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Sunday, February 10, 2008
The Omas 360 Collection is the most revolutionary collection of writing instruments of our time. The Omas 360's triangular body is based on ergonomic principles, and combines a perfect grip and nib angle to permit fluid, uniform calligraphy with uninterrupted ink flow. The Omas 360 is streamlined and aerodynamic and equipped with a sprung and rigid nib. This Omas fountain pen is unique and guaranteed to attract interest and curiosity.

First conceived over 12 years ago, the OMAS 360 with its triangular shape has remained a revolutionary design offering technical perfection, refined aesthetics and pure writing pleasure. OMAS now upgrades the oversized 360 with a few modifications: a flattened and tapered crown and pen end, a triangular clip that lies flush on the cap, and a grip that subtly goes from a triangular to a circular shape for easier manageability. The fine black and bordeaux cotton resin barrels are trimmed with streamlined, platinum-plated fittings. The 360 is offered as a fountain pen with a flexible, 18K gold and platinum nib engraved with the 360 triangle logo, a capped rollerball and a ball pen. Fountain pen is bottle fill only.

The original triangular fountain pen was made in the 1930's by the Triad Pen Company which stayed in business only a few years. lasted a few years. Because of the delicate nature of the plastic, as well as the unique design, the Triad is very rare today. Omas improved on the Triad design by incorporating the Greek Key design around both the cap lip and the barrel section; these bands offer greater strength, especially to the cap lip.
We recommend the caps not be posted on any 360 pen. They are big enough so that they do not need it.

All of the 360 Collection pens on this page are the "large" size 5 7/8 inches long, capped.

Nibs are normally available in fine, medium, and broad sizes, with additional sizes available as exchange from OMAS in extra fine through double broad oblique sizes. The medium nib on this sample is very nice, if a bit on the ordinary side when it comes to line width. After all, with a pen that looks this bold, you sort of expect a nice, flashy extra bold line!

Or it might just be my taste for a broad line surfacing. As with all of the other OMAS pens I've tried, this one looks to have an ebonite feed, which might contribute to the reliability in terms of ink flow.

For one thing, it is very large (a full 7-1/2 inches/190 mm with cap posted, a full inch longer than the Montblanc 149 in similar configuration).

Other distinctive touches include the flat spring clip (which, on the ballpoint and roller ball models, have different raised symbols to allow you to tell them apart by feel). and the pin through the filler knob, which conveniently lines up with the top of the pen to keep you from over tightening.

The OMAS 360 has been around a while now, and since it's introduction has been one of the most distinctive fountain pen designs around. The bold triangular shape tends to leave people either loving or hating this pen, but one thing is for sure, OMAS definitely didn't play it safe design-wise.

The 18k (750 ppt) rosy gold point gets the obligatory expensive-pen two-tone treatment with a rhodium mask. This point is marked as an "EF" (extra-fine) but writes about like a medium Sheaffer or Parker Arrow pens from the mid century years, providing further support for the conjecture that modern fountain pen nibs run broader than their older counterparts. The point and its big hard-rubber feed are press-fitted into the big barrel, so removal can be a bit of a problem (nor can the section be screwed out, as it can with other OMAS pens like the Paragon or the Ogiva). As with other OMAS pen points, this one is claimed to be unusually flexible.

The newest color to join the celluloid 360 is called Burkina, and it's a clear departure from anything I've seen used before. It's a mixture of what I would call a bronze-green marble, with a pattern of black lines running along the length of the cap and barrel. It's difficult to describe, it might almost be called a "snakeskin" pattern. It's one of the most striking materials I've seen used in a modern pen, and while it does take some getting used to, I'm finding it quite attractive in person.

I would encourage you to give the 360 a good test-drive before buying; it's the sort of pen that one either loves to hold or else can't stand (I must fall into the forme category, since I now own four 360s). If you have a finicky hand, you might benefit from a small tweak of the set to the point in order to bring it to the proper angle for your writing; this is something best done by a dealer or a technician, since the point and feed are press-fitted into the pen and not easily removed.

The OMAS Vegetal resin is very soft and scratches quite easily, so don't toss this pen in the junk drawer or carry it in your back pocket.

Is a three-faceted pen more comfortable and easier to use than a traditional round pen? That's the theory behind the Omas 360 fountain pen collection. Ideal for writers with smaller hands, the pen is designed so that the nib touches the paper at an angle that consistently releases ink for smooth flow with minimum effort. Omas makes the fountain pen in a variety of models including a see-through demonstrator, one made of rare snake wood and the latest addition the Mezzo Melange, three bright pens in blue, orange and yellow made from cotton resin with silver trim.

The Omas 360 Diamonds, with precious diamonds set on the clip, represents the more exclusive version of the Omas 360 mezzo collection of fountain pens.