When a company has been around as long as Diplomat Pens, almost a century, they have many fans and collectors. For those who love the beauty of a fine pen, Diplomat's clean lines and great feel in hand are an outstanding option. The German company has been using top of the line crafting techniques for decades, and they've become masters of their art. Each pen is made and tested by hand because Diplomat believes nothing can replace the human touch. Everyone has their favorites, but we've compiled a list of the top ten Diplomat pens of all time.
10. First Pens
While Diplomat wasn't the first company to make pens, we're going to credit their first pens for the achievement that they were. Most longstanding companies keep exhaustive archives and love to talk about their accomplishments. Diplomat is the exception to that rule, so the first pens they ever made are without names. In 1922 Carl Räuchle opened a workshop to turn fountain pens. The first pen or pens a company makes are always special, so despite the difficulty of finding any information on them, we'll credit the 1922 Diplomat Fountain Pens as some of their best work.
9. Diplomats of the 1950s- The Ball Point Pen
Between 1950 and 1958 Diplomat made tow more major advances in their technology. As one of the first German companies to debut a ballpoint pen, we are giving a second slot to a nameless pen. It's commitment to quality only matches the modesty of this company. By 1958 they had also introduced the first cartridge filler. While that isn't a pen by itself, we're going to give the Diplomats of the 1950s a spot on the list among their all-time accomplishments.
8. Excellence A²- Oxyd Iron Fountain Pen
The Oxyd pens are absolutely classic in every sense. You might expect to see one of these in any pocket, or on any desk whether it's in a black and white film or an HD hologram streaming live from the other side of the world. Everything about these sleek and unpretentious pens from the Oxyd iron to the exclusive closing system is timeless. They'll never be called a showstopper or a crown jewel, but you can bet they get the job done without any of the fanfare they deserve.
7. Esteem Lapis Blue
The Esteem Lapis Blue comes in a lovely hinged box of brushed chrome. In fact, all of Diplomats' pens come in nice boxes. The Esteem is a lovely, smooth full sized pen with everything you might want in an everyday writing pen. The vivid blue of the lacquer over the nicely curved and tapered body gives a great feel in the hand. The rimless cap fits perfectly flush against the barrel when capped.
6. Excellence A Guilloche Stripes Chrome
While most of Diplomat's pens are known for their beautiful simplicity, the Guilloch Stripes Chrome is downright ornate. At least by Diplomat standards, the geometric pattern on the body of the Guilloch is far more complex than most of its brethren. Like all the companies pens, it comes with a steel and gold nib that bears the company logo. The Diplomat logo is reminiscent of a flower and often adds the only touch of pattern on many of their pens, but here it's secondary to the lovely delicate barrel work.
5. Traveler Flame
Travelers are available in several lovely color stories, but our favorite is the Flame which is quite literally colored by applying fire to the barrel. The outstanding and unique shades of fire-touched-metal draw attention without overwhelming the senses. This pen sings rather than screaming at the eye.
4. Magnum Prismatic Purple
As you might have guessed, it's the color of this pen that makes it singular. The barrel uses a metallic indigo and violet treatment to give it the look of niobium. It's the perfect starter pen for a new collector or writer. We can't say enough good things about the stunning color choice, a divergence from the more traditional shades used by Diplomat.
3. Optimist Rhombus
This is another of the detailed pens from Diplomat. The pleasing etched design couples with a dark background for an overall delightful pen. All of the Diplomats write well and feel outstanding in the hand, but it's the delicate and careful handcrafted additions that really stand out.
2. Balance B RB white
We're a little sad that this stylish and unique pen has been discontinued. The Balance B RB certainly lives up to its name. The beautifully balanced visual dynamic of this pen is delightful to look at, and all Diplomat pens are well-balanced works of art and craftsmanship. The concave design that becomes gently slimmer toward the center fits well in your hand and combines with a unique clip to give a symmetry reminiscent of the Art Nouveau era architecture found in the US.
1. Spacetec- Zero Gravity Black
A pen that can write literally anywhere is perhaps the most useful pen you could ever have. While a Caran d'Ache might be more famous, it's essentially an expensive stick if it freezes, or melts. You can't write upside down with most pens. The Diplomat Zero Gravity Black is one of the pens used by NASA. We like the black version because it stands out more than it's silver sibling. For their insights into the future, we commend Diplomat and hope they're still around in another century to see their pens writing in extreme conditions on colonies beyond the Earth.
If you're looking for a perfect pen for a loved one or business associate, the entire Diplomat collection is a great place to find it. They pride themselves on the hand-crafted work of their artisans, and you won't find a better pen in this price range. Diplomat isn't the most celebrated or talked about company, and they aren't braggarts, but what they do is consistently make outstanding products. Every collection should have a Diplomat.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson