Omas’ latest limited edition fountain pen, the Ogiva Vintage, is the last pen in their Vintage Limited Edition series, a series that brings back the classic designs of this Italian company. The Ogiva model, created in 1927, features a smooth, rounded shape that’s quite refreshing when compared to the faceted Arte Italiana or triangular 360 that seems to get so much attention.
This limited edition fountain pen differs from the Ogiva Vision that was featured in our Awesome Review in that it is entirely made of celluloid and comes in two brand new colors for this model: Arco Brown (or Bronze Arco as I like to call it) with yellow gold plated trim and Green Saft with rose gold plated trim. There’s no difference in the shape or size between this Ogiva and the Vision, but thanks to the celluloid material the Vintage weighs in at 21 grams, 2 less than the resin Vintage, though you’re not likely to notice the difference.
Much of what I mentioned in the Awesome Review of the Ogiva Vision applies to the Vintage, so I’m not going to repeat the similarities. I’ll mostly be highlighting the differences and providing lots of eye candy.
The biggest concern, if you read the Awesome Review of the Ogiva Vision, is if the piston filling unit has been improved. If you’ll recall, the piston in the Ogiva Vision was sticky throughout its movement and generally felt pretty terrible during use. Kenro, the US distributor for Omas, heard our complaint and specifically mentioned that they would work with Omas to resolve the situation.
I’m very happy to say that the piston is much improved over the one in the Vision. There’s no sign of sticking and the operation is much smoother. The piston is not as smooth as what’s in my Pelikans (one M200, two M800s and one M1000), but I’m not sure you’d notice the difference unless you used them side-by-side. When operating any of the Pelikans, the piston just glides through the barrel with such little resistance it feels like you’re not actually doing anything except twisting the knob. This Omas isn’t quite that smooth. There’s slightly more resistance during operation which lets you know that you’re definitely making something happen inside the barrel. It’s a huge improvement over the piston in the Ogiva Vision and one that makes using the pen just that much more enjoyable.
The most noticeable difference between the Ogiva Vintage and the Vision is the material. Most of you are probably aware that one of my favorite materials is Omas’ Bronze Arco celluloid. I would buy polished rods of that stuff just to stare at if Omas would be willing to sell it to me. It’s easy to get lost in the depth and character of this particular celluloid.
But if the Arco doesn’t suit you, then
you should probably be on some kind of medication take a look at the Green Saft. I never paid much attention to this material until I saw it in person. It really is much more beautiful than I’ve seen it portrayed in any image. The best way I can describe it is that there’s large, drab olive colored masses separated by streams of black with multiple iridescent light green flakes floating throughout. It’s quite charming in its own right, but in my book it comes up a distant second to the Bronze Arco. Either way, they both deliver that warm touch that only celluloid offers and it feels fantastic in the hand.
For this pen, I chose Omas’ 14k Extra Flessibile nib with a fine point. The fine nib is true to size, measuring right on 0.5mm and, thanks the Extra Flessibile design, the tines open up to consistently produce a 1.2mm wide line. The 14k Extra Flessibile nib is much softer than the standard 18k nib that normally accompanies most Omas pens and provides a different, but equally enjoyable writing experience. Of course, a buttery smooth nib and a feed that delivers perfection contribute to that enjoyable experience.
One of the great things about the Ogiva, other than the nib, is its size and shape. It’s a medium-large pen that’s very similar in size to the Pelikan M800. It can be comfortably used in the posted or non-posted position and is light enough to prevent fatigue even after hours of writing.
The Omas Ogiva Vintage is a wonderful pen. It’s also an expensive pen, listing at $875. Realistically, you’ll be able to find it for about $700, which gets you an Italian made, piston-filling fountain pen limited to only 527 pieces, made from two gorgeous celluloids, and paired with your choice of a 18k gold nib or 14k Extra Flessibile nib.
For some, there will be no hesitation with this purchase. For others, it’ll be a serious investment, one that’s likely heavily weighed between several other very popular fountain pens the list of which would be exhaustive. I don’t think there’s much benefit in trying to figure out which pen would be the best value here, because, honestly, this price class isn’t about value. This price class is about charm, character, exclusivity, image, craftsmanship, and performance. And the Ogiva Vintage has all that in spades.