Diplomat Magnum: This is a German pen, the Diplomat line had been discontinued in North America, but it was recently bought out and re-introduced into our market. I was looking for some budget priced pens, as I'm saving most of my money for the Toronto Pen Show. I bought this from Laywines in downtown Toronto. I asked the person there for reasonably priced but quality pens. The first pen he showed me was a Safari, although I'd like to get one eventually it was $40 plus tax and I wasn't looking to spend that much. Also its something about the looks that doesn't really appeal to me. I think its either the clip or the square body.
Anyways he then showed me a Diplomat Magnum for $25 and gave me the background history of the company, I could tell instantly its a Safari competitor and in the same "class" it also appealed to me much more. Its a little more traditional looking but still Safari like. Its also made of a very lightweight textured plastic, has a triangular section though not nearly as much as the Lamy and writes wonderfully. The nib is a steel fine point, which is surprisingly springy, especially for a pen of this price. Theres no real flex but it is springy. Its a nice smooth wet line which lays down a true fine line, I've heard the Lamy's run a little more broad. The nib is very simple and understated like the Lamy, but it gets the job done. In conclusion if you're looking for a substitute to the Safari this is definately it. I got mine in red and got some Private Reserve Dakota Red ink cartridges to go along with it.
Pilot Birdie: I have always wanted a Japanese fountain pen and this is now my first one. This is truly a unique little pen, I guess its the size and finish. this is a small pen. Not tiny but small about 4" long and 5.25" posted. It is also thinner than your average pen, very much like a pencil. This pen cost me $18 and my first impression of it was what a cute little pen. Its brushed steel with a plastic section, a medium nib which is a western fine and a sqeeze type convertor. Not exactly sure what they are called. It writes smoothly and lays down a semi-wet line. I read some reviews and some people had ones that they say wrote dry, mine is definately not dry but not super wet either. This is a great backup pen which is the main reason I got it. Its not exactly the pen to write an essay with, especially if you got big hands, but for quick notes a page or two in the journal, or to use in a filofax its great. For the ladies its a type of pen you can throw in your purse and not worry about scatching it, or losing it. It also looks very much like a cosmetic such as an eyeliner or mascara, because of its small and thin size. Its very well balanced like the Diplomat, wether it is posted or not. However I'd recommend posting it just becuase of the size. I have it inked with Waterman South Seas Blue and it goes very well with the pen, its a soft colour for a small but tough pen, and it also matches pefectly with its secion which is almost the same colour
The salesperson also gave me a free Pilot V-Pen (Varsity in the U.S) to try out. But I won't write a whole lot on that. Its great for a 5 dollar pen and writes nice and looks like a normal Pilot pen (it essentially is except for the nib), however I'm sure many of you have tried them and have read the many reviews, so I'll leave it at that. I got mine in green which is a very nice light sea green
The pictures were taken with my phone camera so pardon the quality
Edited by jay23, 03 October 2008 - 20:10.