Fountain Pen Review: Diplomat Excellence A, Rhombus Guilloch Lapis in Black

Review by Laura Cameron

A few weeks ago, Ana told me she had a pen for review that she thought I would like.  She brought me the Diplomat Excellence A, Rhombus Guilloch Lapis Black Fountain Pen ($225MSRP).  I’m not going to lie; when I first saw the pen I thought “now THAT is a fountain pen!”

When I received the pen, it was truly like opening a present.  The pen comes in a white cardboard box bearing the Diplomat logo. Once “unboxed”, there is a metal sleeve that slides aside to reveal the gorgeous pen sitting on white satin, again with the logo.

The Diplomat pen body is an all-metal casing with a multi-layered lacquer finish and laser engraving.  The nib is a fine steel nib and bears the Diplomat logo.  The postable cap is a screw cap, and the very top of the cap also bears the Diplomat logo as well.

One of the reasons Ana thought I might like to review the pen is because of its weight.  This is a metal pen and has a very pleasing heaviness to it.  The body itself, with converter filled, weighs 29gms and, with the cap, it weighs 45gms.  While the cap is postable, I found that posting the cap made the back end of the pen fairly top heavy, so I preferred not to post it.

This pen was a joy to write with.  The ink filled quickly and the pen itself wrote very smoothly.  The fine nib is more of a Western fine, so not as fine as a Japanese nib, but still very nice.  I really enjoyed the quantity of ink that the pen put down; it gave excellent coverage without being too wet.  I was able to test this pen on both the Crossfield Journal and Field Notes Byline and it performed very well.

To be honest, my favorite thing about this beautiful pen is the thought put into all the little touches, specifically the aesthetically pleasing logo tying all the elements of the pen together. They are executed in a way that isn’t fussy, but really lend an air of elegance to this pen.

The great news for you is that this pen was generously sent to “the Desk” for a giveaway – one of you lucky readers will get to keep this pen!

THE GIVEAWAY: We are giving away this very Diplomat Excellence A Rhombus Guilloch in black with a steel fine nib. This is a tester model so it has been inked and tested here at The Desk but will be cleaned, re-boxed and shipped directly to you in like-new condition.

Please leave a comment below and tell us what ink you’d put in the Excellence A Rhombus Guilloch in black for your first fill?

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Saturday, September 16, 2017. All entries must be submitted at, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Saturday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. We will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 10 days, we will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping via USPS Priority Mail is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will  be paid by the winner upon request. We are generous but we’re not made of money. US residents/APO only.

Laura is a tech editor, podcaster, knitter, spinner and recent pen addict. You can learn more about her knitting and tea adventures on her website, The Corner of Knit & Tea and can find her on Instagram as Fluffykira.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to us free of charge by Points of Distinction, the US distributor of Diplomat Pens, for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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  1. Ooohh, it has such a staid professional feel, that I absolutely need something fun. I’m thinking something pink and shady like Noodler’s Cactus Fruit.

  2. Ooh, I’m drooling over here! That’s gorgeous! I’d probably splurge on the Platinum Classic Lavender Black ink (though I’d be sure to clean the pen frequently!).

  3. What a beautiful pen! I just ordered a bottle of Papier Plume’s Calle Real from their New Orlean’s Collection of fountain pen inks and I think that would be the ink I would first use in this pen. I love the blue color and I think this would make a perfect daily writer for blue ink.

  4. What a beautiful, elegant pen. Thank you for offering this giveaway. I thought about a gray-black ink as the first fill, but then I saw Noodler’s Apache Sunset. Oh my! That would be my first fill in honor of October, Halloween and Autumn. Good luck to all.

  5. Beautiful.

    I’d have this be my dedicated black-ink pen, filling it with Noodler’s Old Manhattan black.

    Thanks for the chance!

  6. For me it would have to be the Montblanc for UNICEF as that is my nominated charity for the year .
    As for the pen a dream

  7. I would try Noodler’s Bad Black Moccasin. I haven’t used black ink much, but it seems to be a natural for this pen. I would like to explore the Noodler’s blacks.

  8. ‘Tis a thing of beauty! Wow! My immediate thought was a true-black, but I think I’d toy with the pen’s elegance a bit and let it flow with Callifolio Equinoxe 5. I think the combination would be very dapper!

  9. Nice looking pen! I would fill it with Sailor Irori ink and have a great time writing.

    Thank you for this giveaway!

  10. what a beauty! Thanks for the chance to win. First ink would have to be something surprising, like Akkerman #16 Orange Bovin or a bright red of some level (new purchase needed!).

  11. I think it would be quite suitable to use the Diamine Sepia ink in it. I chose this ink because I love the subtlety of brown ink and it’s also September! This sepia ink is a bit orange and yellowish.

  12. That is a lovely looking pen! I love that the grid is printed onto the pen cap and barrel instead of being engraved. It looks like the ink flows freely without blobbing or dripping.
    At 45gms, I doubt that I would post the cap either. No one needs hand fatigue.
    I was a bit concerned on the fine nib, it seems I never do well with the Japanese fine nibs, but the western nib sounds intriguing and fun to try!
    I hope your friend got the info she needed from your wonderful review.

  13. I just got a bottle of R.O. melon tea and I have been looking for the right pen to test it. This one would work beautifully, I think.

    And thanks for another great giveaway.

  14. What a horse of a pen! But gorgeous.

    I think I’d put black ink in it, but then to shake things up, I’d fill it with Noodler’s Black Swan, deep red with a touch of black. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  15. That’s a pretty sharp looking pen! I think I’d have to try some of the new Platinum Classic Citrus Black ink. Would be a pretty cool combo!

  16. I would only use vegan, organic, locally-sourced, sustainably produced ink in this pen, made with archival vegetable dye. I say this not to be snarky, but because I am a pen novice & do not know m inks. But I assume that, like everything, vegan, organic, locally-sourced, sustainably produced ink is the BEST ink.

  17. Such a beautiful pen deserves a delicate, complex ink, don’t you agree? I think I’d go with J. Herbin’s Poussière de Lune.

  18. Although I suspect a black pen will match with any number of colors I think my first fill would be Caran d ache Ultra Violet.

  19. I would put Organics Studio Walden Pond this juicy writer. The ink will partner well because it has monsterous sheen.

  20. Oooh, lovely pen! My current favorite ink is de Atramentis Johann Sebastian Bach, a delicious dark brown with almost a port wine undertone.

  21. I think I’d fill it with the bottle of Organic Studios Walden Pond that should be arriving tomorrow….

  22. Lovely looking pen. I don’t worry about matching inks to pens so I would simply put in my favourite Bad Belted Kingfisher.

  23. I would first fill with Bung Box First Love Sapphire. I think the rich color would match the style of the pen.

  24. Oh man that is a tall dark suit of a pen! I would fill it with Pilot Iroshizuku Kiri-same which is such a classy grey it would be perfect!

  25. Diplomat make excellent pens, especially this Excellence A Plus! I would fill it with Waterman Serenity Blue, which is my ink of choice for all of my better pens.

  26. I really like the graphic look and that clip is great on Diplomats. I think I’d ink it with Diamine Aqua Blue.

  27. My, what a lovely pen!

    I would probably fill it with Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Budo, as purple and black is my favorite color combination 🙂

  28. I would definitely go with J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune for my first fill. Beautiful ink to pair with a beautiful pen!

  29. I have a bottle of Rohrer & Klingner Leipziger-Schwarz coming in at some point. Seems a fitting choice.

  30. I’m fairly new to the fountain pen game, but I think I deep, dark black would look gorgeous coming out of that pen. Thanks!

  31. Just one observation from an international follower to the site (with respect to giveaways): If US residents are allowed to pay for optional shipping and insurance options in the giveaways, who not open it up to everyone on the caveat that an international winner would have to pay for shipping? Just curious.

  32. I would put the “diamine black current” I think is what it’s called. It’s a deep purple ink with a pleasant scent.

  33. Papier Plume Garden District Azalea. The contrast between pen and ink, heavy and light, would be fun.

  34. I gravitate to dark pens and I like how the rhombus pattern decorates the pen but still keeps it conservative. A fitting first ink would be Sailor Kiwa-Guro.

  35. I’m thinking Noodlers Dark Matter if I’m feeling serious, or General of the Armies if I’m militant.

  36. Thanks for the review and giveaway! I would fill it with Aurora Blue/Black. It would be a nice fit with this pen.

  37. What ink, that’s a big decision! I picked up around 10 new inks from the SF Pen Show a short while back, and I have only used 3 of them so far. With that, I’d have to say that I’d try out either the Visconti Green, or Diamine Red Dragon (loved the look of Red Dragon when I was able to test it out at the show).

  38. What a beauty! I have a bottle of Nemosine Coalback Nebula Twinkle for certain! Thanks for the generous giveaway from the sponsors and your awesome review.

  39. Wow, another giveaway, and for a gorgeous pen! Too generous.

    I’d ink this beautiful pen with an equally beautiful ink, Robert Oster Fire and Ice.

  40. I’d first fill it with Bookbinders Snake Ink Ground Rattler. What a lovely shade of purple, and just different enough to be distinctive rather than crazy in a business environment. In fact I think I’d keep filling it with that ink.

  41. That pen is screaming for Robert Oster’s Tranquility! Fingers crossed that the RNG gods smile upon me!

  42. Such a smart looking pen. So many fine inks. I’d love to try either the diamine night sky, or pilots kon-peki.

  43. A fill of Herbin Violette Penssee is a great introduction to the world of distinctive writing. My first fine fountain pen was a Diplomat that I wrote out wedding announcements with, on the train to Niagra Falls on February 29, 1980. I use it every anniversary to write a love letter to my wife we are still adventuring together and the Diplomat is a great punctuation point.

  44. I would use Noodler’s Blue Ghost, because I’ve watched people use it and it was the most serene sight I’ve ever watched.

  45. I would be filing that with Pilot Iroshizuku Syo-Ro, dew on pine tree.

    This is an incredibly generous offer for a giveaway, thank you!

  46. I would fill this pen with Kobe #8, Arima Amber because it seems like a festive fall color that would carry well in October and Halloween season.

  47. I have a bottle of Diamine Oxford Blue that is perfectly suited to this pen. I’d fill it and write for hours!

  48. Id make this sexy pen my daily all day work horse pen and fill it with a noodlers dark matter ink and let the pen make the ink better all on its own.

  49. Being a lefty, I have my sturdy Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts to fill it with. If that doesn’t suit me, it at least gives me an excuse to get some new ink haha!

  50. I originally said I’d use Oster’s Moss, but I just got a sample of Kyoto Kokeira and I think it would look awesome with this pen!

  51. I just got in some diamine oxblood, and was going to use it this weekend but i think i will wait and see if I can use it in an awesome new pen!

  52. Ooh…so many inks…and I don’t yet own enough pens…anyhow, Platinum Citrus Black to begin with… Such a beautiful pen deserves an equally stunning and striking ink flowing from it!

    Thank you for such a wonderful opportunity!

  53. Parker Quink, black.

    First, because that’s a classic looking pen, and needs a classic ink.

    Second, I’m away from my ink stash for a few more days and that’s the only name I remember that I’m sure I can spell correctly.

  54. I Wohle fill in the Iroshizuku Yama-Budo, as it is a noble color which fits to the pen, business and shows a different thinking

  55. I think I would fill it with Diamine Oxblood. For whatever reason it seems like it would suit the pen well. Thanks for the chance.

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