OMAS as you already know is a 90 year old Italian manufacturer of fine writing instruments and related luxury goods. Founded in 1925, it does carry the name of its founder, Armando Simoni. OMAS as it is, stands for Officina Meccanica Armando Simoni, which means workshop for machinery And initially from 1919 - 1925 this workshop had been producing parts and safety mechanisms for pens.. OMAS had launched its first fountain pen in 1927 and had also copied Duofolds for a while. The turning point for the company came in 1932 with the Omas Extra, a faceted celluloid pen. Today, OMAS is no longer a 100% Italian company as it was earlier, after international acquisitions, first with the French LVMH stake in 2000 and then a 90% controlling equity investment of the Hong Kong based luxury conglomerate Xinyu Hengdeli Group in 2007.
Below is a link to this review on my blog with more eye-candy . So here it goes:
As for the Arte Italiana Collection, the twelve faceted or dodecagonal pens were first launched in 1930s and they never got out of fashion over all these years. In Italy it’s called Faccettata, which is also representative of Greek Doric Columns. The Vision along with Milord and a larger Paragon belong to the same collection. They are still assembled in Omas boutique job shop one after the other, manually. The Vision comes in two distinct designs - Liquid Blue & Liquid Green limited to 331 pieces per colour. However these pieces are not individually numbered like the Ogiva Vintage runs. Liquid Blue comes trimmed with bright rhodium decor while Liquid Green is trimmed with dark ruthenium decor. The colours are inspired from watercolour shades.
The Art Vision comes in a luxurious cardboard box encased within a silvery grey paper box. The heavy box is inlined with grey felt resembling the shades of steel grey. Once you remove the top cover, you can find the pen nesting inside a grey pen sleeve, placed on a custom made bed. The inside of the lid muses with the following motto customary to Omas:
The Pleasure of Writing.
Once you flip open the velvety separator, you would notice that there are two beds for two of your pens. Underneath rest the manuals and warranty card for this pen in a separate section.
DESIGN - THE SONG OF DARK & EMERALD (6/6)
It’s the Game of Thrones playing in my mind or these colours of liquid green and dark ruthenium play a beautiful symphony of light and dark. These pens are made of Omas proprietary Cotton Resin which constitutes of blended cotton seeds and resin polymer derivatives. The cotton resin feels quite substantial and does reflect a luxury in its own terms of rendering hues. The entire pen gleams with emerald tunes, entrapped within hushed darkness of ruthenium giving something that is not very common to this world of art. You can actually visualise the pen as a doric column which separated long ago and fell right into your palms. The clip gleams like an arc quite subservient to an emerald haze.
The piston knob concludes the structure with a raised dome. The cap feels light and unscrews with a single turn, revealing a dark ruthenium plated nib converging with gleaming shades of its metallic section. It reminds me of my gun-metal frames. The section starts with a dodecagonal structure (12 sides) stepping down for commencement of the efficient threads before tapering down to a comfortable grip section, before ending with a raised loop. These are the times when soulful geometry transforms into art. I did not find the grip uncomfortable or slippery and I hold the pen 0.4 - 0.5 cm above the nib.
Now in case you are wondering about palladium, rhodium and ruthenium icing, along with some silver cake, here goes a picture. The other one (m625) has a silver section, coated with palladium along with a rhodium coated nib.
The clip acquires the shape of a convex arc before ending with a tender concavity. It has the OMAS classic roller disc (since the 1930s) which slips and secures the pen in your pocket. The finial has a dome like the piston knob and its polygonal planes define triangular precision finally being betrothed to the famous OMAS O dazzling subtly in dark ruthenium. You can see the distinct outlines of the cap insert. The centre band is engraved with OMAS and ITALY at either ends, interlocked with an architectural pattern known as the Greek key or Meandros.
FILLING SYSTEM (5/6)
The piston filling system has a sturdy but small knob and is embellished with what seems to be a single loop. The knob requires three turns for the piston to move to its end stop which reveals the loop to be a part of the piston connector. The piston is smooth and efficiently draws ink from the bottle.
The piston end does go down inside the metallic grip section of the pen while filling ink, which provides the additional ink capacity compared to the similar cartridge/converter model of the Milord models. The barrel along with the grip provides a decent ink capacity of 1.2-1.4 mL
NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (5/6)
The nib comes rhodiated or rutheniated in 14k (Extra Flessible ones) or 18k alloys across four stock widths - EF (14k, Extra-Flessible), F (14k, Extra-Flessible), F & M and seven special widths - BB, OM, OMD, OBD, OBBD, Stub & Italic (untipped).
This has a 18k semi-flex and comparatively responsive nib with the usual shaded geometries of the Milord/Paragon series. The size M is mentioned on the wings of the nib while the gold content is mentioned towards the tail. The content resides within an elongated hexagon. It’s kind of hard to describe the parallel hatching and geometrical patterns on the nib and you can see it for yourself. It has got some thick inclined hatching around the breather hole with OMAS branding residing in between the symmetry of it, and thinner lines of straight hatch and plains keep recurring as you move towards either of the tines. The nib is a darling to write with.
The heat set black ebonite feed has thinly spaced fins and two capillaries which ensure a good ink buffer and an extremely wet ink flow. Ebonite attract water (these are hydrophilic) as opposed to hydrophobic plastics which repel water, thereby wetting it more efficiently under the nib. Having said this, I find my plastic pelikan feeds even more efficient in this regard.
PHYSICS OF IT (6/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING
For me, this pen is very comfortable for writing without posting the cap. The overall uncapped length is around 13.2 cm, with a decent girth of more than 1 cm. Cap has heft and weighs a third of the total weight. The section is dark and metallic with the signature ruthenium coating although I did not find it slippery as such. The section feels quite substantial along with the cotton resin and I happen to grip the pen around 0.4-0.5 cm away from the nib. Its does feel a delight to write with, simply with the responsive nib. It’s a heavy and long pen to post and you may not prefer posting the Vision.
- Closed Length ~ 14.5 cm
- Posted Length ~ 17.7 cm
- Nib Leverage ~ 2.4 cm
- Overall Weight ~ 33 g (without ink, Cap ~ 11 g)
Capped and uncapped comparisons with a TWSBI 580 and a Pilot Custom 823 go below for your reference.
ECONOMIC VALUE (3/6)
The Visions retail at USD 495 and I am not sure if it’s a good or bad price since I do not usually find Omas pens selling at great discounts. I had a got a good, I will say steep discount from my longtime local distributor/reseller on this one. Since I have a lot of blue demos with rhodium trims, I rather went ahead with this song of dark and emerald. After the steep discount, the pen again could not make sure of value for money, but let’s not judge a piece of Art by monetary values alone!
These 18k nibs are extremely smooth, somewhat flexible with a very wet flow. A little pressure increases the ink flow and results in thicker lines. The horizontal lines are a tad thinner than the verticals. I am not allured by flex, partly because of my bad handwriting, but I can assure these are delightfully soft and springy nibs, the best perhaps for a long long time. Being extremely wet writers out of the box, the Medium nib puts a line which takes around 30 seconds to dry GvFC Moss Green ink on MD Paper. Go for it, if you love this pen, substantial, differentiated & limited (331) with a befitting nib!
OTHER DEMONSTRATOR REVIEWS
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Edited by soniknitr, 03 September 2015 - 11:30.