Aurora is a brand that has seemed to take the community by storm as of late. It seems we're always hearing about new special editions and models which no doubt is helping them become more of a household name.
A sort of flagship of the brand is a model called the "88" which has seen numerous variations and limited editions. One of these said variations is simply called the 88 Demonstrator, which is what I'll be reviewing today.
I was kindly loaned this pen for a review by Pen Chalet, so many thanks to them for sending it my way.
The 88 Demonstrator is a full-size, piston mechanism fountain pen that is, quite honestly, a stunner, but not in the traditional way. No fancy acrylics or textures, but the overall aesthetic is a bit edgier than your average demonstrator pen.
The style of the pen gives me a bit of a "space" vibe, like some sort of futuristic capsule. Against the clear acrylic pieces Aurora chose black hardware which I think was a fantastic choice which only adds to the appeal.
There are small details like how the pieces on the piston and finial connect together on the cap and barrel in a sort of gear pattern which looks cool.
I inked the pen up with some Bungbox blue ink and the piston was smooth and and worked easily. The pen comes with a black, PVD coated 18k nib which writes extremely stiff, like a nail, and is definitely on the dry side.
But, I don't necessarily think that is a bad thing for the right person. For me personally, I do tend to prefer nibs that have some slight softness, but I found it to be enjoyable to use. It made the lines of my writing crisp and clean in my Leuchtturm1917 (preferred) notebook.
I found the nib has tended to burp/splash ink into the cap quite a bit, but I'm not sure if this is a consistent thing with Aurora pens in general.
One of the most noticeable things about the 88 is how solidly built it is. It doesn't feel cheap and doesn't feel flimsy. Unfortunately some acrylic pens do. Another pen that surprised me like this was the Pilot Custom Heritage 92 when I reviewed it awhile back.
The biggest catch on this pen is the price unfortunately. Coming in at a retail price of over $1,000, it is a bit steep to get your hands on one.
Is this price unreasonable? Honestly, any pen that starts to clear the $300-400 range in my opinion has a price to value ratio that is completely subjective. So, for the right person with the right budget, this pen is unique, sturdily built and may be completely reasonable.
While this pen may be a bit out of reach for most of us, if you've been meaning to try an Aurora pen there is a pretty broad range of models/prices to check out and Pen Chalet.
And, special thanks again to Pen Chalet for sending the pen to review!