Aurora is an old Italian brand, almost 100 years now. Handmade in Torino, Aurora pens are led by two flagship models: the Optima, and the larger 88. Both are piston-fillers and come in a variety of finishes.
The main distinction of the Optima from the 88 is its size. Considerably shorter than the full-size 88, the Optima fits better in shirt pockets, but retains some largesse in terms of its girth. Basically, the Optima is short, but doesn’t look small.
The black resin body is highly polished, accentuated with gold or silver rings, clip, and center band. The center band is substantial, resembling an ornate ring you might wear. An ink window makes for a useful feature in this piston-filler. Overall, the Optima sports a very traditional Italian design, without being over the top.
In the hand, the Aurora Optima is very comfortable for both large and smaller hands, with a generously sized section. Despite its looks, the pen is rather lightweight. Metal-body varieties would weight considerably more, though.
The nib is 14k gold, in either gold or silver finish to match the pen. Aurora makes their own nibs in-house in Torino, rather than outsource from nib OEMs. Despite being of European make, the nibs write a little finer than, say, German nibs like Pelikan. They are also known to present considerable feedback on paper. This is done intentionally, according to Aurora, as they say it’s easier to polish a nib to your taste, rather than start with an over-polished nib out of the box. The feed and flow, however, is close to perfection. The pen wrote immediately and consistently at all times. No skips, no hard starts.
In summary, the Aurora Optima presents an iconic depiction of classic Italian luxury and design in a compact yet comfortable format. One that actually writes admirably out of the box.
Provided on loan by pengallery.com