Sunday, August 13, 2017

Writing with the Diplomat Aero Fountain Pen RAFFLE

A Special Diplomat Pen that Deserves More Attention
from Enthusiasts and Collectors
And a chance to win this pen!

By Stephen Trimble
Guest Blogger to Engchik Eats

I have been a fountain pen collector for a little more than a year. As such, I’ve gone down the rabbit hole pretty far, and acquired some very special pens, as well as some middle-of-the-road and not-so-special pens. 

Over this time, I’ve learned how to identify my preferences as well as the objective quality of my writing instruments. I’m a writer for a living, so these pens aren’t just for lookin’ at (though aesthetics are very important), they’re for note-taking, journal-writing, poetry, short stories, and just general noodling. 

I’ve also learned how important the right paper and the right ink are for a pleasurable writing experience.

Today, as guest to my wife’s excellent blog, I am reviewing the German brand Diplomat’s Aero fountain pen, which has been on the market for several years. This color, Sunset Orange, is new. 

I am a fan of this brand, and don’t feel like it’s getting enough attention from enthusiasts here in the States. Diplomat was kind enough to send a pen to me free of charge to review, and so I will be giving the pen away to a lucky reader in a special raffle. Stay tuned to the end of the post to learn how to get this awesome pen for yourself!
Now, the review.

Aesthetics, 9/10
The Aero has a distinctive, pleasing zeppelin shape, tapered at both ends and fat in the middle, with non-functioning ridges all the way round. The ridges won’t keep the pen from rolling off your desk, but give the pen a visually interesting, multi-faceted look. The sturdy aluminum clip is gunmetal colored to match the top and bottom finials—both pointed—of the pen.

The Diplomat has previously been offered in black, brown, and silver colors. The new Sunset Orange color outdoes them all. Bright, yet with a matte finish that isn’t too shiny or garish.

Capped, the pen is absolutely beautiful, neither too masculine or too feminine, with a form that begs to be picked up and held.

Remove the sturdy snap cap to reveal a gunmetal –colored aluminum section, also matte for a secure grip—and the stunning large proprietary Aero nib. 

Uncapped, the pen comes to about 5 inches, and is well-balanced for a small- to medium-sized hand. Owners of larger-sized hands may wish to post the pen, but we’ll get to that later. The section is tapered and slimmer than the rest of the pen, allowing for a comfortable grip.
Overall, the Orange Aero is a strikingly beautiful pen.

Mechanics/Functionality, 8/10
Ahh, that Diplomat nib. I have an Esteem from the same company, with a slightly smaller nib, and it’s among my favorite pens and lives in my everyday rotation.

The Aero nib is even smoother, with a perfect ink flow. No hard starts, no skips, a generous sweet spot that is sweet indeed. It’s hard to see how a 14k nib on this pen could be any better, but the Aero is in fact offered with a 14k gold nib in all sizes—Fine, Medium, and Broad. 

The best 14k nib I’ve ever used is on a Lamy 2000, and I feel like the steel nib on the Aero is almost that good already. I’m a fan.

Alas, the Aero is not perfect. I have large hands, and as such, I prefer to post the cap on my pens when I write—even with my long pens, like my Rosetta Magellan or TWSBI Classic.

The Aero is simply not to be posted (capped). When I put the question to them, Diplomat USA responded that the company has been working on refining the finishes on the Aero model line. 

Apparently, an unintended consequence of this has been difficulty securely posting the Aero's cap. Diplomat does say that a firm push and a twist will help the cap post, but in my experience, even brushing the posted cap lightly with my fingers during the normal course of writing is enough to dislodge it. Diplomat does go on to say that the German engineering team is working tirelessly to improve the cap posting issue. 

However, for now, as it is practically impossible to post (at least for me), I am forced to use it unposted. While not ideal, the pen is so well-balanced and the nib so smooth, that this is the rare pen I might use unposted for extended writing sessions.

Ease of Maintenance, 10/10
I broke down the pen to drain it of iroshizuku Shin-Kai (deep sea blue-black ink) and re-ink it with the mysterious smoky-gray (not to mention dryer) Fuyu-Syogun to see how it would fare. 

The Aero is a cartridge/converter fill pen, and like most Diplomats, it accepts standard international refills. It comes with an excellent Diplomat branded converter, which fits snugly into the weighty metal section. Disassembly is a breeze, in part because the nib and feed are friction fit into the section.

As such, it’s a simple matter to break the pen down to its component parts, rinse, dry, and reassemble. If you were of a mind to switch out nibs, that would be a simple matter as well, and replacement nibs are readily available at

The Aero performed admirably with the dryer Fuyu-Syogun as well, allowing just a touch more feedback on good paper.

Overall Impressions
The Diplomat Aero is an impressive writing instrument, well-designed and constructed, and one that any collector or enthusiast would do well to take a close look at. I can discern only one significant flaw—I still wish I could post the cap. 

And this certainly isn’t a flaw for everyone; many enthusiasts prefer to write unposted. I’m just not one of them. In any case, I do hope the outstanding engineers at Diplomat address this issue in the future. This is a very special pen with a magnificent nib at a good price—and I want to love it.
Right now I just really really like it.

Do you want to win this gorgeous Diplomat Aero in Sunset Orange, with a Broad steel nib? It’s easy! 

Just post a comment in the comments section below answering this one question:
“What was your first fountain pen?”

If you don’t own any fountain pens, just post the following:
“I hope it’s a Diplomat Aero!”

One winner will be selected at random FROM ALL ENTRANTS WHO CORRECTLY FOLLOWED INSTRUCTIONS and we'll let the winner know how to receive his or her new pen.

I also strongly urge you to visit to explore the whole Diplomat product line. Until August 31, enjoy 20% off your purchase when you use the code ST0817 at checkout.

Good luck!


Don Shearer said...

Hi Steve! Cool review! My first fountain pen was something I picked up from Staples. Not worth remembering the name. Certainly nothing this fancy. I think I'm due for an upgrade! Perhaps an Aero Dimplomat?

Don Shearer said...

Hi Steve! Cool review! My first fountain pen was something I picked up in Staples. Not worth remembering the brand. Certainly nothing this fancy! I think I'm due for an upgrade. Perhaps an Aero Dimplomat?

cccc13 said...

I hope it’s a Diplomat Aero!

Ross Logan said...

My first fountain pen was a hand me down Waterford when I was a kid. My first one that I actually bought myself was a cheap Pilot Metropolitan, which I love, and use every day.

Ron Chelsvig said...

"I hope it’s a Diplomat Aero!”

I love writing, but have not ventured into a pen of this quality. Your review whetted my appetite for sure! I may be joining you in your rabbit hole soon. (Is there free Wifi and a swanky coffee bar?)

Ron Chelsvig said...

"I hope it’s a Diplomat Aero!”

I love writing, but have not ventured into a pen of this quality. Your review whetted my appetite for sure! I may be joining you in your rabbit hole soon. (Is there free Wifi and a swanky coffee bar?)

Philip Zuidema said...

My first fountain pen was a Kaweco sport with a fine nib. With it, I've taken countless notes and written a couple exams. It lives in my pocket every day.

Mark Jenkins said...

My first fountain pen was a cheap Parker from probably a K-Mart

Eric Aycock said...

My first fountain pen was an unbranded pen I bought at a flea market. It was a brass body with blue enamel over it. I still have it and love it but all of the enamel has flaked and cracked off, but it writes like a dream.

Eric Aycock said...

My first fountain pen was an unbranded pen I bought at a flea market. It has a brass body with blue enamel over it. The enamel has cracked and flaked away over time but it still writes like a dream. Thank you for the great review and awesome giveaway.

C.I. Fuentes said...

My first fountain pen was a Platinum 3776!

Zachery said...

My first pen was a yellow Lamy Safari!

Brian Friedlander said...

Pilot Metropolitan Fine

Andrew said...

A Cross Adventura in blue.

Anissa Jones said...

My first fountain pen was a black Pilot Metropolitan that came in a set with a Rhodia dot pad and a bottle of Noodler's Black. Still love that pen.

Zachery said...

My first pen was a yellow Lamy Safari. Still have it and use it!

tiger said...

I can't remember what my first fountain pen was. It could probably be a Pilot Birdie or a Lamy Safari.
The grooves on the Aero's cap and barrel look interesting. Hoping it would feel better in my hands. :)

Anonymous said...

These pens are incredible- so elegant. I hope it's a Diplomat Aero! -Michael

Craig said...

My first fountain pen was a Lamy Safari in blue!

Unknown said...

A Sheaffer "cartridge pen", nowadays they call them "school pens". I bought it in the fall of 1969 for $2.99 and I still have it.

Heidi Price said...

My first fountain pen was a Lamy Safari, medium nib, in bright green.

WriteagainstRacism said...

Aaaaand the winner is (by random number drawing):

Zachery! (and no, the fact that he commented twice had no bearing on his win; lots of folks commented twice)

Zachery, to claim your prize, please send your full name, address, and telephone number to You have until this Friday, 9/1/2017, to do so. If you fail to contact me, another winner will be randomly chosen.

Congratulations and thanks for playing! Hopefully we can do this again soon.

--Stephen Trimble

Eric Aycock said...

Congrats Zachery!