Photography, Travel and Fountain Pens


Winter 2016

Omas Bologne in Burkina celluloid

This is the last of the three Omas celluloid fountain pens I managed to grab in a frenzy towards the end of 2016.  I had been labouring under a self-imposed fountain pen-buying ban since the Summer, when I had taken steps to reduce and consolidate my collection.  that consolidation process resulted on a focus on Italian and Japanese fountain pens, but mainly Italian fountain pens, and mainly Omas fountain pens.  The “Bologne” from Omas is a large fountain pen with a piston- filling mechanism like the other high- end models.  However I believe it is less favoured among Omas collectors and the general fountain- pen buying public as within the range exit a number of cheaper resin fountain pens with a cartridge- converter filling mechanism, some of which are in rather garish colours.  I know these models are popular with some enthusiasts, though they never really appealed to me.  This Burkina celluloid model on the other hand, together with its Lucens counterpart, are very appealing.  Like the Lucens, it has a sterling silver section (a no-no for some, not a issue for me), a nice balance, and is surprisingly light weight, without feeling cheap.  Unlike the Lucens design it doesn’t have the Omas “O” logo on the finial.  Being called “Burkina”, the celluloid’s obviously inspired by African design.  It is a very vibrant yellow, with long black checks darting in and out of the golden yellow celluloid.  Very unique indeed.  I like it.


As with the Omas Cinema, the Omas Burkina Bologne has a Medium nib.  It’s a Bock medium, but is smooth and wet and is also nice to write with straight out of the box.


A nice addition to my Omas collection.





Omas “The Cinema” in grey celluloid

Like the Omas Princess below, I found this piece towards the end of the year in a frantic search for ever declining Omas stock on eBay.  I got it at a great price too, so was a little apprehensive at first as to the condition of the pen.  The Omas “the Cinema” pen arrived in a somewhat unobtrusive 80’s looking plastic box, but when I opened the lid…bam!  What a celluloid this is!  I haven’t heard much talk about the the grey celluloid in general, let alone the Omas Cinema in particular, so really didn’t know what to expect.  As mentioned below, I have a number of the arco celluloids that people rave so much about, but I have to say this grey celluloid (what I can only describe as crushed black velvet, but shinier, and more impressive), is spectacular!  It has a unique cap band as well with little film cameras and film reels etched onto it, in lieu of the usual greek key design.  It sounds weird and blingy but doesn’t look tacky at all.  The gold is a bright and shiny contrast to the deep black/grey celluloid body of the pen.


The 18ct gold nib on this Omas Cinema is Medium.  However, it is no ordinary medium.  I believe this is not a Bock nib at all but one of the Omas nibs made in- house.  It looks fantastic and is a real joy to write with.  I don’t know how, but it just feels like I’m writing with pure gold.  Has a lovely ebonite feed too.


So sad Omas are out of business- but so glad I managed to grab this pen.  I’d give the Omas “The Cinema” 5*…and an oscar too!



Here it is taking centre stage, with my new Omas Princess and my trusty favourite, arco-verde Paragon…


Finally, all the Omas celluloid’s together…


Omas Princess, Blue- Royale celluloid

I found this piece towards the end of the year in a frantic search for ever declining Omas stock.  I hadn’t had the blue-royale celluloid on my radar at all, favouring the more obvious arco-bronze and arco-verde’s, but I found this Omas Princess at a decent price (well, decent given the stratospheric rise of Omas over the past 12 months since closing business!) on eBay.  It has an old- school vintage look with a blue cotton tassle (tassie?)  attached to the finial.  It is a very small light-weight fountain pen, with the typical piston- filling mechanism.  It isn’t a design I would normally go for with more modern pens, but I have bought a few vintage pens with a similar look in the past.  As for the celluloid, blue isn’t really my favourite colour, except for the Ao-tamenuri of Nakaya, but due to aging(!) exposure to light (oxidation?  I was never good at science…) it has turned a kind of purpley- blue.


This Fine 18ct gold nib is smoooooth!  Has a nice 8/10 ink flow and is just a joy to write with.  I think was one of the in- house Omas made before they started using Bock nibs.  It’s a lot smaller than the nib on my Paragon, but still, wonderful to write with.


A great little pen for the price, adds a nice variety to my Omas celluloid collection.


This photo doesn’t show the colour but gives some idea of the depth of celluloid…


This photo is a somewhat exaggerated representation of the blue/ purple colour, without demonstrating any of the depth or shininess of the celluloid material…


Last attempt…I think this is the most accurate representation of the blue-royale celluloid.


Omas Paragon, Arco- Bronze Celluloid

I finally added an Omas Paragon (new style) to my collection.  Here are some pics.  Suffice to say it was well worth the buy.  I scoured the internet looking for this pen soon after hearing of the sad demise of Omas.  Alas they were sold out everywhere.  Everywhere that is, except Amazon of all places!  So I picked one up in a Medium nib, naturally- this is Amazon after all.


I must say I was pleasantly surprised by this nib.  It doesn’t have the springiness/ softness of the Broad Arco Ogiva I have, or the old style- Arvo- Verde Paragon, but it is an incredibly wet, smooth writer which is a joy to use.  I don’t have ANY Medium nibs that haven’t been customised in some way to oblique/ stub/ cursive italic/ flex etc. etc.  So this is my one factory Medium nib in my now much smaller but more concentrated fountain pen collection.


I am SO glad I finally got this pen!


Here are some pics taken with my iPhone 6s.  Lighting conditions not great, but I think the iridescence is still clear…

The plush packaging


2 Paragons
Close up of the nibs- I quite like the sterling silver sections

Group Photo…

Autumn 2015

Here are some of my Omas fountain pens, resting on my Nagasawa leather pen pouch.  (Please see the Accessories page for more information on Nagasawa kip leather products).  The Arco- brown celluloid is often cited as the best celluloid material anywhere.  Fortunately, I have two Omas fountain pens in this finish.  I would love to add a third with the newer, heftier Omas Paragon…if only I had the budget.


Omas is by far my favourite Italian fountain pen brand.  I have owned Visconti’s and Montegrappa’s, (Monteverde’s!) as well but really, Omas is by far the best.  Not just for the celluloid; as you will see below, Montegrappa also makes some wonderful celluloid pens, but Omas nibs are unparalleled.  Springy, with excellent flex to bring out the best in shading inks, they generally make your handwriting look much more sophisticated than it would otherwise.

To me they give the sensation of writing with pure gold.  I have used 21ct gold Sailor nibs, and to me they resemble gold far less than the 18ct gold you generally find in Omas. They also have a lot of tipping and are the best nibs for customisation.  But even without customisation, Omas nibs are awesome.  The Omas Ogiva in Arco- brown celluloid is one of my nicest writers, with its Broad (more like BB), unmodified 18ct gold nib.  Here it is…

Close- up of the cap
Showing off the “Broad” nib. It’s more like a Double Broad, or even a Stub
...last one.
…last one.


Here is a close- up of my Omas 360.  I had the medium nib customised to a crispy cursive italic.  Unfortunately it started leaking in the section where the gold collar meets the celluloid.  I will have to get this mended at some point, but for now I use it as a dip pen.


Nib shot; Omas 360 with medium cursive italic nib
Nib shot; Omas 360 with medium cursive italic nib
Omas 360 Arco Brown Celluloid with medium nib cut to a cursive italic
Shimmering celluloid

The Arco- Verde (green, obviously) celluloid is also very nice, as featured on one of my favourite fountain pens below; the Omas Old style Paragon with ruthenium trim.  Some people do not like this celluloid combination but I love the cool, stony colours of this pen.  This celluloid also works perfectly with the ruthenium trim.  I actually prefer greens and greys to reds and browns (same for Nakaya, I much prefer the Ao- tamenuri and Midori finishes to the more popular Aka- tamenuri “reddish red”).  I even considered getting the Omas Ogiva in the Saft-green instead of the Arco-brown but it wasn’t available at the time.  This pen is perfect filled with Pilot Iroshizuku’s Fyu-syogun, with the medium oblique (OM) cursive italic nib showing off the excellent shading properties of this ink.

Omas Old style Paragon with ruthenium trim

Some more eye-candy…


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