Pens create powerful emotions. When I visited the Hero pen factory in Shanghai recently (the plant is now mostly artists’ studios) many China friends told me how they had craved the writing instrument when they were at school. And when I write my to-do lists I use a Cartier ink pen or one from Hero given to me by a Chinese painter. Somehow the black ink gives the tasks a stronger reality and makes them easier to complete – or at least take seriously. It’s a delight then to find that the Italian pen maker Aurora is now in Hong Kong, thanks to their brand agency SV International Design, and also that the elegant company has expanded its product line to include paper, leather goods and watches.
Aurora was founded in 1919 and created the first true Italian fountain pen. At its Turin headquarters the company produces writing instruments with inimitable craftsmanship combining experience, technique, precious materials and refinement. In a world of Whatsapp, Twitter and email the handwritten note or letter is becoming an increasingly precious commodity and a way to show the recipient that what is being said is of rare value and sincere intent. A fountain pen creates a river of ink that flows between the writer and the sheet of paper in an authentic emotional connection.
One of my favourite Aurora’s fountain pens is the Leonardo, with an elegant barrel in Bordeaux resin and a gold plated cap with lacquer filled engravings drawn from the Da Vinci’s codex on the flight characteristics of birds. The pen has been made with an 18k gold nib in a limited edition of 1,919, a reference to the year in which Aurora was founded. More details about these life-affirming instruments can be found at Aurora, where the company’s covetable range of gorgeous paper, chic leather goods and stylish watches can be viewed. Aurora’s pens and other products are also stocked at Lane Crawford. For those who want to make a statement Aurora can also offer the Diamante, the world’s most expensive pen with a price tag of 1million euros, or the Thesis – designed by Marco Zanuso it is the only pen on permanent display at MoMA in New York.