(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 don’t swoon often, if ever, but when I saw a photograph of the Aurora Nebulosa, I swooned . . . well, at least I gasped audibly. And I placed a pre-order immediately. Not many pens elicit such a strong reaction in me, but this one did. First, the deep purple auroloide was unlike any material I’d seen from Aurora. Second, the rose gold nib and trim had my mouth watering. I love rose gold, and it complements the purple auroloide perfectly.
I ordered my Nebulosa from Dan Smith who includes a free nib grind with any pen you buy from him. I requested a stubbish italic medium nib.
The pen comes in glorious packaging that almost makes you feel like your money was well spent. I mean, the pen is what matters. But there’s something wonderful about opening a pen that is presented so elegantly. The outer cardboard box protects a heavy black hinged box. When you open that, the pen is presented in all its glory on black satin-like material. There’s a red Aurora seal attached to the clip with a string.
Underneath you’ll fine a bottle of Aurora ink and paperwork.
The Aurora Nebulosa is the 88 model which is a cigar-shaped piston filler. It has a narrow ink window. The top of the cap, piston knob, and pen grip are all black resin.
The clip is Aurora’s elegant ball-tipped clip. The cap ring is engraved with the Aurora name but no other branding.
Because this is a limited edition pen, the cap itself is engraved with the limited edition number (out of 888 models) in pink gold.
The auroloide is absolutely gorgeous. It has flecks of lighter purple mixed with deep, dark purple. It literally glows in sunlight.
I love Aurora nibs, and this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s rose gold with beautiful Aurora scrollwork.
You can see how a medium Aurora nib looks ground into an italic with this juicy close up:
The Aurora 88 holds a good amount of ink (1.10 ml) and you can use the ink window to see when you’re getting low. Plus, Aurora boasts an ink reserve, so if you run out of ink, you can unscrew the piston knob and get about one page more. The piston mechanism is smooth as silk.
The Nebulosa is 5.4 inches in length closed, 6.20 inches posted, and 5.19 inches unposted. It weighs 21.6 grams. This is not a heavy pen. It feels great in the hand.
Aurora nibs are stiff and don’t have much give or bounce. But they are smooth and wet. My italic definitely has a sweet spot, and as long as I keep it there, the nib writes smoothly and offers a bit of line variation. I inked my Nebulosa with Lamy Dark Lilac. It’s a wonderful combination.
The Aurora Nebulosa is definitely a gasp-worthy fountain pen. You can purchase one from Vanness Pens with a stock nib. The models with EF, F, M, and B cost $805. If you want a BB or factory italic, you’ll pay $895. If you’d like a special grind, you can go to Dan Smith’s site and choose from a variety of nib sizes. The nib grind is included with the cost of the pen.
- If you want a gorgeous purple fountain pen that is a piston filler and writes great, the Nebulosa fits the bill. This color is simply outstanding.
- The rose gold trim and nib complement the auroloide perfectly.
- Aurora makes their own nibs in house and they are top quality.
- The piston on this pen is smooth and holds a good amount of ink.
- If packaging matters at all to you, you’ll love how Aurora presents this limited edition.
- Limited edition pens are more expensive than regular offerings, and this one is no exception.
- Folks with larger hands may find the Aurora 88 to be too small and light for their taste.