Fountain Pen Review
Diplomat Excellence A2 = Excellent Practicality
As an author I end up autographing a lot of books and documents. One of my Diplomat Excellence pens is my tool of choice simply because of the highly effective and practical snap cap. Unlike most caps which twist on and off, the Diplomat Excellence A2 snaps shut with a distinct and audible "click". This type of cap is not new or uncommon, however unlike many similar systems, shutting the cap does not push air into the nib, and thus does not dry the ink on the nib. Time and time again the Diplomat starts writing without hesitation on a wide variety of papers including office quality papers. The nib writes effectively and remains clean.
The pen is well balanced and has an overall feel of quality. The anatomy of the pen reveals lots of attention to detail, like the flared up contour at the finger rest. A novel design innovation is the rubber o-ring that seals the barrel, this effectively controls any potential leak from the converter spilling from the pen. The manufacturer obviously designed the Excellence as a highly functioning writing instrument for daily use. Quality is never compromised and all pens are made to high standards in Germany.
The barrels are always made out of steel. The green and black barrels are not made out of the traditional resin but are lacquered steel. The quality of the lacquer is outstanding as is the overall fit and finish. Diplomat used modern finishes, the green color is a rather boring forest green. The all-metal barrel version has a very bright polished finish. These finishes lack a little sophistication. I would love to have seen a sterling silver option or more elegant color options.
There are also a couple of shortcomings. The Excellence pen needs an amount of writing to remain 100% reliable. While the steel nib does not dry out, it struggles with ink flow when drawing lines or a quick signature. It skips predictably on lines, this improves significantly after some writing but can be annoying when starting to write.
Another issue is quality consistency on nibs. I was so impressed with the quality of my first Diplomat Excellence that I ordered another with different finish. The nibs were supposed to be identical and yet, the second nib did not provide the same writing experience. This nib is considerably harder.
While the Diplomat Excellence pen can certainly be recommended, making sure you are pleased with your nib's performance is critical. I certainly would recommend buying from a store with a good return or exchange policy.
My personal ratings (Scale 1-10, where 10 is a maximum):
Manufacturing Fit and Tolerances: 10
Finish: 9 (lacks sophistication)
Reliability: 7 (skipping on some lines)
Writing: 8 (inconsistent nibs and some hard nibs)
Conclusion: The Diplomat Excellence is a high-quality work horse and an excellent choice for somebody who writes a lot, it is a very practical and reliable pen which performs well on a wide variety of papers.
Note: The images below reflect my working pens, these are not new and were purchased by myself years ago. No part of this review was sponsored.