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Diplomat Aero


This is a review that I've wanted to write for a long time, and Larry and Hillary from Points of Distinction (the US distributor of Diplomat pens) gave me this pen to make it possible. I originally wanted to get the brown version of this pen, but this matte black was a new color for this spring, and it called to me.

The pictures for this review were pretty difficult to take for some reason. I think I've gotten some good ones, but I owe a lot of that to the folks in the Pen Addict's photography Slack channel. Thanks for the help, Slackers!

Check out the review below and let me know what you think of this pen in the comments.


Material: aluminum (It's fairly heavy, so I'm guessing the section is made of something else, or very heavy aluminum.

Nib: Stainless Steel, Fine
Available nibs: Fine, Medium, and Broad in SS and 14k.

5.51" capped
5.06" uncapped
6.22" posted

Max Barrel Diameter: 14.9mm
Section Diameter: 11-10mm taper.

Retails $195 with stainless steel nib.
Retails $295 with a 14k nib.


The silver box below is actually a metal slip-cover that contains the standard cardboard box and pillow. The metal is a nice touch, but I think they could have gone a little easier on the packaging and shaved a few dollars off of the price of the pen. Fancy packaging can be nice for a gift-pen, but it's wasted on most people.


The Aero is one of the more interesting designs from this venerable German company. (The Balance is the other one, but that one looks like it has been continued.) It's designed to resemble an airship, and I think it does (a bit, anyway). The tapered cigar shape is cool looking, almost tactical in the EDC sense.

The color is an interesting one. It's got a matte finish to it that was really difficult to photograph well. It's not entirely smooth, but it's not exactly rough, either. Your fingers certainly don't slip when you're writing with it, though.

 The cap posts deeply and securely. I don't have a problem with the balance when it's posted, but if you have smaller hands than mine you probably won't like it posted.

The picture below shows the only blemish on this pen. I'm certain that these marks weren't on the section when I got the pen, so they must have developed over time. They're right in the place where I hold the pen, though, so I think they must have come from my fingers. It's not ink. I checked, and it doesn't wash off. It also doesn't seem to physically damage the finish. I haven't seen anything about this phenomenon in other reviews, so I think it's got to be particular to me. Anyway, I don't mind the dark spots. They're sorta cheetah-like. Makes me write faster. Yeah.

 The clip is pretty great. It feels sturdy, but it's not over-tight and I've used it confidently on everything from dress shirts to jeans. It's a good clip.

The Diplomat emblem seems to be painted on, and it is scraping off a little bit with use. I'd rather it were engraved into the cap. I think it's going to disappear over time, and that's okay. It's a nice flower, but the cap will be fine without it. A pen this tough begs to be taken places, so I bet this flower is going to rub off for lots of people. 

This inner cap does a really good job of keeping the ink from drying out. I haven't had any issues with this nib starting up since I've had it.

There are lots of threads on the section of this pen, and the barrel screws on very securely. That flare at the top of the section creates a very nice transition from the section to the barrel that doesn't leave much of a step. 

I should also say that the finish on this section makes it immune to the slipperiness that you can get on a metal section sometimes. None of that here. Good grip at all times.

Nib and Performance

The nib on this pen is really good. It's labeled as a fine, but the line is something closer to a medium, I think. Medium-fine? I expected that there would be some flex to this nib, as there have been with other Diplomat fine nibs, but it's a nail. That's not a problem for me, but don't expect any play from this nib. There is a bit of feed-back, but it's smooth and consistent. Less feedback than a graphite pencil, I'd say, but more than the "buttery smooth" nibs out there. Some writers really like this feedback, as it lets them feel the contact with the paper. I can take it or leave it.

I've always thought that Diplomat nibs were pretty nice looking. They're not overly complex, but the design is nice. The two-tone gold nibs that they offer are really cool. I don't know if they write better, but the golden flower on those is rad.

Here are a couple of writing samples, followed by a short time-lapse video. It writes very smoothly and consistently.


A whole bunch of pens! This is a fairly large pen, but it's not huge. The Pelikan m800 in the picture is a close match in terms of size, but they're very different sorts of pen.

From left to right:
Pilot Vanishing Point, Monteverde Impressa Delux, Sailor Pro Gear, Sailor 1911L, Diplomat Aero, Pelikan m800, Pilot Custom 74, Franklin-Christoph 03, Lamy Al-Star, Franklin-Christoph 45.


I sort of thought that this would be a "men's pen" based on the size and weight. Surprisingly, the people who've liked it the most are a couple of the folks in the eyeglass shop. You never know where you're going to meet Pen People.

I haven't heard any negative things about this pen from people who've seen me using it, and it certainly is a conversation piece. If you're the sort who likes to keep their pen habit under wraps, then this might not be the pen for you. If you're a pen-evangelist like I am, though, this is a pen that gets attention and draws people into the hobby.

The video review will be available on my YouTube Channel as soon as it's finished uploading. It's taking forever. FOREVER. right now. Here's the link.

***This pen was provided free of charge as a review sample. That doesn't change my review in any way that I'm aware of, though your mileage may vary and I can only relate my own experience with the pen.***

Post Comment
Unknown said...

Whoa! Where'd you get that FC 45?

I've got the Aero rollerball, and it it's similar weight, I find the weight of the pen sort of propells the pen forward.

Good or bad, that's what I've found with this heavy pen.

Mike Matteson said...

I got that FC 45 at a pen show last spring. It's a rad acrylic, right? You see them every once in a while at a show in the "color prototypes" area.