Is the Aurora Ipsilon Fountain Pen worth the price? How does it stack up against the Aurora Optima Fountain Pen? You’re about to find out as you keep reading…
My Short Video
Design – Aurora Ipsilon Fountain Pen
The Aurora Ipsilon I’m reviewing is the yellow resin fine point model here.
At first glance, you’d think the yellow would be LOUD or look cheap design-wise, but I used this pen for an entire week and the yellow really grew on me. It isn’t as gaudy as you’d think to carry a yellow pen, especially with the gold-plated metalwork.
It is an attention getter, I noticed a few raised-eyebrow stares at it in business meetings, but curious and appreciative stares, not the horrified, “what the hell is that” stares.
This fountain pen is bright yellow with gold-plated touches that make the pen look elegant. The pen clip is gold plated and tension-hold. Tension hold means there’s no spring in it; it has a classic Y shape, tapering then finishing out a little thinner than its widest point.
Both ends of the pen are black resin, reminiscent of a bumble bee with class. The derby cap above cap tassie is oblong, as if you cut a black jelly bean in half and mounted it there, or maybe I’m just hungry. The other end is squared off black resin. Both ends are supported by gold-plated rings that wrap the entire pen and separate the black from yellow resin with class and sophistication. The ring near the pen clip is stamped “ITALY”
There are three gold-plated rings surrounding black bands on the cap band. The two black bands are stamped with Aurora and Italy, one on each line, to represent the model and the country it’s manufactured in. The cap itself is a bulbous shape, ballooning out a bit mid-cap then tapering off to the black resin, simply sophisticated.
Aurora Ipsilon Measurement Specs
Fountain Pen Weight
Aurora Ipsilon Fountain Pen Total Weight .75 ounces
Aurora Ipsilon Fountain Pen Cap Weight .25 ounces
What’s fantastic about the Aurora Ipsilon fountain pen is that the cap posts with a satisfying snap. It audibly clicks into place and the cap stays put when posted.
Sadly, this can be an usual find in a fountain pen for those of us who prefer writing with the cap posted. So many pens are threaded and don’t post well and it’s always a disappointment when that happens. Not so with the Ipsilon!
The one drawback of this fountain pen was the metal band that allows the cap to snap closed onto shows a little wear, meaning the gold-plating was worn a bit, but it’s only really noticeable by someone like me, examining it closely for any imperfections to share. Because of the peace of mind of snapping on and off, I’d easily tolerate a little worn off gold-plating on the metal band underneath the cap when it’s closed.
Form and Function Work Together on the Aurora Ipsilon
The weight of the Ipsilon, .75 ounces, is on the lighter side of fountain pens, right in line with what you’d expect for a resin pen.
It is so comfortable… It’s hard to put into words the comfort level of this pen. It is easy to hold, easy to write with, easy to carry in a pocket.
The size of this pen is just right, it’s not too small and not stout like it’s cousin the Optima shown below in blue. The length of this pen is great for all but the largest hands.
This is not your grandpa’s pocket queen status symbol only for signing checks, this is one portable daily writer.
There’s no hand fatigue with the Aurora Ipsilon fountain pen. It is light and well balanced, I write with the cap posted on my fountain pens and this one wrote well for long stretches without any strain on my wrist or fingers. This pen is comfortable.
Aurora Ipsilon Fountain Pen Review – Performance
The Ipsilon with a fine nib was bordering on extra fine, I LOVED the line width of the fine which as you can see in the writing sample below, was MUCH thinner than the medium nib on the Optima pictured in the top sample.
Aurora fountain pens are known for a toothy bite to their nib performance. The Ipsilon was no exception. When I first began writing with it, I thought there was something off with the nib because it was a little rougher against paper than I expected.
I’m glad I kept using it because it was not scratchy, just toothy. The difference is the pen doesn’t feel like it’s dragging and pulling at the paper, it just gives you a little feedback when you write. The best example I can come up with is being used to riding in a car with good suspension that absorbs bumps in the road well, then riding in a truck where the suspension is a little stiffer and you feel more of the bumps in the road.
This is not a bad thing, it’s just personal preference. Some guys like trucks, some like Camrys.
Auroras are trucks, you feel more of what’s going on against the paper, but it never skipped or hard-started. Another component that adds to the stiff “ride” you experience is the nib itself. The Ipsilon is a steel nib, which is rigid and doesn’t flex so the feedback is instantaneous, there’s not as much gliding across butter with a hot knife as I tend to prefer, but to each his own.
The ink delivery was great, even on the fine nib. What I loved about the Aurora fine nib was that it was it was fine enough to show even small flourishes in handwriting, when your upstroke moves a little from the downstroke. My handwriting below is pretty atrocious, I get that, but you can still see how the pen performs.
On the “I” in the second sentence in blue, you can actually see the small left-most loop in the cursive, the line width of most fine and medium pens typically covers that up.
Aurora Ipsilon Fountain Pen Maintenance
This pen takes cartridges or a converter (comes in the box.) The cartridges are long and hold a lot of ink (see it in the photo below attached to the section).
The writing sample above was written in a standard blue Aurora cartridge. Pulling it apart to get to the converter is standard practice, nothing complicated here, just unscrewing and flushing. What I do like is the design to thread plastic into resin. Some manufacturers choose to thread metal into resin, that assembly is bound to fail and strip over time because of the hardness of metal versus resin.
I love that they took the time to design the cover coating the inside of the cap to receive the metal band on the end of the pen by snapping into place so you know when this pen is posted correctly. The cap on my pen stayed still, didn’t roll around at all, the entire week I used it, this is such an exciting find for such a small investment!
Overall Value – Who Is The Aurora Ipsilon Best For?
If you want a buttery smooth writing experience, then Auroras aren’t for you. Aurora is known for their slightly toothy nibs and some people absolutely love them.
If you haven’t experienced writing with an Aurora yet, here’s the best way I can explain the contrast:
- Writing with a Sailor 1911L or a Parker Sonnet is like writing with a tiny pat of room-temperature butter beneath the tip of the nib that never melts.
- Writing with the Aurora Ipsilon is more like writing with a traditional rollerball pen if it wrote at an angle, you wouldn’t feel the ink gliding, just the metal moving across the paper.
If you like a little stiffer ride like hardcore Aurora enthusiasts, the Ipsilon is a cheaper alternative to its cousin the Optima. It’s also available in Bordeaux, Green, Red and Yellow. There are also satin colors available which are a matte finish in: Black, Blue and Orange as well as all Sterling Silver versions. The Sterling Silver versions are the priciest at around $235 US.
The Aurora Ipsilon is best for fountain pen users who want an attractive everyday pen that functions well in all situations but don’t want to spend more than $100 US.
This steel nib works great, and you get consistent performance. If you like fine nibs, this nib delivers a beautifully fine line. Easy to write with, easy to carry, easy to afford… it’s just E-A-S-Y!
See all of the beautiful finishes available and get a price on the Aurora Ipsilon at Amazon.