 
 
Indoor:
 
OriumMajor100032.jpg
 
OriumMajor100028.jpg
 
I'm fond of bold imprints, and the more grandiloquent, the better, so the Orium gets gets high readings on my affectation-o-meter. Utterly unnecessary, of course, but it makes me feel like handwriting was endearingly important to these people. I like that.
 
On the meh side, the tab-style clip is quite crude compared to the rest of the pen. I'm not sure if the Orium deserves opprobrium here; this uneven area to the side might be due to damage suffered during the Orium's long years rather than bad stamping.
 
OriumMajor100clipflaw.jpg

 
Functionality
I've found the Orium comfortable in the hand, I've included (outdoor) shots of the Orium next to a Parker 51 and Duofold AF for scale.

As a celluloid pen, it's lightweight, which is to my taste for longer writing sessions. The section is that comfortable flare - ended cylinder my hand favours (though I would prefer it to be longer), and is made of black hard rubber, warm to the touch and grippy.

OriumMajor100withParker51vacumatic.jpg
 
 
OriumMajor100withParkerDuofoldAF.jpg
 
The humble, folded tip Osmiroid nib is surprisingly smooth and soft, its long tines make it very easy to see where the ink is going too. A BHR feed - which extends a surprising length into the ink sac - makes for ample ink flow. It's all nicely set up, and good enough to make me curious as to how well the Orium's original nib wrote.
 
OriumMajor100writingsample.jpg

The tabbed clip feels quite weak, I think its clipping days are over. It stops the cap rolling off a desk well enough.
 
Filling the pen is straightforward, and the button is easily worked one handed. The BHR blind cap only engages the last few turns of the barrel threads, so I have to be considerate of the pen's age when screwing it back in place.


Ease of Servicing
I've decided to including this as a category, as it can influence decision in an eBay vintage purchase context.
The Orium Major 100 is a button filler. Fresh buttons, pressure bars, and ink sacs are inexpensive and widely available if replacement is necessary, so no problems there. The barrel unscrews from the section on a standard lefty loosey thread too. As the ink is kept away from the barrel to section threads, they had never seen sealant, so safely came apart with a little heat.

I think I prefer a button filler in a neglected celluloid pen, in servicing terms. Perished, rock hard ink sacs are pretty common in these oldies. In a button filler, there's less scope for knock-on problems to fix. The button just won't move much (in fact, this one was seized solid, rusted into place).

Buy a lever filler with the same hardened ink sac scenario, and someone in the intervening years might have bruteforced a bend in the lever, the removal of which is more of a risk and hassle.

I'll write a short blog post on servicing the pen soon, are there were a couple of neat surprises I thought interesting enough to explore in more detail.

Conclusion
I bid on the Orium out of ignorance and curiosity, and found it to have a lot of appealing qualities.
 
There was no real drama getting the ink flowing again, the pen has its charms, and I just plain enjoy the use of it (that's the closest I'm going to get to a 'score'... It's made me curious enough about Wyvern to learn more about the brand; I've since seen similar offerings with the same clip, Greek key cap bands with further rings above and below (very nice!) trellis-style cap bands, and the like. I have found one eBay listing of an Orium with original nib, which looked fairly conventional.

Edited by Flounder, 16 February 2015 - 19:39.

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#2 sombrueil

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 20:40

Lovely pen, great write up. Gosh I love that celluloid pattern.



#3 rezwrrd

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 20:49

Sweet pen!

 

Reminds me of my Summit S100, which also came with an Osmiroid 35 nib. I bought it partially on the naïve assumption that the nib would be interchangeable with my Osmiroid 65, and partially because of the purple snakeskin celluloid. Pens on your side of the pond had some great celluloid patterns.


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#4 linearM

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 21:19

The celluloid pattern reminds me of the grey shell pattern and cap band on my Wahl Doric. I imagine they are of the same vintage.  You have a beautiful pen.  Enjoyed your review.



#5 Flounder

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 23:15

I would love a Doric some day! I have a couple of Summit S125s, I really like their green forest-floory celluloid. 

 

How do you find the Osmiroid 35 nib, rezwrrd?


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#6 rezwrrd

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 05:48

Whoops! I got the number wrong. It's an S175, it's "magenta", and it's "lizard" skin. (According to http://www.summit.ch.../section108.php)

 

I didn't get much of a chance to use it, I'm afraid. The tines were bent outward as if into a broad point, which still wrote surprisingly well but made starting difficult. When I tried to bend them back one of the tines snapped off. :crybaby:  I tried looking for a replacement, but you know what happens when you go on eBay looking for an "Osmiroid"... I stuck in a Velvet Point spoon nib and continued writing with it. If the S175's inner cap wasn't cracked up, I'd probably be using it in daily rotation.


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#7 Steven Mellemans

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 20:57

Beautiful story. I recently required one just like yours, but are you sure the section thread is left? Mine is right handed. I am looking forward to your follow up story. Regards, Steven.



#8 Flounder

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 17:51

Beautiful story. I recently required one just like yours, but are you sure the section thread is left? Mine is right handed. I am looking forward to your follow up story. Regards, Steven.

 

Hi Steven, the section threading is standard "right handed" threading. You turn it anticlockwise to loosen, hence "lefty-loosey righty tighty". I would love to see a photo of yours, does it have the original nib?


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#9 Dr. Saleem Ali

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 20:21

Beautiful vintage ,really enjoyable ! Congrats ! 



#10 Steven Mellemans

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 16:44

Yes.  Now I get it J.  English is not my native language you know. 
My pen seems to have the original nib, but....  The nib is not in a good condition.  There seems to be a lot of corrosion and the gold colour is partially gone.  In the middle you can see a tiny black dot and it looks and feels like deep pitting corrosion.  I still have to disassemble the nib and feed but I took a picture for you in the state she’s in.  You will notice the typical Belgium weather
J

 

IMG_4431_2.JPG



#11 Flounder

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 19:59

Thanks Steven, I really like the trellis style cap band on yours. Interesting too to see the original nib used a diamond shaped breather hole!

 

Here's something to watch out for: if you're reusing the original pressure bar, reuse the original filler button too!

 

I was going to swap out my 2-prong button for a modern 4 prong replacement, as it was heavily corroded - actually seized in place, on receipt of the pen.

 

However! While the external dimensions are exactly the same, the ceiling height inside for the pressure bar is not the same. i can't remember if it is lower or higher, but replacing the button forces you to alter or replace the original pressure bar.

 

I used autosol metal polish with cut cotton buds on a dremel style tool to polish up the bar and button. This way, they look clean, function properly, and preserve the pen's original character better, in a "ship of Theseus" kind of a way.

 

Orium%20Major%20100%20filler%20button%20

 

 

Once I saw the button hidden under the rust, I could see that what I thought at first to be quite crude was in fact quite nicely made indeed.


Edited by Flounder, 26 July 2015 - 20:03.

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#12 Steven Mellemans

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 18:03

Thank you for the insight, Flounder.  I was contemplating to get a new pressure bar and reuse the original filler button.  You saved me from this mishap.  I’ll revive the pressure bar and see how this goes.  The nib is going to be something else.  There is an annoying pit between the tines. You could not see it on the picture.  I reduced the 5MB resolution a bit too enthusiastically. However, If you liked the diamond shaped breather hole, you might be in for a surprise.  Check out the close-up from the nib. 

I think it is time for me to start and remove the feed and nib now.  If I succeed without breaking it, I’ll order a new sac and some polish materials.

 

 

Attached Images

  • W100-nib-4.jpg


#13 Flounder

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 18:40

Thank you for the insight, Flounder.  I was contemplating to get a new pressure bar and reuse the original filler button.  You saved me from this mishap.  I’ll revive the pressure bar and see how this goes.

 

 

Steven, I think the language barrier and my natural inarticulateness is a problem here. I meant:

 

Old button with old pressure bar = works

New button with old pressure bar = problem

 

A new pressure bar with the old button should work fine as you will likely be adjusting the generic new bar to suit the pen anyway.

 

The nib (I can see the pit spot now) on your pen is very interesting, and not at all like the other Orium nib I saw in another eBay auction. Is it some sort of gold washed steel flex nib, with that cresecent breather and long tines? Looking at all those right angles, I'm surprised it has lasted so well!!


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#14 Steven Mellemans

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 19:08

No no, I understood.  I’m using the original pressure bar and button.  I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t figure this out myself.  The new pressure bares I found on the net look virtually identical and it didn’t even occur to me that diameter and length could be an issue.
The nib is as I received it. Well, almost, I rinsed it with plain water and dried it with a paper towel.  No polishing or scratching of any sort.  I dip tested it and it wrote. So, fingers crossed.



#15 Flounder

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 19:44

Steven, new pressure bars *are* virtually identical, and generally available in 2 sizes, 6.6 and 8.4 cm. I can't remember which the Orium took - measure the old one first. Then cut it to the same length as the old one, and round off the sharp edges to get a smooth shape at the bottom - you can see this in your picture about.


Edited by Flounder, 27 July 2015 - 19:44.

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#16 Flounder

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 00:27

I've just remembered the other mild servicing surprise - the section's shaft for the feed was quite offset from centre.

 

I took this to be by design, as it's quite pronounced. The only reason I can think of is to leave a dedicated space for the pressure bar.

 

Orium%20Major%20100%20Section%20Eccentri

 

I didn't want to risk knocking out the feed until I found/ started looking for a proper tipped replacement nib, but as you are knocking yours out Steven, if your section has the same eccentricity cut into it , I would consider orientating the nib and feed parallel to the sac, so the nib is not off to the left or right of the section as you hold it.

 

ps - I found this image I saved from the last Orium auction I saw with an original nib:

 

Attached Images

  • Orium nib.jpg

Edited by Flounder, 29 July 2015 - 00:30.

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#17 mehandiratta

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 10:25

love the pattern and love the pen... m sure it was a worthy catch


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#18 peterg

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 14:39

The Orium was the bottom end of the Wyvern range with steel nibs but, like a lot of the bottom end pens, a lot of effort went into making them visually interesting - compare with the interesting celluloids used by Platignum at the same time. Overall a very nice fourth tier pen.

 

Rez, your S175 is a much more up market pen. It should have a gold Summit or First Quality Warrented nib, not a cheap Osmiroid steel nib



#19 sannidh

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 14:42

Loved your review..Thanks !!


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#20 Steven Mellemans

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 21:19

I knocked the feed out, just before your post about your feed.  Mine was a tight fit and no space for the pressure bar. I could see the position of the pressure bar clearly as an imprint in the petrified sac.   I paused the repair because there is massive corrosion on the back side of the nib. My plan was to remove any corrosion (with a chemical flux, used to remove oxides from SS) and re-plate the nib (only for cosmetics).  However with this amount of pitting, the plating is going to blister in no time and clog the feed.  I have to think about my next step.  Probably I’m going to reinstall the nib and check if it worth to go ahead with it.  I’m no collector so the pen was intended to be used.  I’ll try to take a picture of the pitting under the microscope for you.  I’ll keep you posted.

Steven







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