While Aurora is a relatively new brand to our shop, as a company it has certainly been around for a long time, founded almost a century ago in Italy. We sometimes dabble in new brands, bringing in select models or offering them first as special order, although Aurora is also well-known for their great inks.
While we’re always excited to bring in a new pen brand, the launch or re-launch of the modern Duo Cart really caught my attention – I love this sort of vintage look, and a pen this size and weight is right up my alley.
It’s a slightly smaller pen, though by no means a “small” pen or a pocket pen, and its light weight makes it great for long writing sessions.
The pen is available in a burgundy and gold, or a black and chrome. The burgundy or Bordeaux is a bit more expensive, but I have a hard time resisting this sort of colour pairing, which is a sort of classic and timeliness look. While I do have one black pen (a Pelikan with gold trim), I really don’t have too many other black pens – for me there was no question of which colour I wanted.
It has a hooded nib, which I think looks great. I’m not sure that it will improve performance in terms of preventing the nib from drying out for longer, but the nib does the job – it writes smoothly with an even and wet line.
It’s only available in a medium nib, made of steel, but it’s a sort of fine-medium. It writes very well, with little to no line variation, but gives a solid, wet line. I have a lot of pens with gold nibs, beautiful and bouncy, but I don’t hesitate to reach for this one, both because of its snap cap and because it writes perfectly every time.
On occasion, I manage to wrangle an extra set of hands from the shop for a photo, and so here’s Jon with the inaugural fill. It comes with a cartridge and a converter, which is nice because it’s proprietary, meaning you can only use Aurora-made filling mechanisms.
I used the ink that came with the pen, a 30mL bottle of Black Aurora ink. I would normally be the kind of person to “save” this special ink for some sort of unknown special occasion in the future, but I thought I would break it out for the first fill, in line with my use-and-celebrate-what-you-love-and-have philosophy.
Little did I know that our first shipment of Duo Carts would sell right out, and then our second shipment would have the ink bottles ship separately from the pens, with the pens arriving first and the ink bottles arriving a few days later. We had a customer pick up a Duo Cart from our second shipment right away, and I could’ve given him my sealed bottle so he could take it home immediately if I hadn’t already opened my bottle!
It’s moments like these that make me question my questioning of my hoarding tendencies.
Usually I catch Caleb’s hands or feet sneaking into a photo, and manage to get him out, but occasionally a limb sneaks in. I think I was too distracted micro-managing Jon doing the first fill on my new pen, because obviously he needs guidance from me.
Here’s the Aurora Duo Cart next to a vintage Parker 51, one of my first vintage pens, and one I still love.
I have to say my favourite thing about the Duo Cart is that it’s a modern pen with a classic look that still lets me use whatever inks I like: boutique brands or super-saturated or permanent colours. I don’t need to worry about having to replace sacs or dinging up the cap, and the nib and feed just work flawlessly.
Being in the pen business, I sometimes acquire more pens than I really need to (although really, who is to say what need is?), but this is definitely one of the few pens I didn’t have to think very long about bringing into my nuclear family of pens. Jon says I’m too biased about the pens I like, but what can I say. I know what I like.
Usually Caleb helps me with photos, or I suppose I should say Caleb lurks around and sometimes “helps” by rearranging things and sometimes eats mangoes while watching the contractors. Taking the photos for this blog post was no exception.
That afternoon following the photos for the Duo Cart, I noticed a particular pen of mine was missing, a Franklin-Christoph.
This in itself is not really an unusual circumstance for me personally as I misplace pens all the time, but I was really turning the place over to try and find it. I can sometimes hold off with “it’ll turn up eventually,” but this is a favourite nib and once you have a nib you love, you gotta hold on tight. Plus I’m a little OCD and it was driving me crazy because I could’ve sworn I had it earlier that day.
I sometimes am able to enlist Jon to help me look during the day, but usually not as there are obviously other, more important things going on, so that Friday night, after I put Caleb to bed, Jon and I set in to the search.
I think we honestly spent hours looking for it, one of us with slightly more energy than the other, as one of us was caught in the warehouse “checking emails,” but in the end, my pen was found in the Aurora Duo Cart pen case, in the cardboard presentation box, put away on a shelf.
While obviously relieved to find my pen, I also have to wonder at what exactly we’re teaching Caleb – this is an Aurora pen box, not a Franklin-Christoph. They don’t even look anything alike! I suppose I’ll have to cut him some slack since Aurora is sort of new to us.
Actually there were two pens wedged into the pen box, and while Jon pointed out that I seemed to have only noticed one missing, I’ll take them both. It was like I found two lost sheep for the price of one.