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Diplomat Aero - Your Everyday fountain pen?

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Specs:

  • Description: A very solid-feeling pen that can handle the challenges of everyday life while also providing a smooth writing experience.
  • Nib: Stainless steel or 14k Gold
  • Material: Anodized Aluminum
  • Filling Mechanism: Cartridge and/or Converter
  • Weight: 41g empty 
  • Measurements: 5.5 inches capped, 6.26 inches posted
  • Ink Capacity: 1.03ml cartridge, 1.12ml converter

History & Origin:

    Diplomat has been making pens since 1922 and pride themselves on all diplomat writing instruments being manufactured in Germany. The Diplomat brand has had an interesting journey to get to where it is now and is only just recently picking up more and more traction in the U.S. market. Originally a small German brand, diplomat was purchased by its French CEO and is now being distributed by Yafa brands. The design of the Aero is one that is instantly eye catching and is inspired by the shape of a Zeppelin with its thin ends and plump center. It also has a propellor logo on the finial which is a nice little touch to really evoke the inspiration of the aircraft. Diplomat is also a relatively mysterious brand with not much information on the brands history or origin so I apologize if this section is lacking but lets take a closer look at how the pen actually looks!

Appearance & Packaging:

    The pen comes in a pretty interesting box that, at first looks relatively mundane, with a white slip cover that is protecting something pretty cool. When the cover is taken off you are left with a metal cover on a black box which gives a very sturdy and industrial feel to the product. When the metal cover is taken off you get the pen and a converter is included which is always a nice, convenient thing to see. The pen itself comes in multiple colors of anodized aluminum and some more special edition or exclusive colors that are really vibrant, making these modern pieces of design pop! 
The fluting of the cap and barrel has a double purpose, it helps the pen look like a Zeppelin but also removes some weight from the all metal pen which its good because this pen is quite hefty and I think it would've been too much had they not cut those pieces of metal out. I think out of all the colors my favorite is the flamed aluminum finish which was a raw piece of aluminum that they blow torched to give it a multi colored look. 
Now that we know how it looks lets take a look at how it writes! 

 

Nib & Performance:

    This pen comes with the option of a Stainless Steel Nib and a 14k Gold nib that Diplomat makes in house. I've had the privilege of being able to write with both and I can say that you won't be disappointed with either nib option. I think I gravitate more towards the steel nib for this pen because it falls more into what I believe this pen is for, that is, a workhorse pen that I can throw around and not have to worry about it breaking. It is also a pen that I would give to someone who was interested in trying their first fountain pen and a gold nib would be too delicate and expensive for these purposes. Now don't get me wrong, I love gold nibs and this one is no exception so if you find yourself wanting a new gold nib pen I think that the minor price bump that it adds to the pen still makes it a reasonable and good option for a "step-up" pen. The steel nib is one of the smoothest I've tried and is tested in Diplomats factory before being sent out so it should write well out of the box and if it doesn't something is wrong. 
The one qualm I have with this pen is that the section can be pretty slippery because it is just flat anodized aluminum and while it has a nice weight to it, if you have sweaty or lotion-y hands it may prove a challenge to wield. Other than that I think this pen is quite literally a very solid choice for a fountain pen for people on the go or who don't want to have to worry about throwing their pen around. Lets take a look at my pros and cons and then discus price.

Pros:

  • Solid build quality
  • option for Steel or Gold nib
  • Converter included
  • Affordable "next-step" price
  • Unique design

Cons:

  • Section can feel slick at times

Price & Conclusion:

    The Diplomat Aero is quite possibly one of the most durable fountain pens you can buy, I've dropped it, put it in a bag with no case, even left it outside overnight, it still writes as well as when I first took it out of the box. The Aero can be purchased at Pen Boutique between $156-$280 depending on whether you want a steel or gold nib. The flame finish is a little more expensive due to the process of creating the unique finish and colors. As I said earlier, I really enjoy this pen and sometimes its nice to have something not so delicate that you can use into the ground every single day and I firmly believe this is one of the best choices for that. Hopefully the Aero will fly its way into your EDC (everyday carry) and whatever you decide to do please remember to enjoy & keep writing! 
さようなら、Kyle

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