(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
I’ve always admired Diplomat Aeros. I like the Zeppelin shape and matte finish of the pens. When I saw they offered one in a new color, Sunset Orange, I decided I needed one.
The Diplomat Aero comes packaged in a box topped with an aluminum lid that slides off. It’s really pretty cool packaging.
Inside, the pen is held by a ribbon atop a white satin-like pad with the Diplomat logo. Beneath you’ll find a couple of cartridges and a booklet. The converter (included) is already inside the pen.
The pen is made of anodized aluminum and comes standard with a steel nib in F, M, or B, though you can actually get the pen with a 14K nib from Points of Distinction for about $100 more. Because the pen is metal, it has some heft to it, weighing 30.5 grams uncapped. The pen is 5.5 inches capped, 5 inches uncapped, and 6.25 inches posted. It doesn’t post very securely—just a couple of shakes dislodged the cap from the body of my pen. This isn’t a problem for me since I never post pens, but for those of you who do, be careful.
The Aero’s style is quite striking. I love the dark grey anodized aluminum accents (finials and grip), and the grooves in the body and cap evoke the Zeppelin.
The cap’s finial sports the Diplomat logo. The logo is called an “ink flower,” and represents droplets of ink (thanks to Hillary from Points of Distinction for answering my question about that). But I also think it looks like a Zeppelin propeller in motion. Regardless, from what I’ve read, the logo is painted on and over time wears off.
The clip is made of the same grey aluminum. It’s quite stiff, so if you clip your pens to shirt pockets or papers, it should stay put. Although I prefer screw caps, this one snaps on and off with a satisfying click.
The stainless steel nib is engraved with the Diplomat logo. I got a fine nib, and it’s a very smooth writer, but hard as a rock. There’s no give at all with this nib. The tines are very close together, and the nib seems a bit stingy with ink. I tried flossing but couldn’t get the piece of cellulous acetate between the tines (that’s how tight they are).
Even though it’s a dry writer, the steel nib is consistent and I had no hard starts or skipping. I noticed that my hand grew fatigued after a couple of pages of writing. I assume this is due to the weight of the pen, but I have other heavy pens that don’t cause my hand to cramp. So, maybe the weight combined with the grip (which is a little slippery even though it’s anodized aluminum) caused the fatigue.
The pen comes with a Diplomat converter. It draws up ink smoothly and is standard international size, holding around .7ml of ink.
The Diplomat Aero is a substantive, visually appealing fountain pen. I think the Sunset Orange color is fabulous—the matte finish tones it down so that it looks classy not flashy.
Vanness Pens has the Diplomat Aero in Sunset Orange for $195, along with all other colors of the Aero lineup.
- The Diplomat Aero is a great example of German engineering. The pen looks flawless and the design is gorgeous.
- I absolutely love the muted Sunset Orange color.
- The steel nib is a smooth, consistent writer.
- This is a hefty pen, so people who prefer weighty pens will definitely enjoy the Diplomat Aero.
- Although the Aero feels comfortable, my hand grew fatigued after only a few pages of writing. I don’t think this is a balance problem, because the pen feels well balanced. However, the weight of the pen combined with the metal grip (which is slightly slippery) may have contributed to my fatigue.
- I like my nibs wet, and this steel nib is a bit stingy with ink. I’m going to try to find my brass shim to see if I can get in between the tines to loosen them up a bit.
(I received a discount when purchasing this pen from Vanness Pens for purposes of this review.)
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