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Diplomatic Variations


Braxfield

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Having dawdled and dithered, I finally acquired one of the so-called "granite" finish Diplomat Esteems from a certain well-known Virginian-based pen dealer.

 

Boy, am I glad I did. I'm already familiar with the Esteem. I'm in the book trade and I work with a pen in my hand. For the last several months, I've been using an Esteem on an almost daily basis. I find it lightweight, nimble, and equipped with a spry steel nib. My current favorite has a smooth matte finish that seems to be both fingerprint and scratch resistant (tempting fate, I know). And at 26g, including the cap, it suits me down to the ground. I keep my Excellences for the evening.

 

My hesitation over the "granite" was that I feared it would be too "plastic-y" to the touch. It's not. It offers a curious feel, almost like that of a sugared almond. That's the best comparison I can think of. It's pleasant to the touch not slick. Still cool but less cool than the usual lacquer.

 

But here's the thing. The cap carries the word "Diplomat" in a straight line, without the famous (for some, beloved) "ink flower" logo. And the clip is plain and tapered, without the telltale drip-lomat cut-out.

 

I am curious to know if these are "old-style" pens, "new style" pens or some other off-piste variant. I have looked at a few European sites and not seen any. I have not pored over old trade catalogs because I don't have any.

 

Performance is 100% perfection (as one would expect). Appearance is 98% classic and 2% different. I'm intrigued and wonder if other Diplomateurs have found comparable variations in other parts of the world.

"They come as a boon and a blessing to men,
the Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley Pen."

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Diplomat make some great pens. Do you have a picture of yours showing the cap logo?

Less is More - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Less is a Bore - Robert Venturi

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Yes, that would have been helpful of me. The teardrop clip corresponds with the "ink drop" finial. My guess is that the text-only finial (with solid clip) is older stock but that is only a guess.

 

The nibs appear identical.

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"They come as a boon and a blessing to men,
the Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley Pen."

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Strange. I just bought two of them from Goulet, one black granite F and one blue granite F. Both had the ink splat finial and normal teardrop clip with the cutout. They were discounted as discontinued surfaces. Shortly after I bought them, they were listed as out of stock, so I got some of the last ones. I don't know if they were exclusive to Goulet, but I haven't seen them listed elsewhere. I've inked the black granite one with Diamine Scribble Purple, and it writes very smoothly, even on cheap paper.

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To be honest I prefer the look of the conventional "ink splat and teardrop" combo. I'll just have to console myself with the (perhaps fanciful) notion that the plain clip is fabulously rare. Maybe the one I received was a sample designed to showcase the finish. I'm certainly not complaining. Abwechslung macht Freude.

 

If I had known how nice the texture was I might have splashed for the "black" version too, when it was still available.

 

I had a brief exchange with someone at Diplomat recently who indicated there may be a few new things to look out for next year, without giving anything away.

Edited by Braxfield

"They come as a boon and a blessing to men,
the Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley Pen."

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Yes, I too have Esteems with the graphic alone. But the ones I bought recently from Goulet both have text.

 

I like the "inksplat". For several years the Diplomat logo was three little lines. Minimalist to say the least.

"They come as a boon and a blessing to men,
the Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley Pen."

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Update: the granite finish was available in Europe, so not a Goulet special. However it seems to be hard to get hold of. I have now spotted it with both clip configurations, open and closed.

"They come as a boon and a blessing to men,
the Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley Pen."

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