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Modern Pens: The Omas 360



raging.dragon

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I believe the OMAS 360 and 360 Magnum were introduced some time in the late 1980's or early 1990's. I'm not certain when the 360 Magnum was discontinued; however, the 360 continued in OMAS's regular production line up until 2007. During this time several numbered limited editions and unnumbered special editions based on the 360 design were made in (relatively) small numbers. All 360 Magnums and the vast majority of 360's came with piston filler; however, a small number of cotton resin 360's were made with OMAS's Advanced Cartridge System (ACS) which used a metal carrier to hold a pair of standard international ink cartridges.

 

In 2007 a redesigned 360 was released, with a new clip, angled cap and barrel ends, a more rounded section, and cartridge/converter filler. Then in 2009 the Lamborghini LE introduced a third generation design, which kept most of the 2007 design, but reverted to the older trianglular section. This latest design has been subsequently used for additional Lamborghini LE's and the 2011 pens in blue or brown cotton resin with rose gold plated nib and trim. Starting in 2011 OMAS reindroduced the original 360 design as Vintage Limited Edition pens.

 

In 2003 the smaller cartridge filling 360 Mezzo was introduced. These pens were sold alongside the larger 360 and are still in production today. These pens are made from cotton resin, and although the line includes black and white pens, bright colours seem predominate. I am not aware of any limited or special edition pens based on the 360 Mezzo.

 

My collection focuses on the original 360 and the various Limited Edition's based upon it. The major design groups I intend to cover in follow up posts to this thread are:

 


  •  
  • Original 360, including:
    • Cotton resin (various colours)
    • Celluloid (various colours)
    • Vision HT
    • Vision Bronze

    [*] Burkina and Exotic Wood 360

    [*] T2 Titanium

    [*] Year of Imagination

    [*] Vintage LE

 

At some point in the future, I hope to add the 360 Magnum and the 360 Lucens and Personal Computer limited editions to my collection and this thread. I will also post brief blurbs summarizing what little I know about the 360 Magnum, Erasmus LE, and various obscure special editions based on the 360.

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Very nice collection of 360's there. I have a few

Black Magnum

Black HT

Wild

Bologna

Imagination

Lucens HT

White ballpoint

 

Got some photos somewhere but beats me where. Your photograph is exceeded only by the collection.

A. Don's Axiom "It's gonna be used when I sell it, might as well be used when I buy it."

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Makes me want to get my hands on a few more. Great pics. I really love the 360s size shape and materials. I always loved the exotic woods, just never got around to picking one up...

 

Just have two the Wild Thing Celluloid and the Blue transparent Vintage 360 edition with Rose Gold trim.

Edited by sarahfar
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Great collection. I have two older piston fillers and they're among my absolute favourites. Great design, excellent capacity, good nibs and they fit my hands like a ..., well an OMAS 360: it's my ergonomic standard, you see.

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Outstanding Collection!

The Vision Bronze is my favorite. Thank you for sharing the great photos and history timeline. Most interesting.

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Great collection (and plan).

 

I love these pens.

My (very humble) collection is composed by:

- Blue-black gt Magnum M

- Blue-black st F

- Vision Bronze B

- Vision HT factory italic

- Vintage 2011 (blue) M

- Vintage 2012 (red) M

Ciao - Enrico

Diplomat #1961

http://i384.photobucket.com/albums/oo288/enricofacchin/poker-3.jpg

Daddy, please no more pens - we need food, clothes, books, DENTISTRY...

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Nice! I have a few too -

 

Red Vintage LE (Mottishaw Stubbed F)

360 Lucens LE (EF)

Ebony (M)

 

I'd love to add a Burkina at some point. Lovely pens.

Too many pens; too little writing.

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Very nice collection of 360's there. I have a few

Black Magnum

Black HT

Wild

Bologna

Imagination

Lucens HT

White ballpoint

 

Got some photos somewhere but beats me where. Your photograph is exceeded only by the collection.

 

Thanks! All my 360's are in the group shot, and it'd be great to get pictures of the ones I don't have. Or even additional pictures of the ones I do have!

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Makes me want to get my hands on a few more. Great pics. I really love the 360s size shape and materials. I always loved the exotic woods, just never got around to picking one up...

 

Just have two the Wild Thing Celluloid and the Blue transparent Vintage 360 edition with Rose Gold trim.

 

I had the blue and rose gold Vintage LE, it's a great pen (like all the other 360's :) ), though I sold a few months ago after deciding to focus my 360 collection on the pre-2007 models. I have some photos of it that I'll posting when I get the Vintage LE's

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The original 360 was made was made in both celluloid and cotton resin, including two demonstrators. I've combined these into a single post since all are identical except for material, colour and pattern. This is the largest group of OMAS 360's made so far, and the representative examples in my collection are the two demonstrators, the Vision HiTech and Vision Bronze.

 

Appearance and Design: The OMAS 360 was designed with a large, rounded triangular shape, that was intended to provide an erogonomic grip. Triangular pens are not new and in theory this shape is ideal for the classic triangle grip. However, from the 360's inception, the triangular shape elicited love it or hate it reactions. Unlike the Parker 75 (one of the many preceeding pens with a trianglular gripping area), there was no easy way for a user to adjust the rotation of the nib and thus, depending on the specifics of one's grip the 360, will be either extremely comfortable or almost impossible to write with. While it is possible to pull the 360's nib and adjust it to suit one's grip, this is something few users are comfortable doing.

 

Weight and Dimensions: The OMAS 360 is a large pen, and while weight may vary a bit depending on the material used, other dimensions are constant across all variants. The 360 is a light pen, too light in fact, for the scales available to me to provide a meaningful reading.

 

  • Capped Length: 5.92" / 150 mm
  • Uncapped Length: 5.2" / 132 mm
  • Posted Length: 7.1" / 180 mm
  • Section Diameter: 11.4 - 13.6 mm
  • Barrel Diameter: 14.7 mm
  • Cap Diameter: 16.8 mm

 

Nib and Performance: The first 360's may have had nibs produced in house by OMAS; however, I believe the examples I've tried are all later production pens fitted with Bock nibs. These nibs are smooth, wet, and very soft - they are as close to a vintage semi-flex as you can get in a modern pen. The feeds are ebonite and in my experience have performed flawlessly.

 

Filling System: The original 360 has a piston filler. The mechanism works well, though like many OMAS piston fillers it can be a bit sticky. It also holds surprisingly little ink for a pen as large as the 360. Some 360's, otherwise identical to the standard 360, were made with OMAS's Advanced Cartridge System (ACS), but I'll cover those in a subsequent post.

 

Original Fullsized 360 Variants

 

Cotton Resin

 

The standard 360's were made from cotton resin, which is presumably closely related to celluloid but safer to store and easier to work with. The 18K gold nibs and base metal clip and trim are plated with either yellow Gold or Rhodium, with OMAS calling the latter Hi-Tech trim. Most pens came with a matching mono-colour nib, though at least some of the blue black pens with gold trim have duo tone nibs. The cap and section are both decorated with two metal bands. A wide band engraved with a greek key pattern and a solid narrow band. The traditional greek key motif contrasts with the otherwise very modern styling of the 360. The colours I know of are:

 

  • Blue Black with Gold trim with tri-color (Gold & Rhodium dual tone) nib
  • Blue Black with Rhodium (Hi-Tech) trim and nib
  • Venice Blue with yellow Gold trim and nib
  • Venice Blue with Rhodium (Hi-Tech) trim and nib
  • Iceberg White with Rhodium (Hi-Tech) trim and nib
  • Red with Rhodium (Hi-Tech) trim and nib

 

I've seen a few 360's made from grey cotton resin with with Rhodium (Hi-Tech) trim and nib; however, those were all ACS filling pens so I'm not certain whether or not the original piston filled 360 was ever offered in grey cotton resin. Additionally, I've seen hints that the original 360 may have been made in Green and Yellow, but again I have no confirmation of this. Those pens might have been special editions, or they might have be 360 Mezzos confused for original 360's.

 

Vision Hi-Tech and Bronze

 

Two cotton resin demonstrators were produced, the 360 Vision Hi-Tech and 360 Vision Bronze. These were identical to the other cotton resin 360, but made from clear cotton resin. Unlike the later Vintage LE's, the original 360 Visions were made with clear inner caps leaving the nib clearly visible.

 

  • Vision HT: clear transparent resin with Rhodium (Hi-Tech) trim and nib
  • Vision Bronze: amber transparent resin with yellow Gold trim and nib

 

Celluloid

 

The celluloid 360's were identical to the cotton resin 360's, except they're made from real celluloid (cellulose nitrate + camphor). Celluloid is higly flammable and off gasses pleasantly aromatic camphor, making it expensive to store in large quantities. Additionally, celluloid shrinks as it off gasses and OMAS go to great lengths to avoid shrinkage and resultant cracking (first aging their celluloid for years, then letting parts age for months between manufacturing steps). As a result the celluloid 360's were significantly more expensive than their cotton resin counterparts. The following colours were offered:

 

  • Wild celluloid with Rhodium (Hi-Tech) trim and nib
  • Pearl Grey with Rhodium (Hi-Tech) trim and nib
  • Royale Blue with Rhodium (Hi-Tech) trim and nib

 

OMAS offered several other celluloid colours in their Arte-Italiana line; however, I am not aware of them have ever been offered in the 360 line.

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Very nice raging! Excellent reference point for those tough-to-date OMAS 360s.

 

Dan

"Well, at least being into pens isn't a gross habit. Like smoking or whatever."

 

"Ahh, thanks?"

 

-My coworker Christine.

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The Burkina and exotic wood 360's were OMAS's first attempt at updating the 360 design, and of all the 360 design generations this one is my favourite (with the originals a close second). Only three pens were made following this design pattern, the Ebony wood, Snakewood and Burkina celluloid. I have both of the exotic wood versions, and while I'm not a huge fan of OMAS's distinctive Burkina celluloid (I neither love nor hate it), but I like the design of these pens so much I'm tempted to pick one anyway.

 

Appearance and Design: These pens retain the general shape and trianglular section of the original 360; however, the section is solid unadorned hallmarked stirling silver. A single cap band, presumably made of solid silver replaces the paired wide greek key engraved and narrow plain cap bands of the original 360. This new cap band is planer and more modern in appearance, with "OMAS" engraved on one face, "ITALY" engraved on the second face and a small greek key pattern engraved on the third face. The trim band between the barrel and blind cap is thicker than on previously described variants, and again presumably made of solid stirling silver. The original 360 clip is retained, and both it and the 18K gold nib are Rhodium plated 18K gold.

 

Weight and Dimensions: With their sterling silver sections these pens are considerably heavier than the original 360. Otherwise, there are no noticable changes to their dimensions.

 

Capped Length: 5.92" / 150 mm

Uncapped Length: 5.2" / 132 mm

Posted Length: 7.1" / 180 mm

Section Diameter: 11.4 - 13.6 mm

Barrel Diameter: 14.7 mm

Cap Diameter: 16.8 mm

 

Nib and Performance: Identical to the original 360.

 

Filling System: Piston filler identical to the original 360.

 

Burkina Celluloid

 

The 360 Burkina, with a cap and barrel made from OMAS's distinctive Burkina celluloid was introduced in 2005.

 

Ebony and Snakewood

 

I don't know when these pens were released, but based on the similarity of their trim and design to that of the Burkina, I assume they were introduced around the same time. Examing my pens carefully, I have determined that the cap has wooden overlay over a plastic inner liner. I assume that the barrel is made the same way. The blind cap is a wood overlay over a metal tube. There were two exotic wood 360's, the Ebony Wood and Snakewood. Both are incredibly hard to find and it is generally believed that production was halted early due a high frequency the wood cracking. Indeed, my Ebony fountain pen has developed multiple hairline cracks on the cap when exposed to dry winter air, and my Snakewood rollerball came with a single large crack in the blind cap (this was fully disclosed by the vendor).

 

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fpn_1347570916__omas360-snakewood-crack.png

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Well my photographic skills pale in comparison to those of raging.dragon but here goes nothing.

 

P1030403.JPG

 

P1030474.JPG

 

P1000741.JPG

 

P1000740.JPG

A. Don's Axiom "It's gonna be used when I sell it, might as well be used when I buy it."

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Bugmd you are too modest, you have always presented incredible pics, used to drool at your Omas pens over pentrace too.

 

Racing I think I remember John Mottishaw talking about the cracking problem and some product had or had access to that helped moisturize the wood and make sure it got adequate moisture not to crack. If leather dries out it too is very subject to cracking. Check out his site or get ahold of them, I'm pretty sure there is something that could help you avoid further cracking.

 

Best,

Mike

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Well my photographic skills pale in comparison to those of raging.dragon but here goes nothing.

 

P1030403.JPG

 

 

Impressive collection, bugmd.

A question about the 360 Lucens; is the section silver? With hallmarks? I have seen the model and edition number imprints, but not sure about the silver imprints. Gorgeous pen, with that great clip.

Thank you for sharing.

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As mentioned up above OMAS also made the 360 in a smaller "Mezzo" version that was cartridge only. There is a slight size and weight difference but in use it is definitely an OMAS 360. In fact I find my Mezzo versions get used far more often than the full size ones. Here is a short comparison of the Mezzo and Standard full size 360s.

 

First let's get the boring details out of the way...

 

http://www.fototime.com/853FAF24AEEB9DC/standard.jpg

 

Now the pictures.

 

http://www.fototime.com/4644364D6F0B601/medium800.jpg

 

http://www.fototime.com/47D0BA14B0F56AE/medium800.jpg

 

http://www.fototime.com/2353D1E9E0DC7A4/medium800.jpg

 

As I mentioned I actually tend to use the Mezzo more often than the Standard just as I find my old style Milords get more pocket time than my old style Paragons.

Edited by jar

 

My Website

 

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fpn_1347403674__group-capped.png

fpn_1347403717__group-uncapped.png

 

I believe the OMAS 360 and 360 Magnum were introduced some time in the late 1980's or early 1990's. I'm not certain when the 360 Magnum was discontinued; however, the 360 continued in OMAS's regular production line up until 2007. During this time several numbered limited editions and unnumbered special editions based on the 360 design were made in (relatively) small numbers. All 360 Magnums and the vast majority of 360's came with piston filler; however, a small number of cotton resin 360's were made with OMAS's Advanced Cartridge System (ACS) which used a metal carrier to hold a pair of standard international ink cartridges.

 

In 2007 a redesigned 360 was released, with a new clip, angled cap and barrel ends, a more rounded section, and cartridge/converter filler. Then in 2009 the Lamborghini LE introduced a third generation design, which kept most of the 2007 design, but reverted to the older trianglular section. This latest design has been subsequently used for additional Lamborghini LE's and the 2011 pens in blue or brown cotton resin with rose gold plated nib and trim. Starting in 2011 OMAS reindroduced the original 360 design as Vintage Limited Edition pens.

 

In 2003 the smaller cartridge filling 360 Mezzo was introduced. These pens were sold alongside the larger 360 and are still in production today. These pens are made from cotton resin, and although the line includes black and white pens, bright colours seem predominate. I am not aware of any limited or special edition pens based on the 360 Mezzo.

 

My collection focuses on the original 360 and the various Limited Edition's based upon it. The major design groups I intend to cover in follow up posts to this thread are:

 


  •  
  • Original 360, including:
    • Cotton resin (various colours)
    • Celluloid (various colours)
    • Vision HT
    • Vision Bronze

    [*] Burkina and Exotic Wood 360

    [*] T2 Titanium

    [*] Year of Imagination

    [*] Vintage LE

 

At some point in the future, I hope to add the 360 Magnum and the 360 Lucens and Personal Computer limited editions to my collection and this thread. I will also post brief blurbs summarizing what little I know about the 360 Magnum, Erasmus LE, and various obscure special editions based on the 360.

 

stunning collection and photography! While my collection comprises almost 100% of Japanese pens, the Omas 360 is one of the coolest pens out there.

 

Thank you very much

 

Nikolaos

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