This is my first review here, hope you will enjoy it. It’s about one of my favorite pens. It’s not an “everyday writer” because I have too much respect for it… but I did use it frequently enough to write this.
Pic: my four Aurora 88. From bottom 88P, 88K, 88, 88k (with 88P BP cap).
Design and engineering:
Yesterday I was discussing with a friend about fountain pens, and we ended up debating what was the best Fountain pen ever. After a while I started supporting the A88 and I came with the following reasoning:
The 88 model, being presented in the post world war II years (precisely in 1947), gather the best part of the two most advanced pre-war models:
- - The Parker 51, from which Aurora took the cigar body shape, the hooded nib, the metal "slip on" cap;
- The Pelikan 100 series, from which they took the flawless piston filling system allowing huge capacity and reliability;
Then they improved what was proposed 10 years before from their "inspiring models" by:
- - making the hooded nib a "semi hooded", allowing for a double side writing tool and for easiness in cleaning;
- selling the pen in 34 different nib sizes/stiffness;
- adding a serial number to improve post service and tracking;
- having the piston turning without increasing/modifying the space between knob and body;
So, here’s my provocation: is the A88 the best post-war fountain pen ever? I hope to receive your feedbacks.
For the moment: in what this pen could have been improved?
- - Have more colors (than one, plain black)
- Improving the possibility to open it for fast and easy cleaning of the section
- Have different sizes
- Full celluloid body
Pic: sections of my Aurora 88. The one object of the review is the second from bottom
The pen is rather big, 13,5 cm capped. Even the diameter is generous, but having big hands it is not a problem for me. The grip is ok. Your fingers will stay on the ebonite section (which means no sweat or skin will made you loose the grip), while the body is in celluloid (the knob is in ebonite again). The clutch ring is useful for quickly finding the optimal writing position. In the hand, the pen is well balanced, especially when posted. It is slightly heavy, but even posted the feeling is like the center of gravity is quite low, helping in releasing tension from the fingers. You can write for long time without feeling tired.
the Filling Mechanism
As already said the filling duty is being accomplished by a piston mechanism. You turn the ebonite knob and smoothly the piston reaches for the ink window. Do it again in the opposite direction and the ink crawls in. After some 60 years, it works flawlessly. I don’t know how much this specimen has been used, but it seems not that much for what I understand.
To be noted how the turning knob never parts from the pen body. Nice design feature but you need to be concentrated in order to know at what stage of the filling you are .
I tested here the older A88 I have, in the pics above is the one with an unclipped silver cap. The section carries an 88 badge, without any “K” or “P” (they identify newer models).
This pen is fitted with a regular medium 14k nib.
The action of the pen is ok, no scratches or skips. It writes a smooth, thick black line (it’s Sailor Black). The nib is still very flexible (A88 came in two stiffness fashion, normal, the object of this review and hard) and you can rest the pen without a cap for a few minutes without compromising a quick start on the paper. I’ll post some writing examples as soon I’ll get a scanner.
The caps aligned.
Well guys, still reading? If you love vintage pens you should immediately log on ebay.it and look for one of these. At the present times it is really easy to find one at a good price, mkI, K or P doesn’t matter!
You will be pleased!