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  1. ralfstc

    Fixing Up An Aurora 88K

    Hi folks, A few months ago I saw a damaged Aurora 88K in the classifieds. The owner, Bamapen, very kindly agreed to pass it along on condition that I would take a couple of pictures when I was fixing it up. So I did . . . John bought the pen back after the work was done, and was happy enough with it (and my couple of pictures) to post my report of the fixing up on his blog. He also told me to put it on here. Not being one to mess with Southerners, I follow instructions. Hope this might be useful to somebody. Cheers, Ralf Fixing up the 88 The Aurora are good to work on. The parts are stable and pretty strong, designed to be fixed up easily. There’s one exception, which I’ll come to later. The first step is to remove a tiny plastic cover on the butt of the pen to reveal a screw. http://i.imgur.com/r0jBIWu.jpg When it’s loosened, like this: http://i.imgur.com/6baiONE.jpg You can remove the piston knob. There is a tiny spring on the screw- it’s used to tension the piston knob. The screw isn’t tight, it’s just got enough torque to hold the assembly together. If you over-tighten, the knob won’t turn. http://i.imgur.com/15Ckayg.jpg Under the piston know there are a couple of different designs. In this case there is a hex-nut that the knob fits over. When the knob turns, it drives the hex-nut which in turn works the piston mechanism. It’s a brilliant design for a couple of reasons. First, the piston knob does not back away from the body of the pen when the piston is being operated, so it’s a very clean operation aesthetically and mechanically speaking. Second, the parts are light but not so specialised that a handy person couldn’t jury-rig something if they had to- quite an asset in post-War Italy. The white plastic piece is a bushing for the piston mechanism. I usually don’t remove them (I’m always wary of screwing things in and out of celluloid) but in this case I had to, so we’ll see more of it later! The piston mech can be removed as one unit from the back of the pen, or in pieces from the front (section) end. http://i.imgur.com/EU1uAyY.jpg Now to the front. After application of heat, the incredibly tacky substance the factory use to hold the section on gets a little softer, and the section can be loosened. I find two bits of old inner tube work well for this- section pliers make me nervous. http://i.imgur.com/CTyfVeH.jpg When fully removed you have this: http://i.imgur.com/wykvEJg.jpg And now it gets interesting. The section goes into cold water for a soak. http://i.imgur.com/LQ1d8lx.jpg And it’s time to strip the piston mech. Careful examination of the hex-nut shows that there is actually a tiny pin running through it. It’s not tight, but it is tiny. I usually knock it out with a drift until there is enough showing to pull it out with pliers. Here it is halfway out. http://i.imgur.com/KSv3oHv.jpg And when removed, the hex-nut slides off the brass shaft: http://i.imgur.com/n7vn2CS.jpg Now the piston and brass shaft come out the front of the pen, leaving you with: http://i.imgur.com/GI8IZTf.jpg These are the actual parts that move the piston: http://i.imgur.com/RaU3Gbe.jpg The hole in the brass shaft is, of course, where the pin through the nut goes. The piston looks like this: http://i.imgur.com/ZlyVcJs.jpg It’s hard to see in a photograph, but the piston consists of the big black piece with the hex shape (this fits into a hex shape in the white plastic bushing to prevent the piston just spinning when the piston knob is turned), a strange slotted nut that goes on the end nearest us in the photo, and a range of felt/leather/fibre washers in between. Taken apart it looks like this: http://i.imgur.com/LOq4mG1.jpg The most delicate piece of these old pens is the black piston itself. In the case of this pen it was definitely crumbly, which led to some challenges. The recommended repair is to replace all those little washers with two o-rings of a specific size (available from David Nishimura). This gives you: http://i.imgur.com/SXVDu4t.jpg And when re-installed into the piston unit, the whole assembly looks like: http://i.imgur.com/7QHGlB3.jpg (I left the pin slightly out for the photo, then snugged it home) The problem with this 88 was that the piston was so soft that I couldn’t tension the o-rings correctly. By turning the slotted “nut” you squeeze the o-rings and change their diameter to get the right “snug but not draggy” fit inside the barrel. Eventually, I was able to get it right with one o-ring, a couple of packing washers, and a spare slotted nut I happened to have from previous Aurora repairs. Talking of the barrel, after a good wash and scrub with a bottle brush, it looked like: http://i.imgur.com/laXYlYG.jpg The ink window was back!!! So now I had the piston assembly back in a nice clean barrel (This picture captures the hole for the pin through the hex-nut quite nicely). http://i.imgur.com/W7YnH9b.jpg And so to the front. There are only three parts to the front end of an 88- the section/nose, the feed and the nib. They tend to be a tight fit, and to glue themselves together with ink. After a good soak (there was a LOT of blue ink in this 88) they come apart, with the feed coming out the FRONT of the section (this is quite counter-intuitive looking at the parts). http://i.imgur.com/ZnqGJmV.jpg Look at that poor nib! It slides off the front of the feed. http://i.imgur.com/9Ib9Toj.jpg You can see how tiny the nib is (the paper is 5mm square). I really thought this one was wrecked, and actually ordered one I found in Italy. To my surprise I was wrong, and managed to get it lined up and working again. After some smoothing it’s very acceptable. Now I have a spare nib I paid $50 for. Oh well. Here is an overview of the whole pen. http://i.imgur.com/X6SFEZK.jpg And here are a couple of it re-assembled: http://i.imgur.com/gO9SW6g.jpg http://i.imgur.com/K7lh2H7.jpg
  2. Hi fellow Aurora fans, We had an interview with the big boss of Aurora and you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGOvCrvt0q8 Enjoy!
  3. Hey, I noticed a beautiful Aurora 88 fully plated on fleabay. After some extensive research I still haven't managed to decide whether it's a Aquila or a Granlusso. As I am a newbie in Italian pens I was wondering whether you can identify it and, also, whether you know which one is a little bit better (or rarer), the Aquila or the Granlusso ?
  4. I’ve bought my Aurora Optima 4 years ago, and it has become one of my favourite pens. 1st Experience - Just shortly after I’ve bought it, it suffered from a loose cap ring, which I sent to Italy for repairs. Communication was polite but scanty. After a bit of anxious wait, my pen came back 3 months’ time. 2nd Experience - 5 months’ ago, I have the misfortune of having my capped Optima dropped onto a carpeted floor, which in turn resulted in it shattering at the ink window. The nib was stuck in the cap. I contacted Aurora via their email contact as reflected in their website and they promptly replied. I’ve sent off the pen via registered mail and patiently waited. I knew from previous experience that there would not be any acknowledgement of the receipt of the pen. 2 and a half months later, I received an email informing that my pen was overhauled and repaired. I was tardy in checking my email and took about a week to reply. After settling the payment, I waited till recently when a FedEx package finally arrived – 5 months after I sent it off to another continent. The pen that came in was as good as new. My take home messages from my 2 completely anecdotal experiences: 1. Auroloide is fragile. I’ve heard of “precious resin” shattering and though not having the privilege of owning one, I think the fragility index of Auroloide comes close. I will baby the Optima from now on. As a side note, besides the Optima dropping out onto the carpeted floor as I accidentally flipped my shirt pocket over, a Pilot Prera and a Sailor Progear fell at the same time onto the same floor, with none of them showing any wear. 2. Aurora repair is top notch. My Optima came back as good as new, and I think the Auroloide glitters more than before. 3. Aurora communication is courteous but sparse. As pen owners we tend to be anxious about our expensive pens being away from our hands for long, especially with little updates on the status of the pen. 4. Be very very patient.
  5. TassoBarbasso

    Amazing Client Service From... Aurora?

    I think it's no secret that Aurora's client service used to be horrible. Actually, worse than that. In the FP community, this used to be a running joke/nightmare, with people complaining of pens getting lost for months or years in the dark, secretive meanders of the Turin-based company's far-from-polite client service. I myself had something that can only be described as a nightmarish experience dealing with them, back in 2013. They did everything wrong you could possibly do in client service and eventually it took something like a thousand emails + the intervention of the original seller, + the help of the local representative for the UK, and a lot of time to get my pens back, in a far-from optimal condition. Eventually I ended up having to go to a nibmeister anyway... ... So it was with sheer terror and fear that I realized, a few months ago, that I would have to send my beloved 85th Anniversary, a wedding present with huge emotional value for me, out for repair... The very last thing I wanted to do was to send it to Aurora, fearing to get bogged down in yet another mess like that. I contacted some pen repairers I know, but none of them had the parts needed for repair. So I had to give in: I sent the pen to Aurora. Well, I had to suffer anyway, as I already had to send in another pen, an Optima, for the replacement of the gold trims on the cap, a far-from-easy repair job which i had been delaying for ages, precisely because I didn't want to deal with said customer care. So I sent the pens and started to tremble... And here's where the surprises begun First, they immediately - and politely - replied to my emails. Ok, nothing special here. Then, contrary to what happened last time, they gave clear, precise and useful information. They kept me posted about the internal conversations they were having about the best way to replace the Optima's trims. The person in charge of the whole process, the polite, professional and competent Erika Garrafa (which I can only hope will be given a big promotion and a pay rise!), was extremely supportive throughout the whole process. She was always cordial, timely in her responses, proactive, and very willing to adapt to the client's requests (and I can be a real pain in the butt as a client, as I work in client services myself, and know what "good service" should be like). Ms Garrafa even took her time to answer to some not-so-important emails about nib style and stuff like that. Up until that point I had seen such good client service only from their competitors at Montegrappa. I was amazed but still skeptical: they will screw up at some point, I'm sure And here's the greatest surprise: the cost of repair was affordable, nothing insane as I feared; the pens were delivered to them and they immediately got them fixed: instead of waiting for months, I had to wait only for a few days. Ms Garrafa kept me informed throughout the whole process, and when a minor issue arose, she was quick to apologize, as opposed to how her colleagues behaved 5 years ago, when they were constantly trying to shift the blame on the client. She informed me (without me even having to ask or negotiate!) that the company would take charge of any additional shipping costs due to the issue. A really nice touch that any customer would be delighted to be on the receiving end of The pens arrived today, after what seems like a negligible amount of waiting time. The quality of repair work is astonishing. Both pens seem brand new. They even did some minor fixing that I hadn't even asked The 85th Anniversary's filling system works again, while the Aurora Optima now sports a magnificent, brand-new, old-style gold trim, instead of the previous one where gold was wearing off. I am amazed. Aurora has massively increased the quality of its client service and its repair team is top-notch. And I'm not saying so because I'm comparing them only with their "old" way of doing things. I'm comparing them with their competitors. And by contrast, other companies I dealt with in the past had great customer care, but poor repair service, or vice-versa. Aurora managed to nail both. I don't know if this is because Ms Erika Garrafa is such a great person to work with and very conscientious in what she does, or if it's a new company policy. But either way it's been great to deal with Aurora's client service... ... and trust me, this is a sentence I would have never thought I would one day be able to write I've always been a huge collector of Aurora (I have 14!), and this brand has always had a huge emotional role for me: my first "serious" pen was an Aurora, and my father and my grandfather both used Auroras. Cheaper Auroras are the pens I give as presents when I try to "convert" someone to FPs. My father's graduation pen was a Hastil. So it's a passion that goes back three generations. But in recent years I had become much more wary of buying more expensive Aurora pens because of the risk of having to deal with their customer care. This is definitely going to change now. They make the most beautiful pens, the best nibs, and now they are also able to provide great service should problems arise. I can certainly see myself saving up for an Aurora Internazionale, or ANY iteration of the Optima or 88, in the very near future No affiliation, only a formerly-very-disappointed-and-now-very-happy customer.
  6. Susanna

    Aurora Boards For Free

    Aurora sent me these counter boards with vintage subjects. I don't need them, I don't have a shop open to public, I only sell through the site; and it's a shame to keep them on the shelf in the warehouse that nobody sees them. If you want one, and you're planning to place an order shortly, just choose one and I'll put it inside the parcel for free. There is no minimum order, no obligation to buy something of Aurora or other specific item. The boards measure 17.5 x 25 cm, made of polished cardboard, with a back support. You can also see them on my Facebook page. I can't show all them because some are too heavy. But please go to my Facebook page and you'll see all.
  7. Is Aurora Optima Mini same as Optima? Model number is 996. It looks like regular Optima Aurolide to me but Im not sure what size is it.
  8. The Aurora 14K gold EF nib I have writes very smoothly but not completely (or intolerably) devoid of feedback. It gave the least audible and tactile feedback of all the pens/nibs in the list below, although the difference between it and my Sailor Pro Gear in that regard is nigh negligible. On the other hand, in spite of being an EF nib, it writes more broadly than any of the Japanese gold F nibs I tested just then. Even the 18K gold Pilot Capless F nib (of which the output is not shown below) leaves a finer line than the Aurora. My Diplomat and Rotring steel EF nibs also write more finely than it does. (I'm not sure about the Lamy and Faber-Castell steel EF nibs.) I can live with its line width as is, but I'm damn glad I didn't order the Aurora F nib instead.
  9. koulour

    Aurora Ipsilon Sections

    Hello everybody! I have searched but have not found something similar, so forgive me if a question like this is already answered. I kindly call for the help of the knowledge and wisdom of fpn on the Aurora Ipsilon (older style, three chrome rings on cap band) sections. In more detail, I would like to ask if a section of a fountain pen can be used with the barrel AND the cap of a rollerball. I have a nib that I absolutely love, and a nice shop has a great deal on a argento body r/b. It would be a very nice result to get my nib+section to work with the silver body+cap after I "toss away" the r/b section. Unfortunately, the deal is not good enough to justify the risk and try for myself, since if they don't work together, I have no use for the rollerball. I warmly thank in advance everybody for their replies. See you later people!
  10. Hello everyone, I just purchased this set of NoS Aurora sterling silver fountain+ballpoint pens (only FP shown in the photos), i need help with identification of the model name and any other info, many thanks in advance
  11. I haven't been on this site for a long time, but I've got a question that only can be answered by this knowledgeable group. I have about 15 or so very nice pens, several Pelikans, Parker, Aurora, etc.... and I carry them with me in pen cases in my backpack each day. Almost every one of them gives me the same result--- i take it out to start writing, and it's scratchy, dry, or some combination of both and is just aggravating to use. On the other hand, this little Kaweco sport pen, about $25 bucks that was actually tossed in with another Kaweco pen (much more expensive) works perfectly EACH time, right out of the pen case. Smooth, easy and satisfying. What am I doing wrong with the topshelf pens? All answers sincerely appreciated. thanks. Ron Sanfield Andover, MA
  12. jmccarty3

    Two New Unusual Italians

    Got an email this morning from La Couronne du Comte describing two new pens from Visconti and Aurora that are a bit out of the ordinary. The Visconti Pentagon is, unsurprisingly, in the shape of a pentagon. It comes in black, red, and blue, but the real news is that it has a 14k nib and a C/C filler, not your typical Visconti configuration as of late. https://www.lacouronneducomte.nl/webstore/main/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=visconti%20pentagon&language=en&utm_source=newsletter20180923&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=visconti_pentagon_en The Aurora Internazionale doesn't resemble the usual 88 or Optima formats. The tines on the nib appear to be quite long, but the description doesn't say anything about flex. It's a piston filler, but the piston knob looks different from their usual models. https://www.lacouronneducomte.nl/webstore/main/aurora-internazionale-fountain-limited-edition-p-11103.html?language=en&utm_source=newsletter20180923&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=aurora_internazionale_en What do you think of these?
  13. Hi, I'm after your opinion on the authenticity of a ballpoint I purchased yesterday. The pen was advertised as an Aurora Ipsilon Black Resin with Sterling Silver cap, and that seems to be what I received. I bought from what appeared to be a reputable seller (99.8% positive feedback from over 2000 sales), and I paid a reasonable price - not a "too good to be true" one. Also the pen feels like a quality one (appreciate this is subjective), the only thing is when I look at other images of the same pen they seem to have the "Aurora" markings on the middle bands in black whilst on mine they are silver. I know some models change slightly over time so thought (hoped?) this might be the case here. I've attached images of my pen below and I'd really appreciate your thoughts. I have the opportunity to return within14 days, and I know some of you might say if I like the pen keep it regardless but it just rubs me the wrong way to think that I've paid for something not genuine, even if I ultimately like what I've received. Thanks in advance
  14. europen

    Two Slim Pens

    To celebrate the act of writing, here are photo reviews of two 'slim' pens (under 10 mm around at the grip). Notice that, with slip-on caps, 'threads' at the grip are not an issue, so the pens are equally smooth to hold. Also, though the pens may vary in size and shape, they are all about the same in girth, so the feeling of control as one grips the pen is about the same. Performance in this case it seems to me is in the nib itself. Both pens are aging beauties but are still manufactured (the Hastil) or available (the Fashion). The pangrams used are courtesy of Wits 'n Wisecracks: 251 Pangrams for Everyday Use by Millard Port, via Amazon Books. Enjoy this holiday excursion into thinness.
  15. Hello, I was wondering if anyone has seen new images, or heard news of this pen's availability. All I've seen so far are the pre-release stock images from Aurora, which (considering the Abissi experience) may or may not be realistic. Any update would be much appreciated
  16. Hi everybody, I really like the look of this pen but have no experience with Aurora whatsoever. My question is this: are there any very similar pens (from an esthetic p.o.v.) that I can consider (max 350€)? Anyone experience with this pen? I am not really interested in vintage pens and the Aurora 88 is too expensive... Thanks!
  17. Hello everybody, just wanted to let you all know we have some fun things going on this weekend at Dromgooles. Saturday 10AM-5PM Brian Tighe will be here showing off his custom knives as well as displaying his son Grayson Tighe's pens.(WOWWWW) Shu-Jen Lin will be here featuring Taccia's newest products including Maki-e, inks, regular product line Ryan Sirignano will be here with Montegrappa, Aurora, and Esterbrook including the Montegrappa Samurai and others David Oscarson will be here with his new Golden Spike as well as artist proofs and short run limited edition colors. After the day event, we will be hosting a meeting for the Usual Suspects Network (knife group) guest are welcome. Featuring Brian Tighe Sunday- We are open Sundays during December up until Christmas Ryan Sirignano will be here from 12pm-4pm continuing event from previous day!
  18. BinaryRun

    Aurora Oblique Nibs?

    Good evening, I'm considering to purchase an Aurora Optima or 88 with the factory Oblique Nib. Either Oblique Medium or more likely Oblique Broad (they even offer a Oblique Triple Broad here, but that seems like an extremely thick line). As this would be my first oblique nib, I'd love to hear some opinions on the Aurora Factory OB nibs. But I cannot find any reviews of these online. Would anyone be able to share their views on their oblique nibs? It is very much appreciated! For those interested, my only experience so far is with a Vintage Parker semi-flex broad nib and a Faber-Castell Loom in medium, but I often turn my nib/pen to the left while writing and I understood that the regular/left-footed oblique nibs would perfectly match that, which is why I'm currently looking into them. Thanks for the help! BinaryRun
  19. 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.
  20. visvamitra

    Aurora Blue Black

    Aurora inks come in three basic colors: blue, blue black and black. The bottle holds 45 ml of ink. Inks can be also bought in cartridges. For many years Aurora wasn't interested in expanding their color range. They seemed to think that Blue and Black are able to fully satisfy fountain pen afficionados needs. The market changed, hundreds of new colors were created, new ink makers appeared and Aurora teem decided to make a bold move and offer new exciting color, unlike any other on the market * - blue black. It's a breakthrough moment in Aurora history. Who knows, maybe they'll dare to offer green or red soon? While I'm not biggest fan of blue blacks, I tend to use them from time to time. Kyonooto Aonibi is one of my favorite inks ever but it's not classic blue black. I was interested in trying new Aurora ink (on the other hand I'm interested in trying any new ink). I bought a bottle and used it for few weeks in four pens. The results are good. To put it shortly - it's an excellent fountain pen ink. You may not enjoy the color but the behavior and smoothness are first class. The color is saturated and quite deep, the ink flows nicely and lubricates the nib in a satisfying way. level of saturation is satisfying but not crazily intense or overwhelming. There's some shading - I guess that in a right pen it can be quite intense. I haven't observed any feathering even on Moleskine (a synonyme of crappy paper). Some bleedthrough was experienced only on Moleskine (crappy paper). Drying time is reasonable (10-15 secs on Rhodia and alikes). Additionally it's fairly water resistant ink. Well done Aurora! I hope that you'll offer some new colors. Drops of ink on kitchen towel Color ID Color range Discovery 70 mgsm copy paper, Wing Sung 698, fine nib (The quote comes from Josiah Bancroft's excellent book Arm of the Sphinx. Highly recommended) Oxford Optic 90 mgsm, Visconti Homo Sapiens, medium nib Leuchtturm1917, Visconti Homo Sapiens, medium nib Leuchtturm1917, Wing Sung 698, medium nib Water resistance Mini-comparison * I'm pretty sure everyone knows I'm joking, but just to be sure - it was irony
  21. Hi everyone! I have a pen that writes too wet with Aurora Black and too dry with Waterman Black, so I am looking for an ink whose wetness is somewhere in between, although a bit closer to Aurora Black in terms of wetness. Also, if it is a really dark black that's a plus! Thank you all very much in advance!
  22. Craiglea

    Replacement Aurora Nibs

    I’m looking at replacing an Aurora Optima stub nib with a replacement. Is there a competitive source for replacement nibs available in the UK or Europe you would recommend from personal experience? Are Aurora nibs simple. to replace? Screw out and screw in? Thanks in advance.
  23. Jerome Tarshis

    Oldest Italian Pen Manufacturer

    Montegrappa advertises that it was founded in 1912 and is the oldest Italian pen manufacturer. Aurora advertises that it was founded in 1919 and is the oldest Italian pen manufacturer. To the subtle Italian mind there may be no contradiction here. But to me, an American, having a simple, childlike mind, there does seem to be a contradiction. Can anyone help me resolve my confusion about this?
  24. Here is the next volume of the Dromgoole's podcast. We have an interview with Mark Cole from Coles of London who distributes Visconti. Also we show some cool used pens we got here at the store, and conclude a giveaway.
  25. Hi, everyone! We just wrote a review of the Aurora Minerali series demonstrators - tried to provide some advice as to why we like them so much (all their nibs are made in-house!). These are definitely some of our favorite demonstrators out there! Let us know what you think or if there's another demonstrator you like more! https://www.truphaeinc.com/blogs/truphae-news-and-stories/aurora-88-limited-edition-minerali-fountain-pens

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