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Post Info TOPIC: Modern Aurora 88 vs Aurora Optima


Experienced

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Modern Aurora 88 vs Aurora Optima
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Okay you Italian buffs (or just Italian pen buffs), now that my Pelikan M805 has made it through fountain pen bootcamp and secured its place in my passel, I'm starting the long and arduous task of researching my next purchase.  This will likely be my only pen purchase in 2010 (okay, okay, the only triple digit pen purchase).  If I sock away $10 here and $25 there, I should have a sizable kitty by next November's birthday purchasing occasion.

I'm leaning towards the Aurora 88 or the Aurora Optima.  Any functional differences between the two?  From all I've read it seems the differences are merely aesthetic.  Am I correct to assume the piston and nibs are equal?  I understand the 88 is a hair longer than the Optima.  On the whole, my eye prefers blue pens with silver hardware, which points to the Optima in Blue Auroloide/Chrome.  Then again that is quite a lot to spend on something that is nearly the equal of the noticeably blacker 88. I also think the cap ring on the Optima is two breaths away from gaudy.  What to do.

Related, how do you feel about the nibs?  I have two Pelis and a Visconti nib that feel "safe", and so the tooth of the Aurora is alluring.  Most of my pens are F or M, but for this one I'm thinking of something dramatic like a broad or italic.  How do the widths run on the stock stub and italic?  Somewhere in the medium-broad range?  Are the round/regular nibs pretty close to other European makers?

As you can infer, my local FP stockist doesn't carry Aurora pens for me to try my own damn self.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance,

Brandon


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Experienced

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Okay, so I answered the nib question by browsing the nibs.com website: http://www.nibs.com/AuroraNibs.htm

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DWL


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Ok my honest to D opinion. Forget both of those choices and find a vintage Aurora duocart. I had one in the long lost 4 pen case. Mine was black w/ a silver cap. the flexible left foot BB oblique nib was my favorite nib of all time. It is a cartridge pen, but I filled it like an eye dropper. It held a ton of ink so fill up's were less common, even for a nib that thirsty.

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Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito
~Yield not to misfortunes, but advance all the more boldly against them



Rookie

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Brandon, I went through the same decision a while back. I ended up choosing the 88 (black with silver trim). I prefer the shape and trim of the Optima, but this particular pen was for business meetings and I wanted something I could use both posted and unposted. The additional length of the 88 allows me to use it unposted. As you have already discovered, the two pens are identical in all other respects. I already had an Aurora Afrika, which is based on the Optima body. I love all my Auroras; they are great pens in all respects. By the way, I have a vintage Aurora 88 (Nikargenta) and that's a great pen, too, with a delightful semi-flex nib. I would bring the vintage 88 to a business meeting, also.

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Experienced

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Hmm... Maybe I'll have to put diplo on the hunt for a nice vintage Aurora. What do you say, Andrea?

jonro, how big is the unposted Optima and 88? Around the size of a Pel 600 or 800, somewhere in between?

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Experienced

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Ehm, well, I'd say that both vintage and modern Aurora are top class in their categories. I see you are more into modern pens and because of that I think the Optima/88 quandary should be enough for you.

Needless to say I have both. I feel the writing experience is not impacted by the difference in size. What makes you fly is the nib. That's a different sensation compared to other modern pens like - say - Pelikan or Parker. Feedback and control is what best describe this sensation but you have to test by yourself.
That's why I would not suggest to go "fancy" in the nib choice. A regular F or M will show you the "gap" between these nibs and the "regular" modern nibs. Did you see the link that Maia posted on FPN on the Aurora nibs production? Informative.

If you want to go vintage, Paolo (Sanpei) is probably the best choice. He's one of my best "pen pushers" so I can throw in a nice word on you if you want!

And between Optima and 88: make a choice based on your personal aesthetic tastes.

How to improve them? A snap up cap and more option in colors/materials would be excellent.

Ciao!


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d i p l o


Experienced

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Thanks for all the advice, Diplomat. It sounds like the classic case of "when in doubt, but both!" There's a long time between now and November for me to think and save. I have a feeling one of these will be here much sooner than November :p

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