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Omas Bologna Orange/Blue Fountain Pen


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17 replies to this topic

#1 elcincogrande

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 20:57

I purchased an Omas Bologna Orange/Blue Fountain Pen last Wednesday from Paradise Pen in Dallas, Texas. It is my first Omas fountain pen; this is my first review with FPN.


1. First Impressions: My initial visit to Paradise Pen the Friday before was to look at Viscontis, not Omas fountain pens. I had my eye on a Visconti Opera Club in typhoon blue. Before I purchased it, however, I noticed the Omas Bologna on sale for $298. Had never looked at the Bolognas online. I was immediately drawn to it, but initially thought it was too flashy. Besides, I already had two Van Goghs that I liked, so I thought an Opera would be a great addition to my collection. I paid $391.00 for the Opera. The next day, Saturday, I was torn. The Opera was beautiful, but it just didn't "do it" for me like the Bologna did when I first saw the Bologna. hmm1.gif I concluded (with the input of fellow FPN members) that $391 was too much money to spend on a pen that I just wasn't crazy about. Unfortunately, the Bologna had been sold on that Saturday. sad.gif Nevertheless, I took the Opera back on Sunday. Later that afternoon, Paradise Pen called to let me know the Bologna had been returned. It was fate--I was supposed to have this pen! thumbup.gif I was concerned that when I went back to purchase it the pen might not be as exciting as I remembered. I was wrong. I was still drawn to it so I purchased it for $298.

The pen came in a navy blue leather (?) box with white vinyl interior and with the name "Omas" written on the top of the box and on the inside lid. This may be a typical Omas box--I don't know, as this is my first Omas. The pen was tucked inside a navy blue leather sleeve also marked "Omas." I thought this was a nice touch. In addition to the standard Omas literature, the pen came with its own card explaining that the Bologna Collection is designed to celebrate OMAS' 80th Anniversary. My first impressions and presentation of the pen gets a 10 out of 10.

Omas1.jpg

Omas2.jpg



2. Appearance and Finish: The Bologna is a resin pen with a shiny finish featuring a orange/yellow barrel with blue/black swirls. The tip of the barrel as well as the cap is a deep, pearlized blue (almost black) color. The clip and ring around the bottom of the cap and around the tip of the barrel are palladium plating. The clip is simple and shiny. The approximately 1/4" barrel ring features the name "Omas" engraved on one side and the word "Italy" on the other side. The orange/blue barrel continues to a taper and is threaded. A palladium plated tip of the barrel has a slight flange where the nib attaches. When I posted on the FPN an inquiry about purchasing this pen or the Visconti Opera, I received mixed opinions about the color of the Bologna; some said it was simply ugly. Although orange/blue might not sound like a nice combination, the pen "in the flesh" is a different story. The orange and yellow with blue/black swirls remind me of several things: fire, a tiger, a leopard, pearl (although I've not seen pearl in this color), something exotic. If you look online at Aurora's Afrika fountain pen, I suspect that it features the exact same resin for its barrel as the Omas Bologna. I believe "Afrika" is a good label for this coloration--it definitely reminds me of the cats of Africa. The pearlized blue cap and tip go well with the orange/yellow barrel. Photos of this pen on the web and in this review don't do it justice. Most photos depict the blue as somewhat bright. It's not. It's navy to black, just as the swirls are in the barrel. It's only when you take the pen into direct sunlight that the blue turns brighter and the orange turns more yellow, but it's still beautiful. Both colorations have shimmery specks that reflect the light, giving the resin a deep, three-dimensional appearance. One fellow FPN member remarked that he thought the cap didn't look like it goes with the body. I was afraid he might be right, but when I saw the pen on Wednesday I concluded that the cap does indeed go well with the barrel, primarily because the tip of the barrel is the same blue/black as the cap, tying both ends together with the eye-catching swirly finish in the middle. I give the finish and appearance a 10 out of 10.

Omas3.jpg
Omas5.jpg




3. Design/Size/Weight: The resin Omas Bologna is a round pen with a slight taper on the end of the barrel terminating in a flat bottom. The cap also tapers slightly, tapering on the end ever-so-slightly, producing a pyramidal tip surrounded by a palladium plated "O" ring. Capped, the pen is approximately 5 3/8" long; uncapped it is slightly under 5"; posted it is just pushing 6 1/2" long. The palladium plated shiny clip is 1 5/8" long, is approximately 1/8" wide, and arches away from the cap, terminating in a slight bend. I was concerned at first that the clip would be too flimsy and cheap looking. In reality it is tight and the polished finish is unpretentious but elegant. I've been accustomed to the thick Visconti clips, so most anything looks smaller and flimsy compared to them. In the end I'm pleased with the clip. I don't know the exact weight of the pen. It is lighter than my Van Gogh Maxis, but is slightly heavier than my Pelikan 605. The weight pleases me--doesn't feel "cheap," nor is it heavy. The diameter, again, is smaller than the Van Gogh Maxis, but is almost identical to my Pelikan 605. This diameter averages about 1/2" (if I measured correctly). I'm accustomed to the Maxis slightly wider girth, but the Bologna's diameter is comfortable and what I'd consider "medium"--I believe the size would appeal to the majority of FP fans. The pen is well-balanced, whether posted or un-posted. I prefer to write with it unposted as the cap seems likes it should be tighter when posted; it has never fallen off while posted, but I feel like I should push it on harder, and I hesitate to do so. To remove the cap it takes about 3 1/2 twists, about the same amount as my Viscontis. The nib/feed takes about 12 twists to remove it from the barrel to get to the converter. I like that. The design meets my expectations. Admittedly I get a little concerned about "resin" pens--aren't they just plastic?--but the resin is a little thicker than my Pelikan 605. I'm hoping it won't show scratches, but the highly polished palladium plated clip and rings may inevitably show some slight scratching with continued use. I rate the design/size/weight a 9 out of 10.

Omas4.jpg

Omas6.jpg


4. Nib Design & Performance: The nib is a 14k gold nib, medium in size. It appears that you can only purchased the Omas Bologna orange/blue in M or F--haven't run across any bold nib offerings. I'm unfamiliar with Omas pens--can the nibs be switched out? In any event, I thoroughly enjoy writing with this medium nib. I believe it's a true medium, is buttery smooth, and has not presented any skipping or dry starts. So far I've only used Private Reserve DC Supershow Blue. I'm truly pleased with it. thumbup.gif I like medium to bold nibs that write smoothly and a little on the wet side. The Viscontis spoiled me in this regard. I'm glad this Omas nib is comparable. The 3/4" long nib features the word "Omas," "14k," and depicts a portico facade--a nice detail for somebody who appreciates Italian Renaissance architecture. I rate the nib a 9.5 out of 10. I was unable to provide a close-up photo of the nib. I will provide a writing sample in a subsequent post to this review.

Omas7.jpg


5. Filling System: The Bologna uses a cartridge or converter. I use the converter. It holds an average amount of ink--the ink reservoir portion is about 1 1/4 inch long. Regarding the looks of the converter, it's nothing special. It does have the word "Omas" on it. It's definitely not as elegant as a Visconti converter. I've not experienced any significant problems with the converter; a little bit of air bubbles when filling it for the first time, and a couple of times the ink would get trapped at the top after the pen had been stored upright. A slight shake or twitch would remedy this problem, though. I only have one piston fill pen--the Pelikan 605--which is nice. I wish all FP were piston fill, but it seems the majority are not. Consequently, the Omas Bologna is no different. I give it a 9 out of 10 for the filling system.


6. Cost/Value: I paid $298 for the Omas Bologna. It had been marked down from $345 because Paradise Pen in Dallas will no longer carry Omas in the store (but I was told you could still order Omas from Paradise Pen). I've seen the Bologna for $345 with other online stores (Montgomery Pens) and the lowest I saw was $276 with Swisher Pens. So, I could have gotten it cheaper from Swisher. But, I was willing to pay a little more because I got to see it in person, test drive it, and know exactly the pattern of coloration I was getting. I understand that each pen is different in color pattern, which is nice in that no two are identical. Still, I prefer to see something like this in person before purchasing it. I was also willing to pay a little more because of the help I received from Paradise Pen, especially when Jim called me on Sunday to let me know that it had been returned. Sure, they wanted to make a sale, but I appreciated being given the heads-up as I believe it would have been purchased by somebody else at its price within a week. I would not have paid the $345 for it, though. At that price, I'd definitely order it from Swisher or some other dealer. I have not checked eBay. I have not seen this pen for sale on the FPN green board. Did I get a good deal? I don't truly know. I'm sure Paradise could have discounted it further and still made a profit. In comparing it with the price of the Opera (MSRP $425), though, I believe I got a good deal. I'm unquestionably more excited about having the Bologna over the Opera (but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Operas--they're beautiful pens, just not what I ultimately wanted). I'm pleased that I was able to get a nice Omas pen that I'm proud of for $298. In the end, I think all new fountain pens are overpriced, so it's hard for me to give a rating here. I'd rate the price at an 8 out of 10.


7. Overall Opinion/Conclusion: I am thoroughly pleased with my Omas Bologna Orange/Blue FP with medium nib. It's not as conservative looking as my other pens (even my Sandal Van Gogh), but the coloration is striking. I have the one black pen I like--my Van Gogh Maxi--so I'm interested in acquiring more colorful pens. The Omas Bologna is a great addition. I'd prefer celluloid, but celluloid pens are out of my price range. I believe there are some beautiful resins out there, the Bologna and the Viscontis being tops in this regard. I will use this pen regularly in my rotation, both at work when I wear a suit, as well as at home while writing in my journal. I understand that the newest Bologna is red and blue. I've not seen this one in person yet. For anybody who can't get past orange/blue, the red/blue might be a good option. Nevertheless, I highly recommend the orange/blue Bologna; don't judge it just by photos you see online. To be honest, though, I'd prefer not many people have this pen. It's unique looking and I value having something that not everybody has. wink.gif Oveall, I give this pen a 9.5 out of 10.


elcincogrande

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#2 omasfan

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 21:02

Nice review and beautiful pictures. I have the old-style Bologna (which is a bit different, though) and I love it very much.

#3 goodguy

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 21:21

Congratulation on a wonderful new pen.
I love Omas pens and more then that Omas nibs,in my eyes Omas nibs are the best.
The pen is also beautiful I only wish they would make the Bologna in piston filler too.

Thanks for the reveiw and enjoy the pen thumbup.gif
Respect to all

#4 langere

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 21:22

Great review! I'm glad that we were able to help you decide on your purchase and that you privileged us with the story of purchasing this pen in another thread. biggrin.gif

I wish you many years of contentment with your Omas -

Erick

Visconti Giardino dell'Eden "F" nib running J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre 

PENBBS 500 "F" nib running Iroshizuku Murasaki-Shikibu

Platinum Tiger and Pine 3776 "F" nib running J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage

 

 


#5 CharlieB

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 23:29

QUOTE(goodguy @ Jun 21 2008, 05:21 PM)  
I only wish they would make the Bologna in piston filler too.


But they DO make the Bologna in piston filler. I have two of them. One in Blue Royale celluloid and one in a black and gold celluloid.
CharlieB

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#6 Alphabet

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 23:29

I love my Bologna in Blue and Orange. What ink are you going to put in the thing? That was my big dilemma. I first thought that a nice blue black made sense. But wasn't crazy about the color. I was at the Paradise Pen store in Costa Mesa yesterday and they were having an OMAS trunk show. Saw the red and blue Bologna. Wasn't as crazy about the color as the one you purchased. But color is subjective.

Enjoy the pen...and let me know what color it gets fed. I'm always looking for better suggestions.

#7 goodguy

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 23:48

QUOTE(CharlieB @ Jun 21 2008, 11:29 PM)  
QUOTE(goodguy @ Jun 21 2008, 05:21 PM)  
I only wish they would make the Bologna in piston filler too.


But they DO make the Bologna in piston filler. I have two of them. One in Blue Royale celluloid and one in a black and gold celluloid.

Darn you,why did you tell me that.
Now I have to see how I will get it crybaby.gif
Respect to all

#8 elcincogrande

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 00:06

QUOTE(Alphabet @ Jun 21 2008, 06:29 PM)  
I love my Bologna in Blue and Orange. What ink are you going to put in the thing? That was my big dilemma. I first thought that a nice blue black made sense. But wasn't crazy about the color. I was at the Paradise Pen store in Costa Mesa yesterday and they were having an OMAS trunk show. Saw the red and blue Bologna. Wasn't as crazy about the color as the one you purchased. But color is subjective.

Enjoy the pen...and let me know what color it gets fed. I'm always looking for better suggestions.


I've been using Private Reserve DC Supershow Blue. I like Supershow as well as Electric Blue by Private Reserve. Haven't tried anything else. If you find another brand works exceptionally well in the Bologna, let me know--I'd like to try it.


elcincogrande

#9 elcincogrande

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 00:08

QUOTE(CharlieB @ Jun 21 2008, 06:29 PM)  
QUOTE(goodguy @ Jun 21 2008, 05:21 PM)  
I only wish they would make the Bologna in piston filler too.


But they DO make the Bologna in piston filler. I have two of them. One in Blue Royale celluloid and one in a black and gold celluloid.



Good deal!

I should have been more specific: I wish they made the Bologna orange/blue in a piston filler at the same price point for what I purchased it for.
elcincogrande

#10 elcincogrande

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 00:09

QUOTE(langere @ Jun 21 2008, 04:22 PM)  
Great review! I'm glad that we were able to help you decide on your purchase and that you privileged us with the story of purchasing this pen in another thread. biggrin.gif

I wish you many years of contentment with your Omas -

Erick


I appreciate everybody's comments. It's so nice to have a community to get feedback on decisions about purchases, etc. Thanks, all, for being a part of it!
elcincogrande

#11 Sharkle

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 00:23


Thank you for this wonderfully detailed review and the great pictures. I have admired the Bologna design for a few years now but haven't taken the plunge, because of the price and a section that looks a bit wider than I like. But who knows without a test drive, right? I think your pen is gorgeous, one of the nicer swirl patterns I've seen. I'm glad you're so happy with it. happyberet.gif

#12 langere

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 00:32

Sharkle, the section isn't as wide as you might think. Try it!

The only thing that remains is the price - but you can get one for about $270.

Erick

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#13 JFT

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 02:52

Congratulation again for your Omas and thank you for the review, very nice shots. I'll add one as well once mine as gone through a few fillings.

Is the nib of the new model very stiff or does it have some spring?
Lamy AL-star - 1.1 (Omas Violet)
Nakaya Celluloid Mottishaw F Flex (PR Arabian Rose)
Omas Bologna - M (Noodler's Golden Brown)
Pelikan M620 Grand Place - Binder XF/XXF Flex (Noodler's Navajo Turquoise)
Stipula 22 - 0.9 (Waterman Florida Blue)
Waterman Patrician - M (Waterman Florida Blue)

#14 elcincogrande

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 15:19

How does one have a review posted on the index list at the beginning of the review forum? I noticed that my review of the Bologna is not included in the index.
elcincogrande

#15 french22

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 20:55

I fully share your review. I've bought mine 6 months ago (a "full" blue one) and it has been one of my favorite writers since.

I use it a lot when traveling (and I travel a lot) and never had any problem: great ink flow, smooth writer, no blurbs in plane.

I appreciate a lot the feeling of the resin when writing: soft, almost organic

By using it extensively I have discovered two problems : the converter isn't holding tight (like, say, a Lamy converter) and the nib sometimes get misaligned with the feed. Nothing important but, imo unacceptable for a pen belonging to this price range.

Nevertheless, I love it

#16 MYU

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 04:02

QUOTE (elcincogrande @ Nov 28 2008, 10:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How does one have a review posted on the index list at the beginning of the review forum? I noticed that my review of the Bologna is not included in the index.

As luck would have it, I just happened to have now caught up with the missing reviews during the period between "moderator shifts" and added yours in. I didn't even realize you had posted an inquiry about it. smile.gif

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#17 Brian

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 08:45

Nice story and pen review. About your comment that you'd prefer not many others to have this pen...

The nice thing about fountain pens is that its unlikely, unless you hang with a fraternity of pen fans, that you will ever see someone sometime soon with the same pen. Most often when I see someone else using a fountain pen its usually a MB in any of its myriad forms.

Hope you enjoy your cool new pen.

#18 airborne18th

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 03:49

Thanks for the review, I just bought this pen from your review.. I love the color
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