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Aurora 88: The best post-war period fountain pen?


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35 replies to this topic

#21 Pengrump

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 22:00

I have an 88k with a flexible m italic nib purchased from Gary Lehrer a few years ago and an 88p with a stiff m nib purchased from Giovanni Abrate even longer ago. Last year the 88p started to leak out the piston knob end and I sent it to Richard Binder. He fixed it and I haven't had any problem with it since then. The 88k is still working okay, but if it starts to leak I'll probably send it to Richard as well.

I really enjoy both pens, but they feel totally different and write differently as well.

Edited by Pengrump, 04 June 2009 - 22:02.


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#22 diplomat

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 12:16

QUOTE (dayonfire @ Jun 1 2009, 05:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I really want one of these pens...anyone have a resource to get one for (crazy, I know) under $50?

Thanks,
Michael



Well, under $50 and in working order is tough, very tough. Unless you have the luck that libertee (see next post) had, even on ebay these days you will pay around $100 (with the risk of a lemon!)

QUOTE (libertee @ Jun 4 2009, 11:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I got my 88k one month ago on a second hand market. It is my first fountain pen with a piston, and it still works flawless after 50 years, I am really impressed. However, the nib of my 88k EF is not flexible, it writes like a normal steel nib. Well, I should not complaint, I only paid 12 euro for it.


All nib grades were made in two different rate of stiffness, hard or flex. But 12€ is like finding gold on the beach... congratulations!

Ciao,

#23 trent

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 22:52

I tried a vintage 88; it was good, but not as good as the more substantial contemporary 88, now called a 98?, which is the best fountain pen I have ever used. I've tried a wide array of different pens: not one comes close to the Aurora 88. I know that several others on FPN feel the same way.

#24 diplomat

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 19:21

QUOTE (trent @ Jun 16 2009, 12:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I tried a vintage 88; it was good, but not as good as the more substantial contemporary 88, now called a 98?, which is the best fountain pen I have ever used. I've tried a wide array of different pens: not one comes close to the Aurora 88. I know that several others on FPN feel the same way.


Your pen is still called 88, an 88 - 800 if it's the piston filler black pen. And I agree that's one of the best modern fountain pens out there, too bad there are few colour options. If you are interested in the Aurora 88 history and variants, you may want to check this post:

http://www.fountainp...howtopic=111001

Best,

#25 HesNot

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 21:09

I have an 88P that was a demo pen - chrome cap and a sweet somewhat stubbish fine and flexible nib. After years of Parker "51"s and 75s and Sheaffer triumph nibs I did not have a light hand. The 88K completely changed how I write to take advantage of it - and it is smooth and responsive - a complete revelation.

I also have an 88P with a stiff fine/medium nib (marked medium but writes more like a wet fine) and a gold cap - beautiful pen and completely different from the other 88K in just about every respect. It is my "business suit" pen given the bling of the gold cap (not usually my favorite and I am tempted to sell it every so often but it is such a nice writer I can't seem to part with it). Both were purchased with the pistons restored, btw, which used to be a not so insignificant matter but I believe fountainbel has come up with a plug insert solution for 88s which make their repair somewhat easier.

I've tried my fair share of pens in this crazy hobby - and the 88 ranks right up there with the best of the post war pens - the Parker "51" and the Parker 75.

Edited by HesNot, 18 June 2009 - 21:10.

A pen a day keeps the doctor away...

Parker "51" flighter; Parker 75 cisele; Conway Stewart Dandy Demonstrator; Aurora 88P chrome; Sailor Sapporo ; Lamy 2000; Lamy 27 double L; Lamy Studio; Pilot Murex; Pilot Sesenta (Red/Grey); Pilot Capless (black carbonesque); Pilot Custom 74 Demonstrator; Pilot Volex; Waterman Expert 2000 (slate blue)

#26 nova6868

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 02:52

This is a great old post...great pictures. Sorry to bring it back up, but I have a related question.

What are the nib sizes like on these vintage 88s? Is the sizing about right, does it run narrow, is there a large difference between fine and medium, etc.

I'm interested in getting one, but not sure what size nib I'd like. What sizing would you compare it to? I looked all over the board and internet, can't seem to find many writing samples.

#27 Robert Hughes

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 04:21

My Aurora 98 is in daily use at work. It's gotten more reliable with use over the past year - a drop of water on the nib every Monday and it's ready for another week.
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#28 TheNibsmith

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 04:22

This is a great old post...great pictures. Sorry to bring it back up, but I have a related question.

What are the nib sizes like on these vintage 88s? Is the sizing about right, does it run narrow, is there a large difference between fine and medium, etc.

I'm interested in getting one, but not sure what size nib I'd like. What sizing would you compare it to? I looked all over the board and internet, can't seem to find many writing samples.


I would say they're pretty similar to pens you would find today. I don't think there is a large difference between a fine and a medium nib, just a natural progression in size that is to be expected.

I've sold several vintage 88s and always list them with a writing sample. If you check out my blog you can see them with various nibs. http://www.dannzeman...gory/sold-pens/

#29 PhotoJim

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 20:00

The 88K serial numbers went on <i>at least</i> until 2.200.000. 88P <i>at least </i>until 3.200.000. If someone can correct this, I'll be glad.


This is an old thread, but for the archives:

My Aurora 88P has a serial number of 3284xxx,
Too many pens; too many inks. But at least I've emptied two ink bottles now.

#30 mccagly

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 16:12

Perfetta esposizione, bravo.

#31 tawanda

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 18:57

If anyone still wants to buy one they should contact sanpei here on FPN. He restores and sells them, and he's a great guy, too!
For Sale:
Penman Ink http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?/classifieds/item/11952-penman-mocha-ink/
Pilot Elite (Short-Long)http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?/classifieds/item/11951-pilot-elite-short-long/

#32 Calabria

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 18:48

<!--quoteo(post=517959:date=Feb 18 2008, 03:37 PM:name=CharlieB)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(CharlieB @ Feb 18 2008, 03:37 PM) View Post</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Why do you suppose Aurora abandoned the hooded nib?<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Charlie,
I think hooded nibs were part of the "fashion" in FP design of the post WWII period. At the times they were ubiquitous because of the 51 success but even because it represented a design feature that made the pen look more futuristic and new. Additionally, hooded nibs were heading in the direction of the ball points design, the real novelty in the market after the war.

Nowadays things are much different. FP design MUST remember the purchaser how a FP is different from other writing instrument. And the nib is the focal point of it and consequently must be fully visible.
This is true especially for the Italian makers, a group of firms that play the card of the nostalgia and often refers to the past in their products.

However your question makes sense in relation of the new 88 range, a family of models that is inspired – by declared intention, name and design – to the old one. Why they did not maintain one of the old 88 most prominent features? Production cost? I think that my aforementioned reasoning is more in the right direction (i.e. currently people tend to identify FP with nibs).

Just my two cents, btw.

Thanks for your comments and Ciao,


I've been thinking about the new Aurora 88 design for a long time, since it seems to combine the modernism of the postwar streamlined era with clunky 80's postmodern aesthetics. Although that seems a contradiction in terms - both futuristic and retro - I've come to think of it in terms of LeCorbusier's black plastic round glasses - which Mondrian also had, as well as the postmodernist architect Philip Johnson. Perhaps modernism was never as pure as we assumed? That the original design is knock-off of Parker's "51" design would reinforce this destabilizing viewpoint of "authentic" design. Perhaps the "true" modernists were in fact closet neo-classicists? LeCorbusier's sketches of classic Greek temples - the Parthenon - and his photographs confirm this view. In essence, true modernism then would be both forward and backward looking - machines AND temples. Ecco la: The new and old Aurora 88!
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#33 Silas

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 02:12

I bought an 88P about 3 years ago from someone on this forum...could have been Sanpei. I think the price was about $200.

I have a few Parker 51's and would say that, compared to them, the 88P is a classier pen. I think it writes with a bit more flair.

The only issue with mine is that it started to leak at the end of the barrel...kind of seeped. I put a drop of epoxy on it and it stopped. Darndest thing!

I have the gold capped model....haven't used it in ages, but when I just picked it up it started immediately. I'm going to have to put this one back into rotation.

I havent seen another 88P in the wild, ever!

#34 J English Smith

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 02:26

I bought a lovely original 88 from Sanpei about a year and a half ago. It's a great pen. Just a little more heft than a Parker 51. The nib has a lot of character and the piston filler works well. This is one pen along with the 51 that has a really timeless quality for me...I still would like to get a Nikargenta cap version sometime in the future. OK, time to get that one back in the rotation - as soon as my Lamy 2k runs dry!
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#35 diplomat

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 09:24

The 88K serial numbers went on <i>at least</i> until 2.200.000. 88P <i>at least </i>until 3.200.000. If someone can correct this, I'll be glad.


This is an old thread, but for the archives:

My Aurora 88P has a serial number of 3284xxx,


That's a pretty high number, thank you for reporting it here!

Perfetta esposizione, bravo.


Grazie.

#36 Moynihan

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 13:29

Nice review. I have been curious about these for years. In function and filling if not appearance, a similar pen made since WWII and of course still in production, is the Lamy 2000.
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