The Diplomat Company has been producing fine writing instruments since its founding in Germany in 1922. They have a wide range of products covering fountain pens, roller ball pens, mechanical pencils, and ballpoint pens. Today’s review is of the Diplomat Excellence A Skyline Fountain Pen with a Medium steel nib.
10/10 Packaging: The pen comes in a white box with the black Diplomat logo on the front. Inside is a smaller box with a grey metal sleeve, also with the “Diplomat since 1922” logo. The box contains the pen resting on a Diplomat branded satin pillow with a converter, ink cartridge, and service guide.
10/10 First Thoughts: The pen is simply stunning! The light catches the finish as soon as you open the box and the pen just screams, “Write with me!”
9/10 Design: The body and weight is perfectly balanced. There is a gradual taper from the back of the grip section to the bottom of the finial, which allows the cap to post very securely. Branding is very simple and somewhat understated on this pen. A Diplomat logo is on the cap finial and the cap brand is engraved, “Diplomat Since 1922 Made in Germany”.
The pen comes with a stainless steel nib, but you have the option to upgrade to a 14K gold nib for about $100 more. Nib options for both the steel and gold nibs are Fine, Medium, and Bold, with Extra Fine coming shortly. There is a small stepdown from the body to the grip section.
The grip section is smooth, but not slippery and is big enough to accommodate larger fingers. The only score down in the design is the clip, as it is very stiff and two hands are needed to clip it on thicker clothing. That being said, it has a simple design ending in an ink drop and it is still a very functional clip that keeps the pen firmly in place. The snap on cap closes securely and there is no concern of it coming off.
10/10 Nib Performance: This is the best steel nib I have ever written with! It is smooth as it dances across the paper and makes you want to write. I allowed a few co-workers (both fountain pen users and first-timers) to try this pen and they all loved the way it wrote. Most asked if they could keep or borrow it for the day; however, I kept it all to myself J. There is no breather hole on the nib, which I found interesting. It had simple branding on it as well, the Diplomat ink drop, “Diplomat since 1922”, and the letter M for medium. It writes well for reverse writing, but becomes a little scratchy.
9/10 Filling System: The pen uses a standard international piston converter, which is included with the pen and is branded with “Diplomat made in Germany”. It also comes with a standard international black ink cartridge. The body is metal and has metal threads so it is not possible to eyedropper the pen. The only score down comes from the push-in converter; I have become fond of threaded converters due to their added security against becoming dislodged and leaking.
9/10 Value: A retail price of $245 for a steel nib pen is relatively expensive. Nevertheless, I’d consider this a good value because the steel nib on this pen writes as smooth and performs better than most of the gold or other more expensive metal nibs I have used. The finish and design of the pen in spectacular and is definitely an attention-grabber.
57/60 Overall: Finally, this is one of the best fountain pens I have ever used – due to both functionality and aesthetics! The perfectly tuned steel nib is well worth the higher price of the pen and the finish is definitely eye catching. It will be really hard to give this Diplomat Excellence A Skyline fountain pen back after I finish my review, as it has quickly become one of my “Grail Pens”.
Name: Diplomat Excellence A Skyline fountain pen
Design: Metal body, lacquer finish, guilloche striped cap and body
Length: 5.5 inches (139.7mm)
Posted: 6.25 inches (158.75mm)
Diameter: .76 inches (19.5mm)
Weight: 40 grams
Nib: Stainless Steel Medium
Filling System: C/C
Pros: Beautiful finish, perfectly balanced, amazing nib, converter included
Cons: Price is higher than gold nib competitors, clip is tight, and snap cap
In the same price range:
Graf Von Faber Castell Tamito
Pilot falcon and Customer Heritage 92