Aurora 85th

Aurora 85th Anniversary Limited Edition 2005
by Jim Mamoulides, January 7, 2006

Aurora 85th

85 Years Of Master Craftsmanship

Aurora, Italy's largest pen maker, celebrates its 85th anniversary with a vividly red and silver masterpiece. The self named Aurora 85th Anniversario Limited Edition honors the company's founding in Turin, Italy in 1919.

Aurora 85th

This anniversary pen is a distinctly more organic look than the very formal and metallic 80th Anniversary pen, which were made in engraved sterling silver and solid gold. The 80th Anniversary pen had a a blunt cap top with a ruby cabochon and a very narrow ink view window. The 85th Anniversario Limited Edition comes in two versions, white and red, and the materials are red marbled Auroloide and white mother of pearl. The 85th Anniversario Limited Edition is more in size and shape like an the Optima based Special Editions, such as the Asia and Mare lines. It has the squared off barrel, large ink view window, and clip of the Optima types, with their same balanced proportions and weight. The principal departure from the Optima look is the domed cap top and all metal section.

Aurora 85th
Aurora 85th Anniversary Limited Edition fountain pen 2005 in red Auroloide

Aurora has a long history of beautiful celluloid pens, beginning with the Duplex model in 1925. The Aurora Duplex pen was a lever filler very similar in style to the the market leading Parker Duofold, but wore a very distinctive, ornate clip, that gracefully arches upward from the ball-end to the wide washer, tapering to a broad "V" shape at the cap top. This same general design was captured in the Optima line and the general shape and clip follow in this striking anniversary model. The pen carries classic Aurora style with a modern efficient filling system.

The 85th Anniversario Limited Edition a piston filler works by using the end cap as the turning knob. The cap is adorned at the end with an ornately engraved sterling silver cap and trimmed with a wide engraved sterling silver band. There is a large ink view window at the top of the barrel next to the sterling silver section. Each pen is fitted with the excellent palladium plated Aurora 18 karat karat gold nib with the same ornate scrollwork found on the Optima line nibs. The 85th Anniversario Limited Edition is being released as a fountain pen or capped rollerball only.

85th Anniversario

Aurora 85th
Aurora 85th Anniversary Limited Edition fountain pen
Feature pen of the 2006 Philadelphia Pen Show

The 85th Anniversary fountain pen, is essentially similar to the workhorse Optima and its many Limited and Special Edition models. It is equipped with the very smooth Aurora piston filling mechanism, which has the "hidden reservoir" feature. The 85th Anniversary Limited Edition fountain pens are fitted with a highly decorated palladium plated medium width solid 18 karat gold. All trim pieces are engraved solid sterling silver. The cap top has a unique flush mounted cap jewel that forms the Aurora logo.

The 85th Anniversary Limited Edition was released in two writing modes:

  • Fountain Pen, 1,919 numbered pieces - US $1,175.00

  • Capped Rollerball Pen, 999 numbered pieces - US $875.00

Aurora 85th
Aurora 85th Anniversary Limited Edition rollerball pen
Scan from the Aurora 85th Anniversary brochure

Identification guide and features:

  • Red marbled Auroloide cap and barrel with solid sterling silver engraved trim

  • Sterling silver engraved cap band, 5/16 inch wide engraved "AURORA" on front and edition number on back

  • Barrel has one 5/32 inch sterling silver engraved band and engraved sterling silver end cap

  • Oval flush mounted cap jewel, mounted in round sterling silver cap top with engraved girdle, made from gray mother-of-pearl on a red coral paste background that spells "AURORA"

  • White metal plated clip, possibly palladium plate, with 85th logo engraved on top crown

  • Sterling silver section, with ink view window where it meets the barrel

  • Palladium plated solid 18 karat gold nib hallmarked with "18K" over "AURORA"

  • Available with extra fine, fine, medium and broad nibs

  • About 5 3/8 inches long capped and 6 3/8 inches posted

  • Piston filler

  • Five year warranty against factory defects

  • Retail price the fountain pen is US $1,175.00, matching capped rollerball pen is US $875.00

  • Packaged in 7 3/4 x 9 1/2 inch red stained wooden gift box with special edition ink bottle

The Grand White One

Aurora 85th
Aurora 85th Anniversary Limited Edition fountain pen
Scan from the Aurora 85th Anniversary brochure

There are actually two 85th Anniversary pens. In addition to the rich red edition shown here, Aurora also released a stunning white all mother-of-pearl cap and barrel fountain pen that features solid rose gold trim. The pen also has a rock crystal ink window in the barrel. This pen is essentially the white version of the 85th Anniversary, in a dramatic upscale finish, and is limited to just 99 pieces at an estimated retail price of US $15,000.


The 85th Anniversary is a mid-size pen, like all the the Optima size Limited and Special Edition models. It's shorter than most of the extra large limited edition pens made today, but don't think smaller size means less pen. This is a distinctive, beautiful pen. Elegant, but not gaudy.

All that white metal wrapped around the red marbled Auroloide cap and barrel makes the normally mid-weight Optima size pen feel a little heftier in the hand. If you have handled the sterling silver Optima, you have some idea of the weight of this pen. It is noticeable when picked up. Solid, but not heavy.

It's a little longer than an Optima, about 5 3/8 inches long capped, and when posted, about 6 3/8 inches. I was concerned posting the pen as the elegant raised metal work on the end cap is high enough relief where you can feel it as the barrel goes into the cap. You may not want to post this pen.

Aurora 85th
Aurora 85th Anniversary Limited Edition fountain pen cap and nib detail
Note engraving on clip crown and cap jewel

The red Auroloide is very rich and high gloss. It gleams and the silver accents are both bright and matte, depending on whether they are engraved. The engravings are very high relief and tactile. Interestingly, there is no barrel imprint, as on Optima pens. The trim works well with the vivid plastic and the engraving is ornate, but not gaudy. It's a perfect match of the cool elegance of engraved sterling and the fiery plastic cap and barrel. The clip is very elegant, topped with the "85" engraving and scroll work, and works as it should, tightly gripping the pen in place.

Aurora piston fillers work very smoothly and efficiently, and this one is no exception. The ink view window is very large and clear and will give a great view of the remaining ink, so as to avoid run outs. The nib is a shiny palladium plated 18 karat gold that extends the silver look of the trim, and especially the silver section. The section is not slippery and should warm nicely as used and is comfortable in the hand.

We did not test this pen, but can say that Aurora nibs are made in house and are among the best in the world. Aurora mediums, as on this pen, will be quite firm, very smooth, and write a nice, wet, even line. They are good everyday writers, and this particular pen is one that will want to be used.

The overall design is a elegant, and classic, combining the vintage look and feel of the early Aurora pens and combined with a first rate filling system. This is an excellent pen in all aspects, and would be a great daily user Limited Edition.


This pen was loaned for the photography for the 2006 Philadelphia Pen show. For more information about the show, please go to We would like to thank Bertram’s Inkwell, the sponsor of the show and an Aurora dealer, for letting us photograph it.

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