In the last few years Leonardo Officina Italiana (to use their full name) have been building quite a reputation through their Momento Zero, Furore, and Momento Zero Grande models. All are of the same basic design with the differences being in the finials and size. Now in 2020 they have released a new model, the Messenger, with just 366 examples being made in each of five translucent colours.
There is something about Italian engineering that pulls on the hearts strings and overrides the head when it comes to purchasing. It was Bertone, Farina, or Gandini who came out with the quote that you can either design beautiful cars or you can design reliable cars, but you can’t design both at the same time*. At times it can seem the same in the pen world, but in many respects we are all the better for it, or at least our hearts keep telling us it is so…
As covered in my previous piece on the OMAS 360 Vintage I mentioned about the ‘New’ version of the 360. This was launched in 2007 with a more modern look, and arguably as an entry pen in to the OMAS brand. With its angled triangular finials, flattened clip, new OMAS O on the cap, it certainly looked the part, but it was also divisive amongst OMAS fans and from what I can tell the model was dropped again just four or five years later.
My daily carry rarely changes. Even with three to four months between postings there are normally just one or two pens swapped in or out. Things have changed however, as the pen case is left by my work bag, not by my computer, so with the present situation and full time working from home it is rarely touched. Instead the assortment of pens on my desk have become my daily writers. These are a mix of new pens, those I have queued up to review, those I’m too lazy to put away and still use, and then the one permanent resident.
Back in 1996 OMAS launched a new, very different pen. The 360. A model it made in various forms right up to the closing of the company. Arguably the most comfortable fountain pen ever produced (unless you are left handed) and rumoured to have been designed to force people to hold fountain pens correctly. In true OMAS fashion there have been many versions and names. Here I look at my two 360 Vintages, models from towards the end despite their name.
It’s been half a year since I last put any pens up for sale, and as is all too common in this hobby, I’ve bought more and so need to release some to keep the size of the collection down. Some were previously listed, most are new and are ones I just do not use (with one exception where the pen with a broad nib, which was too large for every day use, has been replaced by a similar one with a EF nib, which is now in my daily carry).
The prices are without P&P as I’m happy to sell internationally. Note for the UK I will be looking at Royal Mail Special Delivery (may just be tracked for those under £100).
A month ago who would have thought most of us would be stuck at home aside from when shopping for groceries or essential travel. For many of us the thought of being able to work from home full time would have appealed. No daily commute, getting out of bed 5-10 minutes before logging in (kids dependant), relaxed attire, …. Problem is the weekends are just a continuation, the only difference being no connecting to work. Days start to merge and you feel like you’re starting to enter The Twilight Zone …
There are few things more dangerous to a collector than going to a show or viewing a for sale list. To cut a long story short, buying one long sought after pen resulted in another three, including this Stipula Etruria Faceted Alter Ego. All based on a couple of photos and a very good price. I will detail the story at the end for those interested, but the net result was the arrival of this limited edition pen with a celluloid body and sterling silver fittings.
Last Sunday was the Spring London Pen Show and as previously posted there was the question over how it would be affected by the present situation over the Covid-19 virus. Turns out rather well. Sure numbers were down both for traders and for visitors, but it was far from being the disaster some people feared.