When Kenro Industries reached out to me last year about reviewing some products I jumped at the chance. Who wouldn’t want to get their hands on beautiful pens like the Omas Ogiva Cocktail, Arte Italiana London Smoke, and Arte Italina ART? I had high expectations for these pens, and was blown away across the board.
What I didn’t expect from Kenro was the inclusion of the OMAS Limited Edition Calligraphy Set in my reviewer box of goodness. This is no ordinary calligraphy set mind you. This is where the big boys and girls play, and Omas has put together a package that is hard to beat for serious writers and fans of the Omas brand.
To get started, let’s discuss everything that is included in this kit. There is but a single pen barrel: The Omas Milord, limited and numbered as part of the 331 sets released. Along with the pen barrel, the four nibs included are the stars of this show. They are as follows:
- 14kt gold – Broad
- 18kt gold – Italic
- 18kt gold – Fine
- 14kt gold – Extra Fine, Extra Flessible
The pen and nibs are held in a soft Italian leather case that also holds a converter, ink cartridges, and an Omas notebook. Everything you need to get writing, all in one package. And what a package it is.
If you read any of the previous Omas reviews you know my thoughts on their nibs. I don’t think best in the business is an understatement. I have yet to use an Omas nib that hasn’t impressed, and the nibs in this set are no different.
The standouts in this set are the non-standard nibs: The Italic and the EF Flessible. They are both buttery smooth, with crisp lines from the Italic and wonderful line variation from the flex nib. You need to get these nibs in your hand one day to see how superior they truly are.
The stock Broad and Fine nibs are wonderful in their own right, but I would have liked to see even more variation in what is included in this set. It is a calligraphy set after all, so how about a finer stub and and even wider italic? Increase the variety and make this set even more special.
The idea behind the set is wonderful, the products are beautiful, but when putting the whole set in use in one sitting I ran into some roadblocks. The first is that it ships with only one converter. For a set that retails for around $1500 you could toss me a few more converters, right?
That brings us to the next issue. I have four nibs and I want to use four different ink colors. No problem, I grab three more standard international converters to fill with ink, along with the one provided. I have fun using all the nibs, swapping them in and out of the barrel as needed, writing a wonderful letter with amazing artwork. When it is time to pack up, I cap one nib in the barrel…and have three left with ink and converters in them.
If I am out and about and not at home, this is an issue because I cannot store those inked nibs back in the case cleanly. There is no way to seal them off, and rolling them up in the case will make a mess. I don’t want to clean them either because I have full converters and want to use them again tomorrow for more creative awesomeness. I’m stuck.
At home, I temoprarily solved this problem but putting the three remaining nibs and converters in a ziploc bag. An inelegant solution for an elegant product. That is fine in the very short term, as in a day or two, but any longer and the ink starts to evaporate.
It’s clear that this is a luxury set created for a luxury market. I’m good with that. Actually great with it because getting to use all of these nibs was a treat. But it is not a functional set in that it works as a portable calligraphy kit.
For the price, I would like four complete barrels in the set, even if you have to sacrifice on the barrel quality just a bit. The majority of the cost is tied up in the four gold nibs anyway, so why not allow the nibs to be in use AND stored at the same time a priority? That would be a big improvement in my eyes.
My thanks to Kenro Industries for loaning this, and all other Omas pens to me for review. I’ll miss them all when I ship them back this week!