Omas Paragon Grand Arco Celluloid

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.

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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.

My experience with Omas is limited. Three years ago I went bonkers and bought orange Omas Ogiva Alba – the most expensive pen in my collection. While the pen disappointed me a little – I expected it would emanate high quality but it doesn’t – the smoothness of its medium nib still amazes me. It glides across the paper. Pure poetry. And the reason I still have the pen. During last two years  I bought two other Omas pens – vintage Extra and Emotica. While none of them is perfectly engineered, they all write like a dream.
I always wanted to try one of Omas celluloid pens but as they were in the upper price range I hesitated. Celuloid looks stunning, but it’s not most durable material. And even though I try to take care for my pens and not abuse them too much, I tend to forget I have them with me. Accidents happen. One example is my first Eversharp Skyline – I’ve broken it on the first day. I simply forgot I had it in my backpack, and while coming back from work I leaned against the doors in a train and heard CRACK. It’s as simple as that. Therefore reason dictates that I choose either durable or cheap pens.Unhappily I enjoy italian style too much to resist the urge.
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When vodnikvolsovecek proposed to borrow me some of his more interesting (and expensive pens) and I discovered that Omas Paragon Grand in brown Arco celuloid would be one of them I was impatient to try it.
Arco celuloid looks stunnig.
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Brown, orange, gold, red tones are all present. In person and on a sunny day the effect is AMAZING. The pen has twelve facets, which are slightly rounded. It’s widest at the top of the cap, and tapers a little towards the end of the barrel.

The clip feauturing a rolling “wheel” arches slightly from the cap. The center band is located near the end of the cap. It is engraved with OMAS The Paragon Italy, and a Greek Key design. As it’s made of silver, with time it develops patina that I like a lot.

Construction

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Omas Paragon Grand is a solid, well made and huge pen. It’s also quite heavy. It’s greater in both length and diameter than MB 149. The material looks stunning, especially in a daylight.

OMAS pens are turned from a single block of celluloid and just about everything on this pen is done by hand.  Even the nib was made in-house and it pays – it’s simply beautiful.

The hallmarked section is silver.  It is rounded and smooth. It tapers towards the nib and finishes in a faceted band that matches the shape of the body. I do realise that metal sections aren’t for everybody but personally I like them most.

Nib

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Writing sample (L’Artisan Pastellier Inti on cheap no-name notebook)

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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 performacce it offers everything I look for – great looks paired with smoothness and wetness.

I believe that 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.

Filling System 

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Piston-filler. The piston operates smoothly and it holds enough ink for a typical day in the office. Or maybe even two. There’s no ink window in this pen. A pity. Piston works smoothly. During the time with the pen (almost three months) I had no issues with it.

Dimensions

Capped – 150 mm

Weight – 48 g

Summary

This pen is simply stunning. The nib is perfect. Metal section sits well in the hand and is very comfortable. Arco celuloid looks amazing. On the other hand while this pen is marvelous it’s price is very high – reaching 1000 – 1500 $. For this price you’ll easily get few very good pens. I know this, I’ve analyzed everything. Still I feel tempted.

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One thought on “Omas Paragon Grand Arco Celluloid

  1. I’m not crazy about the Arco but here in combination with the patinated silver it simply looks stunning. Considering that it took me a decade to get an M1000 though, I don’t see myself ever owning one. So thanks for the review, I really enjoyed it and the photos especially.

    Like

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