Timestamps for the video:
- 1:59 – Unboxing
- 3:43 – Color Options
- 4:43 – Materials/Cotton Resin
- 6:05 – Weight
- 6:26 – Filling Mechanism
- 7:48 – Features
- 8:15 – Ink Capacity
- 8:33 – Nib Options
- 9:51 – More Features
- 11:51 – Comparison to Ogiva Alba
- 12:39 – Inking it up
- 14:24 – How it writes
Omas is a boutique fountain pen company that has been around since 1925, and is a relatively recent addition to our store at GouletPens.com. I introduced them to you with the Ogiva Alba in November of 2014, and I was able to interview Luca Baglione, the Brand VP for Omas in Italy. He showed us all insights into how the cotton resin is made, and how ebonite feeds are cut.
Omas has been bringing out several limited edition pens so far this year to celebrate their 90th anniversary, and the one I’m introducing to you today is the Omas Arte Italiana Vision Milord. The Arte Italiana is one of their oldest designs, with an art deco look that dates back to the original design in the 1930’s. Its dodecagonal (12-sided) facets are very unique, and very labor intensive to produce. It’s definitely something you don’t see other pen companies doing, and helps explain why they’re only making 331 of each color worldwide (unfortunately, they’re not actually numbered on the pen). At $625 MSRP ($495 at GouletPens.com), you’ll see some features on these pens you wouldn’t normally see.
The Vision was an inspiration from Omas based on the look of watercolors. The two colors, Liquid Blue and Liquid green, are translucent cotton resin material with a warm feel to the touch. Cotton resin is a proprietary Omas material that uses a blend of cotton seeds and resin to make a durable material that feels a lot like celluloid, but without the drawbacks of a purely natural material. The Liquid Blue pen is trimmed nicely in rhodium hardware, while the Liquid Green is matched with a stealthy ruthenium, which is a gun metal-type color that you don’t often see. Nice pairings on these ones Omas!
The Vision is a mid-heavy weight pen at 33g, with a lot of that weight being in the metal grip of the pen. Normally I’m not such a huge fan of a metal grip, but on this pen there’s a functional purpose for it. The grip helps provide structural stability for the pen so that the piston mechanism can go down into the grip to give it additional ink capacity. The Milord size is the smaller of the two sizes you’ll see the Arte Italiana model in, the larger size being the Paragon. Typically the Milord is a cartridge/converter pen, but on the Vision it is a piston-filler that gets you around 1.2ml ink capacity.
The feel in the hand is noticeably front-weighted due to the metal grip and resin body. For those with smaller hands, you’ll likely be inclined to grip the pen a little closer to the nib to balance that out. For those with larger hands (like me) I find it to still be comfortable. Posted, the pen is fairly long, but actually quite well-balanced as the long cap balances out the heavy metal grip. The grip is fairly long with a very slight taper, and the threads are shallow and fairly far back on the pen, which really don’t affect your holding the pen even if you hold it far back.
The nib offering on the Vision is the same as it was when we offered the Ogiva Alba:
- 14k EF Extra Flexible
- 14k F Extra Flexible
- 18k EF
- 18k F
- 18k M
- 18k M italic (1.1 stub, untipped)
All of the nibs are #6 size (fairly large) and are individually fitted with heat-set ebonite feeds. Ebonite feeds are reminiscent of an era gone by in fountain pens, and are largely replaced by plastic ones by just about all other pen companies. The reason ebonite is good is because it can be heat-set to each nib, and the porous nature of the ebonite material assists in the capillary action required for proper ink flow.
The nibs are quite springy, and you’ll notice there are 18k and 14k (extra flexible) options. The 14k is quite flexible, so much so that it’s actually pretty easy to spring the tines (bend them so far they don’t bend back properly). As such, I recommend these nibs only for those experienced hands who really know what they’re getting into. The 18k nibs are the more conventional ones, and though they’re not advertised as flexible, they are springy and give a really luxurious feel as you’re writing. Gold nibs like this act sort of like a shock absorber does on your car, adjusting a bit as you write to give a smoother feel as you go. If you have an Ogiva you can expect these pens to write exactly the same as the nibs and feeds are identical on the Vision.
Whichever nib you go for, they’re going to write a bit wet. Being European nibs they’re going to write with a nib width similar to what you’d expect from other companies like Lamy, Parker, Waterman, and Aurora. The finer nib sizes will be slightly broader than Japanese brands like Pilot and Platinum. All of the nib sizes are quite smooth, with a touch of feedback to give you just about the right amount of responsiveness on the paper. Writing on Rhodia smooth paper, I found it to be just about as smooth as I’d want it to be, and I really like smooth nibs.
The last thing I wanted to talk about is the cap. Even though it has an elaborate art deco design with the Omas name, the inside threads are a sturdy resin that gives a really smooth feel as you cap and uncap the pen. The threads are about as long as you’d want, giving the cap about 1.25 rotations to remove it. That’s about the limit of being able to unscrew in a single twist, so I’m glad it’s not any further than that. The cap pushes to post onto the body of the pen (overtop of the filler knob, so no worries about that untwisting while you write). The clip is fairly tight which means you probably won’t want to shove this thing on your overall jeans, though the clip wheel helps.
You can get more details and pictures of the Omas Arte Italiana Vision on GouletPens.com. This is a limited edition pen that won’t be around forever, so if you’re interested in one for yourself for $495, you should bump it to the top of your wish list.