Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Aurora Optima: Quick Look
(0:33) - Materials
(0:46) - Color Options
(1:13) - Trim Options
(1:20) - Features
(1:52) - Weight/Balance
(2:09) - Nib Features
(2:25) - How It Writes
(2:51) - More Features
(3:31) - Nib Options
(4:03) - Additional Features
(4:38) - Filling Mechanism/Ink Capacity
(5:02) - Price
The Aurora Optima is a premium-grade pen with a lot of high-end features that has recently dropped in price due to some strategic positioning from Aurora. They are aiming to make their high end pens more accessible, and they have done that very well with the Optima in 2016.
The Optima is a great daily writer, with a smooth flow and generous ink capacity. It’s a highly functional pen that looks as good as it writes. Here are some of the key features of the Optima.
It's made out of rare and expensive celluloid material that allows a deep, rich color. It's available in 4 colors: Blue, Burgundy, Green, and Nero Perla. The green option does come with gold trim at a $50 premium.
In hand, this is a mid-sized pen that has a very comfortable grip with a big flare at the end to keep from grabbing the nib. It does have a slight step but is out of the way since it's pretty high up on the grip. The threads are also high up and are shallow and unobtrusive. It does come with an ink window to show you when your ink is running low and needing to fill up. Due to its thoughtful design, it's a very comfortable pen to write with.
Overall, the weight is actually pretty light given its size at just 22g. That's about the same as a Lamy Al-Star or LX. Because of the weight, it's a great choice for longer writing sessions. The Optima is well-balanced, and I actually prefer it posted.
As far as nibs go, the Optima comes with 14kt gold nibs that are made in-house by Aurora. These are completely different than the stainless steel nibs that are on the Aurora Ipsilon. The flow is really smooth, and slightly conservative. It's not dry but not an ink gusher by any means, kind of middle of the road. The feel on the page is quite smooth, maybe a tad bouncy, with the slightest hint of grab on the page as you're writing. Just enough feedback to get a sense of control on slicker paper without taking away the smooth gold nib feel.
The Optima does feature an ebonite feed which is individually heat set to the nib and assists in the consistent ink flow. The nib size is actually indicated on the feed which is unique as is the slightly red color to the feed. The nib unit is actually completely removable to make it easier to clean.
The nib sizes available from us on the Optima are Extra-fine, Fine, Medium, and Broad. There are stub and crisp italic nibs available elsewhere at a premium but we will not be carrying them. The nibs in general are very nice writers and pretty true to size. They'll be a bit middle of the road between German and Japanese nibs.
The Optima features a threaded cap that's 1.5 rotations to uncap. It's push to post with a really solid feel when posted. It also has a solid clip with strong tension to fit securely in shirt pockets.
It is a piston filling pen with an impressive 1.43ml ink capacity. That's a great volume because it does hold a lot but not so much that you might run into burping/leaking issues.
The previous MSRP of the Optimas was $795, but Aurora has dropped that down to $495, and we will be offering them starting at $445 (with the price being higher for those with a gold trim). Overall, I think this could be a great pen for you if you want a full-featured daily writer that's beautiful to look at and a joy to write with. You can learn more about it at GouletPens.com
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Aurora Optima. Be sure to leave me a comment below!