(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
I reviewed the Opus 88 clear demonstrator last year. I was so impressed that I later bought a Picnic Blue. The Opus 88 Omar is my third Opus fountain pen. I really love this brand because they are well made, they have huge ink capacity (3.4ml!), and their JoWo nibs are smooth writers.
The Omar adds another enhancement to an already excellent line up: beauty. It’s not that the other Opus pens aren’t beautiful, but they are just single-color pens. The Omar boasts a flecked resin cap with a coordinating translucent barrel. It comes in several lovely colors: Emerald, Amethyst, Smoky Quartz, and Tiger Eye, the model I’m reviewing this week.
The Omar is an oversized pen, measuring 5.9 inches/150mm capped, 5.4 inches/137mm uncapped, and 7.1 inches/180mm posted (don’t even think about posting this pen!) The barrel at its widest is 18mm and the grip is 11.2mm. Capped, the pen weighs 36 grams (with ink), but uncapped it weighs 20 grams (with ink), which is quite reasonable. But, if you prefer very light, thin pens, the 88 is not for you. I find it very comfortable and balanced.
The pen comes in a large, black, magnetic closure box. A glass eyedropper is included.
The Tiger Eye cap has various shades of brown and opalescent flecks. The finial is ivory and the clip is stainless steel. The only branding is a lightly engraved “Opus 88” at the top of the clip.
The barrel is translucent brown with an ivory piston knob.
My pen has a large #6 JoWo stainless steel nib in fine, though the Omar is offered with a choice of fine, medium, broad, and 1.5 stub nibs. It is engraved with some scrollwork, Opus 88, and the nib size.
Opus pens are easy to fill. You just unscrew the grip, dip the eyedropper in ink, and carefully squeeze the ink into the barrel. The rubber o-ring seals the barrel so the ink doesn’t leak out.
To write, you need to unscrew the piston knob a few millimeters so that ink flows into the feed. Afterwards, re-tighten it until you’re ready to write again.
I filled my Omar with SBRE Brown ink (reviewed here) which is a perfect pairing with the Tiger Eye.
The fine nib writes smooth and wet--in fact, of my three Opus pens, this one has the best nib. Unless you purchase your pen from a retailer that tunes your nib prior to shipping, you have to rely on good fortune that your nib will be trouble free. So far, all three of my Opus pens have had decent nibs, but each one is slightly different. The nib on my original Opus 88 was good, but I replaced it with a Regalia Writing Labs Crossflex nib (reviewed here) that is fantastic. My second Opus had a rather dry nib, but it was usable. This Omar’s nib has just the right amount of wetness to it.
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