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OMAS "THe Paragon" Arte Italiana
Quick review
from the fountain pen of Giovanni Abrate

OMAS "The Paragon" 

A magical blend of vintage and modern

by Giovanni Abrate


 Part of the OMAS "Arte Italiana" series of classic fountain pens. 


This pen is a classic OMAS design. Mine is about ten years old and this particular model has recently been replaced by a new pen, of more contemporary design.

Still, in many ways this is THE classic OMAS fountain pen and several variants of this classic design are still being manufactured at the OMAS facility in Bologna.

The first impression given by the pen is its lightness!

This is a light pen, thanks to the material used in its construction: light resin, with no inner brass lining. The celluloid-type resin is of a type that is exclusive to OMAS and the pen uses a piston fill mechanism that does not employ brass or other metal parts. At first this lightness feels odd, but when one puts the pen to work, it feels comfortable and it reduces writing fatigue: this is a pen made to be used and enjoyed.

The pen is a piston filler and the filling knob feels very smooth: the pen fills without hesitation. It is important to expel a couple of drops of ink after filling the pen: this pen behaves like a vintage pen and I found that unless the feed/collector is purged by releasing a couple of drops of ink, the heat from the hand holding the pen will cause the air inside the barrel to expand to the point that the nib will release a drop of ink… be forewarned!



The pen has the classic 12-faceted OMAS shape both on the barrel and the cap. The cap is fitted with a three ring band sporting the Greek motif that has become a trademark of OMAS since it was first adopted in 1926.

The clip is a slim, classic shape and it is equipped with the small roller that in Italy is known by the name “ruzzolina”!

The same three ring decoration that is used on the clip is also used on the barrel, just above the threads, in a slightly smaller size.

The nib is an 18K, two-tone  (F in my pen) nib with a considerable amount of flex.  I have been using this pen next to a Waterman Man100 and a Parker Duofold Centennial and their nibs are very stiff, the proverbial “nails”. The Waterman and Parker pens have smooth nibs, but they have absolutely no “give”: they are typical “manifold” nibs, as found on the majority of modern pens. The OMAS is completely different: the nib flexes with very little pressure and gives a fair amount of line variation. It is a very smooth nib, with a generous ink flow.

OMAS nib trace

This adds to the vintage feel of the pen!


The OMAS “The Paragon” is an addictive pen: once you start using it, it is hard to go back to another pen: I think it is the combination of light weight and the wonderful flexible nib that did it for me!

I understand that not all OMAS pens offer flexible nibs: I am glad my pen came with one, it really adds interest and character to anyone’s handwriting.

Defects? It’s hard to find any flaw in this pen… Personally, I would have liked to see an ink-view window, to monitor the ink supply.  In order not to spoil the clean design of the pen, OMAS could have used a small Visulated section like the ones used by Sheaffer for their classic Balance pens.

Still, this is a small detail and one that does not detract from the wonderful writing experience provided by this modern classic!

My vote: 9 out of 10!


  2014 Giovanni Abrate - all rights reserved

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