Tuesday, October 26, 2010


About a year ago I traded a Montblanc 149 Diplomat for an OMAS Arte Italiana Paragon (pictured above). Some may think that it was crazy for me to do so; I think not. Although the 149 is an iconic pen, the signature pen of the Montblanc line, I wasn't using mine that often. In addition I have a Montblanc 146 Le Grande, which is slightly smaller than the Diplomat, that I use regularly. The Paragon and the Diplomat are of comparable value and I felt good about doing the trade.

About the Paragon: this pen rocks! It is a faceted pen which is a hallmark of the OMAS line. The Paragon is as much a signature pen as is the Diplomat. The Paragon is a hefty pen and some may find it a bit heavy - which suits me fine. It is a piston fill with an 18k gold nib. It's a no nonsense pen that lays down a fat wet  line of ink. My pen is currently filled with Diamine's Presidential Blue ink - beautiful, simply beautiful!

Some owners have complained that they do not like the metal gripping section which is cold to the touch; this is not a problem for me - in fact I like how the gripping section contrasts with the rest of the pen.

OMAS Arte Italiana The Paragon

Montblanc 149 Diplomat

Montblanc is to pens what Louis Vuitton has become to purses and luggage - it's become a household name and even more, it has become a status symbol. The Montblanc line is still well respected and their writer series is great with homages to Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, Proust and Hemingway to name but a few. I believe that the older the Montblanc pen the better the quality. I find that their newer output suffers from poor quality control and the pens are more fragile than they were twenty to thirty years ago. Visit John Mottishaw's site http://www.nibs.com/PreOwnedMontBlanc.htm for great deals on vintage Montblancs.

The Arte Italiana also comes in a smaller size known as the Milford. Both pens are available with gold or silver accents and different colors of celluloid. http://www.nibs.com/PreOwnedOmasContemporaryPens.html
The Paragon retails for $695 but is available from nibs.com for $536. The Montblanc 149 retails for $760 but there are a few available from nibs.com for under $500.

Scribo Ergo Sum

Clifford "Jake" Jacobs
Have Pen, Will Write

No comments: