Posts filed under Aurora

Aurora Style Rose Gold Fountain Pen Review

Aurora Style Rose Gold Fountain Pen Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

Over the past couple of years, I've had the opportunity to use several different high-end Aurora fountain pens, so it's always a bit difficult to judge other Auroras by a separate standard when the situation requires it. In the case of the Aurora Style, this separation is needed due to the vast price difference. At under $100, the Style fits into an entirely different tax bracket, but it's still made by the Aurora brand that I've come to love. With that in mind, let's see how the Style stacks up against other pens in this same category.

Aurora Style Rose Gold Fountain Pen Nib

The Rose Gold tier of Style fountain pens is a fairly recent addition at JetPens, and it's a nice step up from the standard pastel-colored Style tier. I'd love to see a silver or chrome family offered as well, but that's a different discussion. The Style is offered in either EF, F, M, or B nib sizes and does not come with a cartridge-converter. While Aurora does include a free blue ink cartridge with the pen, you'll need to think ahead about how you want to ink this pen since the Aurora cartridges are a proprietary design. I'd suggest purchasing the Aurora converter at the same time, even though that will add about $17 to the total price. With that in mind, I think the true price of this pen is somewhere around $110.

Aurora Style Rose Gold Fountain Pen Cap

At first glance, the Style in Rose Gold looks strikingly similar to a Parker 51 when capped. It's a classic, vintage design that will likely speak to a lot of people. It looks great, and the Parker 51 similarities quickly disappear after you remove the cap. Unlike the Aurora Duocart, the Style does not feature a hooded nib. The black body is made of polished black resin, which, while it looks fantastic, picks up fingerprints quite easily. The cap is a rose gold-plated material that also picks up fingerprints rather quickly. The rose gold and black resin is a fantastic combination, though. The grip section is a nice size and shape that makes writing comfortable, and the nib features the same rose gold plating as the cap. In all, it's a good-looking pen.

Aurora Style Rose Gold Fountain Pen Barrel

The cap secures to the pen with a snug snap mechanism, and it also friction-fits to the back of the pen if you want to post it. I've been really happy with the feel and dependability of the cap. I've been posting the pen about half of the time that I write. The cap provides a nice balance and length, but the pen is also completely comfortable when using it without the cap posted. It's great that it works well either way.

Aurora Style Rose Gold Fountain Pen Converter

The nib is made of steel, features minimal branding, and writes incredibly well. I made zero adjustments to this pen out of the box, and I couldn't be happier with the performance. It's a wet medium that's capable of producing a small amount of line variation if you press down slightly. I can barely feel any feedback from the nib when writing with this pen — it's just buttery smooth. This is exactly the kind of writing experience I expect from a luxury brand, even on their "lower-end" offerings.

While this pen has been an absolute joy when it comes to the writing experience, I have reservations when it comes to recommending it to people. Like I mentioned earlier, I think the real price of the pen is $110 due to the fact that you need a proprietary cartridge-converter in order to use it properly. The $100 price point is an awkward place to be. There are numerous offerings at the $40, $60, and even $80 range that offer more and perform just as well as this Aurora. Likewise, if you're willing to spend just $20 more on a pen, you arrive at an entirely different price and feature tier. A personal favorite of mine, the Pilot Custom Heritage 92, is about $23 more expensive than this Aurora, but I think it's a much better pen (14K gold nib, people!). And, if you decide to look at a pen with a lower cost, you can choose to purchase an additional pen or a couple of different inks to try out.

Aurora Style Rose Gold Fountain Pen Comparison

When it comes to retail and making choices, the sky is the limit. Ultimately, it always comes down to personal preference. Apart from the Aurora brand name, a well-performing steel nib, and a vintage aesthetic, the Aurora can't really compete in the price range it's currently in. If the Style was in the $60 range (and included a converter), it would be a different story.

That being said, if the Aurora Style Rose Gold speaks to you and fits your budget, you can't go wrong. I've really enjoyed writing with this pen due to the feel and wonderful nib. It's a great pen, but it's not for everyone.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Aurora Style Rose Gold Fountain Pen Writing
Posted on May 2, 2018 and filed under Aurora, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

Aurora Optima O’ Sole Mio Fountain Pen Review

Aurora Optima O’ Sole Mio Fountain Pen Review

How do you review a product you have already reviewed, and already love? How do you keep it fresh? How do you say something new? I’m not sure I have all of the answers to those questions, but let’s find out. One thing I do know: I love the Aurora Optima.

I knew I loved it from the first time I picked one up, which ended up in the purchase of my first, the Optima Red Demonstrator. And yes, I still think just as highly of it now, even though I had to send it to the shoptima. It’s a pen that fits me perfectly.

Until this week, I wasn’t sure why it was so perfect for me. Then I read a review of the Aurora Optima 365 on Hand Over That Pen. Pam, Queen of Tiny Handwriting, First of Her Name, said this about the Optima:

“ I really love the Optima’s shape and size. Why you ask? Because, to me, the Aurora Optima 365 is a gaudier Sailor Progear with the use of a wider, more ostentatious cap band.”

That explains a lot about me and my likes, doesn’t it?

Aurora Optima (Top), Sailor Pro Gear Bungubox 5th Anniversary Edition

Aurora Optima (Top), Sailor Pro Gear Bungubox 5th Anniversary Edition

Looking at pictures of the Optima and Pro Gear side-by-side the comparison is inevitable. Why didn’t I think of this before! I guess that makes the Aurora 88 and the Sailor 1911 cousins as well.

One area where they do not compare is in price. The Aurora is twice as much as the Pro Gear, but I feel it is priced correctly for what it brings to the table. You can feel the difference in your hand before even getting into the technical aspects.

First off, the Optima is a piston filler, while the Pro Gear uses a cartridge/converter filling system. And this is no normal piston either. It’s easily the most substantial I have felt in a pen, and even has a small, stealth, ink reservoir to get those last drops out until you can get it filled up again.

Aurora Optima O’ Sole Mio Sailor Pro Gear

The Optima has a large ebonite feed, too. Does it make the ink flow better than a standard plastic feed? I’d be lying if I told you I could tell the difference. But the sheer size of it, which is mostly hidden in the section, is impressive.

The materials of this pen - in the case of the O’ Sole Mio black acrylic and marbled orange auroloide - are substantial, and beautiful. The Pro Gear acrylic barrel is lightweight in comparison. The walls of the Optima barrel are thick, and you can feel it in your hand.

Aurora Optima O’ Sole Mio Fountain Pen Nib

Aurora has some of the best gold nibs on the market. So does Sailor. And they are completely different. Aurora’s nibs are thick, and on the firmer side for a gold nib. The medium nib in this Optima is smooth with a little give when writing, but with no bounce or variation when you push it. Sailor’s nibs are obviously finer in comparison, and do have a different feel when writing. Both offer some of the best nibs in the business.

And finally, as Pam says above, the Optima has a gaudier cap band. And it’s a good-looking gaudy! While the Pro Gear offers sleek, refined hardware, Aurora steps up the hardware game in comparison, both in size and style. I think it looks great.

So, if you like the Sailor Pro Gear, will you like the Aurora Optima? I say undoubtedly yes. It does come at a cost though, and in the case of these two pens, it is worth it to me.

(Kenro Inc. provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Aurora Optima O’ Sole Mio Fountain Pen Writing
Posted on April 2, 2018 and filed under Aurora, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

A Comparison of Three Modern Flex Nibs

Top Image.jpg

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

I am on a Holy Grail search for the best modern flex nib. I realize I am doomed to fail, as modern nibs just can’t match vintage ones, but, like Don Quixote, I like to dream impossible dreams.

I did a review of the Aurora 88 Anniversario with flex nib back in March 2017. If you remember that review, I wasn’t much impressed. But, because I am a nutcase, I became obsessed with owning the blue Aurora 88 Anniversario in spite of the fact that I wasn’t impressed with its flex. I believe I bought the last blue Aurora 88 flex on earth. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Blue Aurora.jpg

I purchased a Pilot 912 with FA nib a long while ago and reviewed it here. It’s a great pen, and I love the FA nib.

Pilot 912.jpg

And, recently, I purchased a Franklin-Christoph 14k SIG flex nib. I put it in my Iterum 03 reviewed here.

Franklin Christoph.jpg

Since I own three modern flex nibs, I thought it would be fun to compare them. I realize that various factors make this review less than scientific. First, I used different inks in each pen, and ink can affect line width due to variances in viscosity and saturation. But, I used different inks mainly so I could more easily distinguish the pens. Second, although I tried to use the same pressure with each pen, there’s no way to guarantee exactitude with the human hand. The Aurora, in particular, required quite a bit more pressure to get some flex. Third, the three nibs are quite distinct though all are made of gold. The Aurora nib relies on the flexibility of long tines to create line variation. The FA nib and the Franklin-Christoph nib both use cutouts to increase line variation.

Pilot Nib.jpg
FC Nib.jpg
Aurora Nib.jpg

I compared the nibs with various writing tests. First, I did swirls.

Pilot

Pilot

Franklin-Chistoph

Franklin-Chistoph

Aurora

Aurora

In this test, the Pilot 912 with FA nib definitely showed more line variation. The Franklin-Christoph SIG flex nib came in second with good line variation, and the Aurora was last with the least line variation. Plus, the feed didn’t keep up with the flex resulting in railroading.

My second test was writing the “Quick Brown Fox” line. Here, the differences between the nibs isn’t as obvious. The Pilot still wins first place for line variation, but the Franklin-Christoph and Aurora are very similar

Pilot

Pilot

Franklin-Christoph

Franklin-Christoph

Aurora

Aurora

In the third test, I simply drew vertical lines while flexing the nib. Once again, the Pilot provides the most flex, measuring a little over 1mm, but the Franklin-Christoph and Aurora were pretty similar, both just under 1mm.

Pilot

Pilot

Franklin-Christoph

Franklin-Christoph

Aurora

Aurora

After comparing these three modern flex nibs, I have to give first prize for line variation to the Pilot 912 with FA nib. This nib simply flexes more easily and with more line variation than the other two nibs.

FA Nib Flexing.jpg

The Franklin-Christoph SIG Flex Nib gets second place. Not only is this nib a pleasure to write with, it offers good line variation and the nib can be used in any Franklin-Christoph pen that accepts a size #6 nib. Unfortunately, when I use my FC SIG flex nib for regular writing (such as when I’m taking notes in class), it has a tendency to dry up and require a little tongue lick (I know, gross) to get the ink flowing again. Still, I love the bounce that the cut outs give, and the pen itself is light and easy to write with.

FC Nib Flexing.jpg

In third place is my very expensive Aurora 88 Anniversario. I just cannot get this nib to flex without putting lots of pressure on it. That said, it is my favorite pen of the three, mainly because it is a piston filler and it’s blue. What can I say? I love blue pens and Aurora nibs are incredibly well made. True, the Aurora struggles as a flex nib. Of the three, it was the only one that railroaded. But, as an every-day writer, the Aurora is excellent.

Aurora 88 Flexing.jpg

After comparing these three modern flex nibs, my conclusion is that the Pilot FA nib is the best nib for creating line variation using flex. If you want a more interesting pen design, then I suggest you go with any Franklin-Christoph model that accepts their #6 SIG flex nib. I still cannot recommend Aurora’s flex nib if you want excellent line variation. It simply requires too much pressure and the feed does not adequately supply ink when you use flex (thus, the railroading).

Writing Sample All Three.jpg

That said, Aurora is offering flex nibs in their newest Optima models. If you really want an Aurora flex nib, I encourage you to purchase one from Dan Smith. He can tweak the feed and nib for better flex and ink flow.

You can purchase the Pilot Custom Heritage 912 from Vanness Pens for $225.00. Although most (if not all) of the Aurora 88s with flex nibs are sold out, Optimas will be available in March (retail $650), and I suggest you contact Dan Smith to pre-order one of these. Franklin-Christoph offers numerous pen styles that accept the #6 SIG flex nib. Prices vary between models.

**Author’s note: My comparison omits one other modern flex pen: the Wahl-Eversharp Decoband (reviewed here). In terms of flex, this pen surpasses all three of the pens I reviewed above. However, two factors made me decide not to include it in this comparison. First, it truly is an oversized pen, much larger (and heavier) than the three pens discussed above. Second, it is a great deal more expensive (retail $850) than the other pens, especially the Franklin Christoph and the Pilot 912. Please read my review if you think an oversized pen would suit you best.

Bottom Image.jpg
Posted on February 16, 2018 and filed under Aurora, Franklin-Christoph, Pilot, Fountain Pens.