Pen Review: Omas Ogiva Alba Orange

In 2015, Omas released a set of limited edition pens, in the Ogiva model, to celebrate its then upcoming 90th anniversary. There are three pens, the Violet, Orange, and Green, which are supposed to represent the colours of the Aurora Borealis. Previously I have reviewed the Violet model, which carries a 14K gold fine nib with extra flessibile. This time, I’m going to review the second pen in the set, the Orange.

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Basic Information

Fountain Pen: Omas Ogiva Alba Orange
Nib: 18K gold fine nib
Filling System: Piston
Production: Limited edition

1. Packaging (10/10):

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Being a limited edition fountain pen, the Omas Ogiva Alba Orange definitely invested heavily on the packaging. As previously reviewed, the choice of material, the miscellaneous items included, and the construction quality are all outstanding. There is a good balance between not spending too much energy on a box, and how to demonstrate a limited edition appropriately. The packaging is exactly the same as the Violet model, for more details please visit there.

2. Pen Design (8/10):

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Other than the difference in colour, the Omas Ogiva Alba Orange is nearly identical to the Violet model. In summary, I enjoy its size, which is fairly similar to other well-known flagship pens, such as the Montblanc Meisterstück 149 and the Pelikan Souverän M1000, but just a bit slimmer. The pen is long enough for me to not use it with the cap posted, plus that the cap does not post very deeply and can make the pen a bit back-heavy. The cotton resin material makes the pen overall very lightweight and with a medium width grip section, it sits comfortably in the hand.

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One thing to note is that the 18K gold nib has a different engraving than the 14K gold nib on the Violet model. The engraving here is more complex and I personally prefer this more elegant design.

3. Filling System (6/10):
This pen suffers from the same issues as the Omas Ogiva Alba Violet. The piston doesn’t operate smoothly. There is no easy way to lubricate the piston. And it takes a lot of effort to have the pen cleaned. I think this is a big let down of the pen, especially the trapped ink makes this light coloured demonstrator not as appealing.

4. Nib Performance (10/10):

Unlike the Violet version, this pen features a 18K gold nib, instead of the 14K gold extra flessibile nib. But this nib is equally outstanding. The fine nib writes extremely smoothly and does not have any skipping or hard start issue. The performance is consistent right out of the box. The ebonite feed helps with the ink flow significantly. I often pair the Pelikan Edelstein Mandarin ink with this pen, since that ink tends to run a bit drier. However, the same ink works wonderfully over here.
The 18K gold nib on this pen does not flex. But it has a bit of bounce when it is slightly pressed. The overall writing experience with this nib is simply perfect.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (7/10):
Just like the Omas Ogiva Alba Violet, this pen suffers from the same design choices, such as the not easily removable nib unit and piston mechanism, and the not so powerful piston operation. The Orange model is more translucent than the Violet model, therefore the trapped ink behind the piston seal is even more apparent. Because of this, I only use matching colour inks in this pen. However, the accumulated ink that has dried out behind the piston seal still can be easily seen.

Summary:

Packaging: 10/10
Pen Design: 8/10
Filling System: 6/10
Nib Performance: 10/10
Pen Cleaning and Maintenance: 7/10

Total: 41/50

The Omas Ogiva Alba Orange shares nearly the same characteristics as the previously reviewed Violet version in almost all aspects. The limited edition offering is beautiful and has an excellent nib. However, I still don’t like the certain design directions of the Ogiva model, such as the piston and nib unit that are hard to clean and maintain. Comparing to the 14K gold extra flessibile nib on the Violet model, this 18K gold fine nib makes the pen much more practical for daily writings. Considering its price range, I think this pen is a great option.

Pen Review: Omas Ogiva Alba Violet

Many pen companies release limited edition pens that have each pen numbered. Such pens are often used to celebrate a certain anniversary or represent a particular theme. The Omas Ogiva Alba collection is one example of it. This collection contains fountain pens in three different colours: violet, orange, and green. The collection was to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Omas company, and the colours chosen are the ones found in the Aurora Borealis. There were 327 fountain pens made for each colour. This review is going to cover one of the pens in the collection, the Omas Ogiva Alba Violet.

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Basic Information:
Fountain Pen: Omas Ogiva Alba Violet
Nib: 14K gold fine nib, extra flessibile
Filling System: Piston
Production: Limited edition

1. Packaging (10/10):

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In terms of packaging, the Omas Ogiva Alba collection has one of the best presentations in my pen collection. The light grey hard cardboard box is inside a dark grey cardboard sleeve. Lifting the top half of the box, the pen is presented and wrapped inside a small plastic bag, which has a sticker that indicates the nib option and the limited edition number. What’s also included is a light grey pen pouch made in the velvety fabric, which is used for the interior of the box as well. Overall, there is great design consistency and excellent build quality. It’s simple but also elegant. It’s luxurious but not overwhelming.

2. Pen Design (8/10):
The Omas Ogiva Alba Violet fountain pen is beautiful. Its length is similar to flagship pens such as the Pelikan Souverän M1000 and the Montblanc Meisterstück 149. But comparing to the Montblanc Meisterstück 149, the Omas Ogiva Alba has a slimmer body. The pen is made from cotton resin, and the lightweight pen sits very well in the hand. The shape of the pen body is commonly seen, but the fluted design on the barrel and cap, combining with the purple material that is slightly translucent, make this pen look very elegant.

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The cap can be posted securely onto the back of the pen. Posting the cap makes the pen very long and a bit back heavy. Personally I don’t post the cap for this pen. The grip section is long and have small steps from the barrel to the nib. The length and width of the grip section make it comfortable to be held. However there are threads right in the middle of the section. The threads do not really bother me when I’m holding the pen. But I think it will be more comfortable to hold the pen if the threads can be moved to either the front or the back of the grip section. Also on this part of the pen, the limited edition number is engraved here.

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There are two rings on the cap, one being just a thin band and the other carrying the greek key design. A similar set of rings are installed near the edge of the grip section. Together with an additional thin band on the piston knob and the rigid but easy-to-use roller clip, all of the metal trims are rhodium plated. This shows an excellent design consistency that matches really well with the purple coloured barrel.

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In comparison to the rich decorations on the pen, the nib engravings seem to be a bit underwhelming. Other than the nib specifications engraved there, there is actually no art decoration on the nib. The engravings indicate that the nib is made of 14K gold and the nib width “F” is marked on the side of the nib. What’s perhaps the most interesting engraving is the “extra flessibiile” on the top. More details about it will be covered in the nib performance review. Even though the nib looks a bit boring, the rhodium plating still ensures that the colour scheme of the pen is consistent.

3. Filling System (6/10):
I really like the piston filling system. However, I have to deduct several points here for the Omas Ogiva Alba Violet. First of all, the piston does not operate smoothly. When I turn the piston knob, there is a fair amount of friction. If the pen is left not inked for a while, it becomes even more difficult to get the piston to move. It feels like the piston is stuck in the barrel. This leads to the second issue. There is no simple way to lubricate the piston, because neither the piston mechanism nor the nib unit is easily removable. Not only the piston cannot be maintained, cleaning the pen also takes a lot of effort. The pen cannot be flushed with direct access to the inner barrel, so that the users are forced to operate the piston repetitively. Unfortunately the piston is not powerful enough and it takes extremely long to fully clean the pen. The third issue related to the piston is the piston seal. It seems that ink constantly gets trapped behind the piston seal or between the two ends of the seal. Then the trapped ink dries out and more or less ruins the beautiful demonstrator appearance. The dried ink may also impact the smoothness of the piston operation. The basic functionalities of any piston filling mechanism are there. However these problems make the pen less enjoyable to use. If these issues can be fixed, together with the large ink capacity that is already offered, it will be an even better fountain pen.

4. Nib Performance (10/10):

This is where this pen really shines. As mentioned earlier, the nib has an engraving that indicates “extra flessibile”. This is my most favourite feature on this pen: the nib offers quite a significant amount of springiness and flexibility. Without much pressure, the nib gives a wet and fine line. When pressed down a bit, the nib tines flex out slightly and provide line variations to the handwriting. Meanwhile, the ebonite feed has no problem catching up with the ink flow, making the writing really enjoyable. It can be considered as around a semi flex nib and it is not commonly seen on modern pens. Of course, using any flex nib should be done with enough care and caution, in order to make sure that the nib is not applied with too much pressure and damaged. once the users can fully understand the capability and limit of the nib, it can bring a lot of characters to the handwriting.
The nib writes right out of the box and doesn’t really require any adjustment. Also there is no issue with hard start or skipping. In general, it writes with a wet ink flow, so that it works the best with better quality paper that handles feathering and bleed through well.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (7/10):
Being a piston filler, not having an easily removable nib unit impacts the ease of pen cleaning and maintenance. As mentioned earlier, cleaning the pen by operating the piston takes a great amount of effort. Meanwhile, the piston has issues with trapped ink and cannot be easily lubricated. Being a translucent fountain pen, these issues are not only making the pen less convenient to use, but also not ideal for the pen’s appearance.

Summary:
Packaging: 10/10
Pen Design: 8/10
Filling System: 6/10
Nib Performance: 10/10
Pen Cleaning and Maintenance: 7/10

Total: 41/50

The Omas Ogiva Alba Violet is a great limited edition offering. It has an excellent pen design with a packaging that matches the same high standard. The 14K gold fine nib with “extra flessibile” definitely gets the spotlight and its performance is one of the best in my collection. It would be an even more amazing pen if the piston design can improve, in order to bring better cleaning efficiency and maintainability. Having a nib unit that is not easily removable can be inconvenient for a piston filling pen, especially one that has a piston that can benefit from a bit more lubrication.
Overall, I think this pen is a great offering for its price range. It may not be an ideal daily writer, but the amazing nib can provide excellent character to the handwriting.

Pen Review: Pelikan Classic M200 Demonstrator

Pelikan often makes special editions for several pen models it owns. The Classic M200 and M205 models are among the ones that frequently receive new special editions. I have already reviewed one regular edition pen in this range, the Pelikan Classic M205 White-Silver. The pen is an excellent mid-sized writer that holds a lot of ink and carries a wonderful stainless steel nib. This review is going to cover a special edition of the M200 lineup, the Pelikan Classic M200 Demonstrator.

Basic Information:
Fountain Pen: Pelikan Classic M200 Demonstrator
Nib: Stainless steel medium nib
Filling System: Piston
Production: Special edition

1. Packaging (9/10):
The Pelikan Classic M200 Demonstrator does not come with any special edition packaging. The box and pen pouch are exactly the same as the ones provided to the regular edition pens. Personally I like the packaging and I think it’s well designed for the pen’s price range. I don’t really have any complaint about it having the same packaging design.

2. Pen Design (8/10):

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The M200 model shares identical dimensions with the M205 model. The main difference is the colour of the nib and trims. Just like the other M200 fountain pens, this pen equips a gold plated stainless steel nib and gold plated trim rings on the cap and the piston knob.
Being a demonstrator fountain pen, this special edition released back in 2012 doesn’t need any ink window on the barrel, because the entire pen body is transparent. The cap is also transparent. Therefore everything can be easily seen. Overall it is very cool to look at. However, many others may think the demonstrator pen doesn’t look as expensive as the other regular M200/M205 models, since all of the internal parts are visible and anything that’s stuck inside can also make the look less favourable.

3. Filling System (10/10):

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Just like the M205 White-Silver, this pen utilizes exactly the same piston filling system, which is my favourite filling mechanism.

4. Nib Performance (9/10):

Also similar to the Pelikan Classic M205 White-Silver, this pen carries a stainless steel medium nib. The only difference is that since this is a M200 model, the nib is gold plated. The performance of the nib is identical to the one I have reviewed already. It is one of the best quality stainless steel nib that I have used.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (8/10):

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Since the nib unit is removable and the piston filling mechanism operates extremely smoothly, flushing the ink is fairly easy. However, since it is a demonstrator pen, any ink trapped inside will give the pen a difficult time to keep its crystal clear look. Usually ink tends to get trapped inside, near the grip section. Also the ink may be stuck behind the piston seal. In addition, the inks that tend to stain pen materials may discolour the barrel. Any of these issues may make the pen look not as attractive. The users may have to be extra careful choosing the ink to be filled and clean the pen more frequently.

Summary:
Packaging: 9/10
Pen Design: 8/10
Filling System: 10/10
Nib Performance: 9/10
Pen Cleaning and Maintenance: 8/10

Total: 44/50

The Pelikan Classic M200 Demonstrator is a well made mid-sized piston filling fountain pen. Being an entry level special edition demonstrator, it requires extra care to avoid ink staining the transparent material. If you do not mind the extra effort and enjoy using a demonstrator fountain pen, this pen has a lot to promise. It offers a high quality stainless steel nib. Combined with the large ink capacity, this is a very good daily carry pen.