What a time it was when iron trusses were a stylistic element in architecture. The best-known example today is the Eiffel Tower. But zeppelins also have an iron framework inside.
And Diplomat has now launched a limited edition fountain pen that celebrates just that: the iron truss and the zeppelin.
The Diplomat company launched the Aero a few years ago. A fountain pen that reminded me, at least, of a Zeppelin. Now Diplomat is launching another fountain pen that reminds me of the Zeppelin. But not just any fountain pen. No. It's a strictly limited edition.
Diplomat is launching the Zepp. The name is already the first clue to zeppelins. The second clue is clearly the appearance.
Kindly, the Diplomat company provided me with the prototype of this limited edition for a review. So with this prototype, everything was tested again, and errors were searched for. A few small errors can be seen here on the prototype, and thus also on the pictures. But these are all fixed in the final version.
After this review, this prototype can only be found in Diplomat's own collection.
Viewing the Diplomat Zepp
To present this limited edition, Diplomat didn't go for the usual, quite nice, packaging. Something special was needed.
The actual box of the Diplomat Zepp is wrapped in tissue paper in a box made of sturdy cardboard. It is a black lacquered box. The lid is adorned with a recessed metal plate that fills the lid completely, except for one edge. Here we find the logo and lettering of Diplomat and the name “Zepp” as well as a hint that this is a limited edition. Right next to the name is a sketch of a zeppelin.
The metal plate has a large central and oval area that is pierced. This element is also reminiscent of a zeppelin.
When you open the box, which is held by a magnet, you will find well protected inside the noble interior the fountain pen, a warranty card, a few ink cartridges and a small booklet. In the booklet we find some very nice drawings and explanations about the theme and the background of the fountain pen.
This box already gives a very high quality feeling. The feel and also the acoustics when opening and closing simply give you a noble impression.
But now you (probably) don't buy this fountain pen to get this noble box. [1. if nevertheless, I take the then “superfluous” fountain pen gladly off. 😉 ]
The fountain pen has the classic Zepellin shape. But not only that, the matte aluminum used to make the barrel and cap give the impression of a Zeppelin. We also have a polygonal body here, as it was back then due to the metal frame, which was only covered with fabric.
In the version I have here, the end of the barrel and the clip are made in a gold lattice structure. This compliments the look. The clip in particular, when held correctly, is somewhat reminiscent of the gondolas attached to zeppelins.
What's missing from a zeppelin? The tail unit. But this can be dispensed with very well, in the sense of good usability as a pen. The reference is clear enough as it is.
As already mentioned, the barrel and the cap are made of aluminum, which is matted. The pen thus feels very valuable and stable. The golden truss is supposed to remind of the iron truss buildings around 1900, like quite a few bridges and towers (like the Eiffel Tower). It is made in brass and then gilded by a gilder.
Overall, this pen is completely assembled by hand at the Diplomat Manufaktur in Cunewalde, Saxony.
The cap tip is gold in color and features the Diplomat logo in relief. It merges directly into the spring-loaded clip. The end of the barrel, also decorated with latticework, is staggered. The truss has three different lengths.
Removing the screwed cap reveals the large 14 karat bicolor gold nib. The grip piece here is also made of aluminum.
Since we are dealing with a cartridge fountain pen, not only is a converter included, but we can also unscrew the pen a little further. Here, the thread for opening the barrel is more coarsely designed and is equipped with a sealing ring. The most important function of this rubber ring should certainly be to prevent accidental unscrewing of the barrel. And this works very well. In addition, of course, the rubber ring also protects against accidental leakage if you have not inserted the cartridge or the converter correctly.
By the way, the cap cannot be posted. It fits over the barrel, but cannot be firmly seated.
The Zepp in the hand
When you hold the Zepp in your hand, it feels very valuable. This is also true for the grip. The matte aluminum fits well in the hand without slipping.
The weight distribution is also very pleasant. We do not have the complete weight on one of the ends here, it is well distributed over the entire pen.
The length is sufficient for large hands. Since you can not put the cap on the barrel, you have to settle for the normal length. This pen is long enough, so it is easily sufficient. However, due to the shape, the pen should be very comfortable for smaller hands as well.
The nib writes very pleasantly. It glides easily over the paper without scratching. The ink flow is good and without dropouts. A B-nib is installed in the test sample I have. With this nib, line variations are possible. Should this nib, as is often the case with gold nibs, become a bit more flexible over time, this will only be an additional enrichment. Because already now the nib writes very well.
My impression of the Diplomat Zepp – Limited Edition
The Diplomat Zepp is a writing instrument that will certainly not please everyone. That's actually the case with everything. But especially this variant with matte aluminum and gold naturally provides an eye-catching effect.
You have to like this pen.
I was a little skeptical at first. Large gold ornaments are usually not my taste. But here I have fallen, in the short time the Zepp is here, a in love with this design a little. The design is still available in a chrome variant. The gold is replaced by chrome. At first, I would have said that I liked the chrome version better. In the meantime, I have to say: the gold version has that certain touch. I would now miss that in the Chrome version. Not that this is bad. Absolutely not. But in these days, I really like the gold version more. I would not have thought.
The overall design is of course not for everyone. The shape itself probably is, but then this framework can certainly scare off some. Sure. But it also shows the skill of Diplomat. Because the framework is really very well executed. Very accurate openings, stable skeleton construction. It really is a nice throwback to the iron truss buildings that are seen less and less these days.
The solution with the rubber ring is also very nice. This does a very good job of preventing accidental unscrewing, as it makes the thread a little more sluggish. You also prevent leakage, but that should be rather secondary.
One point that could be criticized if you want: the cap can be placed in three different approaches to the shaft end. Since the shaft end is staggered, this is actually noticeable here. But it is probably, if at all, only extremely rarely noticeable. It is not so bad.
What is missing on this prototype is a serial number. Intentionally. The final versions have a serial number engraved on the cap. This can then be found under the clip. Very nice placement. Visible if you want, but not disturbing. Some thought has gone into this.
Who wants to buy this fountain pen should of course not wait too long. The Diplomat Zepp is strictly limited, and with over 1,000 euros also not the cheapest writing instrument. But in my opinion, the pen is well worth the money.
Many thanks to Diplomat for providing me with this pen for the review here on the blog and on YouTube.
- complete 51 g
- without cap: 32 g
- cap: 19 g
- cap: 16.7 mm
- barrel: 16.7 mm
- section: 11 mm
- closed: 15.6 cm
- open: 14.1 cm
- posted: –
Cap: screw cap
Type: cartridge / converter
There is also a video review of this fountain pen on YouTube from me in the channel. Just have a look.
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