As a manufacturer, Diplomat has been making pens since 1922. As a brand on my radar, Diplomat arrived about a year ago. How did a brand that has been in existence for over 90 years just now make it into the pen communities conscious? Marketing for one, but when you have a pen as beautiful and as well made as the Diplomat Aero you don’t have to sell it too hard.
The Aero engages you immediately with its good looks. The black matte aluminum barrel features rounded grooves that taper from the middle of the pen towards the gunmetal caps on each end. The satin gunmetal look continues in the grip section as well as the long, flat clip. The design is so tight I think it is right up there with the matte black Pilot Vanishing Point as an attention getter.
It looks good from far, and even better up close and in your hand.
Performance can sometime be an afterthought, especially when a pen looks this good, but that is not the case with the Aero. The Fine steel nib is as smooth as any I have used, and the ink flow is medium to wet. This is exactly what I would expect from a German nib. The Diplomat logo is stamped on to the nib for a nice visual touch.
It feels good, it looks great, and it writes wonderfully. The last element in creating the perfect pen is price, and that is where the Diplomat Aero falls short. It’s not bad, mind you: The Aero runs around $150 street price (Appelboom has it for $132). The issue is that puts it in direct competition with gold nib offerings like the Lamy 2000, Pilot Custom 74 and Vanishing Point, Platinum 3776, Sailor Pro Gear Slims, and more.
This is a tough spot to be in for a pen that deserves more. I wholeheartedly recommend it on its design and performance merits, but if you ask me to pick the Aero or the Lamy 2000 I will choose the 2000 every single time.
If the style of the Aero piques your interest you should go for it and not let the steel nib hold you back. I’ve paid more than twice as much for steel nib acrylic barrel pens (granted most were custom), and was happy to do so. What matters most is if the design aesthetic fits you and your style, and if you will get good use out of the pen and enjoy it. There is a reason that all of the Diplomat Aero reviews online are glowing.
(Points Of Distinction provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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