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Diplomat Aero first impressions


pelikandrew
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Please note this is the "updated" Aero, not the original that had some issues with loose cap.

 

For the past year or so I've been tempted by the Diplomat Aero but felt something about it wasn't quite right. In the photos the pen appeared thin and small to me, and the single color wasn't just right (though I love the color of the green and the orange barrels).

 

A few days ago I saw a video review of the "Stripes Black" model which stands out as the only model with different colors in the grooves vs. the rest of the pen. This really makes the grooves stand out and I decided to buy, with medium steel nib, even though I was hoping to buy it with a gold nib. The pen comes with a standard international converter, which I use (I don't use cartridges).

 

When the pen came in several things struck me:

 

The pen is shorter overall and thicker in the barrel than I expected. I like a thicker pen so this is comfortable to me. Grip section is entirely smooth and maybe a little slippery, but the grooves in the barrel against the hand help keep the pen from rotating.

 

Steel nib (JoWo #6) is the smooth! The smoothest steel nib I've ever used. After using the steel nib I see no reason to pay more for a gold one. I'm not saying a gold nib wouldn't be better, just saying for this pen and price point, the steel is a great value - and by value I don't mean settling for mediocre performance.

 

Construction, fit/finish is superb especially for the $180 I spent (now I see the pen on sale for $135!). Tolerances are tight; finish and anodizing is great; pen feels substantial (weight), not light; cap snaps on with very satisfying feel. Engraved "Diplomat" and "Germany" writing on the barrel is a nice touch, better than simply printed on, which I think the previous version had. Overall the pen feels rugged, like a workhorse pen, not delicate. The different color in the recessed "stripes" really makes them stand out from the rest of the pen. I'd love to see the other Aero colors with this same treatment.

 

Medium nib writes pretty thick - I would prefer a Fine. Videos show friction-fed nibs/feeds can be swapped. It writes slightly thicker than my Pelikan M805 Fine. In the writing sample below it appears to write with about the same line thickness, but it is definitely thicker.

 

Balance is excellent unposted. Posted is okay but feels slightly off balance to me. I usually don't post.

 

Among modern pens, for $180 - and better yet $135 - the Aero is a great value. A lot of the time "value" means sacrificing quality but I don't think that's the case here. In terms of price to performance (or price to features) ratio, I liken it to the Lamy Al-Star ($38), except that the Aero is on a much higher level. It's like a fine workhorse pen.

 

 Pen pics shown for comparison.

 

Lamy Al-Star (top)

Parker 51

Diplomat Aero

Pelikan M805

 

 

aero1.jpg

 

 

aero2.jpg

 

 

Writing samples:

Diplomat Aero (M) with Noodler's X-Feather

Pelikan M805 (F) with Pelikan Edelstein Tanzanite

Lamy Al-Star (1.1 mm stub) with Pelikan Edelstein Onyx

 

aero_writing.jpg

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Posted Images

...why I started collecting Diplomats... :) 

 

Seriously, the steel nibs are excellent, and the gold costs quite a bit extra, so it really is just a matter of personal preference (and wallet size) to go with gold over the steel. I got gold on the limited edition, for instance, just because that seemed right to me and the FPD discount definitely helped in the decision. I now have an Excellence and the Aero Volute with gold nibs, the rest are steel (not counting old/vintage ones I've collected). The gold nibs are slightly softer, but both the steel and the gold are always smooth

 

FP addict thanks to #Penpalooza. Currently can't stop collecting Diplomats.

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I've had a brown Aero for a little over 5 years - one of the original Aeros, that had problems with the cap becoming loose over time. Thankfully Diplomat were willing to fix the pen for me - it remains one of my all-time favourites.  Glad you're enjoying yours, you're right, the nibs really are wonderfully smooth! [And yes, my M is also generously wide...]

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I've been toying with getting an Aero for some time.  I wouldn't spend more for the gold nib - I've found Diplomat steel nibs to be really nice writers.  Maybe I'll have another look and see if there are any bargains out there.....

http://www.aysedasi.co.uk

 

 

 

 

She turned me into a newt.......

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  • 2 weeks later...

The design of the Aero really speaks to me and the EF nibs are stellar. I had one for a while, but had to let it go because I just could not get a good grip on the metal section. Great pens!

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This is the pen that got my partner into fountain pens.  A few weeks before Christmas we went to Vroman's bookstore as they have a fountain pen section.  He liked the look of it and asked to try it - he loved it.  Couldn't stop talking about it.  So, I surprised him with one for Christmas.  He writes very small, so I got him an extra fine.  I think it writes very smooth.  His only minor complaint was that he felt he had to get used to the metal grip, but he only mentioned this once and has used it quite a bit already.

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I find Diplomat Aero has its place in the hearts of, "Wet flow without any feathering" lovers with its Jowo #6 nib. There is nothing in the world like a decent trail of ink on the paper. You are assured to have the best possible experience when you can see the ink on the paper for a moment after the nib has trailed on the paper, meaning the ink has lubricated the nib fully on all sides for smoothness.

I'm also wary of plastic bodies which tend to crack over time when capped which makes Diplomat all the more exciting.

Edited by mtcn77
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I don't really understand the Aero. It looks like a design excercise to me, it's attractive when capped, sort of ugly when uncapped, has a big step-down, a large barrel and a thin section, which is metal and looks slippery. I'm not a fan of snap on caps either.
Given my idiosyncrasy for step-downs it's well out of my wish lists...

I don't own any Diplomat, which is possibly a mistake, since I've heard good things about their nibs, however if the merit is Jowo, then I have a lot of other pens that sport Jowo nibs.

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3 minutes ago, sansenri said:

it's attractive when capped, sort of ugly when uncapped

I have to agree with you

"Crafting a novel on cotton rag paper with an antique fountain pen is a sensuously rebellious act against modernity." – Khang Kijarro Nguyen

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33 minutes ago, sansenri said:

I don't really understand the Aero. It looks like a design excercise to me, it's attractive when capped, sort of ugly when uncapped, has a big step-down, a large barrel and a thin section, which is metal and looks slippery. I'm not a fan of snap on caps either.
Given my idiosyncrasy for step-downs it's well out of my wish lists...

I don't own any Diplomat, which is possibly a mistake, since I've heard good things about their nibs, however if the merit is Jowo, then I have a lot of other pens that sport Jowo nibs.

Kaweco is high up in the list when it comes to eyedropping utility; however you post it too tight and it develops crack lines(mine did). It still doesn't leak, but it is on the horizon which would be ruinous as an eyedropper.

It might be an unfair comparison, since it is plastic while this is not, so let us discuss the similarities a bit. I find thin section pens easier to maneuver eventhough thick section pens don't have side to side roll as much as thin section pens. I find thin sections easier to spot the correct balanced tine position, thick section does not have the same pinpoint manual accuracy in my opinion, I have to use visual alignment with the paper which distracts from the writing.

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1 hour ago, mtcn77 said:

Kaweco is high up in the list when it comes to eyedropping utility; however you post it too tight and it develops crack lines(mine did). It still doesn't leak, but it is on the horizon which would be ruinous as an eyedropper.

It might be an unfair comparison, since it is plastic while this is not, so let us discuss the similarities a bit. I find thin section pens easier to maneuver eventhough thick section pens don't have side to side roll as much as thin section pens. I find thin sections easier to spot the correct balanced tine position, thick section does not have the same pinpoint manual accuracy in my opinion, I have to use visual alignment with the paper which distracts from the writing.

 

I'm not quite sure why you mention Kaweco and eyedroppering here. I was just commenting the design of the Aero pen, which in my opinion is slightly forced to achieve pleasing aesthetic (althought it is achieved IMO only when the pen is capped, which is a partial achievement).

My eyedropper pens are usually born as eyedroppers, as I like to have ebonite feeds on them, otherwise what's the point?...

 

As far as thin and thick sections are concerned, it is a personal preference of course. I'm sort of in the middle (my current preferred sections sized is approx that of the Pelikan M800) although I can easily shift from slightly smaller (I easily use M200s) and slightly larger but not exceedingly larger. Generally speaking I do own pens of very different section sizes, but the very thin sections are becoming uncomfortable now, although I did use thin sections pens when I was younger. I still do keep some that I like but they tend to be tiring for long use.

 

Thinking of what you say about focusing on tine position and visual alignment with paper, I note I practically don't think about it, it just comes, then again I have been using fountain pens for the best of 50 years...

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2 hours ago, sansenri said:

otherwise what's the point?...

They don't look too dissimilar in my opinion. Thin round section, octagonal body - in Aero - cap - in Sport - work the same. Both have rounded tips, you cannot rest them on cap tip. They both have a wider body for perfect palm rest. If either fails, so will the other in my opinion.

Edited by mtcn77
oct*a*gonal
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5 hours ago, Aysedasi said:

I'm definitely going to get one, I like the striped version particularly.  I'll probably wait until after we move house in 2 weeks time. 

 

Having been reminded by hilsedwards that Cult Pens in the UK have a 10% discount on these at the moment with free delivery, I've pulled the trigger on the striped version - with a broad nib of course.  Hilary, it's all your fault......  ;)

http://www.aysedasi.co.uk

 

 

 

 

She turned me into a newt.......

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I wanted to like mine but the nib, EF, wasn't liking to write ascenders.  Vendor took it back and said that is how the EF's are - here's most of your money back.

 

Design wise,  Very unique looking, very nice to hold and write with (except for nib).

 

I hope I got the bad one and everyone else gets the good ones.

Happy New Year

Be Happy, work at it. Namaste

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1 hour ago, bone215 said:

Design wise,  Very unique looking, very nice to hold and write with (except for nib).

 

I hope I got the bad one and everyone else gets the good ones.

 

I love the way the pen looks and feels in the hand, except for the step-down from barrel to gripping section that I'm increasingly finding obtrusive when I write. However, its steel EF nib is absolutely the surprise highlight and delight on my Diplomat Aero.

 

What did you mean by, “the nib, EF, wasn't liking to write ascenders”?

 

 

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct, and valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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After reading the comments about the Diplomat Aero, I think an orange one will be flying soon towards me.😉

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Smug,

What did you mean by, “the nib, EF, wasn't liking to write ascenders”?

 

scratchy grabby feeling as writing upstroke

e.g. lower case cursive l as in the word large, when attempting to start the up direction of writing the l the pen looses ink flow and grabs paper, when writing the down part of the l loop, it writes fine.  I hope that clarifies.

Be Happy, work at it. Namaste

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My striped Aero arrived this morning - fantastic service from Cult Pens here in the UK.  What a looker!  Slightly bigger than I'd envisaged (a definite plus) but a stunning design.  I love it - and I haven't even inked it yet......   :)

http://www.aysedasi.co.uk

 

 

 

 

She turned me into a newt.......

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On 1/3/2022 at 3:55 AM, bone215 said:

e.g. lower case cursive l as in the word large, when attempting to start the up direction of writing the l the pen looses ink flow and grabs paper, when writing the down part of the l loop, it writes fine.  I hope that clarifies.

 

Thank you.

 

I'm surprised the vendor of the pen you bought made a statement to the effect of that is how (implicitly, all) the EF nibs perform. That is not my experience at all with the steel EF nib on my Diplomat Aero as supplied.

 

 

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct, and valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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