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Diplomat Aero M Matte Silver Steel Nib - Initial Impressions



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I have been an avid lurker in here, but not until now have I posted anything. :) And what better way to do it than to provide the initial impressions of my eagerly awaited Diplomat Aero matte silver.

 

Apologies in advance for any faux-passes (not sure of the plural?), I hope for your forgiveness in this regard. Also, apologies for any mistakes in my language, English is not my first language.

 

Without any further ado, here goes.

 

This post should be read with the consideration that I have up to now only owned pens priced no higher than GBP 20. In my modest collection I have some Lamy Safaris and Nexx'es (Nexx'?), as well as M models of the latter. These nibs on these pens range from EF to M. I also have a Sailor Calligraphy pen. I quite like these pens and use them daily. I like the Lamy nibs, though would prefer them a little smoother. I greatly appreciate the rubber grip on the Nexx pens. My Sailor Calligraphy pen is a little odd to use; I usually flip it upside-down to write with a superfine line. I had a Rotring Art Pen once, but recall getting very annoyed with it being dry and scratchy, and now it is lost somewhere in my apartment (I actually am searching for it, as I would like to give it a second chance).

 

In case it is relevant somehow, I am left-handed. (One or two of my Lamy pens have the LH nib, though I do not find any difference between this and the ordinary M nib).

 

I bought the Diplomat (with the first paycheck from my new job :)) because I wanted to try out a higher-end fountain pen, and the design appealed a lot to me. Zeppelins, yay!

 

The packaging:

 

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh197/Ludegirl/Ludegirl009/IMG_6998.jpg

 

As has been mentioned elsewhere, the packaging is lovely. I like the aluminum cover for the box itself, and i like the presentation of the pen on a satin pillow, printed with the Diplomat logo. Lovely!

 

 

The pen itself:

 

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh197/Ludegirl/Ludegirl009/efc5d45f-0f5a-4af4-96bb-f4657dd5ada1.jpg

 

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh197/Ludegirl/Ludegirl009/IMG_7001.jpg

 

 

It looks very good to me, and feels very substantial. The aluminum feels 'toothy'/rough to the touch, I like that. The pen feels solid, and unscrewing the barrel to get to the converter has a nice swishing sound, due to the metal construction.

 

I have inked it up with Iroshizuku Fuyu-Gaki, which on the picture has managed to escape slightly onto the nib. :)

 

Using it:

This nib is very smooth! I love it! It applies just the right amount of ink for me, and I can also turn it upside-down, to produce a finer line. It is a pretty firm nib, I do not experience any flex with it.

I got the M steel nib for it. There are also 14k gold nibs for it, which will double the cost of the pen. YMMW, but I did not find it worth double the amount of money (...which I could use to buy more pens :rolleyes: ). It seems you can get the nib in sizes from F to B. I am not entirely sure whether they make an EF.

 

It is a heavy pen, to me at least (particularly considering that my other pens are very light). I am not sure how I feel about that, I had not expected something like the Nexx, but it is a heavy instrument for me to use. I do not post my pens, and would particularly not do it with this one, it would be too heavy. I must admit it is heavier than I expected, seeing as it is made of aluminum. To be fair, I have seen its weight listed online, but do not have a frame of reference yet for when pens feel heavy - especially seeing since my other pens are very light weight. :) I do not think I would buy a pen heavier than this one.

 

When I post the cap, it feels like it stays put. As mentioned, I do usually never post my caps, and still do not think I will do it with this one. But I noticed that it was very well balanced even if posted. I still prefer it unposted though, as it is lighter this way. But I might experiment some more with this. :) Personal preference, I suppose.

 

The grip feels smooth to me, perhaps a bit too slippery. It is an interesting contrast to the more toothy feel of the body. The smoothness combined with the weight of the pen makes it feel a little uncontrolled to me, but on the other hand, the pen feels balanced. I will conclude on this when I have used the pen more.

 

The barrel seems to unscrew fairly easily. Though it does not have a screw-on cap, I have already noticed it unscrewing a bit. I make sure to twist the cap slightly in the other direction when I open it.

 

I have seen others comment that the cap is pretty tight, and you do have to use a bit of force to get it open - and close securely. I hope this mellows out a bit, but on the other hand, I like that it locks on securely, so the cap will not accidentally pop off.

 

Price: I feel I found a fairly good deal on this from a German pen-site, where it cost €85. Shipping was a little expensive though, so I ended up paying a bit over €100 for the pen. I have seen it retail for about GBP 120 from the few pages I looked at. For me in Denmark, and with the exchange rates, I found it much cheaper to purchase from a German site than a UK one.

 

In conclusion, I like this pen a lot, though I have some slight concerns with it, such as the weight and slippery-feeling grip. I think it is very fairly priced, and it was in close competition with pens costing twice or triple the price. I feel like I have gotten good value for money. It feels like a deliciously designed tool with an amazingly smooth nib.

If you consider getting an Aero, make sure you will be comfortable with the weight, and prepare for being a little careful when taking the cap off it.

All in all, I am happy, and will now go experiment with different sorts of ink...

 

I hope you have enjoyed the review, and I hope it is of use to someone. :)

 

EDIT: I had previously commented on the pen being a bit too wet perhaps, and dripping a bit of ink. Turns out it was an error of my behalf, I had not 'squeezed' out a few drops again after having filled the converter. :) Now it works perfectly, and I am happy. ^^

Edited by 714
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I love the aesthetics of this design. Not sure if I would buy it, but it is so nice looking. Thank you for the review.

Fountain pens forever and forever a hundred years fountain pens, all day long forever, forever a hundred times, over and over Fountain Pen Network Adventures dot com!

 

- Joe

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I love the aesthetics of this design. Not sure if I would buy it, but it is so nice looking. Thank you for the review.

 

Thank you for your comment, I am happy you read the review. :) Yes, the design is amazing! It has the shape of a traditional cigar-like pen, but with very modern touches - and I think the zeppelin-inspired grooves are a unusual in a good way. I have also heard people compare these to classical columns, which I think is also a good comparison. But it's not too modern either.

 

Before I came across this, I kind of had my eyes on a Lamy Dialog 3, because the design was so clean and unusual, and I liked the idea of how the nib comes out of the pen when 'unscrewing' it. But I also read it is a fairly big and heavy pen, so I was bewildered - unless I saw this zeppelin-design and was absolutely convinced this was it. :)

Edited by 714
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Thanks for pointing out an interesting pen I'd not encountered before. I do like Zeppelins!

fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
-- John Purdue (1863)

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The Blue Knight

I really like Diplomat pens I find they strike just the right balance between the modern Bauhaus design of Lamy's and the more traditional design of Pelikans probably my favourite brand these days. A Great choice in the Aero by the way. I actually own the pencil which matches your fountain pen. I found a really good deal on it on amazon UK a few months ago for only £25 which and it's a really nice pencil it's built like a tank.

 

I did consider going with the Aero fountain pen as well however I wasn't sure about the metal grip section so I bought an Excellence A Carya instead which I would recommend if you are looking to one day follow up your Aero up with another Diplomat. I don't particularly know how the Excellence compares directly to the Aero but I find the Excellence to be very comfortable and even thought its relatively heavy it is very well balanced so does not strain the hand and it comes with the same excellent No6 nib as the Aero.

 

 

Anyway a great review and it definitely has started to convince me I need a matching fountain pen for my pencil.

Edited by The Blue Knight
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strictlyobiter

I love the design of this pen. A colleague of mine has the same model and it feels lovely in hand. Perhaps a bit heavy but not in a way that makes it uncomfortable to write with. It has quite a presence.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My Pen of the moment is a recently acquired Diplomat Classic Collection and is fabulous.

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About the only pen which caused colleagues to stop and gape.

 

The cap on mine is fairly stiff to remove - does it ease with use?

 

Also my F nib is what I'd class a wet medium, but i intend to try a dry ink (Pelikan?) on it soon

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I really like Diplomat pens I find they strike just the right balance between the modern Bauhaus design of Lamy's and the more traditional design of Pelikans probably my favourite brand these days. A Great choice in the Aero by the way. I actually own the pencil which matches your fountain pen. I found a really good deal on it on amazon UK a few months ago for only £25 which and it's a really nice pencil it's built like a tank.

 

I did consider going with the Aero fountain pen as well however I wasn't sure about the metal grip section so I bought an Excellence A Carya instead which I would recommend if you are looking to one day follow up your Aero up with another Diplomat. I don't particularly know how the Excellence compares directly to the Aero but I find the Excellence to be very comfortable and even thought its relatively heavy it is very well balanced so does not strain the hand and it comes with the same excellent No6 nib as the Aero.

 

 

Anyway a great review and it definitely has started to convince me I need a matching fountain pen for my pencil.

 

Thank you for your comment. :) You have a really good observation on the balance between Lamy design and Pelikans! And you got an amazing deal on the matching pencil. :) I have been looking at the pencil as well. Its only shortcoming is that it is not a fountain pen. ;) But a zeppelin-shaped pencil ... ooo :)

 

I have made note of the Excellence. I am very happy with my Aero, and it will not be the last Diplomat for me to own! :)

 

I have now used the Aero for a few weeks. While I still find it on the heavy side, I am getting used ot it and have had no issue with the pen at all. It starts every time, no issues with ink drying out etc., even if I have not used it for a few days. If you like the pencil version and the Excellence, I am certain you would be happy with the Aero.

 

 

I love the design of this pen. A colleague of mine has the same model and it feels lovely in hand. Perhaps a bit heavy but not in a way that makes it uncomfortable to write with. It has quite a presence.

 

I could not agree more. :) It manages to look classic and unusual at the same time, without being gaudy or odd.

 

 

My Pen of the moment is a recently acquired Diplomat Classic Collection and is fabulous.

 

I can easily imagine this! I do like my cheaper fountain pens, but they are no comparison in presence to the Aero. :)

 

About the only pen which caused colleagues to stop and gape.

 

The cap on mine is fairly stiff to remove - does it ease with use?

 

Also my F nib is what I'd class a wet medium, but i intend to try a dry ink (Pelikan?) on it soon

 

All behold the mighty power of the zepPENlin! Sorry, could not resist.

 

The cap on mine seems to have eased a little, it seems easier to pull off, but I still have to push quite a bit to push back on. I showed it to my parents today, and I noticed that my father did not push it all the way closed - probably because he thought it was already closed.

 

I am interested in hearing how the dry ink in it turns out? My M nib on it seems to have the same line width as my Lamy mediums, but it does seem wetter.

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Update: cap getting easier to remove, and after a little nib smoothing work I'm getting excellent feel and a nice tight fat (German) fine line on Clairfontaine paper with Diamine Damson with plenty of shading, but much more spread on the lavatory paper we feed to our laser printers.

 

Update 2: it's still a very wet nib ...

Edited by PDW
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