This is my first Diplomat pen and I have had my eye on a Diplomat pen for quite some time. I have a love affair with German things, and the language so I guess it is natural that I like German pens. I had a hard time finding one to purchase here in the US so I ordered from Germany direct and so glad i did. Let's take a look.
Photos really do not do this pen any justice. The pen itself is modeled after airships or Zeppelins. I opened the box and I knew it had a fluted body/cap but when I picked it up, oh man. This pen is made of anodized aluminum with a matte finish. The flutes feel nice in the hand but the material really have a wonderful tactile quality that I greatly enjoy.
The pen itself is made of metal so it has some nice heft to it as well, which I am a big fan of. The shape is definitely reminiscent of the old airships and this pen design really shoes the sleek, aerodynamic quality of those. The finial is the Diplomat logo and adds to the aesthetics of the look.
The section is also anodized aluminum in matte as well as the body but I did not have any slipping issues as the anodized material holds the hand grip quite nicely.
The nib is stainless steel and it does not disappoint in the least. It is etched with the Diplomat logo ad company name. What I really like, though, is that the nib does not have a breather hole in it. I do believe these nibs are Jowo nibs and after writing with it, I am almost certain. So super smooth is the writing experience here that I have a difficult time putting the pen down.
The nib itself is a broad and it is a nice and wet nib. I am quite happy with it and would definitely purchase another Diplomat pen going forward. Call this guy greatly impressed.
This review is based off of my personal experience and opinion. I am not representing Diplomat in any way nor am I being compensated by Diplomat for this review.
This is a topic that can really generate some discussion
whether casual or heated. The question is basically whether a pen, ink or even paper
is better because it is more expensive than the others? My answer is no, not
really but it depends. Allow me to elaborate.
Functionally, a pen will write at any price range, but the
writing experience is what can be debateable. A Jinhao x750 can be purchased
between $5 - $10 dollars, depending on where it is purchased from. The nib is a
medium #6 size and usually a rather wet medium. The pen comes with a standard
international cartridge converter and is a great all around pen. Is it less of
a pen when compared to a Visconti Van Gogh or Rembrandt? The Visconti Van Gogh
and Rembrandt are both steel nib based pens, but come in more sizes than
medium, are cartridge converter based and write well. A Rembrandt has a MSRP of
$165 and the Van Gogh is $289. These 2 Visconti pens are made with lacquer and
resin and mimic Rembrandt’s brush stroke technique or one of Van Gogh’s
paintings. Other than the material the pen is made of, in this case, same pen.
I have a Visconti Homo Sapiens Steel Age pen and I love it.
I also feel it was worth the cost. It is a piston filling pen but the pen is
constructed of a basaltic lava resin from Mt. Etna in Italy and the nib is 23kt
Palladium. The writing experience is much more elevated with this pen. I love
the heft, the springy nib and the feel of the material. In this case, the price
justifies the material it is made of. I do have piston filling pens by Twsbi
and Noodler’s and they function very well but the Visconti HS has the notable
differences that drive the price.
I have a Franklin Christoph 19 pen which is a
cartridge/converter style pen and has a steel nib. It is made of acrylic and
resin and I paid $245 for it. Is it better than the Jinhao for a fraction of
the cost? To me, yes. The difference here is the nib. Yes, it is steel but it
is a custom ground medium cursive italic by Mike Masuyama. The writing
experience is elevated by that for me.
Let’s look at ink. Caran D’Ache is roughly $41 per bottle.
Bungubox is right around the same cost. Hieronymous is $51 a bottle. Seriously?
Why? Private Reserve is $11, Noodler’s is $12.50, Organics Studio is $13, KWZ
is $12, Diamine is around $14. The cheaper inks have greater varieties of
colors, properties and flow compared to their expensive counterparts and are
usually equal in saturation if not more so, depending on the particular ink.
Why in the world would I pay so much for an ink? I understand Bungubox is a
Japanese import but so is Sailor. Pilot Iroshizuku bottles are as well and are
retailed around $35 but can be ordered through Amazon for $20. In my opinion,
the same quality but cheaper ink. Is a $41 bottle of ink that much better? I
have had samples and I don’t see a reason for it.
I recently went to Ikea and purchased some more notebooks. I
did a review of one of them here on the blog and I love it. I bought more of
that model as well as 2 others. The paper weight is the exact same as Rhodia
paper but it does not have the ceramic coating that makes it so smooth. Ok,
that’s fine. The Ikea books are $3 compared to the Rhodia ones which are a bit
more. The Ikea books don’t feather, bleed or spread under normal use, a 1.5mm
or 1.9mm stub is a bit different though but how often do you use those larger
Is price ultimately the decider here? For some, yes but I am
trying to get people to realize that is not always the case. There are always
exceptions, as I mentioned above and it is always going to rely upon personal
experience and opinion. All I ask is you be mindful of the price and know what
you are truly getting for that price. Is it worth it to you? Do you feel comfortable
paying the elevated cost like in the case of the Jinhao vs the Visconti
Rembrandt or Van Gogh? No need to pay unnecessarily and like I said earlier,
this is mainly my opinion here. I’m just trying to be the voice of reason in
As the days pass by, I change pens and ink quite often, more ink colors than pens, however. Here is what I have inked this week.
A good friend of mine was gracious enough to allow me some time with this pen so that I could review it. I will admit, I did not want to give it back. Let's take a look at this Signum Nova in Ivory.
Wow, this pen is gorgeous. It is made of a resin and lacquer combo that feels wonderful to the touch. Aesthetically, it is beautiful with the gold accents next to the ivory which has amazing depth on its own. The finial has the Signum logo on it and it is a nice touch. This is a cartridge/converter based filling system.
The real star of this show is the nib. It is a 18k gold nib and has amazing springiness while writing. I don't normally experience this with 18k nibs as it is usually more of a feature on 14k nibs like the Pilot Custom 74. This broad nib is very wet and very juicy. The springy nib combined with the flow makes for an amazing writing experience.
Overall, this pen is purely a joy to hold and write with. It is a bit pricey through standard retail but in this case, you definitely get what you pay for.
This pen was provided by a friend for review purposes and I am not a representative of Signum and I am not compensated Signum in any way.
I have many pen pals and I love to write/receive letters. I recently started to correspond with a wonderful friend named Marilyn and her letters are packaged in a very striking manner. I asked her if she would be interested in contributing to the blog as making envelopes is definitely in tune with the analog experience. Take it away, Marilyn!
Hello, my name is Marilyn.
I love the idea of sending color through the mail. We already know how much fun it is to get a
handwritten letter, but I want to add a personal touch to the envelopes those
letters come in. It is my hope that they
stand out among the plain white of bills and junk mail, and make their
Pictured here are all the tools I need to make homemade
envelopes: they include a paper cutter,
a scoreboard and bone folder, scissors and double-sided tape. My scoreboard conveniently came with a guide
for some standard envelope sizes - it tells you what paper size to start with,
and where to score that paper. Then as
you can see, you get a template that is intuitively simple to assemble! The scoring makes creasing the paper very
easy. These templates were cut from big
nautical maps that were given to me. I
got about twenty envelopes of assorted sizes cut from a map that originally
measured 5 ft x 4 ft.
Maps are a very common thing to make homemade envelopes out
of. Usually they are big enough and
interesting. This very large book was
headed to the thrift store, but with just a little creativity, it could be
repurposed into many, many envelopes. I
have used several of these with penpals and friends and they often get
commented on! The paper in this book was
of good quality, which translated to sturdy, impressive envelopes. And, since they are pages from a book, they
Flower Calendar Envelopes:
These envelopes were re-purposed from a simple
wall-calendar. Some calendars have such
pretty artwork or photography; it would do great justice for them to be sent to
This is one of my favorite series of envelopes I have
made. I found a copy of Dr. Seuss's Oh,
the Places You'll Go at a library book sale for fifty cents, and I had this
intention for it immediately. Oh, the
places these envelopes will go!
Making envelopes lets me express some creativity and add
personalization. I have many scrapbook
paper pads of all different designs and colors.
Like Steve, I am big into fountain pens.
Whenever I write a letter, I choose the paper and pen and ink very intentionally. But beyond that, I also choose the
envelope. I think about what kinds of
things, colors, the intended recipient likes, and then, go to work!