Friday, February 4, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 322

I made several pen-shopping trips to Nikaido last Fall, and on one of those visits to their store, I was given a very nice fountain pen by Nikaido's owners---a Diplomat 'Magnum Soft Touch'  in "Prismatic Purple" !

(please click on images to enlarge)

The Diplomat 'Magnum Soft Touch' is a German-made resin fountain pen that's available in a wide variety of colours. This slender fountain pen measures 13.3 cm long capped, 15.1 cm posted, and 12.5 cm uncapped (nib tip to barrel end). It posts securely, and the snap cap does a good job of preventing the nib from drying out.

The pen weighs only 14 grams, so it's well-suited for long writing sessions. The long, upturned metal clip (which has "DIPLOMAT" engraved in tasteful block letters on it) is springy, and clips onto thicker clothing easily.

The "Prismatic Purple" material is a lovely, non-slip, lacquered resin with a matte finish. This iridescent mix of purple, pink, and dark blue hues is a Goulet Pens exclusive in the United States. According to the Goulet Pens webstore, the pen's packaging "... may say "John Doe" on the outer box label as this is how the color is known outside the US." (as weird as that sounds, it's true)

The #5 JoWo steel nib is engraved "Diplomat", "Magnum" and "M" (for Medium). The pen comes in Extra-Fine, Fine, Medium, and Broad nib widths, which was a nice surprise as most economy models don't offer EF and/or B nibs.  

The finish on my pen's nib is matte, but the pen's chrome trim is shiny. Years ago, I bought the same model in red, and it had a matte nib & matte trim. Apparently, Diplomat is gradually transitioning to polished steel nibs, so I wonder if they were using up their supply of matte nibs on pens with shiny trim?? Or perhaps the nib on mine was a replacement ?? No matter--the nib writes wonderfully. It has some feedback, but it's not toothy---a perfect balance for me. I didn't notice any flex with my nib, but I didn't expect any, based on the nib (a Fine) on my red pen...

Above: The pen's unusual fin-less black plastic feed...

The pen comes with a little lighthouse-shaped ink view window and takes both short and long international ink cartridges, as well as an international converter (shown above). Both the ink view window and barrel end are open, though, so the pen is not suitable for use as an eyedropper-filler.

The grip section is ergonomically designed - the section's three facets create a triangular grip that's comfortable to hold. The texture of the grip section (and the rest of the pen) feels really nice to the touch. All of these things --as well as its great nib--- make this pen one of my favourite daily users.

I did a quick comparison with the grip section of another ergonomically- designed fountain pen, the Lamy 'Safari', and found that the Diplomat’s triangular grip section is noticeably narrower, and it's not molded to prevent the user's fingers from slipping off the section like the Safari's is. This isn't meant to be a criticism, just an observation; I find both pens to be very comfortable to hold.

I love the three elongated diamond-shaped barrel facets and how they mirror the triangular grip section (I think the facets make the iridescence "pop", too :)

Above: The cap's finial, with the words "Diplomat" and "Germany" encircling the company's ink drop flower logo. Earlier versions of the pen (e.g. my red version) had finials that just said "Product of Germany" and "Diplomat" with no logo.

Canadian online retailer's price ($25 CAD) is the lowest online price I could find (taking into account the disparity between Canadian domestic and international shipping rates). I bought my red version of this pen several years ago at Nikaido, but I don't believe they sell this model any longer.

I think the pen is a very good deal at that price--it's well-made, reliable, and it has a great steel nib - one of my favourites, actually (in addition to Faber-Castell's). Diplomat
is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2022, and it's nice to see that this model is still being produced because it's a very good entry-level fountain pen. I do plan to buy more Diplomat fountain pens in the future --- they offer higher-end models as well ;) -- but I'm really enjoying this "Magnum Soft Touch". Many thanks to Joe and Sara of Nikaido for the pen! 😀

(photos & review by Maja)

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