Founded in 1925 in Bologna OMAS was an Italian manufacturer of luxury goods. Their fountain pens weren’t cheap but they had strong following in the community. Sadly it wasn’t enough. In january 2015 company was put in liquidation.
OMAS stands for Officina Meccanica Armando Simoni. The company was founded by Armando Simoni, who also designed the tools and equipment needed to manufacture the OMAS line of pens.
Throughout the years OMAS manufactured a variety of pens, the top line being the faceted Arte Italiana range, as well as a variety of limited edition pens. In their history, they introduced a number of interesting designs such as the “Doctor’s pen” which had a tiny built-in clinical thermometer or the double-nibbed Itala in the 1920s and the 361 model in the late 1940s whose nib could be used as a hard writer if handled in one position and as a flexible writer in another.
In 2000, the French company LVMH acquired OMAS from the heirs of Armando Simoni. In October 2007 the Xinyu Hengdeli Group of Hong Kong purchased 90% equity stake in OMAS. Xinyu had a strategic partnership with LVMH and planned to use OMAS for its expansion of luxury goods in the Asian market. The company continued to be unprofitable and in 2011 it was sold to another Chinese company, O-Luxe. O-Luxe decided to close Omas in November 2015 and the company entered voluntary liquidation in January 2016 ceasing all trading.
Grey celuloid looks nice but it doesn’t offer the depth of Arco or Burkina celluloids. Still, on a sunny day grey, black and silverish patches glitter and are a joy to watch. The effect is more than satisfying.
So far I used seven Omas pens and owned three. This one is, undoubtedly, the most well made among them. Piston-filler works smoothly and the pen feels very soild and substantial in the hand. Evidently italians decided to accomplish successful marriage of italian style and german precision.
Writing sample (Robert Oster Blue Night on Fantastic Paper)
Omas Phaeton has Omas nib. This nib is boringly and predictably AWESOME. Wet, smooth and perfect. Omas nibs were (and still are) the nibs that fully meet my expectations. What can I say – the guy who invented a process of creating and tuning nibs for Omas was genius. This nib is simply stellar. In terms of pen-to-paper performace it offers everything I look for – great looks paired with smoothness and wetness.
I believe thar rich flow is possible because Omas used ebonite feeds instead of typical injection mold plastic feeds. Ebonite feeds aren’t mass produced like the plastic feeds because ebonite requires different technique to machine them into feeds.
The nib and feed combo gives juicy feel that I enjoy and look for in fountain pens.
Piston-filler. The piston operates smoothly and it holds enough ink for a typical day in the office. Or maybe even two.
Capped – 150 mm
Uncapped – 138 mm
Weight – 35 g
While i think Phaeton is much better pen (in terms of fit&finish and materials) than Omas 360 Burkina I reviewed a week ago, I’m not interested in looking for deals on this one. I enjoyed using it but it just doesn’t do to me what Omas Burkina does so well. It’s aesthetically pleasing, well build pen that’s almost impossible to find on aftermarket.