For the first time, My Life As a Verb has a guest blog entry. Thank you, Karlo. <3
Leigh has an Omas 556/S that needs no help from Marol to look slick. It exudes cool like Gianni Agnelli in a bespoke Caraceni. The 50s Italian Fine moves better than Jagger, laying down hairline curves with ease and dishing out flourish when the crowd wants satisfaction.
So Leigh was more than a little interested when I told her that the 556 had a bigger brother from the same era: the 557.
Soon enough, a package arrives from the land of Vespas, San Pellegrino and talking hands. Ensconced in bubble wrap was a black faceted Omas in the size of the vintage Paragons, its pedigree stamped on one barrel flat.
The character marks hinted at the age of the pen but none of its scars were beyond skin deep. The two-toned nib carried the classic arrow engraving and the cut of its shoulders suggested some softness. So with the greatest hopes, the pen was inked.
Cross strokes were faint and downstrokes required biro-like pressure. No decent pen, let alone an Omas, required a heavy hand to write. So I asked if I could take a crack at this pen.
The culprit was an unevenly cut slit. Like a lot of vintage nibs, this one was probably cut by hand. On a Wednesday.
Several dips in an ultrasonic cleaner, some tine alignment work plus a few passes with ultrafine abrasives brought the pen back to life.
The nib still has a few quirks as sprezzatura demands. But like an angled fedora or an offset pocket square, it works just fine.
Back to Leigh:
This Omas 557-F is a Paragon from the 80s, based on the faceted clip and the number on the barrel. Ah, Italy in the 80s.