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Omas Paragon (New Style) vs Mont Blanc 149


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16 replies to this topic

#1 pankajwillis

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 21:47

After reading some great reviews of Omas Paragon, I thought I'll add some comments of my own.

I took some pics comparing the Omas Paragon with my other large size pen the Mont Blanc 149. I apologize for the low quality of these images because I was just taking them with my cell phone.



The first thing I noticed when I held this pen in my hand was the grace it has. This is actually the first pen that really struck me as graceful. The design of the pen is understated and plain, which is exactly what gives it substance. This pen feels real and true to itself in it's simple beautiful elegance and it's simply impeccable geometric design.

Weight wise, it feels slightly heavier than my 149 - and I love that. As you can see from the images, it is slightly heftier than the 149. Adding both these previous things, what surprises me that it still feels more comfortable in my hand than the 149. I believe the reason for this is the size of the barrel where you hold it. That section is slimmer than MB 149.

In terms of speed of writing, I would place it on par with Mont Blanc 146. While Omas Paragon is much bigger, it is extremely well balanced (unposted). That and the fact that the barrel tapers near the nib, makes for a much better holding experience when writing. This is a very fast pen (and very hefty!). It feels totally comfortable in my hand.

For me, while the glamorous 149 shines and speaks for itself, this pen is full of substance. About what really is there. It is an expression of your own confidence and your real self. It is all about quality.

The paragon has an unstated old world charm. Like some one else on this board (or some where else) said 'It is so ugly, I love it!'. That's a really wonderful way to put it. (Trust me it is not ugly at all smile.gif)

Initially I was inclined toward the silver trim, however I decided to go with Golden. I have to say it is growing on me. I am falling more and more in love with this pen, every time I take it out. It writes smoother than all my other pens and the balance of this pen is beyond description (unposted though, I don't like writing posted).


While the MB 149 is in a league of it's own, a true classic and some thing you can show off, Omas paragon is a all about joy. It makes me feel like no other pen before. Everytime I write with it, it's golden barrel with it's own understated beauty wins me over.

Great pen. The line it leaves is very wet (also the Nib is Broad). It's 18k, with flex somewhere between the Pelikan M1000 and MB 149 nibs.

The piston filler of this pen felt very solid to me. It stays in place and the ink capacity of this pen is amazing. I think it is much more than 149 (but I might be wrong).

I don't think many people out there know this pen like the MB, but it is every bit as good as the MB 149. Of course, you couldn't praise the classic 149 enough, so I have left it to scores of other reviews on these forums.

Edited by pankajwillis, 10 September 2008 - 21:52.

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#2 Brian

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 22:46

An interesting read between two very big pens. I've long appreciated the original paragon but understand why Omas chose to update it to appeal to a different and possibly broader audience. There is one other pen I'd like to see this compared against and it is the Namiki Urushi Royale in black. Also a large black pen, but very different in many ways.


#3 goodguy

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 03:32

Thank you for the review.
I own the old style Paragon and somehow never fell in love with the new models as much as I enjoy the old one but to be honest I never tried the new one.

Omas is all about its nibs and I wish you gave more emphasis on the nib.
An Omas nib will out class anything out there ( in my eyes).

Edited by goodguy, 11 September 2008 - 03:32.

Respect to all

#4 lecorbusier

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 02:24

Thanks for the great review! Always wanted to see a review for these two pens. Before I purchased this new paragon, I also considered the 149; but went to the paragon instead for a much better writing experience overall.
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#5 pankajwillis

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 14:27

Hmm... I can't seem to figure out how to edit my post, so I'll just reply here.

Just wanted to comment on the golden trimming as well.

The golden trimming on the Omas Paragon is very golden. It's not whitish golden like that on the Mont Blanc 149. If we imagine a slider between platinum and gold, 149's golden would be kind of mid way. On the other hand, it would be at 100% gold color for the Omas Paragon.

At first, I was a little skeptical about that. But this color goes very well with the general theme of this pen, and now I wouldn't have it any other way (except maybe the silver trim - which would be equally good). It gives a more genuine feel to the Omas Paragon.

Also one thing, my feed (the black component under the nib) moves very sligthly if I push it sideways. I was a little worried initially but it seems to be working okay, so maybe I don't have to worry about it. The pen writes perfectly and the Nib (as Goodguy mentioned, what Omas is famous for) is upto Omas standards.


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#6 fpfanatic5

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 23:49

Heh, after reading the title I very much expected to see a goodguy review, (or goodguy1, that is) biggrin.gif

Thanks for the review.

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#7 lecorbusier

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 13:25

Good observation! If I remember correctly--and folks knowledgeable about Omas here correct me if I am wrong--the Paragon you have is the vermeil trim, which is gold mixed with bronze (?). Or gold with copper. It is certainly not gold plated as 149. I have the Hi-Tech trim, which suits me better personally, but which I also think is at odds with the more golden arco celluloid of my pen. I suppose the vermeil will be the way to go if one wants to go all the way on an arco.

Like you, I feel that this is an excellent pen. A little unwieldy at times, but one to keep and use.




QUOTE (pankajwillis @ Sep 12 2008, 03:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hmm... I can't seem to figure out how to edit my post, so I'll just reply here.

Just wanted to comment on the golden trimming as well.

The golden trimming on the Omas Paragon is very golden. It's not whitish golden like that on the Mont Blanc 149. If we imagine a slider between platinum and gold, 149's golden would be kind of mid way. On the other hand, it would be at 100% gold color for the Omas Paragon.

At first, I was a little skeptical about that. But this color goes very well with the general theme of this pen, and now I wouldn't have it any other way (except maybe the silver trim - which would be equally good). It gives a more genuine feel to the Omas Paragon.

Also one thing, my feed (the black component under the nib) moves very sligthly if I push it sideways. I was a little worried initially but it seems to be working okay, so maybe I don't have to worry about it. The pen writes perfectly and the Nib (as Goodguy mentioned, what Omas is famous for) is upto Omas standards.


AAA

#8 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 09:14

Owing three MB 149s (mostly vintage models) and this pen, I can say that the 149 and the new paragon arte italiana are very different pens. My favorite 149 is a 1977 model which has a fine nib which can also write as an extra fine when used in reverted mode same comment goes to my paragon arte italiana which fine nib can also be used as an extrafine in reverted mode. My 149's nib is larger in term of length than the paragon's nib but it also dries faster with the ink I use and it is an extremely fast writing pen. The 149 is of course lighter but it does have great ergonomics however due to the ebonite feed, ink dries slower than the 149. Is there a difference between pre 2005 and post 2005 nibs? Not that much, owning a 1997 Omas 360 magnum with a full flexible m nib, a 2002 360 colonial with a full flexible fine nib and this paragon arte italiana ht has also a full flex fine nib. Wether it is bock or Omas, an Omas remains an Omas. Aesthetically speaking, the 149 is what one would consider a traditional pen and the arte italiana paragon as an elegant mix of past and future design. What else can I add? That the new paragon arte italiana is expensive but worth the buy if you want a nicely built, solid piston filler with the looks of the wahl eversharp doric and a superb nib.
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#9 simonrob

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 18:43

QUOTE (goodguy @ Sep 11 2008, 03:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you for the review.
I own the old style Paragon and somehow never fell in love with the new models as much as I enjoy the old one but to be honest I never tried the new one.

Omas is all about its nibs and I wish you gave more emphasis on the nib.
An Omas nib will out class anything out there ( in my eyes).


What disappoints me aesthetically with the new style Paragon is the switch to a metal section. This seems to have become fairly common amongst Italian pen companies, but I wish they would stop it - I don't think it looks as nice (to these eyes it conflicts with the conservative elegant look this pen otherwise has) or is as comfortable to hold. Perhaps they'll eventually revert....

Simon

#10 Tsujigiri

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 02:07

QUOTE (lecorbusier @ Sep 13 2008, 06:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Good observation! If I remember correctly--and folks knowledgeable about Omas here correct me if I am wrong--the Paragon you have is the vermeil trim, which is gold mixed with bronze (?). Or gold with copper. It is certainly not gold plated as 149.



QUOTE (georges zaslavsky @ Sep 14 2008, 02:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That the new paragon arte italiana is expensive but worth the buy if you want a nicely built, solid piston filler with the looks of the wahl eversharp doric and a superb nib.


I am fairly certain that the trim is gold-plated. At least I know that the trim elements are not solid sterling silver, as they would have to be for the trim to be vermeil. I know this because after OMAS took 6 months to repair a defective piston on my Paragon, they sent back a pen that had the silver plating on the clip partially worn off. Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed in OMAS build quality and customer service. I returned the pen to Swisher, the dealer I bought it from, and will be happy never to see another OMAS again. I have to say that in terms of being nicely built and solid, the Montblanc is the clear winner. My 149 has had no problems, and even survived a drop without a blemish. Both of the OMAS Paragons I had, the defective one and the defective replacement, have had serious issues with their quality. The facets did not line up, the plating was off on the nib, and the plastic crackled. The design, too, is less than stellar, as the cap can't even be posted. I will agree that the nib was smooth, but as this is a nib made by Bock in Germany, it seems that the only well-built part of the pen wasn't even made by OMAS.

Sorry to be so negative, but I think prospective buyers of this pen should be warned. It's possible that they might get a non-defective pen, but if they get a defective one, which is highly likely, OMAS will not repair it properly and withing a reasonable amount of time. This is the only defective pen I've ever had, which is unacceptable considering the price. My $3 pens have served me infinitely better than this one has.


#11 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 20:24

QUOTE (Tsujigiri @ Sep 22 2008, 02:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am fairly certain that the trim is gold-plated. At least I know that the trim elements are not solid sterling silver, as they would have to be for the trim to be vermeil. I know this because after OMAS took 6 months to repair a defective piston on my Paragon, they sent back a pen that had the silver plating on the clip partially worn off. Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed in OMAS build quality and customer service. I returned the pen to Swisher, the dealer I bought it from, and will be happy never to see another OMAS again. I have to say that in terms of being nicely built and solid, the Montblanc is the clear winner. My 149 has had no problems, and even survived a drop without a blemish. Both of the OMAS Paragons I had, the defective one and the defective replacement, have had serious issues with their quality. The facets did not line up, the plating was off on the nib, and the plastic crackled. The design, too, is less than stellar, as the cap can't even be posted. I will agree that the nib was smooth, but as this is a nib made by Bock in Germany, it seems that the only well-built part of the pen wasn't even made by OMAS.

Sorry to be so negative, but I think prospective buyers of this pen should be warned. It's possible that they might get a non-defective pen, but if they get a defective one, which is highly likely, OMAS will not repair it properly and withing a reasonable amount of time. This is the only defective pen I've ever had, which is unacceptable considering the price. My $3 pens have served me infinitely better than this one has.

I too encountered a problem with my Paragon Arte Italiana in april-may 2007 where the cap broke. I had to wait six months to have the cap replaced. Thankfully and thanks to Mr Mora who made serious pressure on the Omas customer service, I had my pen repaired for free. Something unbelievable when knowing that I bought this pen in second hand. Unlike many unsatisfied arte italiana paragon owners, I never had a single piston filler, nor nib and facets misalignment before the cap broke and after the repair. I own two other Omas, a 360 Magnum and a 360 Colonial which are some of my very best pens. My 360 magnum survived a drop without blemish . I stopped buying Omas when I discovered that the quality went down and especially when learning that they were sold by LVMH to a Chinese company. The Arte Italiana could easily be a very strong competitor for the 149 but nib misalignment issues, facet misalignment issues, clip and cap tarnishing issues as well as leaking don't help the Arte Italiana. The Paragon has a nice futuristic design but this is not enough to help for the lack of the reliability of the pen. The 149 is on the other side a classic that stands well through time and is hard to fault.

Edited by georges zaslavsky, 27 September 2008 - 20:26.


#12 Bryant

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 17:04

Fun review, thanks!
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#13 pankajwillis

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 23:39

Here are some more pictures (I know, should have wiped them before taking the pics!)

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#14 lowks

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 18:09

I own a new style OMAS and I found that the only ink it could take without drying out the nib too much was the pelikan black ink. With the pelikan black ink I enjoy the famed omas buttery smoothness to the end. With other inks the nib dries out prematurely and the only way to restart the writing back again was to dip it in ink! Maddening!

#15 Bill

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 02:50

QUOTE (lowks @ Jun 6 2009, 02:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I own a new style OMAS and I found that the only ink it could take without drying out the nib too much was the pelikan black ink. With the pelikan black ink I enjoy the famed omas buttery smoothness to the end. With other inks the nib dries out prematurely and the only way to restart the writing back again was to dip it in ink! Maddening!


I'd have to go back through the ink book to know what inks I've used with the Omas pens, but I don't recall any problems like that. I have an old style Paragon with Binder cursive italic that gets fed a variety of inks. The newer pens have not has as much variety, mostly P.R. and Noodler's, but seem to perform admirably.

I agree that the 149 and Paragon are totally different breeds. I've had mixed experiences with MBs and the 149 is the only one to which I have taken a liking. It's "German engineering" seems reliable albeit a bit boring. On the other hand, the Paragon has style, is almost sensual in handling, and most importantly, it is one of the best writing pens I own or have used.

The 149 is the powerful politician stoically getting out of his chauffeured Mercedes. The Paragon is Mario Cipollini parting the screaming fans and paparazzi without getting a spot on trend-starting threads. The 149 oozes status; the Paragon oozes style.
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#16 diplomat

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 08:51

QUOTE (Bill @ Jun 7 2009, 04:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The 149 is the powerful politician stoically getting out of his chauffeured Mercedes. The Paragon is Mario Cipollini parting the screaming fans and paparazzi without getting a spot on trend-starting threads. The 149 oozes status; the Paragon oozes style.
Bill


Bill, that's a great definition! clap1.gif

#17 gerryliao

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:51

do you find that the inner barrel of Omas Paragon tends to break very easily?






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