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Aurora (Modern) 88 (Black/silver - 800C) - Factory Stub


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#1 monochromejournal

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 21:26

I recently acquired an Aurora 88 (black/silver - 800C) with a factory stub nib from Bryant and decided to write a quick review with a writing sample because I wasn't able to find writing samples showing the character of the factory stub nib.

I choose the Aurora 88 because I wanted a daily writer with a factory stub - other options were the 1.3 Palladium nib on a Visconti LE pen or a Montblanc 146/149 with a factory stub.

In addition to the availability of a factory nib, the 88 won me over because of Aurora's reputation for in-house nibs, piston fill mechanism and perhaps most importantly, it's dual personality - it is relatively compact size when capped (almost the same length and over all dimensions of a MB 146) so it's easily pocketable and relatively light BUT quite large when uncapped - almost exactly the same length as a MB 149 and just a touch narrower (which is preferable for me). The section is also longer than both the 146 and 149 offering a wider range of gripping options.

A new Aurora 88 is also less costly than either MB options or a Visconti LE with Palladium nibs.

Below is a very short handwritten review and a writing sample comparison vs. my Platinum Cross Verve (B), Pilot Custom 823 (M), TWSBI 530 (F) and Omas 556/F (OCI - Mottishaw) to give others an idea of the relative line sizes each pen offers.

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#2 Vincent1278

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 21:40

Best modern fountain pen. I love Aurora and the 88 is my favorite. Even the vintage 88's are the best of the vintage pens I've used.

I hope you enjoy and take care of your 88. Never trade or sell it for anything. BTW, MontBlanc inks work great in these.

Nice review.
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Vince

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#3 monochromejournal

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 22:40

Vince - thanks, I have to agree - the large 88 is definitely a contender for 'best' modern fountain pen. The styling is a conservative and plain but the ergonomics and functionality make up for it.

I'm actually a bit surprised at how little attention the 88 seems to get from enthusiasts. I haven't owned mine long enough to be able to comment on long term dependability and durability but it's as solidly built as any modern pen I've used or owned.

#4 Rasendyll

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 03:04

I've often wondered how the Optima and the modern large 88 compare. I've got 5 Optimas but our local supplier doesn't carry the 88 so I've always wondered what the difference is. All of the virtues you identify seem to apply to the Optima as well.....

#5 monochromejournal

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 03:16

I don't think you can go wrong with either one. Just cosmetic/aesthetic differences. I believe the 88 is longer both capped and uncapped but not significantly. The engraving on the optima makes it very attractive but I personally prefer the cigar shape over the flat top.

#6 Blade Runner

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 04:40

Great pen. My compliments.

#7 ftnpenlover

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 13:52

I second the 88 being the best modern fountain pen. I am fairly new on here, with all the people that like the aurora pens, i always wonder how come they do not have their own forum like some of the other brands do?
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#8 Bronze

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 13:56

- Thank you for the review. The 88 is a great pen. I haven't had mine for long, but it has felt perfect from day one.

#9 Inkwisitor

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 14:56

I don't own an Aurora but your review may have nudged me a little closer. Saving pennies!
"The cultured man is the man whose interior consciousness is forever obstinately writing down, in the immaterial diary of his psyche's sense of life, every chance aspect of every new day that he is lucky enough to live to behold!" - John Cowper Powys

#10 monochromejournal

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 21:46

I don't own an Aurora but your review may have nudged me a little closer. Saving pennies!



I highly recommend the Aurora - either the 88 or the Optima depending on your preference, although if you want a longer pen - either capped or uncapped, the 88 is the one to get.

The Aurora stub is wonderful if you want a broader line with some line variation.

I can also highly recommending acquiring a pen through Bryant at pentime.com - I believe he stocks both factory italic and stub nibs in addition to the standard range of nibs.

#11 egretsrus

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 22:27

I agree...the Aurora should have its own forum!
Lesley

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#12 Dark_Severus

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 16:15

Beautiful writing samples. And the 88 is one of my favourite Italians....make that Aurora as a whole. Their pens are very reliable and of the highest quality....

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#13 PacificCoastPen

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 02:57

Are Aurora nibs like nails or do they have a bit of softness...like the Pelikan 200's?
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#14 Robert Alan

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 03:23

I've often wondered how the Optima and the modern large 88 compare. I've got 5 Optimas but our local supplier doesn't carry the 88 so I've always wondered what the difference is. All of the virtues you identify seem to apply to the Optima as well.....


Hello! You may be aware that the large 88, Optima, and large Talentum all use the same, threaded nib unit. Of course,although the pens handle differently, what is on the page will, most likely, look the same.
Regards, Robert
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#15 Robert Alan

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 03:24

I second the 88 being the best modern fountain pen. I am fairly new on here, with all the people that like the aurora pens, i always wonder how come they do not have their own forum like some of the other brands do?



Hello! Aurora pens are discussed here: Penne Stilografiche della Bella Italia.

Buona fortuna!
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#16 Leftytoo

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 03:56

I have a hooded 1950s Aurora 88, fine nib. And a moden 88, stub nib. The hooded nib shares favorite classic pen status with my EF nib Skyline. The new 88 with stub nib is my favorite modern pen. What both share is that special "feel" and control from their nibs. If you don't own an Aurora, you don't know what you are missing.

I only want one more thing: a modern 88 in dark blue, maroon, etc, color. How about it, Aurora?

Bob
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#17 Leftytoo

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 04:02

Are Aurora nibs like nails or do they have a bit of softness...like the Pelikan 200's?


Like most modern nibs, they are on the stiff side, but quite pleasant in use. For a real "nail", I would say the 2 Stipulas I've owned. But the Stipula gold nib still does a good job as long as a lubricating ink such as Waterman or Quink is used.

Bob
Pelikan 100; Parker Duofold; Sheaffer Balance; Eversharp Skyline; Aurora 88 Piston; Aurora 88 hooded; Kaweco Sport; Sailor Pro Gear

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#18 monochromejournal

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 13:31

I have a hooded 1950s Aurora 88, fine nib. And a moden 88, stub nib. The hooded nib shares favorite classic pen status with my EF nib Skyline. The new 88 with stub nib is my favorite modern pen. What both share is that special "feel" and control from their nibs. If you don't own an Aurora, you don't know what you are missing.

I only want one more thing: a modern 88 in dark blue, maroon, etc, color. How about it, Aurora?

Bob


I have to agree - the Aurora stub nib has a special feel. It's smooth while feeling engaged (feedback) - unlike the M250 and Custom 823 (which both have wonderful nibs but lack feedback due to the round tips). The Custom 823 M is my favourite rounded nib (prefer it over my MB 146 M which is wider but offers similar feel).

It's my favourite modern pen and only second to my Omas 556F with Mottishaw ground fine oblique cursive italic.

#19 eric47

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 19:41

Are Aurora nibs like nails or do they have a bit of softness...like the Pelikan 200's?


Like modern Pelikan gold nibs, it depends often on when the nibs were made.

The very first modern 88s had 14K nibs with longer tines and were somewhat soft. There is however a stretch where the 14K are quite rigid (nails), while the 18Ks have some softness to them. Recent 14Ks have some give again to them.

Edited by eric47, 29 April 2011 - 19:41.

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#20 Mickey

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 19:51

Are Aurora nibs like nails or do they have a bit of softness...like the Pelikan 200's?


My 88 is fairly stiff, but not unpleasantly so. I've been assured that they take well to being modified for added flexibility.

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