Blue resin and silver trim looks glossy enough, but the plain black plastic cap end is neither furnished with embossing or any silver trim, so sitting in your shirt pocket the look is that of an industrial fitting with a sad plastic cap. So not a classy pen. Which is pity, having traded it for a good USD500. The main resin of the body is another story, also not all good. Two issues: no mass, and translucent. The latter is obvious when uncapping the pen; even in poor indoor lighting the cap lights up from any ambient light close by, making it appear insubstantial and flimsy, much like a drinking straw.
So, does it work well? Yes and no. The nib is just awesome, with outstanding precision in the interaction with any reasonably good paper. Ink flow never falters or dries up. The nib writing ability is beyond exceptionally good. Still, the Optima is not a great writing instrument. Actually, I'd rate it even to some USD100-200 Parkers and Watermans I have in my collection. How is that? The problem is mass, or rather absence of mass. When moving the pen, there is not sufficient inertia to keep the pen moving in an even and fluid motion. The scratchy nib, which is great by itself, accentuates this problem. My writing deteriorates significantly with the Optima, compared to a Waterman Expert for example, which is less than half the price.
I admit to having made a mistake in fitting a fine (F) point nib on this rather chubby body. A fine nib encourages writing in smaller type on, small paper formats with tight line spacing, while the thick pen body shouts for larger fonts with wide line spacing. So the nib and the body are not working together.So my advice to anyone getting a fountain pen, please consider a possible interdependency between nib size in relation to pen girth: some combinations may not be working perfectly for you.
On that note, I’d really like to try out a broad nib on my Optima, expecting to see a considerable improvement in writing performance.