From the 1984 Bicycle Parts
Pacific catalog, courtesy Chuck Schmidt:
THE O.M.A.S. STORY
O.M.A.S. was established near
Bologna, Italy in 1960. Initially they manufactured special automobile
carburetion parts for the world-famous E. WEBER carburetor company, a
relationship that continues to this day. In 1962, O.M.A.S. began to supply
the firm Ruota Amadori, a maker of top-quality magnesium-aloy wheels for
cars and motorcycles.
This firm eventually was absorbed by the Vincenza
company, Brevetta Internazionale Campagnolo. O.M.A.S. then began to
manufacture various components of the Campagnolo group, collaborating with
Campagnolo until 1977. (They supplied the titanium bolts and ti pedal and
BB axles for the Super Record group --ed)
Meanwhile, in 1974, some avid cyclists had proposed that O.M.A.S. make
some pieces in special light alloys in order to lighten their bikes.
Finding that the components did well in rigorous competition, O.M.A.S.
decided to manufacture them in 1975, using the same severe standards
required by the carburation industry.
Since then, O.M.A.S. has expanded their line to include hubs, headsets,
bottle cages, crank and bottom bracket sets -- with other components in
the works. O.M.A.S. research and development rests to a large degree on
the advice of world class cyclists, but this advice is combined with the
most advanced metallurgy and engineering techniques, along with
unbelievable quality-control (O.M.A.S. allows not less than one year
between initial experimentation and production, and not less than
one-and-a-half years before commercial marketing). This combination
produces bicycle components that have quickly established a new industry
standard for excellence".
OMAS offered three
types of headsets:
1. "Big Sliding", the most restrained, in only black or silver
2. "Big Sliding Special" with glitzier colored anodizing
and bright silver highlights where some decorative machining was
3. "Big Sliding Diamante", which is like the "Special", but
with a blockier, less traditional look.
Under the cosmetics though, these all seem to be more or less
identical, cup and cone judging by all the interchangeable parts."
Kurt Sperry on the Classic Rendezvous Google group