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.
When is a Dolcevita not a Dolcevita, when it’s a Frederico, or is it? Towards the end of Delta, in 2014, a range of ‘cut price’ pens was offered through a partner site, Martemodena, both direct from their website and through certain auction platforms. Visually these were very similar to the originals, so how was the price brought down? In the last eight months I’ve been fortunate to pick up the stantuffo (piston filler) version of both the Dolcevita and the Dolcevita Frederico allowing me to compare.
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.
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.