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Review Of Aurora Internazionale



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This is my first pen review but I do not see anything else about the Aurora Internazionale in this forum so I hope it will be of interest to some of you. I own two, which tells you something about my opinion of the pen. I haven’t suggested any ratings simply because I find the qualitative descriptions most helpful when I read other reviews.

 

Background:

The Internazionale from Aurora is a modern recreation of the Internazionale model from the 1930s, but with the current Aurora piston-filling mechanism and materials. The blue version was released in 2019, concurrent with Aurora’s centenary, but is not one of the official 100th anniversary series of pens. I still regard it as a centenary pen because of the launch timing and the retrospective nature of the pen. The black version is a current release for 2020. Each is a numbered limited edition of 919 pens and both versions can still be obtained.

 

Both models are made of Aurora’s “auroloide” plastic. The blue pen has marbled auroloide and yellow gold plated trim, and the auroloide contains tiny flecks of glitter. The black version is plain-coloured with rose gold trim. There were also solid gold trimmed versions of both pens which were limited to only 19 pieces each and were rather more expensive. For the regular limited edition of the pen, which I am reviewing, the retail price is €890.

 

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Design and construction:

I enjoy this kind of heritage inspired pen because of the classic simplicity and understatedness, proven design elements that made the original successful, combined with updated internal mechanism and material, and the fact that it echoes the old but is new and clean. These kinds of design are the essence of what comes into our heads when we picture a fountain pen, so they have an inherent “rightness”, in my opinion.

 

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Side-by-side comparison of 1930s and current Internazionale (photo by Iguana Sell)

 

The Internazionale pens feel like quality pieces. Fit and finish are flawless on both pens. The auroloide material has a pleasant feel (to me), with a softness and apparent thickness that feels closer to Pelikan plastic than, say, a Montblanc or Sailor plastic, which to me feel harder and more brittle. The Internazionales feel solid but at 25g they are still relatively light weight and easy to handle, posted or unposted.

 

The gold plated trim is detailed and very nice metalwork, it seems to me. Particularly the clip with a floral motif (similar but longer than the original) and the filigree band that attaches the clip to the cap. It is beautiful work and impeccable quality. I suppose that some of the cost of the pen is due to this trim.

 

I like both colours of the pen equally and I couldn’t choose one over the other. The blue marbled auroloide shows some depth and the flecks of glitter make it look great when it catches the sunlight. The black seems more austere - somehow enhancing the traditional values of the pen. The writing engraved on the side of the barrel is crisp and attractively executed to match the trim colour, and the cap can be screwed on so that the clip aligns with the writing.

 

The pens are well-balanced and a good size that I think most people would find comfortable. I have included photos to compare with Aurora’s Optima and 88 models - the Internazionale is just slightly longer than the 88. The section - true to the original 1930s design - is shorter than the other Aurora models, however the threads are shallow and not sharp, so I find it equally comfortable to write with, even though the long section is a particular selling point of the modern pens. If you hold the pen further from the nib then you might prefer the other Auroras. The section ends with a wider, stepped segment, which helps provide a solid grip and seat the fingers - like on an Optima or 88, but shaped true to the original. The cap does post, for those who like to do so.

 

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The best aspect of these pens is the nib, in my view. I don’t know what Aurora did specially for these nibs but on both pens the feel is identical and is very smooth - smoother than I’ve experienced on other Auroras. There is just a whisper of feedback, sufficient to provide a clear sense of control and placement. The feedback is not pencil-like, it is more subtle than that - I want to say it’s slightly powdery but that may not say anything to you. The nibs are perfectly tuned with a neat line, good flow, and will write without any hard starts or skipping even if left uncapped for a minute or two. Given that both nibs perform identically I wonder if my experiences might reflect characteristics of this model in general, rather than particular examples, but I cannot be certain. They are a joy to write with, and that is what matters most in the end.

 

The nibs are regular Aurora 18k gold nibs (albeit specially tuned, I suspect), so are quite hard and offer only a little line variation, if that is important to you, although my fine nib seems a little softer than the medium and gives some moderate variation without excessive pressure. The feed is ebonite, which may contribute to the excellent ink flow. Apart from this the nib has a classic, simple stamping, which copies the original, and is plated to match the pen trims. The simple design works really well here, I think.

 

I have the blue with medium nib and the black with fine. In the writing sample photo there doesn’t appear to be much difference, but the medium definitely is a little thicker than the fine and this is apparent in use. I had Kon-Peki ink in the blue pen (M) and Take-Sumi in the black (F). I think it is typical for Auroras that the medium and fine nibs are quite close, but like most brands they can vary a little.

 

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For those unfamiliar with Aurora pens, the piston mechanism is superb and second to none. The pens have the same ‘second reservoir’ construction as the Optima and 88 models, which allows the pen to continue writing after the main reservoir runs out. To some it is useful, to others it is pointless and slightly inconvenient for flushing the pen, but it’s the way Aurora does it and I find it ok. Ink capacity is good - 1.45ml according to Goulet Pens website: more than an 88 and about the same as an Optima.

 

As you may have noticed there is no ink window, and the pen body is entirely opaque. This may be a problem for some, but I am sure that incorporating a window would utterly spoil the appearance of the pen, so this is a necessary compromise in functionality.

 

Each pen came with a large, wooden presentation box in a retro-designed cardboard sleeve, with a small bottle of Aurora ink (also with a commemorative wrapper). That is all fairly standard for Aurora limited editions, except that this box is larger than some. Personally, I can do without all these large pen boxes, but I do think the sleeve is a nice presentation touch for this pen.

 

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Overall:

I have no negative things to point out with either of these pens, though I would if I had experienced any. Frankly, fountain pens can be finicky things and disappointments and faults are common enough, but both of these delighted me out of the box, and I have generally had good experiences with new Aurora pens. You can judge the looks for yourselves but to me these pens are very beautiful. I find them to have a rare combination of beauty, quality, craftsmanship, meaning (with the retrospective inspiration and the centenary of Aurora), flawless performance and reliability, and (most importantly) pleasure in use. I like them as much as my Montblanc Heritage 1912, which has a similar ethos and I tend to consider my best pen (together with these, now).

 

The pen is expensive. Who can say whether the price is good or not? I think that’s for each person to decide and I will not argue. I think that if you like Aurora pens and you find this design attractive, then, like me, you may find this model to be noticeably more special and worth the moderate price difference compared to the Optima and 88 limited editions (of which there are many).

 

Incidentally, there is a video on the Appelboom YouTube channel in which the CEO of Aurora discusses his three favourite pens. He chose the Internazionale (in blue) as one of his three, remarking that his habit is to use the same few pens for decades and this was the first new pen he had been moved to add for a long time. I can understand that.

 

I have seen pictures of the 1930s Aurora Internazionale and there was at least a green marbled version and a plain red version, in addition to the blue marbled and black. Maybe there were more. I wonder if Aurora plan to release more Internazionales in future. I hope so.

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Thanks for the review. I've eyed these and thought they looked like very beautiful pens. The price seems a little high and its a pity they are limited as they could form a solid backbone to Aurora's range.

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Thanks for a great review of this pen. It has a timeless quality that I find really appealing.

the Danitrio Fellowship

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Gloucesterman

Your review was very informative and well done.

Thank you.

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”

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TheDutchGuy

Wonderful review, I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you! Thus far, Aurora pens never really sparked my enthousiasm. I’ve tried many, liked only a few and loved none. But the design of this one really resonates with me. Seems to be a wonderful pen.

 

 

 

I enjoy this kind of heritage inspired pen because of the classic simplicity and understatedness, proven design elements that made the original successful, combined with updated internal mechanism and material, and the fact that it echoes the old but is new and clean. These kinds of design are the essence of what comes into our heads when we picture a fountain pen, so they have an inherent “rightness”, in my opinion.

 

Exactly. I couldn’t agree more.

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I really like the design of these pens! The price is forbidding, but if I could more easily afford one of these, Id get one.

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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Thanks for all the encouraging comments about the review, and Im glad you enjoyed reading it. I actually got a very good deal on the blue pen from Dan at The Nibsmith, who always has a lot of Auroras, but it is still expensive and certainly not a casual purchase. He is showing 20% off right now but that is still $800 in American money.

 

I dont see a lot of discounting on these pens generally at the moment, other than the Easter site-wide discounts that several retailers had. But who knows? 919 is quite a large edition and Id guess the pens might have a smaller audience than the Optima or 88 LEs. There were also a lot of other limited editions released for the centenary, which probably spreads the demand more thinly. Maybe there will be a time when some great deals can be found.

Edited by MoriartyR
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Very nice looking pens and I should buy one based on the name alone ;) Jokes aside, those really do look like very nice pens and I love the scroll work on the clip. Would love to try one out for how it feels and writes.

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Thank you for this excellent review. Now you made me wonder where to find an original 1930s one. :)

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Thank you for this excellent review. Now you made me wonder where to find an original 1930s one. :)

I did recently find this photo on the electric interweb which shows some of the other colours of the original pen. It shows how accurate a job Aurora did in creating the new version of the blue marbled pen.

 

Sadly I’ve no idea how to get hold of one, but they do look interesting don’t they?

 

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Great review of a classic looking pen!

 

Thanks for sharing it and the vintage pen pics too.

 

The black and blue make a handsome couple!

 

Heard about this pen, but didn't resonate with me until seeing your review and nice pics.

 

Now interested in getting one.... :)

 

Best,

 

Mark

FP Addict & Pretty Nice Guy

 

 

 

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I did recently find this photo on the electric interweb which shows some of the other colours of the original pen. It shows how accurate a job Aurora did in creating the new version of the blue marbled pen.

 

Sadly I’ve no idea how to get hold of one, but they do look interesting don’t they?

 

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Absolutely, they look stunning. And don't worry, I was only half serious. But, in fact, I much prefer vintage pens for their writing characteristics and it's no different with Aurora. So, I really wouldn't mind finding an original one for restoration. But it's quite unlikely to happen, unfortunately. So, keep enjoying your modern beauties.

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Thank you for your review!

I've been looking for more information about the Internazionale for a while now.

Looking forward to more of your reviews!

Current modern daily users: Montegrappa Miya, Omas AM87, S.T.Dupont D-Line, Stipula Etruria Tuscany Dreams, Tibaldi Modello 60.

Current vintage daily users: Aurora 98p, Big Red Lucky Curve, MB622, P51, P75, Pelikan NN400.

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Thank you for a passionate but equilibrate review. I found it very useful.

 

I am not, generally speaking, an addict to Aurora pens, but I have been attracted by the Internazionale in blue Auroloid since I first saw it announced. This is a kind of "modernized" replica that I like the most, as it give you the fascination of the vintage pen, with almost no "reinterpretation", but without the maintenance complications of an old pen.

 

The floral-Liberty design of the clip is a touch of delicate elegance and uniqueness that I feel very special to this pen.

 

Very well done by Aurora, and very well presented by you. Thanks again.

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Thanks for the review. I've eyed these and thought they looked like very beautiful pens. The price seems a little high and its a pity they are limited as they could form a solid backbone to Aurora's range.

I agree. I might even prefer this design over the 88 or Optima.

 

Very nice review and a very nice pen.

 

The only thing that I would change on this pen would be the styling on the clip. Personally, I think a plain gold clip with a matte finish would fit much better with the style of the pen. I guess the styling is part of it being an LE.

Edited by WLSpec
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Thanks for this very informative review. I have been ogling the blue Internazionale for some time, and even held one in my hand at a pen show about a year ago. I find Aurora nibs to be smooth and expressive writers. So, maybe now’s the time...

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Thank you very much for the detailed review. A very well executed modern replica of the 1920s style vintage pen, flat-top Parker-like design with the ever so distinct Italian work of filigree on the clip. These Aurora long tined nibs... just beautiful!

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Very nice, detailed review. How do you like the celluloid?

Very much. I do prefer the way it feels compared to acrylic pens. The warmth and softer touch gives it a slightly greater feeling of quality, in my view. But it’s probably a personal thing and the differences are small enough not to matter to most people, I expect.

 

As I understand it, Aurora’s auroloide material is cellulose acetate, not celluloid (cellulose nitrate). Cellulose acetate has a warmer, slightly softer feel than acrylic, like celluloid does, but it is also stable (unlike celluloid which is flammable and can be prone over time to degrading, shrinking and giving off fumes that can harm the pen).

 

It seems the best of both worlds to me, but perhaps others can point out some disadvantages compared to acrylic. There must be reasons why other manufacturers favour acrylic and I am certainly not knowledgeable about the properties of plastics. I would guess that acrylic can take a slightly higher polish than cellulose acetate. As an aside, I do know from experience that acrylic can sometimes shatter if it has micro-scratches and is exposed to alcohol. So don’t clean your Montblancs with alcohol.

Edited by MoriartyR
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