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MB Virginia Woolf vs Omas Paragon (old style)


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9 replies to this topic

#1 goodguy

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 05:29

Well after I got Sooo excited over my newest and latest purchase the MB VW I knew I had to compare it to my old time favorite the Omas Paragon (old style).
In certain aspect these 2 pens are very much a like and from other they are very very different.

Design and quality

The Paragon is a pen that looks like its was made in different times,its attaintion to details is limited and the overall quality of material and tolerances is avarage.
The MB VW is in any standard excellent both material and overall feeling.I dont know or care how really unique is MB's special resin but I can tell you it works.Comparing the quality of these 2 pens is like comparing a new Mercedes and a 3 years old Ford.
The HT trim on the Paragon is nice and with the 12 faces this pen has its own unique character,the clip is the one thing I never liked it doesnt work as good as just a regular clip and I always have to help it when I put the pen in the shirts pocket,in general this pen is very quite in its design its not flashy and anyone that doesnt know Omas pen might mistake this pen to just another pen.
The MB with its curvy body,waved and star at the top is more recognisable and interesting,this pen isnt flashy in any way but I enjoy looking at it,its esteticly designed right and I must apllaud the engineers that designed this pen.It feels good and looks good.
In this category MB wins hands down.

In the hand

In size these 2 pens are almost the same size the MB is 14cm long and the Paragon is 3 mm larger at 14.3cm this pen size is full size like the M800 and not oversize like the MB 149 or the M1000.They are both suted perfectly in my hands but the MB curvy design has a small advantage,it feels as if it was tailor made in my hand adapting its curves to my hands curves simply perfect.
Small advantage ot the MB

Size and weight

The montblanc is heavier and even though it is not a heavy pen it is defenetly heavier then the Paragon.I personaly like light weight pen so the Paragon is the pen I would take for heavy duty writing but for everyday use the difference isnt that big.
A small win to the Paragon

Piston fillers

Both pens have a piston filler,thats a factor that is important for me,I love piston filler,I find it to be very reliable and just plain fun to fill.Both pistons are working well but the MB is smoother then the Omas Paragon and thats another way the Paragon showes the difference in quality between the 2 pens.Never the less I must point the piston in the MB isnt as smooth as it is in the Pelikan M800.
Both pens hold a lot og ink and it will be enough for everybody.
Yet another small victory to the MB

The nib

The heart of the subject.
Lets start with the MB.From the moment the 18k yellow gold MB's M nib gets even close to the paper is starts writing,it floats and is very very smooth,I call it an eager nib and that is a must in my book.Those nibs that do you a favour and write drive me nuts.It has a beautiful 2 trees engraved on it,very lovely to the eye.
It tells you everything that hapeneds on the paper.Even the log paper at work it smoothents amazingly and this paper is thick and very rough,this is defenetly one of the best nibs I every owned or tried.This nib has one problem and the problem is called Omas nib.
The moment I put the Paragons nib on the paper again I got amazed,how easy it is to get spoiled and used to such an amazing nib,such a masterpiece this nib is so good that nothing so far is better,where the MB nib is good the Omas is amazing,where MB nib is amazing Omas nib is heavenly.This is not about how bd the MB nib is,MB as I said has simply a wonderful nib in ANY standard but the Omas nibs is king.The Omas nib is an 18K white with an arrow engraved on it,its simple and elegant.
MB stiff nib cant compete with the slight flexible smoothness of the Paragon.It is hard to explain but once you put the nib on the paper you can feel it.
Omas Paragon wins here.

So which pens wins this competition,I never had so different two pens that confused me so much.Out of my pens these two are the best writers I have or ever tried and to come the conclusion which pen is the best is very hard.
But I must choose one so here goes,to me the most important thing is how the nib feels on the paper and even though on paper the MB wins in points when it comes down to everyday writing the Paragon feels better.True it doesnt look as good and doesnt feels as good but the moment the nib touches the paper I forget everything else.So just because of this nib masterpiece the Paragon wins again.

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Edited by goodguy, 25 December 2007 - 13:07.

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#2 greencobra

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 06:06

Interesting comparison, and honest. I really thought you were going to say the MB came out on top. I got a taste of an Omas nib at its best when I got a new Paragon last week. I posted my thoughts on it in the review section.

goodguy, you said the VW with its contoured body fit your hand well. I'm wondering how big your hand is. I have a big hand, but having never seen the pen in person, I'm wondering how it would conform to my hand.
JELL-O, IT'S WHATS FOR DINNER!

#3 omasfan

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 06:29

Good comparison of two pens that obviously pair well together and that have a lot of features in common that lend themselves to comparison.



QUOTE(goodguy @ Dec 25 2007, 12:29 AM) View Post
The Paragon ... its attaintion to details is limited and the overall quality of material and tolerances is avarage.


I needs must contest this claim. I think the Paragon is one of those few designs that cannot be considerably improved without losing. Other "evergreens" might be the Parker "51," Pelikan's Souverän series or MB's Meisterstück series. What are you going to improve with these designs? The answer is simple: Nothing! They have already made their way into the annals of pendom. And all of these, in their own way, evince simplicity as their first and foremost design concept. Sure, Pelikan for instance added some extra gold rings a couple of years ago and changed the execution of the top cap logo, but that is minor stuff. In essence, the Paragon is, and I think John Mottishaw put this very aptly, "a sculptor's dream." Designwise I cannot see any limitation (unless one wishes to have a pen that is laden with ornate details). thumbup.gif
The Paragon obviously came in two basic materials. While the resin is definitively nice to the touch, I consider the celluloid to be the quintessential material for the Paragon design. As you rightly speculated, this pen was produced for more than 70 years without any major design change. So, this pen originates from an era when celluloid was the prime material for fountain pens. In either version, the overall quality is methinks excellent.
All my celluloid Paragons differ slightly in tolerance. That might be also true for the resin (m experience is limited) but that totally shows that lots of manual labor was at work when these pens were made. Every one is a little different (in a good way). I don't consider this to be a bad thing.

Edited by omasfan, 25 December 2007 - 06:34.


#4 goodguy

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 13:06

Hi omasfan

I really thought the MB is going to win,you could say I almost wanted the MB to win because it is such a wonderful pen BUT the Omas nib,Ohh that wonderful nib.
The Paragon has a timless design yes but the quality aint there,it doesnt feel tight when I open slightly the cap it feels a bit loose,when I use the piston ? again it doesnt feel tight as I would like it to be,I am very finiky about the pens I write with and for me the Paragon feels as if it could have improved the overall qulity of the pen but the bottom line is that as a writer the Omas won.
What the f__k did these Italians do with their nibs to make it such a masterpiece ha ? drool.gif
Respect to all

#5 goodguy

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 13:11

QUOTE(greencobra @ Dec 25 2007, 06:06 AM) View Post
Interesting comparison, and honest. I really thought you were going to say the MB came out on top. I got a taste of an Omas nib at its best when I got a new Paragon last week. I posted my thoughts on it in the review section.

goodguy, you said the VW with its contoured body fit your hand well. I'm wondering how big your hand is. I have a big hand, but having never seen the pen in person, I'm wondering how it would conform to my hand.

Greencobra,I read your wonderful report and it looks like you are also hooked on the Paragon.
But the added weight on the new Paragon is not to my liking.For me a pen to write with must be light weight or else after a while my hands start to get tired and with my Omas this has never happened.
Congratulation on your new Paragon,enjoy it.

Edited by goodguy, 25 December 2007 - 13:12.

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#6 RedRob

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 04:45

In looks the Virginia wins hands down IMO - but that is so subjective. More design work and attention to details on the MB.

As a writer's pen the old Paragon is better as it does indeed have a more refined nib (well if you're lucky). Moreover the Virginia is poorly balanced towards the metal piston knob, which kills this otherwise light (and plasticky) pen.

#7 goodguy

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 13:43

QUOTE(RedRob @ Dec 28 2007, 04:45 AM) View Post
In looks the Virginia wins hands down IMO - but that is so subjective. More design work and attention to details on the MB.

As a writer's pen the old Paragon is better as it does indeed have a more refined nib (well if you're lucky). Moreover the Virginia is poorly balanced towards the metal piston knob, which kills this otherwise light (and plasticky) pen.


The MB VW is the second best writer I own.The Omas nib is as close to perfect as posible!!!
The MB VW overall design is simply gorgeous,the balance does might feel a little weird in the first minute but it just vanishes and you dont feel it.It reminds me of the Pelikan M800 on this aspect both pens have a metal piston at the bottom of the pen but somehow it will have a negative affect on the pen.
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#8 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 19:33

I like that old paragon, I will try to get one myself one day.
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#9 Juan in Andalucia

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 20:21

QUOTE(goodguy @ Dec 25 2007, 02:06 PM) View Post
Hi omasfan

I really thought the MB is going to win,you could say I almost wanted the MB to win because it is such a wonderful pen BUT the Omas nib,Ohh that wonderful nib.
The Paragon has a timless design yes but the quality aint there,it doesnt feel tight when I open slightly the cap it feels a bit loose,when I use the piston ? again it doesnt feel tight as I would like it to be,I am very finiky about the pens I write with and for me the Paragon feels as if it could have improved the overall qulity of the pen but the bottom line is that as a writer the Omas won.
What the f__k did these Italians do with their nibs to make it such a masterpiece ha ? drool.gif


What they did was making the nibs themselves; sadly this has changed. I remember visiting my favorite pen shop in Seville (a family owned shop for a few generations) where the owner is a great Omas fan. He showed me some pics he took while visiting the Omas facilities. Man, you should look at the archaic machinery they use!. The control quality... was a few ladies trying EACH pen.

Omas (I'm talking before the Louis Vuitton move) can't be compared to most companies for two simple reasons: it is a small company and their pens are hand made.

Of course, people will see plenty of ads in magazines talking about craftmanship, care, design... Personally I don't give them much credit. But, family owned shops, or people who have been repairing fountain pens for decades... that's different. I remember going to those shops with my father to get ink bottles for him and crayons for me. It's nice to get there now, see the same wooden shelves and the same guy at the counter.

Omasfan: the design of the paragon has had slight changes: flat clip/clip with small wheel, with or without band at the section...but on the whole they have kept the same spirit. To me the new designs are a different story. YMMV, of course.

#10 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 23:00

Got a Woolf because it's a very pretty pen. I liked the feel.
It came no where near beating my number 3 pen that I took to test nibs. (The Aurora Verdi the other pen I almost bought, didn't either.) My Geha 725 Goldscwhing.

My top nibs are a MB 234 1/2 Deluxe KOB ('52-55 only) a 400NN somewhat flexible/'flexi' OF, That Geha, a Pelikan 140 OB, a Geha 790 KM...a wet writer, and some Osmia nibs.. and a couple of others.

I have some 50 pens, some 15-18 have very good nibs...some 10 or so superb nibs. Semi-flex on the whole with an occasional somewhat flexible/'flexi' nib.

My Woolf bumped my '80's 400 regular flex and my Pelikan 120 out of a tie for 12 down one. That Pelikan 120 has a very nice regular flex F nib.

How can I compare a school pen with a MB...easy...it's a very fine little pen with a very nice '56-65 regular flex nib(which I liked from the first time I inked it..surprised me :thumbup: ...and the MB took two rounds of checking to beat the '80's 400 and the '56-65 120.

I have been very lucky to get some very good nibs and many cheaply. (Not that MB of course...but it's not how expensive a pen is...nib first, balance second....which is why my MB 234 1/2 is number one it's balance....

In my top 5-7 nibs balance is one of the factors that puts one pen/nib above another. My balance is of course not yours.
Not all my top pens are similar...more different than similar...but fine pens, with superb nibs. I am happy with a 140 in my top 5 or 6 pens....

I'm happy my Woolf was good enough to get into place 12...perhaps some day I'll test it against some other pens and it may advance a couple of places...it may not too...don't matter I like the pen and the nib.

I did not consider my Woolf a nail...it is a nice springy nib...it is not semi-flex, nor somewhat flexible/'flexi', which I tend to like. It is a very smooth nib.

That it was 18 K had nothing to do with it...I have some real nice steel 'Supra' nibbed pens from Osmia in my top ten pens, have a Gold Supra that is not quite as flexible as the steel ones. I have some other 14 K nibs too, in my best nib/pens.

The Woolf is a very nice nib, smooth, and I like writing with it.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

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