Wow! It’s been a while since I’ve published a post, and the guilt finally caught up with me. So here I am. A pen that I received a while ago that I have, unfortunately, not yet written a post about, is the Diplomat Aero Factory fountain pen. Diplomat is a pen company that has been around for a while, but was introduced to my part of the world quite recently. They make high quality pens of many shapes and sizes, and the Aero is probably their best known fountain pen. In this post, I’ll outline the appearance and overall performance of this pen, as well as whether I would recommend it to others.
I’ll start with aesthetics and all the technical stuff. The Aero is a cigar-shaped pen that comes in several different colors. The pen is on the larger and heavier side, with a post-length of about six and a quarter inches and a capped length of five and a half inches. The pen weighs 41 grams. For a comparison, a Lamy Safari weighs 17 grams, and a Vanishing Point is 30 grams. So yes; it’s pretty heavy. The body tapers off on both sides, resulting in very narrow finials and a very thick area around the lip of the cap. The only visible branding besides on the nib is on the center band, which reads “DIPLOMAT” in white lettering. The body is constructed of aluminum with numerous long, vertical grooves extending from the top finial down to the center band of the cap, and then continuing from the step of the body all the way down to the other finial. The grip is smooth metal, and the clip is as well. On my model, the “factory,” the body and cap are chrome with a smooth, matte gunmetal grip and clip. The finials also share this common color.
Now for the comfort and performance of the pen minus the nib (which of course deserves its own section altogether). The weight of the pen is actually quite nice when writing, and the body rests well between my index finger and thumb when writing. The pen is quite easy to post, though the cap becomes unsecure from time to time when writing. The grooves can create a little unpleasant friction where the pen rests between the thumb and forefinger when writing, but not enough to greatly deter someone from purchasing this pen. The grip can occasionally get slick during long writing sessions, though it is not prone to doing so. Additionally, pen wields a snap-cap, something not often found in pens in or over the $150 range. That’s about it for the performance of the pen (besides the nib): Nothing really that special. All it really is in terms of non-nib performance is a solid, heavy pen.
Now for the nib. When you add the nib into the equation of this fairly regular pen, it becomes much more appealing. The pen is available with a steel or gold nib. My Aero is equipped with an extra-fine steel nib, and it writes exceptionally well. The nib has a fair amount of feedback, and despite being a European pen, the nib is almost as fine as many Asian EFs. It never skips, despite the fact that I’m a lefty underwriter, and gives just the amount of feedback I want. The nib also looks great; a large, matte-chrome piece with a flower-reminiscent design and branding. It does not have a breather hole, just the slit which extends about halfway up the nib. Writing with the standard factory Diplomat-blue cartridge that came with the pen, the experience is great; a nice everyday writer.
It appears I went out of order in this post, so I’ll talk about the packaging last. The pen comes in a thick cardboard box on a fabric-covered tray. In order to access the pen, one must remove a thin cardboard cover box and lift a piece of paper sporting the company name and logo. A chrome metal cover slides over the box to keep the pen safe. The pen itself is held down by an elastic band under a ribbon. Underneath the fabric tray are two cartridges and an instruction manual, as well as a converter.
Overall, I give this pen 4 stars for being a great daily writer and a fairly reliable pen. One thing I did notice after leaving ink in this pen for a bit too long, though, was that the ink in the nib dried out. It was one of only two inked pens that became dry over the period of time that I did not use it. So this pen is not one to leave with ink in it for an extended period of time (which is never good, though it can have different effects on different pens). I like the writing experience of this pen very much, and I am a fan of the aesthetics as well. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to upgrade from beginner pens to a mid-range fountain pen, or to anyone looking for a solid EDC with a little more heft to it. The pen is available here on Goulet.
Keep an eye out of upcoming posts! You can look at the fourth little box down in that column over there→to see what posts are coming soon.