OMAS was an Italian manufacturer of writing instruments, fountain pens, ink and related luxury goods, founded in 1925 and put in liquidation in January 2016. Their products were in the upper price range of writing instruments and had always been manufactured in their factory located in Bologna Italy.
OMAS stands for Officina Meccanica Armando Simoni. The company was founded by Armando Simoni, who also designed the tools and equipment needed to manufacturer the OMAS line of pens.
OMAS manufactured a variety of pens, the top line being the faceted Arte Italiana range, as well as a variety of limited edition pens. In their history, they introduced a number of cutting edge designs including the "Doctor's pen" (which had a tiny built-in clinical thermometer) and the double-nibbed Itala in the 1920s and the 361 model in the late 1940s whose nib could be used as a hard writer if handled in one position and as a flexible writer in another. Their last major design innovation was the 360, a fountain pen with a triangular body to maximize grip and writing comfort, launched in 1996.
The largest size pen manufactured as a non-limited edition in their most current production was the 12-faceted Paragon, the second largest being the Milord. Omas product range was last updated in 2005. The Milord model became the size of the pre-2005 Paragon model. OMAS continued to release Limited editions based on their earlier style pens.
In 2000, the French company LVMH acquired OMAS from the heirs of Armando Simoni. It was the only writing instrument company in its suite of companies. In October 2007 the Xinyu Hengdeli Group of Hong Kong purchased 90% equity stake in OMAS. Xinyu had a strategic partnership with LVMH and planned to use OMAS for its expansion of luxury goods in the Asian market. The company continued to be unprofitable and in 2011 it was sold to another Chinese company, O-Luxe. O-Luxe decided to close Omas in November 2015 and the company entered voluntary liquidation in January 2016 ceasing all trading.
Notes and references
- Emilio Dolcini. Omas, Officine meccaniche Armando Simoni: la storia di una grande casa italiana e dell'intera sua produzione / The history of an important Italian firm and its entire production. Milano: Editando, 1997.
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