Tuesday, March 28, 2006

OMAS Ogiva Vision- Review

First Impressions

I have been wanting the OMAS Ogiva Vision for quite some time now, at least since I really started to like OMAS pens about less than a year ago. Since I like demonstrators and I like the style and length of the Ogiva in general, the Vision model would be a great addition to my OMAS collection. I happen to be at John Mottishaw table at the 2006 Los Angeles Fountain Pen Show for a few nib adjustments on my Tibaldi Fountain Pen nib and I sat down and saw his menagerie of New and Used Fountain Pens. Since he is an Authorized OMAS dealer amongst other things, I knew he had some cool stuff to check out.

I was originally looking for the Ogiva Vision in High Tech (Silver Trim) rather than the GT (Gold Trim) I couldn’t pass up the chance to pick this pen up at a great price and also have the nib adjusted for my style of writing. The pen is slightly larger than the OMAS D-day Anniversary Pen and that is definitely a good thing!!! There were a few of them available but only in a Fine nib and I wanted a Broad or a Medium but I really wanted the broad nib. I saw the pen and I knew I had to buy it, there was no way around it!!!!

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Appearance/ Finish 5 out of 5

The pen is a demonstrator but since this is the GT version, there is a slight tint to the color of the pen. The HT version had a completely clear appearance on the Barrel, Cap and Section while the GT had a slightly yellowish tint to it. It matches the gold trim and the gold colored nib.The pen is, well, see through and that is why they call it a Vision!!! The pen has no rough edges and the pen looks like it had good quality control at the factory in Italy. Overall, this is a smooth pen that will get lots of attention like all demonstrators do.

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Design/Size/Weight 5 out of 5

The dimensions of this pen are as follows: 5 5/8 inches with the pen capped and a width of 1 ¾ inches and an approximate weight of .8 ounces. This is not what I consider an Oversize pen nor a small pen. I would say that this is close to a full size pen that fits very well in the hand. The weight is standard for a pen of this length and width. As I said, this is an Ogiva body that is clear or in my case, OMAS calls the slight tint “Bronze”. The cap is very light and posting it does not throw off the balance at all. So If you prefer posting the cap, you are not going to notice the pen being top heavy, or at least not in my opinion.

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The clip on this pen has the standard roller wheel on it which makes clipping the pen to a pocket a total breeze. One thing that I saw that I really didn’t care for was that the wheel is made out of plastic rather than the standard metal wheel. The Wheel is black and it matches the washers and rubber components inside the cap and also in the piston mechanism.

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There is a trim ring that has the standard “Greek key’ design that most Italian pens are known for. Some do not like trim rings especially when they are so close to the nib, to me, this is not much of an issue but I do understand the complaint. The cap band also has the “Greek Key” design also and I would be surprised if it didn’t have it!! The barrel is slightly faceted but not to the extent as a Paragon is. The section area where your fingers are when you write is not faceted and rather comfortable.

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Nib Design and Performance 5 out of 5

Ok here are the real important things that you all need to know, the nib!! The nib on this pen is a single tone Gold colored nib that is about the same size as whats on the fullsize Paragon and 360 Magnum. The nib is 18kt gold with the typical OMAS arrow looking design. The nib on this pen is friction fit with a nice ebonite feed which is really needed for a heavy flowing pen.

This particular nib was originally a fine but I had John Mottishaw swap it out with a broad nib instead. My OMAS D-Day Anniversary pen also has a Broad nib and it is as smooth as smooth can be. I was hoping that this would be the case!! I like heavy flowing pens and when John Mottishaw removed the old nib and unit to exchange it with a broad nib, there were a few things he had to do first. He inspected the feed and he cleaned out some of the ebonite shavings that were imbedded in the feeds channels. John wanted to know if I like a heavy flow and of course, you all know that answer. So he increased the width and depth of the channels on the feed. He also wanted to make sure that the feed would keep up with the nib to ensure a constant and consistent flow of ink to the nib. Once that was done, he had me test the nib out and see if the nib needed a bit of smoothing and it did!! About 2 minutes later and several times under the microscope, the nib and pen were ready for the ultimate test, the Savage test!!!

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This pen was filled with Aurora Black ink and tested under the direct supervision of the Nibmeister, John Mottishaw. The Pen is a smooth and super wet writer and instead of a broad, I would say that this pen feels almost like a Double Broad nib. No sign of skipping and the line is smooth and wet from the first stroke all the way to the last stroke. This has been a typical OMAS writer for me, Buttery smooth nibs that lay down wet lines. What more can someone ask for? I know there is nothing more I could ask, that’s for sure. The ebonite feed provided plenty of ink to the nib and that enabled the nib to glide effortlessly across any paper I have written on, within reason.

The Filling System 5 out of 5

This is a piston filling fountain pen that seems to hold plenty of ink in its chamber. Integrated filling systems are something I look for when I buy a pen. Unfortunately, there are a lot of fountain pens on the market that are simply gorgeous but with cartridge converter filling systems. Sometimes the filling system will even prevent me from buying a pen. I do not avoid cartridge/converter all together but I do avoid Cartridge only systems. They are not practical for me whatsoever!!! Regardless the piston knob moves up and down without any hesitation and the action is super smooth too!! OMAS gets an A+ for the filling unit!!!

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Cost 5 out of 5

Believe it or not, I got this pen at clearance price at the LA Pen Show at the John Mottishaw table. The price was 145.00 for the Ogiva Vision while the cost of the Plain Ogiva was substantially less. Considering that this pen has been discontinued, the prices have fallen dramatically from where they were 2 years ago. I don’t know if OMAS is going to do away with the Ogiva altogether or just the Vision series. Now is the time to get your Ogiva if you have been thinking about it. There are a few reputable sellers on Ebay that are selling the plain black Ogiva with either GT or HT trim brand new for around 120.00 to 139.00. This really is a steal due to the fact that this pen has many options that would make this pen even more expensive than what it is going for right now.


Right at this point, OMAS is going through some serious changes and some may say for the better, while others say it is for the worst. Regardless, OMAS is getting rid of some of its lines and then they are also reintroducing the Paragons with a whole new style. I happen to not be a fan of the New OMAS products that are replacing the Classic Paragon Style. As far as I am concerned, perfection does not need improvement. Well, the market will decide the direction that OMAS is going to take. If the market does not like the new style to include the new style paragons well, there is little OMAS can do. Either the go with what the public wants or they will try to push new product while the company will suffer huge losses.

Well, OMAS has survived many years of new styles and models of fountain pens. Sometimes classics need to remain and I for one, love the Ogiva. The pen is large enough for people who want a little bit more in a pen. While on the other hand it is not an oversized pen and can fit comfortably in most peoples hands. The faceted barrel is not as pronounced as that of its sister, The Paragon. There are 2 times as many facets on the Ogiva than on the Paragon and this males the pen even more comfortable to handle.

The clear demonstrator (Vision) allows the user to see how much ink is left in the chamber as they write. Also it is easy to see the parts move while you are filling up your pen with ink. I have always liked demonstrator pens and I am fascinated by watching the piston work and the pen fill with ink. For the money you cannot go wrong, that’s for sure.

I am unsure where you can get them but I would consider getting a hold of John Mottishaw and asking him, since he is an authorized OMAS dealer. If he is out of stock on the OMAS Ogiva Vision, then look elsewhere and do some bargain hunting. I am sure you will be awarded with a wonderful Ogiva Vision. I rate this pen very high and this pen does have a lot of strengths like the piston filler, Ebonite feed, 18kt gold nib. Good ink flow and construction. I find only 2 weaknesses on this pen, one of which is the cap is rather difficult to post but the same goes for the Paragon. The second is the Material that the Vision is made of. It is susceptible to staining from some inks like Purple, violet or reddish color inks. So it is wise to use inks that are normally not staining and rinse the pen out when it is not going to be used for a while. The pen should be fine after than. I rather be safe than sorry, if you know what I mean!!!

Do I recommend this pen?? You bet your bottom I do!! This is a wonderful flowing pen that has all the characteristics you would normally want with a pen, such as:

18 kt gold nib that is smooth and springy
Ebonite Feed
Nice flow
Integrated Piston Filler
Large Ink Capacity
A Demonstrator
Medium to full size pen
Wonderful construction
BTW did I mention that it is a Demonstrator and a piston filler?

So with all of the goodies you can imagine on a pen, this one shouldn’t be passed up, or at least give it a try!! The Ogiva is really a great pen for those who are not really jazzed by the shape of the Paragon or the 360. The Ogiva is micro faceted and the section is smooth and perfectly round for discriminating fingers!! This pen is definitely a true winner that will make us fountain pen fanatics quite happy!!!