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Aurora 88 Pen Review


This is a review that I've been working up to for a couple of months. In that time, I've used up the entire volume of ink that this thing holds. It's got a fine nib, and that's a lot of use for me on a single pen. This is one of those pens that I just kept reaching for.

When Cary (from Kenro, these days) offered to send me this pen, I wasn't all that excited. I didn't know much about the modern 88, and I'm not usually into black and gold pens. They're sorta subtle for me. Well, they used to be. Since I've gotten this pen, I've gotten two other black and gold pens. I guess I caught the bug.

Read on, check out the pictures, and watch the video for more info and such.

***This pen was sent out to me for review, and I'm sending it back. Regretfully. With no particular haste. It's awesome.***


Capped: 5.36"   (136mm)
Uncapped: 5.12"  (130mm)
Posted:  6"    (152.4mm)

Body:  .54"   (13.9mm)
Section:    .46" - .4"  (11.8mm - 10.3mm)

Nib: 14k gold
Feed: Ebonite

Filling System: Piston. A really nice piston.

Cost: $695 $550 (MSRP) or $495 (at Pen Chalet)


There's a really nice ink window that hides underneath the cap. It's a little hard to see in this picture due to the . The threads are small and unobtrusive. The section has a nice taper that changes about 1mm from top to bottom, and there's a great flare at the base of the section that is really comfortable to rest your fingers against. I've written pages at a time with this pen, and there's no strain.

Notice the finger prints. You can't keep your prints off of this pen. It's not a problem of this pen, but of all glossy black pens. I bet the matte version of this pen would solve this problem.

The picture above shows the piston partially unscrewed. I wasn't really out of ink at this point, but it was getting close. The knob isn't loose, and the piston feels as good as any other piston I've ever used.

You can see through the ink window in the pic above and below. It's pretty much out of ink, now. A very useful window. Big and only a little bit off-clear. Slightly smoky, I'd say.

Nib and Performance

The nib on this one is difficult to tear your eyes away from. It's a beautiful counterpoint to the black body, it perfectly matches the hardware, and it curves around the slightly-red ebonite feed. (At least, I think it's an ebonite feed. It certainly looks like one.)

The nib size isn't anywhere on the nib, but you can find the size on the feed. It's a little hard to see, but you can make it out in the picture below.
There's that curve on the side of the nib. I don't know why, but I really love that curve.

Performance? Awesome. No skips. Hard like a nail, but smooth.

How's it feel?

Great. Audrey and I both hand-modeled this pen, and it's a good fit for both of us. She's clearly a better hand-model than I am.
Is that the new Aurora Blue Black in the background? Yep.


Pens: Tactile Turn Gist, Sailor ProGear, Aurora 88, TWSBI ECO, Lamy 2000, Sailor 1911L, Pilot Custom 74, Pelikan m1000.

I've never had more trouble taking a picture of anything than a tray of glossy black pens.

Wrap Up

This pen is great. If you're looking for something wilder, you can check out their other patterns. There's a really swirly orange one if that's what you're into.

The only drawback to this pen is the price point. I wish it were way lower. Unfortunately, this sort of pen is going to command a pretty steep price. At this level, though, you're in upper-tier Pelikan territory. These aren't anything like Pelikans, though, so they're likely to appeal to very different audience.

Anyway, check one of these out if you have any chance to do so. They're worth the time, and the price if it doesn't scare you off.

Video Review

Post Comment
Ejay said...

My comment is thanks for the video. I've been thinking of adding a new Aurora 88 (to join the vintage I have) but there's seemingly an ocean of different models at different price points. My key question is whether there's any performance/functional difference between the various models of the modern Aurora 88? My assumption is that there ISN'T (guessing same in house nibs, same in house feeds etc) and that the difference is solely the materials/aesthetics etc. Appreciate any inputs!