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Contemplating 1st Italian Pen


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44 replies to this topic

#1 jde

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 14:01

Recently I was at a pen store in NY and had a chance to try out a few Omas, Aurora, Visconti and Stipula pens.

I enjoyed how smooth the nibs were. I particularly loved the aesthetics of the Visconti Ragtime but it's a bit heavy in my small hand. The Omas Paragon was much delightfully light, but too big for my tastes. I'm thinking between Aurora and Stipula there may be a first purchase for me.

My main pens are Pelikans. I love piston fillers.

I thought the Stipula Vedo might be a good first pen, and then perhaps an Aurora Optima.

Any thoughts you all wonderful people would like to share about a beginning foray into Italian piston fillers? I'd sure appreciate hearing them.

Cheers,
Julie
 
...writing only requires focus, and something to write on. —John August
...and a pen that's comfortable in the hand.—moi

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#2 RevAaron

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 15:16

If it were me, I'd go for Aurora or Omas. I don't know Aurora terribly well, mostly through a few vintage Auroras and an modern Aurora 88 nib put into a Kaweco Sport, but I like what I've used. Optima would be what I'd want if I were getting an Aurora. smile.gif

I've nothing against Stipula or Visconti... but they don't do it for me like Omas.

Omas has other pens other than the Paragon. I'm not real familiar with the new-style Omas pens, so I can't recommend them per se. But the Milord is the smaller pen of the same style as the Paragon. Cheaper too!

For my money, I'd be going after an old-style Omas Paragon, Milord, or Ogiva. Older names for the same pens are 557-F, 556-F, 557-S, 556-S. The Ogiva and -S pens are the usual round style pen rather than the faceted style of the -F, Milord and Paragon.

It can get a bit confusing, so let me break it down:

- The new-style Milord is the size of the old-style Paragon, both are about the size of an M800
- The old style Milord is about the size of am M600
- The new-style Paragon is big, a bit bigger than an M1000

If you want to compare the different sizes and weights of these pens, check out John Mottishaw's Pen Measures page- he doesn't have everything on there you might look at, but it might help you whittle down the options some. smile.gif

Have fun!

Aaron
(edit: fixed link)

Edited by RevAaron, 10 December 2008 - 16:58.

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#3 diplomat

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 15:45

Have you tried an Aurora nib? I'm asking because you said that you like "smooth" nibs, and Auroras are known to have some feedback (or texture) that is something that I like but I understood it as opposite to "butter smooth" (like all my Omas have, e.g.).

So, if your priority is smoothness, I suggest to try to get an Omas Milord piston filler, there are some out there.
If you tried Aurora nibs and enjoyed them, then I'd recommend an 88, unless you fancy some different color than black.
In this case I'd recommend the Optima.

Hope this did not add to confusion! tongue.gif

Ciao,

#4 Robert Hughes

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 16:01

I recently purchased an Aurora 98 pen with the piston filler. It is a fabulous pen, and very stylish!

Other beautiful Italians I look forward to meeting with someday: Omas Paragon, Stipula Etruria, Montegrappa.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 10 December 2008 - 16:03.

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#5 penspouse

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 16:42

QUOTE (RevAaron @ Dec 10 2008, 08:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you want to compare the different sizes and weights of these pens, check out John Mottishaw's Pen Measures page- he doesn't have everything on there you might look at, but it might help you whittle down the options some. smile.gif

Have fun!


The link doesn't work for me. Is it the link or my computer that's been giving me fits?
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#6 RevAaron

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 16:57

QUOTE (penspouse @ Dec 10 2008, 10:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The link doesn't work for me. Is it the link or my computer that's been giving me fits?


Ja, I screwed the link up. Here it is- Pen Measures. smile.gif
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#7 penspouse

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 17:01

Thanks!!! Very handy.
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#8 jde

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 20:57

Thanks everyone who gave input. I really enjoy hearing about the pens people favor.

Re. Aurora and smooth nibs: I have not tested more than two and did not notice 'feedback.' An Optima and a Talentum (not a piston but a c/c mechanism). I think I have a pretty light touch when I'm writing, and so I'm always wanting a pen that just, well, glides across the page, and is not fatiguing to hold. (I write a lot every day by hand.) The Aurora 88 is a classic looking pen that appeals, but I have read so many varied experiences with that model I've been reluctant to pick one up.

The Omas Milford sounds like it might be a good choice for me.

P.S. Thanks for the link on the pen measurements!

Edited by jde, 10 December 2008 - 20:58.

 
...writing only requires focus, and something to write on. —John August
...and a pen that's comfortable in the hand.—moi

#9 AJP

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 21:14

Another vote for Aurora but for the 88, it's a piston filler and is very nice, classy and understated but obviously refined (like a good wine). I can't speak to the nib smoothness as mine is an italic and therefore not buttery smooth by nature.


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#10 Jersey Diabolo

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 21:39

I would go will the Aurora Optima.

#11 skipwilliams

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 01:49

Aurora Optima: Great pen, superb writer, but the length really requires posting. It wasn't for me. Sold.

Omas: No metal sectioned pens, so most of the new pens are off my list. Had a Ogiva last year, never bonded. Had a couple of Paragons from the 90's, super pens. Don't know why I sold them, but never bonded with them either.

Delta - If you can find a piston filler, they're really top notch. Superb construction, great nibs.

Stipula Etruria - My top choice for a piston filler, got an Amber and a beautiful Alter Ego this fall, love them. Very similar to a Pelikan, but feel different. There's more weight than a celluloid/acrylic Omas Paragon, but it's well balanced. Poorly balanced when posted, use it without the cap. Absolutely superb writers. No ink window.

Skip


QUOTE (jde @ Dec 10 2008, 02:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Recently I was at a pen store in NY and had a chance to try out a few Omas, Aurora, Visconti and Stipula pens.

I enjoyed how smooth the nibs were. I particularly loved the aesthetics of the Visconti Ragtime but it's a bit heavy in my small hand. The Omas Paragon was much delightfully light, but too big for my tastes. I'm thinking between Aurora and Stipula there may be a first purchase for me.

My main pens are Pelikans. I love piston fillers.

I thought the Stipula Vedo might be a good first pen, and then perhaps an Aurora Optima.

Any thoughts you all wonderful people would like to share about a beginning foray into Italian piston fillers? I'd sure appreciate hearing them.

Cheers,
Julie


Skip Williams
www.skipwilliams.com/blog

#12 chainwhip

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 07:03

Have you considered a vintage Italian pens? One in particluar Aurora 88 (1st gen, K, or P) and I think they're great pens! Aurora has released some made of new-old-stock parts (Archivi Storici model 022 is one such pen and it is a piston filler to boot).

It's light and about the size of Parker 51.

Here's a review by Jeen: http://www.fountainp...rchivi storici
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#13 jde

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 14:00

Yes, I have been trying to learn about vintage Italian pens as well. Is there a range of years preferred for the Aurora 88?

I do not know what "K or P" means... if you could clarify that, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks!
 
...writing only requires focus, and something to write on. —John August
...and a pen that's comfortable in the hand.—moi

#14 rhosygell

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 14:26

Any vintage Italian pen with a gold nib will have flex, mostly fineish points. All are superb under rated writers, especially Columbus. Before giong vintage - do you like flex?

Stipulas (I have a Florentia) and Auroras are the nicest of the current production Italians in my view.

Edited by rhosygell, 11 December 2008 - 14:27.

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#15 Richard

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 14:41

QUOTE (diplomat @ Dec 10 2008, 10:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have you tried an Aurora nib? I'm asking because you said that you like "smooth" nibs, and Auroras are known to have some feedback...

Not if you buy from a dealer who specializes in smoothness and adjusts every nib before it ships.
Click to send email: richard@richardspens.com
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#16 RevAaron

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 14:56

+1 for vintage Italians!

I love the vintage Aurora 88. A much different pen from the modern 88, not that the modern 88 is a bad pen, but something quite different.

By "1st gen, K or P" he was referring to different revisions of the 88. There first was the 88, the second the K, and then there was the P. Most folks would probably say to go for a P, if only because their pistons tend to be a bit more robust. I've an 88P and I love it- it handily replaced my 51, which now languishes at home. The 88/88K/88P are all very similar, so if you find one with a restored or well-working filler, then I wouldn't worry about one model over another. One will usually cost you between $100-200. The vintage 88 is good if you happen to not like flex... There is some flex, but not enough to trip you up.

Other vintage Italian pens are also really great- but a lot of them are pretty expensive. But there are a lot of makes of vintage Italian pen out there that don't have the popularity of Omas, Aurora and Tibaldi- rhosygell mentioned Columbus. Also, Radius and a gazillion others.

I re-read your original post today, and noticed we all dove into what might be your second italian pen- so I will say: the Vedo would make a lovely first Italian pen. Never owned one, but I was thinking of getting one for quite while. smile.gif

edit:
Turns out, Novelli still has some of the piston filling Aurora Historical Archives 022, which is a reissue/NOS parts pen made of parts they had sitting around since the 50s, apparently. USD $197, which is enough to tempt me for a bit of a comparison review. smile.gif


Aaron

Edited by RevAaron, 11 December 2008 - 15:10.

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#17 rhosygell

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 16:31

Just bought a new Mini Optima off FPN - this post is DANGEROUS!!!!

As RevAaron says a Vedo makes a lovely starter pen
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#18 jde

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 18:40

You all continue to be very helpful. Confusion will at some point lead me to clarity. Or at least I'll leap in and buy something!

I realize I prefer the look of Stipulas, as well as the Aurora 88. The older Columbus pens are very intriguing... oh dear.

Aaron: Thanks especially for the detail of your information! Awesome.

I have no idea what I'm going to do, but I am happily preparing for the new, uh, maybe old, pen quest.

--Julie
 
...writing only requires focus, and something to write on. —John August
...and a pen that's comfortable in the hand.—moi

#19 Ron Sabbagh

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 19:22

QUOTE (jde @ Dec 11 2008, 07:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You all continue to be very helpful. Confusion will at some point lead me to clarity. Or at least I'll leap in and buy something!

I realize I prefer the look of Stipulas, as well as the Aurora 88. The older Columbus pens are very intriguing... oh dear.

Aaron: Thanks especially for the detail of your information! Awesome.

I have no idea what I'm going to do, but I am happily preparing for the new, uh, maybe old, pen quest.

--Julie


I was in your shoes several months ago....I chose the Stipula Etruria..and have not regretted it. It did what the FPN members told me it would do...it writes beautifully...even for a FP newbie.., it looks beautiful, and feels great in the hand. The aurora may be just as good..I don't know from personal experience...but I am very happy with my Etruria as a first Italian pen. I can also say that the staff at Stipula (in Florence) are very responsive...Danielle answered all my newbie questions and was always happy to help..so you know you will get good customer service with your Stipula. Also, there are Stipula authorities on this forum (Dierdre & Wim & Handlebar) who were very helpful to me as a Stipula newbie....so you will have support here, too!

Please let us know what you decide....

Edited by Ron Sabbagh, 11 December 2008 - 19:26.

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#20 jde

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 19:44

Thanks, Ron! I will report back what I end up doing. It may well be after the holidays, though.
Cheers.
 
...writing only requires focus, and something to write on. —John August
...and a pen that's comfortable in the hand.—moi






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