Shortly after OMAS closed its doors, more than four years ago, it became known that a commercial company, which had already gained some experience in the "resurrection" of ancient and decayed brands of writing instruments, had purchased the entire stocks of pens left in the belly of the Bologna company, in addition to the famous celluloid bars with which OMAS had made its history. The meager chronicles of the time, however, were clear enough in clarifying that the OMAS brand was not part of the package sold by the Chinese owners. In fact, the materials that were effectively sold were sufficient to maintain, at least to date, two complementary businesses: on the one hand the sale of pens branded OMAS, but with the foresight to indicate that the selling company is not OMAS and does not hold the rights of the brand, and on the other a new brand of fountain pens, Armando Simoni Club (or ASC), which although it has done everything to make the perception of the margin between the two brands more subtle, cannot expressly use the word OMAS because it does not hold the rights.
About the same time as the liquidation of OMAS, it was learned that another business group had acquired from the Chinese owners the machinery with which the OMAS pens had been produced for over 70 years. Even in this case, however, the OMAS brand was not acquired, and the machinery gave rise to the factory of a new brand of pens: Scrittura Bolognese (or SCRIBO). With OMAS machinery and apparently also with a number of craftsmen and managers who had already worked for OMAS, SCRIBO presented itself in a certain sense (rightly or wrongly, it is not the subject of this intervention) as the direct heir of OMAS , but obviously they could not and cannot do it explicitly because they do not own the OMAS brand.
At the time, OMAS enthusiasts declared themselves in deep mourning not only for the liquidation of the company, but also because the ashes on which it might have been possible to rebuild it had been divided into different hands: on the one hand the pens and the refined OMAS materials, and on the other the know how of how OMAS pens are made. Curiously, nobody seemed to care about the fate of the brand, which none of the new business born from the rests of OMAS had acquired. Personally, I thought that the Chinese owners had kept the OMAS brand, a historically prestigious brand, in order to use it in the future in some new production and/or commercial adventures. I also fell, however, into the conceptual trap of thinking that a group of capable craftsmen but without the appropriate materials, and new owners of the materials but without the tradition of OMAS behind them, represented a definitive impediment to the possible rebirth of OMAS, whoever it was the owner of the brand.
It was only a couple of years ago or a little more, if I remember correctly, that when opening the OMAS web page (which for some obscure and almost macabre reason continues undaunted to work, presenting collections, models and prices of all pens. ..), I read a short press release from the legal owners of OMAS (the brand), in which it was announced that soon OMAS would resume the production of some "basic models" of its catalog. The signer of the announcement was Matt Brill, the CEO of the Ancora brand, and there I learned that the Chinese had finally sold the OMAS brand: to Ancora. A third actor therefore joined those who had already own OMAS pens and celluloids and those who had acquired the machinery (and perhaps the skills) to make the pens. Now, I thought, it's really the end.
In this couple of years, however, I have thought about it several times.
Now, it is certain true that many beautiful OMAS pens were sought after for their exquisite materials, especially the Arco celluloids but also the Saffron, Burkina, Royal Blue, Grigioperla, Lucens and many other beautiful colors. But if one is fond of OMAS designs and follows a little of what happens in online sales, both on eBay and in the online stores specializing in collectible and vintage pens, he will certainly have realized that it are not only celluloid OMASes those that continue to achieve substantial sales figures. A classic plastic Paragon (pardon, cotton resin), mostly used, still costs 350 or 450 US$ or more. A slightly smaller Milord is worth a little less. If new, it can easily reach 500 $. A "Grand" Paragon (post 2005) in black plastic costs 600-800 $, and if the plastic is colored the price goes up considerably. Even ballpoint pens and mechanical pencils are sold (take note, I'm not saying that they are proposed, no, but that they sell) for 200 $ or more. If it comes to particular editions, albeit in plastic (I think of the Paragon Ludovico Einaudi or the "Noire" to give just two examples of tasteful plastic pens) the prices go even higher. And apart from the often unjustified prices, you have probably noted how difficult it is to find certain OMAS in plastic, new or in mint conditions.
For this reason, I keep asking myself: why don't we still have new OMAS in production? I am speaking of true new OMAS pens, branded OMAS, with the original OMAS designs and packaging, with an OMAS guarantee, pens made in black plastic, in London smoke, in Aubergine, in Einaudi gray, OMAS pens inspired to more historic models such as the ancient Lucens, more recent OMAS models like all the pens of the Arte Italiana collection (less obviously those in celluloid, given that the celluloids have them ASC), or the 360 collection (which, used, cost an eye), other simple and refined OMAS pens such as Alma Mater (faceted) and MOMA (cigar), and contemporary pens like the Grand Paragon and Grand Milord in golden and rhodium-plated finishes , in plastic guilloché, etc. etc.? The list of models, colors and possible materials, that have already proven they can resist the test of time and the change of tastes, and that continue to sell online, new and used, at prices that seem reasonable to me to try to produce them again, well, the list could go on and on.
Why not, then? There is no need for celluloids to make OMAS, and I suppose that a pen factory like Ancora - which can quite rightly use the OMAS brand and the classic designs of OMAS - knows how to make a pen. Why not?