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Separated By Over 70 Years... Two Bolognesi Classics Finally Come Together



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Jason Oliver

It's probably for the better that OMAS is no longer with us... marketing executives would never let pens like this leave the factory! Much too 'sedate' for the modern consumer, I'm sure...

 

2003 Paragon Royal Blue celluloid (LVMH era) and 1934 Extra Permanio tortoise shell celluloid (La Stilografica - Bologna origin)

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Both pens are true beauties! But I have to disagree, it's a pity that OMAS closed it's doors forever. They made stunning pens till the end and struggled because nobody was willing to pay for the incredible craftsmanship and manual labour they put into their pens. I think it's a big loss.

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I visited many times the shop La Stilografica in Bologna when I was a university student there 30 years ago ....

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Both pens are true beauties! But I have to disagree, it's a pity that OMAS closed it's doors forever. They made stunning pens till the end and struggled because nobody was willing to pay for the incredible craftsmanship and manual labour they put into their pens. I think it's a big loss.

Not quite true - they kept experimenting with expensive materials requiring expensive machinery despite being told not to by their owning company (in the same way SAAB did when told not to by GM), net result they kept on losing money.

 

A number of the craftsman and other staff are still around and have started up their own company - Scrittura Bolognese (ScriBo). Their website is at https://www.scritturabolognese.com/ - I've seen two pens available online - the Write Here exclusively from Write Here (I bought it at the last London Pen Show) and the Letteratura - available from La Couronne du Compte.

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Wasn't the cost of the craftsman that was the problem or the costs of Production. It was the costs of investing in machinery to play with titanium and a dirth of expensive to make high end, multi thousand pound/euro/dollar cost pens.

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Jason Oliver

Wasn't the cost of the craftsman that was the problem or the costs of Production. It was the costs of investing in machinery to play with titanium and a dirth of expensive to make high end, multi thousand pound/euro/dollar cost pens.

 

They should've just stuck with celluloid rods and semi-flessible nibs.... if it ain't broke don't fix it ;)

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  • 3 months later...

They should've just stuck with celluloid rods and semi-flessible nibs.... if it ain't broke don't fix it ;)

Except for all of us who stopped buying when the italics, stubs, and OBBs became scarier than hens teeth.

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Jason Oliver

Except for all of us who stopped buying when the italics, stubs, and OBBs became scarier than hens teeth.

 

factory OMAS stubs are out there, but definitely gotta search hard! my royal blue Paragon has one...

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While both OMAS pens are indeed stunning, I vastly prefer the appearance of the 2003 Paragon Royal Blue over the 1934 Extra Permanio, and I don't mean blue versus brown celluloid which are equally gorgeous. Rather, for me, it's the elegant cap ring and the tactile paragon shape of the 2003 pens that really sets it apart from its 1934 counterpart, if you will.

I think those 70 years really highlight the steady evolution of OMAS' craft and design as technology slowly improved -- that OMAS was near its pinnacle of creativity, design and craftsmanship by 2003, if not earlier.

But the increased scarcity of OMAS specialty nibs -- stubs, italics and obliques -- slowly eroded away at those of us in the minority who prefer such nibs. We were left with that difficult decision of whether to buy an expensive OMAS pen and settle on a nib size that we didn't necessarily want. At least that's how it was for me.

I think OMAS got pinched between an unfortunate economic downturn and pressure from O-Luxe (OMAS' Chinese holding company) to earn a sufficient profit. But the truth is, would we ever have looked at OMAS the same if they suddenly produced an inexpensive, albeit profitable, line of pens just to appease O-Luxe? And perhaps even more importantly, could OMAS actually have ever designed and produced such a line of pens? OMAS' aspirations always seemed so much higher and grander, and perhaps that was their true weakness.

So, do I miss OMAS? Yeah, I sure do. Their pens weren't "sedate" or "gaudy." They were the epitome of elegance. That's probably why most of us cherish the OMAS pens that we own, regardless of whether we use them or not. I certainly do.

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  • 3 weeks later...
dappledawndrawn

What beauties! I need to take a second look at my own OMASes now... Sometimes you get so used to your pens that it takes fresh eyes to truly appreciate how splendid they are!

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What beauties! I need to take a second look at my own OMASes now... Sometimes you get so used to your pens that it takes fresh eyes to truly appreciate how splendid they are!

 

You're sure darn right. I did the same after posting a lot about OMAS pens here on FPN recently. It was nice to see my OMAS pens with fresh eyes knowing how beautiful these pens are. OMAS really did make some splendid pens worth cherishing.

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