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The Diplomat Aero – Aka The Zeppelin Pen?

diplomat aero excellence a esteem german fountain pen

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32 replies to this topic

#21 Billingsgate

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 02:25

@Billingsgate, I'm sorry to hear about your negative experience. I have to say, though, I don't know how you can blame the performance of the nib on the overall design of the pen - especially when the experience of so many other buyers has been so positive!

Sounds to me like the pen you received had a problem - maybe with the feed rather than the nib - and I'm glad to hear that Goulet Pens looked after you.

Yes, I also wondered this. Yet I see a similar complaint just below mine, as well as one or two similar remarks on other review sites. So I didn't want to risk even more frustration, and international shipping costs, to try a replacement.

 

Perhaps I'm new and naive at this whole fountain pen collecting thing. I know some nibs need some slight tuning. Yet I ask myself, at the higher price levels, why should they? When I spend US$250 + shipping for a pen, I don't expect to have to send it to a nibmeister for even more expenditure, like BDarchitect has done, just to get it to work properly. Haven't had any such issues with any other pens, from my outstanding two-dollar Pilot Petit 1's to a costlier Waterman Carene and some Platinum 3776's in-between.

I must add that I bought two Lamy Safaris 20 years ago and so thoroughly disliked how they wrote and felt that it put me off all fountain pens for two decades. Only now rediscovering them. Maybe I just have a thing against German pens.



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#22 Jamerelbe

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 13:13

Yes, I also wondered this. Yet I see a similar complaint just below mine, as well as one or two similar remarks on other review sites. So I didn't want to risk even more frustration, and international shipping costs, to try a replacement.

 

Perhaps I'm new and naive at this whole fountain pen collecting thing. I know some nibs need some slight tuning. Yet I ask myself, at the higher price levels, why should they? When I spend US$250 + shipping for a pen, I don't expect to have to send it to a nibmeister for even more expenditure, like BDarchitect has done, just to get it to work properly. Haven't had any such issues with any other pens, from my outstanding two-dollar Pilot Petit 1's to a costlier Waterman Carene and some Platinum 3776's in-between.

I must add that I bought two Lamy Safaris 20 years ago and so thoroughly disliked how they wrote and felt that it put me off all fountain pens for two decades. Only now rediscovering them. Maybe I just have a thing against German pens.

 

Even the best pens have the occasional dud - shouldn't be the case, but there it is.  I agree, though, given the price of these pens (especially with a gold nib), you don't mess around with them: if they're not working, you send them back!



#23 BDarchitect

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 03:42

Following up on my previous post from July 5th-

I just received back my orange Diplomat Aero, Fine, from Mark Bacas at nibgrinder.com.  He did a superb job tweaking it for me.  It had been writing a bit dry and squeaky, especially on smooth paper.  Apparently the tines were slightly out of alignment and tight, and I am sure other forum readers with more experience than I have could have done the corrective surgery at home.  While it would of course have been better to have it write properly right out of the box, the $25 I paid him (plus shipping) to do his magic and turn the nib into an effortless juicy writer with just a hint of feedback was worth it for me.  



#24 VerbaVolantScriptaManent

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 11:27

My experience with the aero is that I love the design and the writing quality.
However, the clip on my aero snapped off the cap body within two months, despite I only ever kept the pen in a pen case and rarely used it in that time. On close inspection, it appears the clip was very weakly and poorly soldered to the clip base on the cap. Truly appalling manufacturing workmanship and/or design for a pen of that price. I have many examples of lowly regarded Chinese pens a fraction of the price of an aero with better quality. Upon contacting diplomat customer service in Germany, they declined to send a replacement and was asked to send the cap and clip for repair at my own cost which equated to 15% of the purchase price. That was three weeks ago and I’ve yet to receive any word. I only hope the repair will be sufficiently sturdy.
It has shaken my faith in diplomat, which is unfortunate as the pen was quite attractive on many levels.

#25 Jamerelbe

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 12:27

My experience with the aero is that I love the design and the writing quality.
However, the clip on my aero snapped off the cap body within two months, despite I only ever kept the pen in a pen case and rarely used it in that time. On close inspection, it appears the clip was very weakly and poorly soldered to the clip base on the cap. Truly appalling manufacturing workmanship and/or design for a pen of that price. I have many examples of lowly regarded Chinese pens a fraction of the price of an aero with better quality. Upon contacting diplomat customer service in Germany, they declined to send a replacement and was asked to send the cap and clip for repair at my own cost which equated to 15% of the purchase price. That was three weeks ago and I’ve yet to receive any word. I only hope the repair will be sufficiently sturdy.
It has shaken my faith in diplomat, which is unfortunate as the pen was quite attractive on many levels.

 

I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience - I've read other reports from users that their Aero fountain pens had similar problems.  Diplomat has apparently improved some design features on the pen since its first production run, to deal with this and other issues.  More recent versions of the pen seem more robust (or so I'm told).

 

Just a couple of weeks ago, I had a similar problem - the clip became bent out of shape as a consequence of having it clipped to my inside jacket pocket (something I rarely do with this pen, but that's never caused problems for other pens!).  Thankfully the company I purchased it from agreed to take the pen back and send it in for repair or replacement.

 

Diplomat have a 5 year warranty on all pens.  If you have proof of purchase - and unless they can demonstrate that the damage to the pen was the result of unreasonable abuse of the pen - they should be fixing it for free.



#26 VerbaVolantScriptaManent

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 12:33

Hi-ho Jamerelbe,

Thanks for your input.

Perhaps my phrasing was clumsy and ambiguous; diplomat did offer to repair the clip at no cost under warranty. I just had to pay for the tracked postage, which at 15% of the pen purchase price only added to my disenchantment on top of the defect of a new, minimally used and a not inexpensive pen.

I was hoping they would just send me a new cap as i believe someone else on this forum received.

Also, I only bought the pen new in April 2019, and had expected earlier defects to have been rectified. Perhaps I received one of the older models from the retailer’s stock. If diplomat is aware there is a problem with their product they ought to replace it with a new one instead of repairing a defective one.

Anyways, not to sound jeremiad about it. Other than this issue, I really liked the pen on many levels. It was my favorite until the clip failure and had in mind to indulge my “gotta collect all the colours” mania upon this model. I doubt I’ll ever get another diplomat now, given there are so many alternatives, albeit without the cool zeppelin cues.

I guess it’s one of the appeals of pursuing a hobby, that we get to explore and sometimes the journey leads to a dead end. The pleasure is in the traveling and sharing those experiences with others. It’s all good, clean fun (ink stained fingers notwithstanding- it’s a badge of honour after all).

#27 Jamerelbe

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 13:34

Hi-ho Jamerelbe,

Thanks for your input.

Perhaps my phrasing was clumsy and ambiguous; diplomat did offer to repair the clip at no cost under warranty. I just had to pay for the tracked postage, which at 15% of the pen purchase price only added to my disenchantment on top of the defect of a new, minimally used and a not inexpensive pen.

I was hoping they would just send me a new cap as i believe someone else on this forum received.

Also, I only bought the pen new in April 2019, and had expected earlier defects to have been rectified. Perhaps I received one of the older models from the retailer’s stock. If diplomat is aware there is a problem with their product they ought to replace it with a new one instead of repairing a defective one.

Anyways, not to sound jeremiad about it. Other than this issue, I really liked the pen on many levels. It was my favorite until the clip failure and had in mind to indulge my “gotta collect all the colours” mania upon this model. I doubt I’ll ever get another diplomat now, given there are so many alternatives, albeit without the cool zeppelin cues.

I guess it’s one of the appeals of pursuing a hobby, that we get to explore and sometimes the journey leads to a dead end. The pleasure is in the traveling and sharing those experiences with others. It’s all good, clean fun (ink stained fingers notwithstanding- it’s a badge of honour after all).

 

Thanks for the clarification - I was fortunate in that my 'dealer' asked me to ship the pen back to him (which still cost me, but less than an international return to the manufacturer!), and took responsibility for sending it on (to the Australian distributor, I think?).  I'm now waiting hear back from someone as to what they're going to do for me.

 

I'm not sure whether the cap is the sum total of the problem, or whether the newer pens have a slightly modified section (to improve security of capping the pen) - 'sloppy' capping and a fragile clip seem to be the two main complaints I've heard of since buying one of my own. That *may* explain why they asked for the whole pen back? Not sure.

 

Those problems aside, I agree with you, it's a great pen.  I bought a Diplomat Excellence A at a great price, then hemmed and hawed about the Aero for ages (metal grip section, unusual look, is it worth it?) before taking the plunge - but I'm glad I did! Although the Excellence has the more luxury look and feel, I seem to ink the Aero up much more often.

 

Here's hoping there's a happy end to the story for both of us - will *try* to remember to post again when I get my Aero back.



#28 Jamerelbe

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 13:33

Good news, I've just heard from the retailer who sold me my Aero that Diplomat Germany have agreed repair or replace the cap under warranty - though the Aus distributor initially wasn't too keen.  Just waiting now to hear whether the warranty will be handled in Australia (quicker turn-around), or whether the pen needs to be sent to Germany (somewhat slower).  Either way, I'm relieved to hear that it'll be back in my possession before *too* much longer...



#29 VerbaVolantScriptaManent

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 11:55

Follow up on the warranty repair of the broken clip. Three to four week turn around having had to send the clip and cap to diplomat in germany. Repair seems satisfactory, so I cant fault their warranty.
But im scared to put the clip to any use so it will remain a molly coddled desk pen, albeit a pretty one.
Was very tempted to acquire another in a different colour, discounted at recent pen shown, but the arresting aesthetic and smooth writing was not sufficient to overcome the memory of the failed clip.
Hope everyone is enjoying their aero.

#30 Jamerelbe

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 13:22

Follow up on the warranty repair of the broken clip. Three to four week turn around having had to send the clip and cap to diplomat in germany. Repair seems satisfactory, so I cant fault their warranty.
But im scared to put the clip to any use so it will remain a molly coddled desk pen, albeit a pretty one.
Was very tempted to acquire another in a different colour, discounted at recent pen shown, but the arresting aesthetic and smooth writing was not sufficient to overcome the memory of the failed clip.
Hope everyone is enjoying their aero.

 

Nope, still waiting for mine to complete its round trip to Germany - (no) thanks to an obstructive Australian distributor who, left to his own devices, would have denied my warranty claim.  Very grateful that the folks I bought the pen from was willing to go in to bat for me and insist (directly to Diplomat Germany) on the claim being honoured.

 

Hope everyone *else* is enjoying their Aero though - it's a lovely pen!



#31 VerbaVolantScriptaManent

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 19:04

 
Nope, still waiting for mine to complete its round trip to Germany - (no) thanks to an obstructive Australian distributor who, left to his own devices, would have denied my warranty claim.  Very grateful that the folks I bought the pen from was willing to go in to bat for me and insist (directly to Diplomat Germany) on the claim being honoured.
 
Hope everyone *else* is enjoying their Aero though - it's a lovely pen!



#32 VerbaVolantScriptaManent

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 19:28

Sorry to hear about your ongoing problems. Im inclined to agree with Billingsgate as far as my experience with diplomats inconsistent quality control. All is well as long as the pen is working but when things go wrong is the test of a company and its representatives.
I was assured by the retailer at the melb pen show after hearing of my failed aero that the aust distributor would take care of any warranty claims onshore. Your experience seems to contradict this. Fortunately i contacted diplomat germany directly to resolve my issue.
Given there are so many alternatives on the market, especially many chinese pens at a fraction of the price, its disappointing and makes it appear that we as consumers are being taken as fools. Going off the immediate topic, Ive bought many dozens of chinese pens and theyve been pretty good. In one case i had an issue with leakage from the section, and the seller fully refunded me the cost without requiring me to return the pen which would have incurred further cost to me. The PenBBS 323 in the metal barrels are comparable to the aero, much better quality and a fraction of the cost, albeit without the zeplinesque looks.
Hope yours is resolved satisfactorily.

#33 Ryanlim

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 19:24

hey all,

Sorry to hear about the quality issues with your aero. My Aero in orange (M steel nib) writes wetter and smoother than my Excellence A2 (M gold nib)...surprise, surprise! But i have faith in the Diplomat nibs (my faith/optimism?), and i did some tweaking on my own (minor nib realignment with brass shims), and the gold nib is writing better and better....

 

My Aero is one of my go-to pens.....:-)

 

Hopefully all your diplomat quality issues are resolved in a satisfactory fashion.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: diplomat, aero, excellence a, esteem, german, fountain pen



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