[Brief introduction] This is my seventh pen review in English.
Aurora, the largest fountain pen maker in Italy, launched 2 kinds of Limited Edition Pens, white version made
of mother of pearl and red version made of red marbled resin (red Auroloide) in 2005 to commemorate the 85th
Anniversary of its Foundation in Turin, Italy (1919).I do not know the reason why the year of delivering these
pen was not 2004,but 2005. The number of the white version to be produced is 99 and the number of the red
version to be produced is 1919(In some cases, 1919 means 3838, that is 1919 for Italian market and 1919 for
export. But in this case, 1919 seems to be only1919 in all.) In this connection I have heard that the color of
the red version is the image color of Aurora.
White ones are astronomically exclusive. Red ones are also expensive but can be bought by convulsive efforts.
Surprisingly the red ones are very popular among Japanese fountain pen lovers (they must be such people as
spare no effort to have favorite pens.) Several blogs about fountain pens in Japan have introduced the red ones
very attractive. So many fountain pen lovers are looking for the pens eagerly. Generally speaking, Italian pens are
very attractive for their design and coloring, but the quality of them may not be superior to German or Japanese
pens, I think. But Aurora seems to be the most reliable for me among Italian pen makers. Of course I wanted to
have the red. But the pens were very rare in Japan. I found the red ones for sale at USA and Italian famous sellers.
I decided to buy the pen from the Italian seller on line. I ordered the pen in November, 2008, but the seller had no
stocks. To my surprise, it seemed that Aurora still continued to produce the red ones then. They did not have made
1919pens yet. So I could choose the favorite serial number among the numbers left. I was waiting patiently and
next February at last I have got the pen.
Perhaps this pen is famous for its beauty. But there is no review in this FPN. So I would like to introduce the pen
to people who are interested in Italian beautiful pens. But I am not so familiar with Italian pens, and besides I have
fallen in love with this pen. So I may make some mistakes about the pen. If so, Please tell me about it by your comment.
* Auroloide Ｉt is original resin by Aurora's special order. When Aurora planned the production of Optima, they
wanted to reproduce their former vivid celluloid pens. But it was difficult to obtain celluloid stably. So they decided to
adopt the other materials. At first it was acrylic resin, but it is now cellulose acetate that carries less burden on
environment. The body of Auroloide is made by craftsmen as follows: 1 making cylindrical shape by shaving the block
of Auroloide 2 making barrel by grinding the cylindrical shape. 3 polishing elaborately.
1 First Impressions (9/10) – The box is an original luxurious wooden red one with clear lacquer for the 85th. Silver"85"
within floral motif is printed on the surface of the lid. Though the box is very nice, I would like to have more compact box.
When I opened the box, there were the Aurora85th pen, a special edition bottle of Aurora black ink with the 85th special
wrapping paper and a booklet. By the way some Aurora85th pens have been delivered lately to some shops in Japan.
They seem to come with general standard box for limited edition pens. I wonder Aurora does not have made 1919 original
boxes for the 85th. The pen itself on the sophisticated light gray cloth seemed to be shining beautifully as had been
expected and I felt happy to have the pen in hand.
2 Appearance & Design (10/10) – The shape of this pen resembles Optima based limited edition pens such
as Asia or Europe. The color of the pen is a good combination of marbled red and silver. The red part is translucent
red Auroloide and sends out breathtaking beauty especially when it is irradiated. The cap end, cap top, barrel end,
barrel rings and grip section is the silver part made of solid sterling silver. The clip is metal plated by palladium*1.
The color of the nib is silver by being plated by rhodium. The ink tank window is clear resin of high quality like crystal*2.
There is Aurora logo made of gray mother-of-pearl with a background of red coral paste and an overlaying lens made
of rock crystal inside the oval or heart-shaped girdle on the silver domed cap top. The design and the shape of the
Aurora logo is similar to that of the familiar Aurora logo in everywhere. The color of the coral paste seems to be
various according to individual pens and the color of this paste is rather light and near to pink.
The ring under the silver dome of the cap top, the cap band, the ring under the turning knob of the barrel and the
bottom of the barrel are decorated with floral motif engravings that recall Aurora's first models in the times of its
foundation and were once adopted in Aurora 80th Anniversary pen. The cap band is wide and "AURORA" is engraved
on the front, serial number of 4 figures on the back.
The graceful design of the clip is similar to that of Optima and "85" is engraved on the top of it. I hear the clips are
made by hammering of skilled craftsmen.
The surface of the grip section is smooth with no engravings but is not slippery and easy to be held.
*1 In some Japanese sellers' HP, the clip is said to be made of sterling silver. But I have found the description that
the clip is metal plated by palladium in another HP. As such clip as this type needs strength and sterling silver is
not proper materials for it, I think this clip is not sterling silver.
*2 In one HP, the window is said to be made of rock crystal. But I think it is made of clear resin.
upper: 85th lower:80th
just a joke
under bright light
3 Weight & Dimensions (9/10) – The length of this pen is a little longer than Optima, measuring 131mm long capped,
124mm uncapped and 155mm posted. The maximum diameter of the barrel is 16mm. It weighs 41.5g with full of ink and
heavy a little for me. I feel that it fits my hands totally well when posted.
4 Nib & Performance (8/10) – This pen comes with a solid 18k gold F nib but the color is monotone silver plated by
rhodium (EF,F,OF,OFR, M,OM,OMR, B, OB, OBR, BB, Stub and Italic seem to be available. )The engraving of the nib is
classical and elegant. These nibs may be common for high end pens and may not be made specially for the85th. The
size of the nib is almost the same as Montblanc146. The feeder is made of ebonite(hard rubber).So the ink flows
abundantly after the feeder has adjusted the ink. The nib is smooth, but not so buttery smooth. However, it is interesting
that I have a pleasant feeling from the feedback to the paper. Perhaps the taste of the nib is character or identity of
Aurora. The more I have used this nib, the more the nib has become smooth and I have liked the taste. The line it puts
down is typical western F and practical enough for taking notes. It is good that the nib can be easily screws out. It is not
good that the nib and the feeder tends to be shifted to the contrary.
5 Filling System (10/10) – It is a piston filler and holds about 1.1ml* ink enough for daily use. The system is very smooth
and solid. The knob turns accurately and gravely like a hydraulic precision instrument. It has also the unique "hidden reservoir"
system that Aurora is proud of. It is a small cup fitted in the piston head. The capacity of the reservoir is about 0.06ml. You
can write another page or 2 owing to the ink contained in the reservoir after your ink in the main chamber seems to have
run out if you turn the piston down to the small tube connected to the feeder to let the ink in the reservoir go into the feeder.
The system is very interesting as such a secret mechanism as most boys will delight. But it does not seem that the system
can have additional ink capacity and it needs more work to clear the ink in the reservoir thoroughly when you want to change
the ink. The ink tank window is clear. Besides it is wider than narrow window of Aurora 80th Anniversary pen. So it is easy to
observe the volume of the ink in the main chamber.
* I measured the weight of water inhaled by the piston filling system by TANITA digital scale KP-103(the weight of the
body without cap with full of water: 29.0g, empty of water: 27.9g)
the small black tube connected to the feeder
6 Cost & Value (10/10) - The list price is 150,000 yen(+consumption tax7,500yen) in Japan and now you can expect little
discount in Japanese shops because of its popularity. The list price is $1,500 in USA and the real market price is perhaps under
about $1200. Of course you may get the pen discounted more at auctions. I bought the pen at a price of 950 Euro (almost the
same as $1200 at then rate) from an Italian seller. So I think I got an ordinal deal probably. Does this pen worth the price? The
answer depends on the degree how you like the pen. Absolutely yes! ,for me.
7 Conclusion (Final score: 9.3)- Aurora 80th(the list price is $2000) seems to be more popular than this 85th in general.
I also like the 80th rationally. This 85th never gets full marks in the final score and besides some people may say that the red
color of the 85th is suitable for ladies. But at last I have fallen in love with this 85th.This 85th has original mysterious appeal
that has awaken my sentiment(I love another 85th,that is, Pilot 85th that has also awaken my sentiment). I believe that the
more you understand the 85th, the more you will be fascinated. So I recommend you to keep away from the 85th if you do
not want to spend money. I am afraid that people like me will go on increasing not only in Japan but also in the other area
in the world.
Edited by rokurinpapa, 16 January 2010 - 04:09.