Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I recently received this fine nibbed Aurora Ipsilon fountain pen from Kenro Pens. The Ipsilon was one of the first pens I remember looking at when I first became interested in fountain pens. Selling for around $100, I think at the time I may have considered it a bit too rich for my blood opting instead for the less expensive Lamy Safari. (Which sell for around $35.)
Fast forward a couple of years, and I now own close to 20 different pens. To me, the most important feature of each is that they be comfortable enough in my hand for daily use.
The Ipsilon is my first Italian made pen and I love its sleek design and super happy yellow color. (Which may appear a bit more intense in these pics than in real life because of the contrast levels.) My husband being the die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan, tried snagging it but I said, "No way! Getcher own!"
The clip on the Ipsilon is significant and strong. The cap is removed/capped with an audible "click." Posting the cap on the back of the pen, it too clicks into place and makes me feel as though there would be less body wear here, than on a pen where the cap is pushed down onto the body. (I suppose time will tell.)
I absolutely "love" that the bottom band of the cap is beveled and smooth. I almost always post the cap on the back of my pens as I write, and the bottom of the cap band on other pens sometimes rubs and annoys the webbing between my thumb and first finger. (I have this problem with my Sailor 1911)
The Ipsilon can use either cartridges (Aurora brand) or the included ink converter to fill from a bottle. I must say that in all of the converter pens I have used, (9 Lamy & 2 Sailor) this is the first one that pulled ink all the way to the top without having to fiddle with it to get it full. One day I will have to see if this converter fits into any of my other pens and if so, replace all of them with ones from Aurora.
I also must mention that while I love yellow pens, I do not love ink stains on them. I really like the way that the Ipsilon has a black front section to avoid discoloration from repeated dippings.
The Ipsilon nib has a different feel than any of my other pens, and it took me a little while to get used to it. It's a short firm nib without a lot of give. A smooth writer, but if used on non-high quality paper, there is a little bit of feedback to the nib which is not unpleasant.
Left to right - Aurora Ipsilon, Pelikan M200 and Sailor Sapporo.
Ipsilon: gold plated steel nib C/C (cartridge/converter) approximately $95
Sapporo :14k nib C/C filler approximately $150
M200 gold: plated steel nib piston filler approximately $95
Showing the pens capped. Left to right - Aurora Ipsilon, Pelikan M200 and Sailor Sapporo.
I find the Ipsilon similar in size and feel to the Pelikan M200 and Sailor Sapporo. I think the body and overall design of the Ipsilon feels very solid, like the Sapporo. (I think M200s have great nibs, but the bodies feel cheap. )
Showing the pens uncapped. Left to right - Aurora Ipsilon, Pelikan M200 and Sailor Sapporo.
The Ipsilon and M200 are long enough to comfortably use unposted, while the Sapporo is kind of small for my hand without the cap posted on the back.
Showing the pens with the caps posted. Left to right - Aurora Ipsilon, Pelikan M200 and Sailor Sapporo.
99% of the time, I write with my pens posted. It has always felt to me as though this is how they were designed to exhibit the best balance in the hand. I still claim the Sapporo to be the pen with the best balance, (in my collection) but the Ipsilon comes in a close second because it's just a smidge top heavy when posted. (M200 is too light overall.)
The only thing that I wish were a little different about the Ipsilon is how hard you have to pull the cap off. While I certainly appreciate a secure cap, you have to be a little cautious when removing the cap. If you don't put your hands close together when you remove it from the body, I'd be concerned about the possibility of banging the nib against the inside of the cap when separating the cap from the body.
Handwriting sample from the Ipsilon, Aurora black ink in a Leuchtturm journal. As that was my first time using Aurora ink, I am curious to test it in other pens, as well as testing other inks in this pen.
For around $100, I find the Ipsilon to be a solidly built pen with a sleek design.