Omas Arco celluloid overload.

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.)