The Aurora Style Aquamarine Fountain Pen with extra fine nib is probably one of the most budget-friendly Italian pens. The pen price is $85 at the time of this review which is pretty reasonable. Aurora makes their own nibs so there is real appeal to being able to get an Aurora for less than $100, even with a steel nib.
The Style Gemstone line features three pastel colors that each feature smooth, glossy exteriors. There is another Style line called “Resin” featuring more jewel tones and traditional colors, that is specifically called out as using resin for the cap and body but nowhere could I find information that definitively confirmed that the Gemstone line used resin. If anyone can confirm the material used for the Gemstone line, please let me know in the comments.
The cap features an angled, flat surface with a chrome, disc shape that mimics the shape of the Aurora logo. The clip is a sleek simple shape in chrome and the band at the bottom of the cap is also chrome with “Aurora” and “Italy” engraved discreetly into it. The pen body is rounded and tapers into a cigar shape. The grip section is black and separated from the body by a chrome ring. The overall effect, with the solid pastel color, is very retro.
The pen is a snap cap which might take some getting used to, if you usually use threaded caps.
Because of the lightness of the materials, the Style is not a very heavy pen. Uncapped and unposted, with a converter, it weighs only 14gms. Posted, it weighs 22gms. The cap will post if you prefer a weightier pen.
The nib has a nice etched decorative line, the size and “Aurora” marked on it. Simplicity at its finest.
As much as I was drawn to the looks of the Aurora Style, it was the nib I was most curious about trying. How would a steel nib form Aurora actually perform? I was most surprised to discover that the EF nib had quite a bit of bounce to it. The nib is very smooth, right out of the box and I was able to use it both holding it below the baseline and overhanded (weird left-handed style).
A big stumbling block is that the Style does not ship with a cartridge converter in the box. If you are inclined to use bottled inks, you’ll want to add a cartridge converter ($16.50) to your order. Aurora uses a proprietary converter and cartridges. Parker cartridges will also work with Aurora pens but I couldn’t find any pen shops that would confirm that the Parker cartridge converters would which is a bit of a bummer because they are half the price of the Aurora converters.
So, the addition of the converter brings the Style price up to $101 which does make me reconsider the Aurora Style a little bit. At $85, it was easier to put the Style as a step up from TWSBI 580 at $50-60 but at $101, the Style is in that “over $100” range. For me, I suspect the Aurora Style is priced to be a competitor to the Pelikan M200/M205 which is priced around $130-150. Where I had issues with flow from the entry level Pelikans, the Aurora Style worked fine from the box but I think the Pelikans look a little bit more high end than the Style does. However, I really like the look and feel of the Aurora Style and I like the nib of Style a whole lot better than my few experiences with Pelikan thus far.
For another perspective of the Aurora Style, see the video review from Waski Squirrel on YouTube. He purchased the Aurora Style in Rose Quartz with a Broad nib.