Over the past two weeks or so I've been writing with my primary Atlanta pen show acquisition, a classic model Omas 360 fountain pen. (Side Note: I've used the term "classic" as opposed to "vintage." Omas introduced the 360 in the 1990s, so it's not been around as long as other Company designs such as the Ogiva or the Paragon, which I believe date to the 1930s, if not earlier.)
A few years back, Omas changed the design of the 360, omitting the rounded cap-top in favor of an angled-flat top that more prominently displays the Omas "O" logo. They also changed the pen from a piston filler to a cartridge-converter model, horrifying many traditionalists. I like the new look, and I don't mind CC model pens. I travel a lot for work, and if I want to take a fountain pen with me on the road a pack of cartridges is perfectly adequate. Given my terrific experience with this pen, I fully intend to pick up the newer model at some point.
For my first 360, however, I wanted the original. From listening to the Anderson Pens podcast I had heard that Atlanta featured a prominent dealer in vintage/discontinued Omas pens. The 360 was actually far down my list of pens to acquire at this show, but I've always wanted one (black, with silver trim), and the price was way, way, way too good to pass up. I managed to negotiate a small additional discount because of some pretty severe nib misalignment, but fortunately I was third on Mike Masuyama's list (following Mr. Pen Addict himself, Brad Dowdy) so the nib was no deal-killer.
The 360 is a solid, well made pen. It's made of resin, so it's not particularly heavy, and it's a good size (slightly under 6 inches capped). The 360 is large enough to comfortably use unposted. You can post the pen, and the cap fits perfectly onto the back, but posting transforms the 360 into a long pen and the balance is somewhat off due to top-heaviness. I've been using the pen both ways, but generally unposted. The piston is smooth, and it holds a reasonable amount of ink.
Omas nibs are known for their smoothness, and for being slightly "springy." This one is no exception. The one trouble spot with these pens is that they are often set to write extremely wet right out of the box. This has been was my experience (I have an Omas Ogiva that is currently being worked on), and I've seen this issue commented on elsewhere. http://tinyurl.com/8kbhmud. I immediately took the pen to Mike Masuyama and had him smooth the nib and reduce the flow. The pen now writes a beautiful, smooth, fat medium line.
One thing that people either love or hate about this pen is the fact that the section, like the rest of the pen, is triangular. Personally, I've got a thing for triangular writing instruments, both pens and pencils, so this wasn't an issue for me. The pen sits well in the hand, given how I hold a pen, but I can see that it's a love-it or hate-it thing. If you hold the pen in a way that causes the triangular section to dig into you fingers, this won't work for you. In the new 360, Omas apparently has rounded off the section so that it will appeal to more people. I've not seen or held the new version, so I can't comment further.
So far, I really like this pen. I can see it making its way into the regular rotation. It's a great pen to keep on your desk, since it doesn't roll, and the unique shape and styling almost makes it a piece of art. The Masuyama nib seals the deal.
Three photos, from left to right: The pen uncapped, a writing sample with P.W. Akkerman Voorhout Violet, and how I spent my Saturday morning.