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New Aurora Duo Cart - Overpriced?

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33 replies to this topic

#1 FPSymphony

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 21:35

For those unaware, Aurora has recently re-released their Duo Cart model, a pen originally produced in the 1950's as a derivative of the 88. The original had a holder for two cartridges, hence the name "Duo Cart"

 

This looks to be quite a nice re-release, but I personally struggle to see the value. To it's credit, it does come with a nice box (which they made smell old), and a bottle of ink. I am worried however, that Aurora may struggle to market the pen. At $156 for the black with steel trim, and $180 for the burgundy with gold trim, it seems just a bit too high for a steel-nibbed, cartridge convertor pen. There's just too much competition both new and vintage. The original Duo Cart (with a gold nib) can be had for cheaper, and even the piston filling (vintage) 88 isn't so much more. The Aurora Ipsilon is also potentially taking up its market share at $100, and for $160, you could buy a Lamy 2000.

 

This does not mean I don't like the pen or the idea behind it; I think it's wonderful. It feels slightly overpriced though, and maybe marketed higher than what it's worth. To me, a pen like this shouldn't have the fancy box or the bottle of ink, and Aurora should pass the savings on to the consumer. Of course, this is just my opinion. I'm curious to know what the rest of you think.


Edited by FPSymphony, 19 May 2017 - 01:47.


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#2 EHV

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:55

  I thought the same thing when I first saw it.        I am a fan of the original(s) and so far and have an 88P  with the hope of collecting them all.   

 

    I would think that Aurora is considered a "luxury" company, more so than Lamy if you are using the 2000 as a comparison at the $160 price point.    Aurora has several pens over 1K and IIRC, their entry level pens start at $100 or so, while Lamy has a few value options.      

 

        That considered, I think that this being a re-issue from a luxury brand with their entry level pens priced at $100, (street value), perhaps they didn't have much option when setting a price for this one.      I do wish that it had a gold nib and was a piston filler but these days with so many steel nibbed/cartridge-converter pens are priced higher, even over $400, I have to wonder if anything  is even a pricing consideration from these companies anymore.  

 

    Gold sure does add to the price and sometimes the filling mechanism does too but no clue why they start their pricing where they do other than "perceived marketing"  sometimes. 

 

                    And, I'm another one that doesn't care about packaging but for the widest commercial appeal, this may need to be factored in, 

 

                I'll probably bite at some point, sooner than later.  :-) 


Edited by EHV, 19 May 2017 - 11:47.


#3 jar

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 12:15

Does it use the modern Parker standard small cartridges?


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#4 Susanna

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 13:25

A few years ago, Aurora released the Archivi Storici collection, that was the same model of pen, but made in sterling silver or gold plated metal. Made from original '50s pieces, assembled and revised.
They used to sell them at approx  € 200

 

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#5 FPSymphony

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 19:39

Does it use the modern Parker standard small cartridges?

It should be able to. Parker and Aurora cartridges are interchangeable.

#6 FOUR X FOUR

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 20:04

I think it's a nice looking pen. I'm just not drawn to pens with plain steel nibs. If they livened it up alittle and made a black nib available I'd buy it

#7 Calabria

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 20:28

I think Aurora and Pelikan are after the same market - both storied companies chasing whatever marketable trend they can discern. If Pelikan can re-release the underwhelming 120 in a steel nib version for 160 bucks, why not Aurora? I'll pass on both.
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#8 atomic_doug

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 23:11

Yeah, I'm inclined to lean to the side of "overpriced for what it is".

 

No disrespect to Aurora, whose steel nibs generally write excellently.  Still, though, the price should be commensurate with their other steel-nibbed pens, give or take.

 

Also, related to this pen: it is healthy to keep looking at the "archives" instead of creating new designs?  The watch industry is rife with this: re-releasing retro designs because consumers love retro.  What happens when we run out of retro, though?


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#9 jar

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 23:30

It should be able to. Parker and Aurora cartridges are interchangeable.

The Duo-Carts were not.  That is why I am asking.


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#10 FPSymphony

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 12:46

The Duo-Carts were not.  That is why I am asking.

From what I found on Goulet, it uses the modern Aurora cartridges, so my answer still stands.

#11 Kevan

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 06:50

I'm leaning toward passing on it too, but I want to see a writing sample before deciding.  It's overpriced for being a steel-nibbed, C/C pen, but then again you can say that about any number of Edison pens.  You can say that about Bexley pens too.

 

For the price they're charging, they're hoping to sell the package.  The old-style case that smells old (I don't believe the story floating around that they devised a scent to make it smell old...that seems silly.  Couldn't these boxes be NOS they found somewhere?  They've done this before with the Archivi Storici pens, when they found old parts.) and the ink.

 

There's nothing online yet showing how the nib writes.  It's either a "Fine Medium" or "Mediumish" nib apparently. 

 

There's a video on Youtube where Michael Sull absolutely praises it and calls it a perfect pen, with optimum inkflow, a perfect nib point for however large or small one writes, and perfect size for anyone's hand...but the camera doesn't clearly show his writing. 

 

So until more videos or pictures come out, I'm staying on the sidelines.  If the nib is decidedly on the "Medium" side of things, I'll pass.



#12 antichresis

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 07:24

I really like how it looks but agree with you and the rest that for what it is it's quite expensive. I would get a vintage 88 (with the hooded nib) as well, if I had the cash to spare.


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#13 Freddy

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 07:46

New Aurora Duo Cart - OverpriCED

 

  No.

 

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#14 Sasha Royale

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 14:47

I don't see much advantage in containing two cartridges, rather than one cartridge.  I am not adverse to carrying extra cartridges.  I enjoy the ritual of filling my fountain pen.  

 

How does this pen write ?  


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#15 ac12

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 16:53

They probably have a better chance marketing upscale rather than the price wars downscale.  Especially if that is where they want to position the company as an upmarket company.


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#16 Jerome Tarshis

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 18:14

I don't see much advantage in containing two cartridges, rather than one cartridge.  I am not adverse to carrying extra cartridges.  I enjoy the ritual of filling my fountain pen.  

 

How does this pen write ?  

 

Well, for most pens that take standard (short) international cartridges, the length of the pen means that there is, entirely routinely, space for two cartridges back to back. No special inventiveness required: the barrel of the pen is a cylinder that's a lot longer than a short international cart.

 

But this raises a question: the original Duo-Cart didn't take the current Aurora or Parker cartridge. Is it possible that the current Duo-Cart is really a Mono-Cart going around under a false name? The pen can't be long enough to hold two of today's Aurora carts back to back.

 

Or at least I'd be astonished if it does. My Hastil certainly doesn't have space for two Aurora (or Parker) full-length cartridges back to back. Does Aurora manufacture mini-cartridges to go with the new Duo-Cart?


Edited by Jerome Tarshis, 24 May 2017 - 18:16.


#17 Kevan

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 03:31

How does this pen write ?  

 

That's the question.  Aurora put up a video where the master penman Michael Sull praises everything about how the pen writes, from the inkflow to the nib width to the nib tip, but we haven't seen any writing samples yet.  I wonder when people will start putting them up.  I know most of the pen shops already have sample models in stock that they've undoubtedly already inked up.



#18 ink-syringe

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 17:37

It's overpriced.

 

I still want one.

 

I am keen on the looks of the pen and like the Parker/Aurora carts & often travel with a P45 and box of Aurora Carts anyway so it would fit right in my travel rig.

 

(but probably won't buy one short of some kind of epic sale/coupon code)


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#19 Kevan

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 16:34

Well, Goulet finally has the writing sample up on the Nib Nook.  The nib is decidedly "Medium."  That's too fat for my writing generally, so my interest in the pen has cooled. 



#20 CAG_1787

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 19:18

The only thing this pen does for me is make me interested in a vintage Aurora 88P, if I could ever find one restored at a reasonable price. The pen here is a step back in design (which I could get for vintage reasons) but also in technology and pricing (which I can't).


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