|WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW|
|Model||Arte Italiana Art Déco Certified Edition|
|Dimensions||Capped Length: 142.4mm
Uncapped Length: 129mm
Barrel Ø: 13.3mm
Section Ø: 10mm
|Notes||Available in black, red, yellow. Limited to 1931 pieces in each color.|
|Price||MSRP $435, Street $348|
A few months ago we shared the announcement of the new addition to Omas’ Arte Italiana line: the Art Déco Collection comprised of a Certified Edition limited to 1931 pieces for each color and a Limited Edition version limited to 931 pieces. The Arte Italiana line is a tribute to the original twelve faceted model designed by Armando Simoni in 1930, but features a few modern styling cues. The Art Déco brings back that vintage style in all its glory. Follow along as I share my experience with a design icon of the pen community.
The Art Déco Certified Edition is a piston filling fountain pen available in black, yellow, or red cotton resin. The pen is slightly smaller in all dimensions than the Milord and when combined with the cotton resin material, it makes for an extremely light pen. The Art Déco CE weighs in at a feather-like 20g, which means it’s a great candidate for those of you who write for hours on end. Personally, I found it almost too light. Unfortunately, posting the cap doesn’t make much of a difference to the feel of it in your hand. It really didn’t make a difference to me whether I posted it or not.
The good thing about posting this pen is that you can be sure the cap won’t go anywhere. While posted, I was able to flick the pen back and forth by the cap, actually causing ink to fly out from the feed, without the cap budging a bit.
One of my favorite things about his pen is the cap and its features. I find the roller wheel clip to be very functional in that it’s easy to clip with one hand but has enough tension to stay where you put it. Plus, it just looks fantastic. I don’t know what it is about roller clips, but in general, I much prefer them over any other design. The cap band also looks fantastic. It features two thin bands on either side of a larger band imprinted with Omas’ signature Greek key frets.
So, what’s it like to use? Did Omas create the next ‘must have’ pen or did they crash and burn? Well…neither, really. Omas has created a really great pen with the Art Déco. Most of that greatness comes from the titanium nib. Even though it’s only available in Fine or Medium widths, the semi-flex it has more than makes up for the limited selection of widths.
The quality of flex in this titanium nib is very good. It doesn’t feel mushy like palladium, but it doesn’t have the response of vintage flex either. Although, what modern pen does? What I was most impressed with was the smoothness of the nib both when writing with no pressure and when flexing it. Most flexible nibs tend to have a little tooth when exercised but not this one. It was as smooth as anyone could ask for.
The ebonite feed did an admirable job of providing adequate ink flow. Whether I was quickly scribbling with little pressure or really putting the flex through its paces, the feed didn’t have a problem keeping up. When writing with no pressure, the flow is fairly wet, which will make ink and paper choice critical. If you’re using quality papers like Rhodia and Clairefontaine then you should be fine. But on copy paper and Moleskine I experienced feathering and bleed-through.
The Art Déco CE is a great choice for someone with the budget for a premium Italian fountain pen. If you don’t have any experience with Omas then this would be a great introduction. For the price, you’re getting a high quality pen with a semi-flexible titanium nib and a piston filler that’s also limited to only 1931 pieces. But most of all, you’re getting a fantastic writing experience.
There’s no doubt that Omas played it safe with the Art Déco Collection. By pricing them $100 cheaper than the resin Milord and $250 cheaper than the celluloid version, Omas has made a pen they knew would sell. Their classic faceted design, the style of the clip, the triple cap bands, the non-metal section, they’re all fan favorites. It’s hard to fault Omas for that. After all, why mess with success.