Aurora Optima 360 Monviso Compared to Aurora Optima Nero Perla

Aurora 369 Optima Monviso and Nero Perla fountain pen comparison

Since the burning question about the Aurora Optima Monviso limited edition seemed to be how it would compare to the Nero Perla, I thought I’d add a few more photos to those posted earlier.

You’ll notice in some of the photos, especially when you look at the cap, how the Nero Perla appears to have a blue tint. That’s a trick of the light: the Nero Perla is just more translucent, so it reflects the color of the light more strongly than the darker Monviso does.

Aurora 369 Optima Monviso and Nero Perla fountain pen comparison

It’s easier to see the differences between the pens with the Nero Perla in front of the Monviso.

Aurora 369 Optima Monviso and Nero Perla fountain pen comparison

But let’s put the Monviso in front at least once.

Aurora 369 Optima Monviso and Nero Perla fountain pen comparison

Finally, here are the Monviso and the Nero Perla bracketing the demonstrator. All three of these pens have a different capband.

Aurora 369 Optima Monviso, Nero Perla and demonstrator fountain pen comparison

A hidden difference is that the Monviso is limited to only 360 pens, which is why I bought mine right away. The demonstrator is numbered, but there are many more of those — mine is number 1107. The Nero Perla is in the regular line.

Pen of the Day: Pelikan 400nn with Diamine Gerbera

Pelikan 400nn with Diamine Gerbera ink

Pelikan 400nn with medium nib. Again? I just had this pen on about a month ago. Sadly, I only have so many pens. At least until my Aurora gets here.

But the 400nn is worth another look: it’s a great pen. I really like its shape.  Here it is with the classic and better-known 400, for comparison.

Pelikan 400nn compared to Pelikan 400

I know I showed a lot of Diamine Gerbera yesterday. But at least it’s not blue. And I wanted to highlight one interesting quality of this ink. The shading goes from a soft yellow-orange, in the dashed lines, to a deeper, redder orange, but despite that it’s still fairly toned down.

I always like it when an ink has more going on than you expect.

Diamine Gerbera writing sample

Something’s Coming, Something Good


There are a lot of fun stages of pen ownership, but the most conflicted must be “waiting for a new pen.” It’s the best of times (excitement) and the worst of times (impatience).

I decided at the pen show that my big purchase wouldn’t be a pen there, but would be the Aurora Optima Monviso due out in June.  With the factory stub, for a change from my usual fines and mediums.

It’s June, and the Monviso is already out. I’ve seen other owners’ photos all over Instagram. But the stub nibs are taking longer, because Aurora had to make those. Despite my impatience, that seems worth waiting for.

Now I’ve gotten word that the pen is here, in the US, and the distributor Kenro is mailing it today to my pusherman (sorry, “pen dealer”). I hope to have it late next week.

By the way, I got that photo from Kenro. It’s so … masculine, isn’t it?  Just to balance things out, I promise that my Monviso will see some especially pretty inks.

Pen of the Day: Kaweco Classic Sport with KWZ Iron Gall Orange Ink

Kaweco Classic Sport fountain pen with KWZ Iron Gall Orange ink

Kaweco Classic Sport with broad nib. Not so much a Pen of the Day this time, because I’m more interested in the ink, the new-to-me KWZ Iron Gall Orange.

KWZ Iron Gall Orange ink writing sample

If you read this blog regularly, you will not be surprised that KWZ Iron Gall Orange is not so much orange as brown. After all, this is KWZ, the imaginative ink maker that offers a black ink called Dark Brown and a fairly purple ink called Brown-Pink.

I look forward to putting Iron Gall Orange through its paces. This pen is my old reliable, the Kaweco Classic Sport, here with a broad nib.

KWZ Iron Gall Orange ink writing sample with Kaweco Classic Sport fountain pen

Make ‘Em Laugh

Paris Opera, circa 1860

Yesterday I went with my father to a play for Father’s Day.

I know a lot of people will be thinking, “fun,” or, “lucky.” But let me admit that I approach these theater outings with a large dose of trepidation, even dread. That’s because my father’s tastes are very highbrow and serious, so the plays he selects are usually 100 minutes of grim, shattering realism.

And, unfortunately, I don’t drink. Nor do I keep any leftover painkillers to pop beforehand. Damn laws.

So as excellent as these productions are, I secretly call it Unhappiness Theatre.

In the past when we’ve gone to Unhappiness Theatre we’ve seen plays about a terrible marriages, sexual abuse by a priest, dementia, suicide and A Man Who Cannot Love. Oh, yeah, also the Holocaust.

So imagine my surprise when I got to Unhappiness Theatre yesterday and saw they were actually staging a comedy. It was a sendup of a number of famous American plays, with fantastic actors, so it was very funny. The narrator described two of the characters, a married couple, thus: “their hobbies are alcohol and resentment.”

Words that describe probably half of the characters in the plays usually put on by Unhappiness Theatre.

So, it was doubly fun in that setting. The audience left happy. Even my dad was delighted.  Everyone likes to laugh.

My dad did not know, however, that the words they said at the end, and the song they played were from the movie The Breakfast Club. That’s the only allusion I got that he didn’t. And I did not tell him, either. That might have ruined it for him.


Lithograph of the Paris Opera [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons