Thursday, March 10, 2016

Review: Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren

Thanks to Appelboom Pennen for sending this pen for review! It has been given away on SBREBrown's page, but I still had a chance to write a review before it went out the door.
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (10)
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (13)
ABOUT

Body Material: Metal/Lacquer
Trim: Gold-plated
Cap: Click
Posts: Yes, friction
Nib material: Steel (14KT gold upgrade available)
Weight (all): 42 g
Weight (cap): 12 g
Weight (body): 30 g
Length Capped: 138.8 mm/5.46''
Length Uncapped: 129.1 mm/5.08''
Length Posted: 153.5 mm/6.04''
Barrel Diameter: 13.2 mm/0.52''
Section Diameter: 9.7 - 11.9 mm/0.38'' - 0.47''
Fill type: International cartridge/converter
Price: €130.00 (Without VAT: €107.44)
Where to buy:
Appelboom Use code 'friend' for 10% off!
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PACKAGING

Diplomat provides this pen as such: a white cardboard outer sleeve with the Diplomat logo in black is the first layer. Simple, straight forward. Inside, there is a lightweight box. The lid is a slide off aluminum lid, again with the Diplomat logo on it. It's very tidy so far. I like that it's light. It's a bit of an unusual design, but that's not a bad thing. The bottom tray is also pretty light. A linen paper covers the satiny bed the pen sits on. The pen is held in place by a white satin ribbon. The little bed can be removed. Under it all, there is a converter and the international Diplomat guarantee (five years!).
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (1)
Overall, clean and tidy packaging, but I don't care for it enough to feel like I need to keep it forever. At least it's not too big, but it's not unique or useful after you remove the pen. A common problem...
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (2)
APPEARANCE

The Excellence A in Evergreen GT is very pretty. It's a fairly large pen with a round body, tapering towards the back end. The end of the barrel is a flat, blunt end plug in gold trim with a small lip. The finial has the Diplomat logo, black-on-white, set in the gold trim of the clip. I like the shape of Diplomat's clip - they look classy, starting wide, and ending in a cute tear drop shape. The tear drop cut out in the end is a little fun.
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (3)
The center band is really nice, and I think it looks really good on this model both in terms of its design and colors. It's right on the end of the cap and it's a little raised. It's engraved with Diplomat Since 1922 Made in Germany. The cap and barrel are a gorgeous, deep green, metallic lacquer. They are glossy and are perfectly complemented by the warmth of the gold trim.
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (8)
The section is marked by a thin gold band. The plastic section itself is smooth, round, and black. It tapers slightly towards the nib and ends in a flared lip. There is a tiny space between the end of the black section and the flared lip, but it's not visible at a glance.
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (9)
I really like the shape of this pen and it looks well put together. The Evergreen is a beautiful color that makes me think of Christmas, Canada, and winter. I can almost smell the pine and sap in my head! Also, cookies.

NIB & PERFORMANCE

The fine steel nib is a large two-tone nib with a plastic feed. Upgrading to a 14KT gold nib is an option, should you wish. This nib has a single slit and no breather hole. It is engraved with Diplomat since 1922, F, and the flower logo. The engravings are nice and clean, and are perfectly aligned on the nib.
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (6)
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (14)
I flushed the pen before inking it up with the supplied converter. The fine is quite smooth - not extremely buttery or anything, but pleasantly so, and it isn't scratchy. It does not skip or hard start, even during long and/or fast writing sessions.
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (16)
The nib is firm and offers little line variation. It seems great for a daily carry/every day writer pen. The writing experience has been position since I got it, and aside from being a conservative, firm fine (where I would usually pick a juicy broad), I have nothing to complain about. So far, I have not had a negative experience with a steel nib from Diplomat. This is the fourth I have used and they have all performed reliably. Good stuff, pleasant writing experiences.

IN HAND

I really like this clip design, not only in terms of its appearance, but its function, too.I love how close to the cap the clip sits - it's snug and doesn't add too much width to the cap. It's a nice, springy clip with good tension. It slides on to papers, and into pen cases and pockets easily.

The section is comfortable - it's not too short, and the ridge at the end keeps my fingers off the nib. It's a little slick after use, but the ridge prevents complete slippage.

Unposted, the pen feels good. It has a good, usable weight, it's well-balanced, and it feels solid and robust. The barrel doesn't slip around in my grip. The cap can be posted by friction; it's snug and secure, and although it makes the pen feel heavier in hand, I do find it comfortable. It's a little top heavy, so my hand tired after awhile. It looks great when posted, too!
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (12)
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (11)
The size of the pen is just right - not oversized, not compact, not pocket-sized or tiny. It's a full-size pen, so I think it would be usable for most people, either unposted or posted.
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (4)
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (5)
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (7)
A simple addition I like a lot is the O-ring in the barrel-section joint. When you open and close the barrel to access the converter, you can feel a bit of resistance from the O-ring. The nice thing about it is the barrel doesn't unscrew from the section on its own, and it doesn't rattle around. It's a secure feeling.

PROS & CONS
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (17)
OVERALL
Review Diplomat Excellence A Evergreen GT Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren (15)
Although the pen is pricey over here in Europe, at least for a steel nib, cartridge/converter, metal body, it is well done. If you want a gold nib and/or piston-filler at this price or lower, you could find one (TWSBI Eco, Platinum PTL-5000, Lamy Studio, Lamy 2000, for example). The Excellence A isn't trying to be that, it's just offering you another option for a larger, solid, elegant pen. Diversity and choice, right? Without VAT, this pen becomes much more enticing!

I received this pen free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. There are no affiliate links in this review.

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