I don’t really have a grail pen as such, I think that building up anything to that extent can only lead to disappointment, but I do have a list of pens I really really want. The Diplomat Aero was on that list for a long time but I could never quite pull the trigger on it, mostly because it’s a lot of money for a steel-nibbed pen and there aren’t very many reviews of it.
I therefore jumped at the chance to purchase one at a significant discount direct from Diplomat, in exchange for an honest review. Here is that review.
Nib options: steel: fine, medium, broad plus a 14K gold medium option at extra cost
Barrel options: brown, silver and (soon to be released) black
Filling system: standard international cartridge/converter
The Aero was released by Diplomat to celebrate the first flight of Earl von Zeppelin’s airship in 1900 and it’s clear to see this inspiration in the design. It does look like a big old airship, with the cigar-like shape and the grooves running along the body and cap. It’s a very distinctive design which you will either love or hate.
The section is anodised aluminium too and this works well. It gives a consistency to the design without being slippery like some metal sections. It’s quite long and comfortable to hold. The fluted end helps the pen rest in your fingers.
The clip is very long and it’s strong. It’s good at being a clip. It’s on a large and stylish cap. There’s the delightful Diplomat logo on the tip and “Diplomat made in Germany” on the band.
The cap pushes closed. It takes a bit of effort to uncap the pen. It posts deeply and the pen is surprisingly well balanced when posted. It’s a fairly heavy pen but, posted or not, it’s comfortable in the hand.
The big broad nib in my particular pen looks gorgeous and is deliciously smooth on the paper. It flows extremely well but isn’t a gusher. I haven’t had even a hint of a hard start or a skip. In the old steel versus gold nib debate, this scores one for steel. It’s wonderful to write with.
The Aero comes with a converter, which is a standard size, and so it will also take standard sized cartridges.
I’ve written before about form versus function. It’s a rare pen that manages to combine fantastic design with outstanding function but the Diplomat Aero succeeds. It’s a design that won’t appeal to everyone but if you like how it looks then be reassured that not only does it look even better in person than in photos, it’s also very comfortable to hold and is a wonderful writer.
This is a very special pen that has become a firm favourite.
Well balanced in the hand
Beautiful nib (both in looks and in use)
Might be a little heavy for some