Posts Tagged ‘celluloid’

The Omas Arco Milord is my happy new year pen, ordered online last year as a Sundance Kid dive into Italian celluloid. Celluloid is a turn-of-the-century plastic that was used in pens, jewelry, even dolls – and, in thin strips, as film for the movies. Today it’s mostly used in guitar picks. Acrylic is the plastic of choice for today’s pen bodies, but there are a few fountain pen makers that still release designs made from celluloid. Omas is one of them. The ownership of Omas recently passed from LVMH to a Chinese holding firm, Xin Yu Hengdeli.

There was apprehension on the boards about the change in ownership – and a rush to acquire earlier Omas models. Mine is a new release, and it is a rush of aesthetic adrenalin. The clip is sweeping and prominent, a bold counterpoint to the mesmerizing arcs of celluloid layers in bronze and gold and nacreous copper.

Of course, a beautiful pen with a boring nib is only hand candy: nice to bring out and display to one’s acquaintances, but severely lacking in utility. With that in mind, I decided to exchange the Omas Arco Milord’s original monotone gold nib to a Portico nib, modified to be extra-fine with additional flex, and inkflow adjusted to wetter than medium. Mr. Mottishaw, the nibmeister, is a genius. (He even looks like one.)

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I don’t think all of these will stay with me their entire lives. I’m already thinking of selling a couple. (Shhhh. Don’t tell the pens yet. I don’t want them feeling awkward.)

These aren’t all the pens I own, but it’s most of them. The pen case is sturdy, and the elastic bands are wide enough to keep the pens from sliding and rubbing against one another. No, they aren’t arranged alphabetically or by height.

The ones on the left are mostly modern. Many manufacturers tend to “pay tribute” to the classic black and gold Montblanc, including Pilot and Sailor. That’s why all the pens on the upper left look like cousins. The pens on the bottom left are the harbingers of a new collection focus, celluloid. I am becoming more and more interested in the material.

The ones on the right are mostly vintage. Several of my best writing nibs are there, including a fine rosewood Wahl and a Mabie Todd Swan that needs a new sac. Rubber sacs seem to expire quickly in this country’s heat.

Now I don’t know what to do with all the one- and two-pen cases I happily bought from Fino during their pre-holiday sale. It’s a good problem to have, though.

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