Appearance: The Diplomat Excellence B is a very classy looking pen. It is a pearlized white with silver trim and clip. The section is black.
Nib: The nib is stainless steel, etched with the Diplomat logo and the words “DIPLOMAT Since 1922 F.” The nib is connected to the section, so if for any reason you change nibs, you change the whole section piece with the nib, not just the nib itself. My nib often has nib creep, but that does not affect the performance of the pen at all.
Opening and Closing: This pen has a pull-off cap that removes easily. When capping the pen, the cap seals with a satisfying click and stays on securely.
Size/Weight: This pen is a good width, neither too skinny nor thick. It is comfortable for me to wrap my fingers around when writing, but someone with very large hands might find it small.
I find the pen to be well balanced and I prefer to write with it unposted because the pen’s body is slightly heavy for me, even though it is not really a heavy pen. It feels substantial in the hand. Despite the fact that the B’s weight is heavier than pens with which I normally write, I have comfortably written with this pen for several hours at a time.
Posting the cap requires a bit of pressure. If the cap is not pressed down enough to post properly, it will flop around and fall off, so I advise making sure it is on good.
Writing: Writing with the Excellence B is smooth and easy. Like I said, I have comfortably written with it for long periods of time.
Ink: This is a cartridge/converter pen and I have been using it with a converter. The flow is also quite wet on this model, which adds more shading to my ink — a feature I like. The ink used in the photo below is J. Herbin’s Vert Olive (a favorite!).
Other Considerations: Like the Diplomat Esteem I reviewed before, the Excellence B has not given my any problems with drying out after leaving the pen sit for a while. I actually had not used this pen for a couple of months while I was busy with other projects and it was still fresh when I picked it up again! I do not know of many pens that will maintain a good flow without drying out after several months.
The Box: The Excellence B’s box is also quite nice. It has a satin pillow patterned with the Diplomat logo and a little piece of ribbon to hold the pen in place. For some reason there is a bit of lint in there which does get on the pen, but is easily wiped off. Then the box comes with a metal top that slides over the main box and then fits in a regular Diplomat cardboard box.
Overall: Diplomat’s website at www.mydiplomatpen.com, accurately states their products are “Fine German Writing Instruments.” The Excellence B is one of the more expensive pens in the line, but it is one of my favorite modern fountain pens and I highly recommend it.