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Aurora Mare Le Fp


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15 replies to this topic

#1 usnavydoc

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 07:21

My first fountain pen was a blue Cross ATX, given to me as a gift by a dear friend. As much as I enjoyed writing with it, it tended to skip and felt rough (which I later fixed through experience by changing inks). So one day I decided to find me a more upscale fp, with a gold nib. I came across the Fountain Pen Hospital website, and they had a special on Aurora Optimas. Right when I was about to bite, I scrolled the down the screen and saw the Mare edition, which looked like the Optima but had a unique resin color and a 18k nib. The blue resin that Aurora used really caught my eye. Besides black, blue is my favorite color. Plus the fact that the name "Mare (means sea in latin)" coincided with me being in the Navy, I decided to spend a little more and go with the Mare. It was a long, arduous wait, but it finally came in the mail.

The Mare came in a blue felt hard case, which was protected with a glossy black cardboard box. Inside also came a booklet detailing the history of Aurora and information about this pen being a limited edition, with 7500 fountain pens being made. Once the box is open, one sees that is is lined by a nice velvet black cloth, and besides the pen, a bottle of ink with the Aurora Mare label sealed with wax is included.

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The pen's resin is truly a beauty to behold, if it looked good in the website, it looked even better in person. The marbled blue really makes it stand out, and the sea horse engraved on the gold plated pen clip is a nice touch. The top of the cap has the pen's number inscribed on it with gold colored letters, while the bottom of the cap consists of a gold colored band featuring Greek keys and AURORA in capital letters in it. The pen reminded me a bit of the Parker Duofold, with it's black end cap and top cap. The pen has a very classic Italian feel to it. The resin ensures that the pen is always warm to the touch, and keeps the pen light. The first thing I thought was "This pen is a little short compared to my Cross!" Even so, it is large enough to be held comfortably without the cap posted, and it is fairly wide, allowing for a good comfortable grip. With the cap posted, it should be comfortable to write with even with large hands.

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The Mare fills via it's built in piston system, and holds a good amount of ink. Near the section of the nib there is an ink preview window, which gives one a good idea of how much ink is left. Aurora advertises that their piston system has a reservoir - when one runs out of ink, all that needs to be done is to unscrew the piston knob out, pushing any remaining ink into the feed - and allowing it to write for one more page before it is truly out. The turning of the piston knob is quite smooth, on par with a Pelikan piston system.

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The nib is made of 18k yellow gold, unlike the Optima's 14K nib. It gives a wet line, but is quite stiff, and it makes scratching sounds as it glides on the paper. Despite the noise, it writes very smoothly, and the decorations on the nib truly give it a classic pen feeling. Out of all my inks, it liked the ink from Aurora and Parker Quink. Other inks, such as ink from MB and Pelikan, cause it to be a dry writer. It is definitely picky with the kind of ink used.

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The barrel of the pen has a really crisp print, better than the vintage Parker Duofolds, and has the Aurora name and other info inscribed on it. The blue resin makes it one of my best looking pens, and it definitely attracts attention. Here is a pic of it next to my other 2 favorite blue pens, a Visconti Wall Street LE, and a Taccia Staccato SE.

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This is a really nice pen, and part of the collection which include the Primavera and the Sole - two pens I hope to acquire someday. I hope you enjoyed reading this. :)
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#2 lowks

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 09:19

thanks for the review. I got one of these too. Nice pen.

#3 777

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 12:03

A very nice pen indeed! I love the blue colored barrel! Wish more pens came looking like that... Posted Image

Need a pen repaired or a nib re-ground? I'd love to help you out.


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Colossians 3:17 - And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.


#4 joep01

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 21:31

Great pen! I have the Mare and a Primavera and am thinking about a Sole. My Mare I bought from a gent either in the Netherlands or Germany, I don't remember, but we connected through FPN and he was really nice. Gave me more than fair pricing and, best of all, the pen was mint and included unopened ink!

Funny thing - I think that's a Visconti Wall Street in your photo, right? I have the same exact one! Good taste! :thumbup:
"All is ephemeral - fame and the famous as well."

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#5 jandrese

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 13:32

Nice pen and thanks for the review. I too recently acquired one of these as NOS. Everyone please be aware that Aurora is still selling these pens, newly made. The new ones are not the same, however, with slightly different plastic, the new style cap band, less well done imprint, a different box, and a plain Jane bottle of ink. The newer version is lovely but IMHO it greatly dilutes the cachet of the previous LE and is overall an inferior product.

#6 usnavydoc

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 13:57

Nice pen and thanks for the review. I too recently acquired one of these as NOS. Everyone please be aware that Aurora is still selling these pens, newly made. The new ones are not the same, however, with slightly different plastic, the new style cap band, less well done imprint, a different box, and a plain Jane bottle of ink. The newer version is lovely but IMHO it greatly dilutes the cachet of the previous LE and is overall an inferior product.


Where did you see the new version of the Mare? I looked at several sites, including Aurora's website, and could not find it. Are you sure you don't mean the Optima, which looks similar?
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#7 jandrese

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 14:55

Nice pen and thanks for the review. I too recently acquired one of these as NOS. Everyone please be aware that Aurora is still selling these pens, newly made. The new ones are not the same, however, with slightly different plastic, the new style cap band, less well done imprint, a different box, and a plain Jane bottle of ink. The newer version is lovely but IMHO it greatly dilutes the cachet of the previous LE and is overall an inferior product.


Where did you see the new version of the Mare? I looked at several sites, including Aurora's website, and could not find it. Are you sure you don't mean the Optima, which looks similar?



Absolute for sure because I ordered it at my local pen dealer. When I saw it I knew it was off and sought out an original. Then I directly compared the two and the new one is inferior in every way.

#8 lovemy51

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 08:06

i don't like the looks of the pen... it's so... elaborate...

nice review, tho. thx!!

#9 mchenart

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 14:41

jandrese,
Your remark that the new Aurora Mare looks inferior to the older production reminds me of the case of Parker Duofold Pearl and Black. I bought a first generation Centennial Pearl and Black in 1994 because I was attracted to the beautiful shimmering pearl-like acrylic. However, when I saw a latest generation Pearl and Black in a shop last week, the new acrylic has definitely lost its depth and luster. Instead, it looks rather flat and dull in comparison. I was realy shocked that the old pen from 16 years ago and the same new production model of today would look so different. Could it be that, in order to cut costs, Parker has decided to mix less pearl powders in the acrylic formula or done something that I am not aware of? Maybe Aurora has done the same thing to their Mare resin?
Michael

#10 gyorgy

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 04:59

Very nice review. I have the Primavera, and have noticed the same scratchy sound the nib makes even though it writes smoothly and does not feel scratchy. Very odd. The pen has great balance when posted and writes a nice wet fine line. The "Sole" version would be an incredible find.

#11 freewheelingvagabond

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 06:33

That pen looks beautiful!
Thanks for the review. Enjoy your pen.

Regards,
Anindya.
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#12 alvarez57

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 07:15

Beautiful pen and color! Nice and light review to read. Auroras tend to be "toothy" which is a bit scratchy; I had mine "italized" by Greg Minuskin and it is a soft writer now. And elaborate? Not much, I find there are other pens which are TOO elaborate and gaudy. Enjoy your pen!

sonia alvarez

 

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#13 Basset

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 03:47

Very nice review. I have the Primavera, and have noticed the same scratchy sound the nib makes even though it writes smoothly and does not feel scratchy. Very odd. The pen has great balance when posted and writes a nice wet fine line. The "Sole" version would be an incredible find.



Maybe you will find my old one. I bought a Sole when it came out, but the factory italic nib skipped like crazy, and the barrel was a little too bright for my eyes. Reminded me of Towne Club orange pineapple soda. Didn't know about nibmeisters back then (mid 1990s), and sold it straight away via . . get this . . . a CompuServe pen forum. Always wondered where that Sole ended up.

#14 Ken W

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 13:29

Great review, thanks for posting. I am very fond of the Optima LE fountain pens and have the Sole, Mare and Primavera, as well as the non-LE Optima in marbled blue. All of them have a bit of "tooth", but I prefer that to a glassy smooth nib.

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#15 freewheelingvagabond

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 07:14

Great review, thanks for posting. I am very fond of the Optima LE fountain pens and have the Sole, Mare and Primavera, as well as the non-LE Optima in marbled blue. All of them have a bit of "tooth", but I prefer that to a glassy smooth nib.

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#16 jandrese

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 14:30

Great review, thanks for posting. I am very fond of the Optima LE fountain pens and have the Sole, Mare and Primavera, as well as the non-LE Optima in marbled blue. All of them have a bit of "tooth", but I prefer that to a glassy smooth nib.

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