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Archive for August 5th, 2015

A Golden Opportunity

Posted by Dirck on 5 August, 2015

I had an opportunity over the long week-end to handle an OMAS 360, a pen currently above my station, thanks to gold.  And to what appears to be the standard of quality control in Italian pen manufacturers.

Let me touch that latter point first, since it laid down the trail of gunpowder in this story.  I’ve mentioned before (see item 2 here) that I have a rather jaundiced view of Italian pen makers, and recent events have not amended that stance.  I haven’t handled huge heaps of Italian pens, but leaving aside the clearly low-end things like I got a pile of last month, almost every one of them has been handled to address some kind of flow problem.  The latest, a limited edition of the model, arrived in the hands of its owner in such a state that those hands became trembling fists.  Beautiful, certainly, but unwilling to emit ink.  Driven into a frenzy of frustration, the owner tapped the end of the pen on the paper, trying to jar the ink in it to the tip, where it might do some good.

At this point, the gold element of the story appears.  The gesture I describe is one which most fountain pen users will recognize, even if they won’t freely admit to doing it (who has ever admitted to being asleep, rich, or a pen-tapper?).  Usually it’s not fatal.  However, in the case of an 18K pen point, the softness of the element alloyed with the wickedness of the person in the OMAS factory who should keep such things from getting into the world, and the result was this:


That doesn’t look so bad….


Oh. Yeah. That’s a problem.


I applied myself to the problem, and once the gross bending was dealt with I found something of a surprise.  Usually, the Italian pens’ complaints are in the area of baby-bottom tipping or a compressed slit.  It seems that in this case, the problem was a slit left too wide, which made capillary action work against rather than for the cause of writing.  That was rather more easily dealt with than the bend, and we end with a pen that…

It does, I'll admit, so some signs of having been through a surgery.

…shows some signs of having been through a surgery.  I’ll admit it.

But it's now a shape that will transmit data in the usual manner.

But it’s now a shape that will transmit data in the usual manner.

Not perfect, but in terms of function a lot more willing to commit words to paper than the unblemished factory original state.  I found, in the course of this experience, that I rather like the 360– I’m more likely to seek one out than I am a Montblanc 149, should funds galore appear.

Even it it does sort of look like a straightened-out Pelikan Twist.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Balance Defender
Today’s ink: Jentle blue-black

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