Ink Dips: Lamy Black Ink


Ink Dips is a more casual, laid-back ink evaluation than is normal here at Fountain Pen Follies. Instead of carefully evaluating an ink I’m interested in, the point of Ink Dips is to blindly pick an ink sample from a box of the set-aside  or soporific. Then I fill that sample in one pen and see what I think. It’s an inky experiment that’s a bit dippy.

Lamy Black. This was a surprising black ink, very dark, very lubricated and wet-writing. It’s a boldface black ink. It may be a good choice for those who seek “the blackest black” but also want to use a low-maintenance brand of ink.

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Fountain Pen Favorites for June 2016

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June meant beautiful weather, and great pens and inks. Unfortunately the last week for me was taken over by non-pen things. So it’s a treat to look back at the pen things.

1.  Aurora Optima 360 Monviso. Of course this beautiful pen is June’s number one highlight. This is my big purchase, probably for the year. Unless Pelikan strikes again. But ending the year with the Monviso would be just fine.  It’s a great-looking pen, with a great-writing stub.

2. Montblanc BMW ink. Montblanc BMW ink is such a nice blue. And yet as far as I can tell, Montblanc isn’t selling it through the usual US dealers. That’s a shame. Hopefully that will change.

3. Parker Penman Sapphire. It’s true. Parker Penman Sapphire really is the top — the Coliseum, the Louvre museum, a Shakespeare sonnet and a Bendel bonnet. It really is all that. Just a beautiful blue ink. Alas, no longer available.

4. Fountain pen friends. I just happen to owe all of those good June experiences to friends. I’m pretty lucky.



Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

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.

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: Aurora Optima Burgundy Auroloide with KWZ Raspberry Ink

KWZ Raspberry ink with Aurora Optima Burgundy fountain pen

Aurora Optima Burgundy with medium nib. It took a good two weeks to kill it, but Blue Week is finally dead. All hail KWZ Raspberry.

KWZ Raspberry ink writing sample

This looks like a nice pink. Not bright or flashy, and neither sweet nor girlish. It’s the perfect antidote to an overdose of blue.

Aurora Optima Burgundy fountain pen nib with KWZ Raspberry ink

I use this lovely pen a lot. It’s part of my Red/Pink Triumvirate, together with a Pelikan Pink and Pelikan Ruby Red. The Aurora is the most dignified. And I like Aurora’s narrow sort of medium nib.

Aurora Optimas: What Do We Say to the God of Fountain Pen Problems? Not Today.

Aurora Optima fountain pens in box

Well, Fountain Pen Follies did not enjoy a great start to the week, what with finding yucky stuff in some ink. However, let’s put that drear aside. Fountain pens are supposed to be fun. And here’s what I got yesterday from a very nice friend: this fantastic Aurora box.

Look at that gorgeous thing. Even the sun is happy to see it.

The box is wood on the outside and soft fabric on the inside. It’s like a luxury hotel room for fountain pens. And here are my Optimas, all moved in.

Aurora Optima fountain pens

From left to right, that’s the 365, the Sole, the Emerald Green Auroloide, the Blue Auroloide with gold, the Demonstrator with chrome, the Demonstrator with red, the Burgundy Auroloide, the Nero Perla and the Blue Auroloide with chrome.

I am waiting for the Monviso, which should come out in a few weeks.

And after that, I’ll still have ten spots to fill. It’s going to be fun. So check back in ten years.  Just calendar that in now.