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Pen Review: Diplomat Esteem MadC Art 01 Fountain Pen

  • October 19, 2020
  • Yugo

Diplomat Esteem MadC Art 01 Fountain Pen Review

Earlier in the year, Diplomat announced a limited edition pen from their Esteem series, called the “Esteem MadC”, a partnership with German Graffiti artist MadC. The series features two different canvases, “Art 01”, and “Art 02” and feature both ballpoint and fountain pens, with the fountain pen retailing at around $160 CAD. After a few weeks with the Diplomat MadC Art 01 Fountain pen, and countless pages written, there are many qualities to go over.

The Backstory

MadC Art 01 Canvas

The Art 01 Canvas

German Brand “Diplomat” has always blended the association between penmanship and art. Their collaboration with MadC was motivated by her creation of colorful universes, inspired by ancestral calligraphy techniques; furthermore, MadC grew up close to Cunewalde, the city where Diplomat manufactures its pens. The Art 01 series features designs from her Art 01 canvas, with each pen taking upon a different part of the canvas. As a result, the pen that you have may differ from one of your friends. Giving the pen an overall unique style.

MadC, born Claudia Walde, is a graffiti writer and muralist. Her canvases are exhibited in solo and group shows all across the world; furthermore, her connection to the streets is demonstrated in the many murals she paints worldwide. MadC’s style is rooted in graffiti, leading to radiantly colored calligraphic pieces. Her unique use of color, layering, and composition pair up perfectly with the spontaneous style of calligraphy.

You can see more of MadC’s works on Instagram.

The Design

Diplomat MadC Art 01

Upon setting my first sights on the pen design, I fell in love and really wanted to test out this pen. While Diplomat is known for its bulky all-metal style of pens, the Esteem MadC does not follow suit. The vibrant colors of the Art 01 canvas pair up beautifully with the pen body. While the grip is plastic, which may deter some enthusiasts, I did not notice the difference from other pens with metal grips. The pen uses standard international cartridges but does not come with a converter. This was a bit disappointing because I wanted to try out some new inks. I would like to note that the standard international cartridges and converters hold less ink than Lamy cartridges, but that was not a major issue for me.

The Cap

As my fountain pen ink collection grew, I was not really inclined to use the cartridge that came with the pen. I resorted to dipping the pen in various inks. The cap did a fantastic job ensuring the ink did not dry out. It fits nicely onto the pen and the stainless steel material ensures a tight fit. My favorite quality about the design is how the cap incorporates the canvas, and how the different brush strokes transition from the body to the cap. Something about the design transitioning from the barrel to the cap is extremely satisfying. Diplomat ensured that the cap would be functional, practical, and overall appealing to look at.

The Nib

Diplomat pen nib

Diplomat uses a polished steel JoWo nib. For this review, I chose a fine nib. Compared to the TWSBI Diamond 580 AL R and the Lamy Studio, the pen wrote smoother than the TWSBI but not as smooth as the Lamy. The writing was smooth, with no blotches, and limited skips. Since I was dipping the pen in ink, not once did the ink drip onto the paper, and the ink lasted for a long time.

When writing, I noticed that the Diplomat exhibited the “Goldilocks Effect.” I enjoyed the Lamy for its smoothness, but there were drawbacks for precise writing, such as equations. On the other hand, the TWSBI was great for equations but wasn’t smooth when I wanted it to be, ultimately leading to me alternating between the two pens based on functions. The MadC was just right, I was able to get the best of both worlds. I could write for long amounts of time and enjoy the smoothness, but could also write fine equations when needed.

The Feel

Diplomat MadC Art 01

While most Diplomat pens are bulky, as stated earlier, this is not the case for the Esteem MadC. At first, I was disappointed by the plastic grip; however, after using it, I did not notice much of a difference. The pen rests easily in my hand, and my thumb and pointer had ample space to rest easily on the grip. Overall, I really enjoyed the feel of the pen, and my writing experience improved due to the design of the pen.

The Writing

Maruman Mnemosyne notebook

For this review, I started off writing on Five-star paper. Quickly, I realized that this was similar to driving a sports car in traffic, and transitioned to Maruman Mnemosyne paper. I used the Noodler’s Ink Black Swan English Roses. The pen wrote beautifully on the Japanese stationery paper, and the ink was flowing beautifully. I had no skips or blotches and was able to write for hours-on-end. The pen balanced well, and as stated previously, the JoWo nib was extremely satisfactory. Overall, as I spent more time writing, my perception of this pen only increased.

Diplomat Esteem MadC Art01 Fountain Pen: Final Verdict

Noodlers ink english swan black roses

The Diplomat Esteem MadC Fountain Pen was the pen I was the most excited to try out in my short history of blogging, and it lived up to the hype. While this was the most expensive pen I’ve tested, I strongly believe the price point of $159.00 is worth it. The canvas-style design is beautiful, the nib writes extremely smoothly, and the pen rests easily in your hand. The Esteem MadC is a must-add to your collection. Collaborations like these do not happen often, so it is best to take advantage of them while you can. Purchase a wide variety of fountain pens, inks, and more online or in-store at Buchan’s Kerrisdale Stationery in Vancouver, Canada. As always, thank you for reading and we will see you in the next post.

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