In late 2016 we started to shop around for new fountain pen brands to bring to Knight's Writing Company in the New Year. We had discussions with several manufacturers and distributors. We were researching the possibility of bringing in Conklin when a strange turn of events re-introduced us to a company we had approached around two years ago. We don’t have Conklin, but we were lucky enough to get the opportunity to carry Diplomat fountain pens and we jumped at the chance.
Diplomat is a fairly recent manufacturer, operating since 1922. I have never really heard too much about the company and I suspect their low profile marketing and sales has something to do with this. However as you might expect, German technology and engineering have really delivered a magnificent fountain pen.
I like high end fountain pens. Yes they are expensive, but you do really get what you pay for! At $185 the Aero isn't the most expensive pen but it is worthy of its price.
Diplomat’s packaging is attractive as well as interesting. Once the box is opened you will find a high-quality cardboard container protected by a metal cover. The cover can be slid off to reveal the fountain pen. Pretty neat and certainly unique. There is an air of quality to the packaging that adds excitement to the unboxing.
The Aero is a good weight with a large nib and a very nice feel. It looks like a Zeppelin, as it was designed to. I chose to test drive a medium nib matte-silver pen, although the pen also comes in an attractive black and brown.
The barrel feels great in the hand and is made from high quality anodised aluminium. Holding the pen in your hand is comfortable experience. The barrel is great for rolling in the fingers and the grooves in the barrel are extremely pleasing. The ends of the barrel are silver trim and the Diplomat propeller logo is printed on the tip of the cap.
The Diplomat Aero comes fitted with a converter that allows you to use ink straight from the bottle. The pen also follows the international standard and two such cartridges are included. I love a premium pen that comes fitted with a converter. There are some brands that don’t and it always feels like they are reducing the quality of their product. Even the Diplomat branded converter has a ring of quality about it.
Writing with the Aero reminds me very much of writing with a Staedtler. There is no doubt that when you write with a premium pen, you expect the nib to be exceptional. The Aero delivers. I filled my medium-nib Aero with Diamine Terracotta and the pen wrote immediately with a solid, beautiful line. The nib is stiff but lays down ink smoothly.
The pen comes in in black, matte-silver and brown and all three pens look stunning. The cap is snapped on and off as opposed to being screwed, but the mechanism has a solid feel to it.
The clip and nib sections match and the dulled gunmetal trim is very attractive. The rounded nib section isn’t a problem to hold and the fingers don’t seem to slide too easily. The cap can be posted solidly but the pen performs well when not posted.
Given the Zeppelin-like shape of the Aero and the size, it might be a better fit for larger hands. But don’t let that stop you if you like the look of the pen. It promises to deliver a luxurious writing experience regardless of hand size.
You can find the Diplomat Aero at Knight's Writing Company.