Aurora 88

I haven’t written much about pens I’ve bought for myself, mostly because there have been very few times that I’ve actually bought a particular pen because I wanted it — not a restoration project that appeared and then stayed with me, but for me. My Parker 75, the Columbus Stiliridio, carmine Vac-fill Sheaffer Balance, Waterman New Look, and most recently, an Aurora 88. The post WWII years when Europe was rebuilding has been a fascinating subject for my historical interests for year; so it’s not a surprise that pens from that period have added interest. This pen is a big part of that history, and it is of timeless Italian design born of a need to start something new that emulated the wildly successful Parker 51. I had been watching for a good, reasonably priced 88 for some time — with its gold cap and black resin body looking much like many Parker 51s, but an altogether different shape, a piston filling system, and a typically Italian soft and flexible nib. When this one came along, I didn’t dare tell the seller that its serial number dated manufacture with my 1952 birth month, but that clearly added to the pen’s allure and sealed its destiny with me.
After one partial fill of Waterman Serenity Blue, my control ink, I can report that writing with an Aurora 88 is distinctly different than a Parker 51, or a modern Delta Fusion, or a Bic. It is not instant love and ease — there is a learning curve in holding it, pressing the nib exactly right to get its flexibility to work, until suddenly it’s flowing and shading and acting like a true Italian pen. This is not a pen to pass around the table; it’s a private relationship, and it’s mine!