Posts filed under Diplomat

Diplomat Magnum SoftTouch Fountain Pen Review

Diplomat Magnum Fountain Pen

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

The sub-$50 range of fountain pens can be a really interesting group. There are solid choices that have been around for quite awhile (ahem, Lamy Safari), and there are also newcomers trying to break into this low price point. Not everyone succeeds when trying to offer a good fountain pen at this price point. With the Diplomat Magnum SoftTouch fountain pen, I think they've created a great pen for the price.

Like the name implies, the exterior material used with this pen has a soft texture that feels great in the hand. It makes the pen feel warm and comfortable, regardless of the surrounding environment. I'm not sure what the actual material is, but it has a slight rubbery feel without being tacky. It also doesn't pick up lint and other particulates very often, and does a decent job of resisting fingerprints as well.

Diplomat Magnum Fountain Pen Grip

Like the beloved Lamy Safari and AL-Star, the Magnum also features a contoured grip section, which might make or break the pen for you. I happen to enjoy contoured grips, and this one is pretty comfortable. Even though the size of the grip is somewhat small to match the small size of the pen, it's still comfortable and secure when writing. If you tend to write with a grip that doesn't conform to the "standard" three-finger grip, you might not like the contours. If you've used a Lamy Safari, AL-Star, or Vista, you can let that inform your decision with this pen since they are very similar grips.

Diplomat Magnum Fountain Pen Cap

There are several other nice visual features that compliment this pen, including a large ink window, a minimally decorated nib, a translucent finial that shows off the Diplomat logo, and a strong, branded clip that just doesn't give up. The nib size is a bit small, but it's comparable to the rest of the pen.

In use, the cap can be posted, but it doesn't feel 100% secure. I don't think the cap is in any danger of falling off with normal use, but it doesn't have any sort of reassuring sound or tactile feedback when posting to let you know it's secured. Capping the pen, however, has a satisfying click (both audible and tactile) that leaves no doubt that the cap is secure.

For the price point, the pen feels well made and is a pleasure to use. So, how does it write?

Diplomat Magnum Fountain Pen Clip

The model I have includes a stainless steel nib with a fine point, but they also offer a medium and broad point. The point matches up with the typical German sizing that you're accustomed to, and it's a great nib in use.

One of the most notable things I've come away with after writing with this pen for a while is how springy the nib is. When using a steel nib, that's not something I expect. In this case, it's a welcome surprise. The nib certainly doesn't qualify as a flex nib, but it has a noticeable spring when writing that makes it more comfortable to use while also providing feedback from the page. Think of it like the suspension on your car. This nib is soft on the page, and I have really enjoyed it. Of course, like all things, this will come down to personal preference. Either way, I think it's impressive when a steel nib feels similar to a gold nib.

Diplomat Magnum Fountain Pen Writing

Due to the springy nature of the nib, you can achieve some good line variation in normal writing. Nothing dramatic, but similar to a small stub in terms of line width variation.

In use, the pen has been incredibly reliable and consistent. I haven't had any trouble with hard starts, skipping, or ink burps. If the pen goes unused in an upright position for more than a couple weeks, it does need a minute or two on a horizontal service to re-establish ink flow, but that's better than a lot of my pens can do.

Diplomat Magnum Fountain Pen Cartridge

The pen takes either standard (or short) international cartridges or a standard international converter. In all, I've been really impressed with this pen given the price. Diplomat is one of those brands that you always see at pen shows. They have interesting and pleasing aesthetics, but their premium prices can put off a lot of buyers who haven't had any experience with the brand. In the case of the Magnum, I think they have a great representation of the brand as a whole that sets a precedent for their more expensive lines.

You can normally find the Magnum at Vanness for around $25.

(Vanness Pens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Diplomat Magnum Fountain Pen Review
Posted on February 7, 2018 and filed under Diplomat, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

Diplomat Magnum Asphalt Gel Pen Review

Diplomat Magnum Gel Pen Review

For me, a big reason that I like any pen is the color and type of material used in the body. In short, this is the aesthetic appeal of the pen, and I would guess that this also drives a majority of pen purchases for other people as well. But, the aesthetic appeal can only carry the pen so far — it also needs to function well as a writing instrument.

The Diplomat Magnum gel pen is a sleek and stylish click pen that features an asphalt gray finish. The finish is a sleek combination of dark gray material with silver flecks mixed in. It's a pretty material that I enjoy quite a bit.

The Magnum also uses a standard Parker-style refill, which is a really good thing since the included refill is quite an under-performer.

Diplomat Magnum Gel Pen Refill

When I pick up a gel pen, I usually don't have any concerns about skipping, hard starts, or other issues that typically crop up with ballpoint refills. With the Diplomat, I was bound for disappointment in the refill area.

The gel refill in the Magnum is unlike any others I've used. Picking the pen up and writing with it isn't normally possible without doing a few seconds of scribbling on scratch paper to get the ink flowing. Once the ink starts flowing, the delivery is skippy and inconsistent. If you stop writing for more than 10 seconds, the ink has already dried up and requires more scribbling. All told, it's an incredibly frustrating refill.

Diplomat Magnum Gel Pen Barrel

The fact that this pen accepts all Parker-style refills really saves its bacon. This is a truly attractive pen that feels good in the hand, and it's also a pretty good value at $20. My only advice is that you need a replacement refill from the beginning if you choose to purchase this pen. There's a chance that the refill I have is a dud, but gel duds usually refuse to write altogether in my experience.

With all this in mind, it's hard to recommend this pen unless you're absolutely in love with the aesthetics. Like I said, it feels great in the hand and operates perfectly as long as you discount the refill performance. Replacing the refill is a must, and this is an extra cost if you don't already have some Parker-style refills lying around.

Diplomat Magnum Gel vs Retro 51

If you like the style of the Magnum, I suggest you take a look at the Retro 51 Tornado lineup. They're a tad more expensive, but they're better pens that also feature much better refills. Plus, with the wide variety of styles, you're bound to find one that matches your fancy.

(Vanness Pens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Diplomat Gel Pen Review
Posted on January 17, 2018 and filed under Diplomat, Gel, Pen Reviews.

Diplomat Aero in Sunset Orange Giveaway Winner

This was a great one folks, and I hope you had the chance to get in on the action. The Diplomat Aero is a thing of beauty, and this Sunset Orange model goes to:

Congrats Ann! I'll be sending you an email shortly to get your shipping address. Thanks to everyone who entered and look for more soon!

Posted on June 11, 2017 and filed under Diplomat, Giveaways.