OMAS MODERN NIBS- FROM 14 CT TO 18 CT
A short review on the differences of Omas nibs used from the 1980’s to 2014
In the early 1980’s Omas introduced a new line of pens in black facetted cotton resin. The line comprised three sizes: Omas 557/F (the Paragon), Omas Gentleman and Omas Dama.
On these models Omas used Omas Extra Lucens nibs, which were however different from the early Extra Lucens nibs Omas had used so far on its high-end celluloid models such as Gentlemen and Milord. The new nibs were 14 ct gold but had a round vent hole and offered less flexibility in comparison to the vintage ones.
The leading model of these years was the Paragon (initially identified with 557/F and later simply called Extra), flanked by the Gentleman. The difference between the two models was simply the finish, as they have the same design, the same length and the same girth.
The Paragon ( be it 557/F or Extra) has a greek-key band on the grip and a two tone 14 k nib while the Gentleman has no decorative band on the grip and a single tone 14 k nib.
The two nibs are actually identical.
The two-tone effect is simply achieved adding rhodium plated finish to some areas of the nib, but this is only aesthetic decoration which does not affect the performance of the nib.
These 14 ct gold nibs were used for more than a decade.
They are very smooth and fairly flexible. They are definitely less performing than vintage Extra Lucens nibs yet very qualitative.
14 carat gold nibs were used from the early 1980s to the mid 1990s for every Omas model. We find them on resin and celluloid Paragons and Milords, on early 360s and on the large number of limited and special editions Omas marketed during this glorious decade.
Not all 14 kt nibs of this era have the same characteristics. In many cases, smaller nibs ( used for instance on 556 Ogivas in colorful resin) are less flexible than larger nibs, which were used for Paragons and Gentleman models.
There are however a few limited/special editions manufactured by Omas in these years, which have very special 14 ct gold nibs.
One of them is the Alma Mater Studiorum, dedicated to the University of Bologna. This model sports very pleasant and fexible nibs, which are extremely responsive.
The Italia 90 Limited edition, both in green and blue resin, has 14 ct gold nibs which have a special engraving with the date 90 inserted into the stylized outline of an arrow. These nibs are extremely flexible and can offer thick/thin lines with a minimal pressure of the hand.
The new 18 ct gold nibs do not differ in shape from the previous 14 ct gold nibs but they are much less performing in terms of flexibility.
These nibs are more on the rigid side.For this reason, in the late 1990s Omas started offering 14 ct “Flessibile” nibs as a special feature; they could be had on a number of models and were meant to meet the needs of more demanding customers in terms of flexibility.
In the early 2000s there was another change in the production of Omas nibs. New 18 ct gold nibs manufactured by Bock were adopted. These nibs are completely different from the previous ones: their geometry is different as well as their engravings.
They can be found on New Style Paragons, Milords and Bolognas as well as on the latest Omas creation, the Cruise line.
These nibs are smooth writers but very rigid and are certainly not suitable for those who look for line variations.