Denik Brown Classic Notebook

10 11 2016

Even in my wildest hipster fever dreams, I would never come up with a collection of designs I want so much as nearly every notebook in the Denik collection of notebooks. They’re impossibly cool.

I am not cool enough for this notebook. A friend had to take this picture for me, while I hid in shame

I am not cool enough for this notebook. A friend had to take this picture for me, while I hid in shame

First a little about Denik as a brand, because we’re reaching the point in our reckless consumeristic acquisition where the first twinges of guilt appear at all the money spent with no good done, and the best way to assuage that feeling is to combine unchanged consumer behaviors with responsible companies that will somewhat redirect our funds for benevolent ends.

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I wrote this up several days ago, in case you were wondering if my saltiness were a recent development

Which is to say, when you buy a Denik notebook, it benefits not just you and Denik, but also the artists who designed the notebook, and communities in third world countries where some of the proceeds from notebook sales are going toward building schools. In 2015 they dedicated the Denik Middle School in Zambougou, Mali; with Pencils of Promise, they are currently working and preparing for the construction of a school in Guatemala which will start spring of 2017; and currently a portion of sales are going toward building a new school in Laos, which is 55% funded and set to be completely funded by the end of the year. Education is a splendid thing.

I like my notebooks like I like my economic future, on the rocks

I like my notebooks like I like my economic future, on the rocks

Back to the artists, they receive a royalty payment for their work, and get prominent billing inside the notebook and on the product pages online. If you like a particular notebook design, you will know who came up with it, and be able to find and support more of that artist’s work. Heck, you can even interact with them through social media. Is @khousdesign her Twitter handle, or Instagram, or both? Should I research the answer, or JUST TWEET BLINDLY?!

The answer is either B, or C: Forget the premise entirely. Yes, C. Who even uses Twitter anymore.

The answer is either B, or C: Forget the premise entirely. Yes, C. Who even uses Twitter anymore.

This notebook specifically that I received to review is the Brown Classic. It’s handcrafted (“meaning physical hands are touching the notebooks and helping to put them together. But automotive technology also helps put the notebooks together”) with leatherlike brown polyurethane and herringbone fabric, and a red ribbon bookmark for a pop of color. The whole notebook looks like the spirit of autumn called forth and captured in hardcover form. I’m not going to imply causation between the arrival of this notebook in my life and the temperature finally breaking out of sweltering summer digits, but I can’t entirely rule it out. Did warm brown boots spring forth onto my feet as I picked the notebook up? Did a scarf begin to grow out of my neck and artfully arrange itself over a tasteful fall bomber jacket? Who can say?

With enough spiked fall beverages, anything is possible

With enough spiked fall beverages, anything is possible

The paper (125 pages, paper of 70 lb weight) isn’t perfect, as my tests show some minor instances of bleedthrough, showthrough, and in some instances fuzzing or feathering, but it’s not a lost cause for the fountain pen world. Use medium nibs or finer with the right inks (such as Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa, which I love), just experiment a little and I’m confident you can easily find a combination that will work for you. Naturally ballpoints, regular gel pens (the Sakura Gelly Roll is most certainly not a normal gel pen), and pens like the Sakura Pigma Micron work just wonderfully. Rollerballs may take some of the same experimenting as fountain pens; my Retro 51 Tornado had a bit of fuzzing and near bleedthrough.

If it weren't for Adobe Photoshop's auto levels, all these pictures would have been a disconcerting near-dawn blue

If it weren’t for Adobe Photoshop’s auto levels, all these pictures would have been a disconcerting near-dawn blue

At $24.95, the Brown Classic Hardcover notebook is reasonably priced for both what you get and what you’re supporting. Considering the list price of a comparably sized Moleskine notebook is $19.95, and they are the epitome of everything that is wrong in the world of notebooks, I think the Denik notebook is at a perfect price point. Good people, good brand, good notebook.

Brown Classic Hardcover Notebook – Denik.com

Denik’s Artists

Denik on Instagram

 

 

(Pencils.com in collaboration with Denik provided this product at no charge for reviewing purposes–opinions entirely my own)

 





Galen Leather Goods – Leather Pocket Moleskine Journal Cover – Purple

29 10 2016

Now for the second item from Galen Leather Goods: a rich purple leather notebook holder for pocket size Moleskine style notebooks. Since I’ve already covered the generalities of Galen Leather Goods and their excellent product packaging, I’ll summarize:

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Nice box. Nice band. Nice notes inside. Nice evil eye included.

Cool stuff.

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Brace yourselves for the blinding joy that is pictures taken of objects in direct sunlight

On to the particulars of this leather good. Designed to fit pocket size notebooks, this cover has a total of 3 pockets, a card holder, a pen loop, and a thick elastic band to hold the notebook in place and wrap around the whole contraption. The leather is thick and beautifully dyed, neatly hand-stitched with burnished edges.

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Me and this pocket situation have had some words

I’m pleased that this cutout was done on the edge to neatly fit the leather band that connects to the pen loop, but overall the functionality of this pocket structure eludes me. An iPhone 6 is a tight fit for the pocket, and only then if it has no case on. With a phone in the pocket, I can’t get a card in the card slot. The phone isn’t in any way usable in the pocket, so why put it there? What do you put in this pocket? I originally thought I didn’t have any notebooks slim enough/small enough to fit. So I purchased from Goulet Pens some of these impossibly tiny Apica notebooks, which are quite perfect for this pocket and boast fairly fountain pen friendly paper, if you need a small place to jot notes. And of course, after having made this purchase I realized that the little 48 page 3×4.7in Rhodia side-staple bound notebooks also fit. The Apica notebooks fit a smidge better, but both fit. Otherwise what fits here? Receipts? But why carry receipts in here? Maybe some sticker sheets? I’m confident that on the larger formats of this notebook holder that this is a useful and usable pocket, but on the pocket size, it’s much more of a challenge.

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This is what the notebook holder looks like held inside out. Valuable knowledge

The two pockets underneath, however, are perfectly sized to hold a passport or a Field Notes sized pocket notebook. Perfect usability here, no creative thinking required, no complaints.

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Small elastic, big function. Neat picture composition, needlessly high saturation? Too late, post is made.

The pen loop is a good size, with satisfying elasticity and grip to it. It’s holding onto one of my clipless Vanishing Points just fine as I write this. I’m not going to test how well it holds the pen were I to drop the whole thing on the ground, but shaking it around vigorously is no issue.

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Someone remind me in a few years to evaluate how this elastic is holding up

The positioning of the outer closing elastic is a consequence of where the elastic needs to be to hold notebooks in on the inside. The direction of use is counterintuitive—in every other notebook of my life, the elastic comes around on the opening side, which is almost exclusively going to be the right hand side. But here, to close the notebook holder you have to pull the elastic around from the spine side, aka the left-hand side (if you pull it around the right-hand side it is incredibly difficult and will probably contribute to an early death of said elastic). The elastic is secure and holds everything firmly in place, it’s just odd. There also isn’t a heck of a lot of stretch in the elastic right now, so it takes a little bit of strength moving in the opposite way of what you would normally…an altogether backward experience.

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Not bad. Just backward.

This product took me significantly longer to review because I spent so much time trying to find the right notebook to put in it. Rhodia webnotebooks fit, but just seem a little too thick. Moleskine notebooks are perfect, but the paper is awful. The Leuchtturm1917 is a bit tall–it fits, but I worry it may create a strain on the elastic over time. The back cover of a Field Notes-style pocket notebook is too thin for the elastic to hold it in place. I found a soft-cover Leuchtturm1917 that fit pretty nicely, but I still wasn’t entirely satisfied that this was how to fit this product into my life. For a while I kept a Moleskine Pocket Sketchbook occupying the position of honor, which I liked but was still not entirely satisfied with due to the peculiarities of Moleskine sketchbook paper. Watercolor paper would be better, but the Moleskine Watercolor Pocket Sketchbooks are bound along the short edge, and not compatible with this holder. If anyone knows of a nice Moleskine-style hardcover pocket notebook of sketch  or watercolor paper, bound along the long edge, please let me know! Currently I’ve switched back to a Leuchtturm1917 hardcover to use as a bullet journal, but it still doesn’t quite feel perfect.

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Perfection is a state of mind. And an arrangement of notebooks

I can see a rather specific configuration that would perfectly suit this setup as a mini portfolio, and if I could travel back in time to when I studied abroad I’d love it: notebook is a Moleskine Cities Notebook. Passport underneath that. Small Apica notebook for random notes. Small Field Notes style blank notebook under that to draw in. Pen of choice in the pen loop. Vaporetto pass tucked in the card pocket?! WINNING AT LIFE!

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I could still make it happen. My passport’s still good. How much do you think the maps of Venice would have changed in the past…8 years?

If you really love Moleskine pocket notebooks and want a nice leather holder, this is a winner. And you can still have a perfectly good experience with other pocket notebooks in this holder. But overall, I’d recommend getting a larger size, like the A5 Galen Leather notebook holder, for a much more easily usable product.

 

Leather Pocket Moleskine Journal Cover – Purple

 

A Handful of Reviews for the A5 Notebook Holder:

Ed Jelley

The Gadgeteer

The Pencilcase Blog

 

(Galen Leather Goods provided this product at no charge for reviewing purposes–opinions entirely my own)





Pilot Guilloche Vanishing Point (2016 Limited Edition)

6 10 2016

As long as Pilot keeps coming out with limited editions that I like, we’ll make this particular mini review a yearly tradition. The design isn’t as flashy as last year, but the ombre fade of the Twilight Limited Edition would have been hard to beat. Taking a different direction entirely was probably the best choice.

This year will focus on a complete lack of color altogether


Again, as in at least the past 3 years, the limited edition comes in this honking big box. The details on the box match the pen design, this year being black with guilloche pattern imprint. On to the main attraction:

Cue either seductive music or carnival music, depending on how the phrase “main attraction” has you feeling


Because I intended to make this VP a daily use pen, the clip had to go. I tried using it with the clip on for about half a day, and it just wasn’t working out. Once I wiggled the nose cone off, I was surprised to see something slightly different than what has heretofore been beneath modern VP nose cones.

See the difference. Dare to compare. What conspiracy have I uncovered?


This is the only limited edition VP that I’ve clipectomized so far. Is this a limited edition thing, or is this a change in Pilot’s Vanishing Point design thing? Too soon to tell, but if this is permanent, I may change my clipless VP decorating game plan.

Gentle lighting brought to you by the only sun-facing window in my house, conveniently located next to the red dog bed


I love the guilloche pattern. It’s like my pen is wearing a sweater. The texture provides excellent gripability and makes it more visually interesting than some simple black. The standard limited edition comes with a medium rhodium-plated 18k gold nib, but I got mine from my local pen store with the black-ionized 18k gold nib in fine, for maximum cool factor. Sunglasses are sprouting from my eye sockets as we speak.

It hurts but that is the price you pay to be ineffably cool


I highly doubt the Guilloche will be as sought-after or worth as much money as the 2015 limited edition, but 2015 was unexpected gangbuster hotcakes. The 2016 is a cool, classy limited edition, that sips martinis and generally exists somewhere in the aesthetic crossing of James Bond and Mr. Rodgers.





Galen Leather Goods – 3 Pocket Notebook Holder and 2 Pen Holder

26 09 2016

I cannot resist leather goods. I could easily go full vegetarian, but I just can’t give up my leather stationery products. I’m sorry animal friends. I hope you lived a good life.

And dreamed of one day holding notebooks

And dreamed of one day holding notebooks

So when Galen Leather Goods emailed me as well about trying their leather stuffs, I couldn’t type yes fast enough. The pictures on their website looked good, and I couldn’t wait to see them in person. Just to mix it up, I opted for brightly colored options—a yellow Traveler’s style pocket notebook cover with leather 2 pen holder, and a purple Pocket Moleskine Journal cover. Today I’ll be reviewing the former.

Shiny and new

Shiny and new

The packaging is on point, with excellent design and a box so sturdy I can’t bear to part with it. I don’t know the intricacies of international shipping (Galen Leather Goods hail from Turkey), but it’s nice to know the product has protection for the journey. It also came with a little evil eye charm and neatly printed instructions for such things as leather care. I’ve spoken extensively with my evil eye charm and it has an express understanding to especially ward off writer’s block and dried up ink.

I will miss how this made my notebook holder look like a googly-eyed monster

I will miss how this made my notebook holder look like a googly-eyed monster

Let’s get out of the way what didn’t work for me: the pen holder. It’s a terrific pen holder, but being integrated into the elastic band holding the book shut on such a small notebook holder, it was too bulky of an attachment. While I had it on, I rarely used the notebooks inside the holder—as long as it was shut, everything was fine, but opened up there was nowhere for the thing to effectively go. I love the brass charm it came with, but I did have some worry that the edges needed to be more rounded off lest they do any damage to the leather. When I took off the pen holder, I ended up taking the charm off as well and replaced them both with a simple coin I had lying around—enough to weigh the elastic down when I take it off, but nothing that will get in the way. Now I use this thing all the time. The notebook did come with a good measure of spare green elastic band, so I think the option to take the pen holder off was intended and not just my nefarious doing.

Notebook 1: NC Field Notes (full of my opinions of places I've eaten); notebook 2: Tomoe River scratch paper Fountain Pen Day notebook; notebook 3: rotates, currently the Field Notes Two Rivers cover I filled with Tomoe River Paper

Notebook 1: NC Field Notes (full of my opinions of places I’ve eaten); notebook 2: Tomoe River Fountain Pen Day notebook used for scratch paper; notebook 3: rotates, currently the Field Notes Two Rivers cover I filled with Tomoe River Paper

The dyed leather is wonderfully vibrant and consistent. It feels like it’s gotten better, perhaps softer over time? It’s molding to my life, and I’ve been trucking it around for a few months now. I doubt I would have chosen green as the color to go with yellow, but I’ve come to like it. The size is perfect, safely enclosing three pocket notebooks without being any bigger than needed.

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Exactly perfect

The edges are all burnished, a bit rugged in spots but altogether I love this little notebook holder. Three is a perfect number of notebooks for both daily life and adventures, and I like being able to easily swap them out as needed.

Perfect for adventure

Perfect for adventure

I am still looking for a way to incorporate the pen holder into my life (a necklace? attached to velcro? It’s currently on its own little loop of elastic but I don’t know the right notebook to wrap it around to integrate into my routines). But this notebook holder with its beautiful and reliable leather has become a must-carry in my EDC.

 

Get one of your own at Galen Leather Goods

And here’s the pen holder, if I haven’t dissuaded you from it

 

(Galen Leather Goods provided this product at no charge for reviewing purposes–opinions entirely my own)





Hobonichi Techo – A [3/4ths] Year in Review

31 08 2016

The Hobonichi-ordering season is swiftly upon us, so it’s time to gather up my thoughts on the beloved planner and share them all with you.

Look I’m a hip internet thing with my washi tapes and my book readings

Prior to the Hobonichi, I used an extra small Moleskine to keep track of my work schedule and overtime hours, but the paper was terrible. I also had a tiny Quo Vadis Miniweek to have good paper in my life, but the Miniweek didn’t have the monthly overview I needed to plan out my overtime at work. And I’m sure an assortment of various other planners or pseudo-planners waltzed through. My life was a shambling mess of too many not-quite-perfect planners. So why did I go for the Hobonichi Techo? Probably pretty pictures layered with dream-colored filters on Instagram. I too could have a neatly written and washi-taped-up life, if only I bought this fabled amalgamation of Tomoe River paper and unicorn wishes.

here let me bookmark the tl;dr version for you

The short review: I’m buying another planner for 2017. And getting a leather cover for it, so I’m planning on continuing this tradition for a while. The end.

Case closed. Mystery solved.

I ordered the English Hobonichi Planner with Custard cover from the Hobonichi store. It also came with a clear Cover-on-Cover, which I abandoned pretty promptly. It felt too slippery? It made the whole thing ever so slightly wider? For whatever reason, I didn’t like it, took it off my planner, and last I recall it was in the trunk of my car some months ago. No idea if it’s still there now. No desire to find it.

Mostly because my trunk is an interdimensional portal to a netherworld of paper cuts and old iPhone cases

The Custard and Cream color polyester cover is beautiful. Choosing just one of the vibrant covers was hard, but I’m happy with my choice. The drawback to abandoning the protective Cover-on-Cover is that the actual cover has become a little dirty over the course of the year. I could try to wash it off. Or I could order a leather cover for next year. The responsible choice is obvious.

Buy the leather cover AND a new polyester cover. Obviously

The standard Hobonichi cover comes with a lot of little pockets that I like in theory and decoratively, but haven’t actually used that much. The bookmarks and pen loops, however, are essential to my life. I keep one bookmark on the current monthly overview, and the other on the current day. The little tabs at the bottom of the bookmarks weight them just enough to help them lay where they need to and make them easy to grab hold of to move. I think the pen loops are intended to be used as a sort of locking device, the idea being you put one pen through both loops and it holds the cover shut, but I’ve done that approximately zero times since trying it once. I prefer to put one pen in each loop, keep my options open.

And the book open, since it’s not locked shut with writing implement

 

I will not delve much into the extra content, such as size charts, conversion tables, country codes, national holidays, information about Japanese geography, dining, etc. because while these are interesting, they are not the practical-use stuff I’m interested in analyzing. Functionally, the Hobonichi Techo contains the following sections: yearly overview (2016 & 2017), four months at a time overview, monthly overview, daily pages with extra blank page at the beginning of each month, and blank dot grid pages.

The yearly overview is good for quick-glance planning with the strange rotating-pattern schedule I have. The four months at a time overview has left me stumped. I have not yet hit on a good use for it in my life. Maybe if I planned out exercise routines? Planning out dinners? Format-wise, it doesn’t work as well for planning out my work schedule as the monthly overview does.

Here’s the section that has eliminated the need for my little Moleskine planner. This format is perfect for planning out my work/life, and easier for me to visualize my overtime sign up especially given that I work the night shift. There’s just enough room to write down everything I need. Monthly overview, don’t ever change.


On to the daily. I lasted about 1 month writing large fancy things in the middle of pages and filling in words around them. Once I settled into a pattern of just writing whatever I want I’ve done much better. Usually, it’ll be a summary of the day. Sometimes to-do lists. Sometimes doodles, or stickers, or recipes, or whatever. Really, truly whatever. A book this fancy may come with an intimidation factor, perhaps, that causes some people to abandon the effort. Don’t try to force it. Don’t wreck yourself trying to make each page some grand work of art. Let it be what it will be. For me and my life, it’s just enough room to summarize the occurrings of any given day.


The beginning of each month features a “Coming Up!” page, which I’ve used backwards from what I think is the intended purpose. I use it to document an overall summary of the month – the books I have read, the new recipes I have tried, the days I got more than 10,000 steps, the major events that occurred in that month. I’m sure it also works great for making plans if that’s what you’re into. Bonus, the Hobonichi includes half pages for the last 2 weeks of the previous year and the first week of the next year, which is great if you’re just starting a Hobonichi but I’m wondering how I will utilize this transitioning from 2016 to 2017 Hobonichi.


The blank dot grid is where I’ve kept track of the pen and ink combos that I’ve used in the notebook throughout the year. The Hobonichi is known for its use of the magical Tomoe River paper, a substance that is both thin and fountain pen friendly (and friendly to other things like watercolor, but I haven’t gotten that highfalutin this year. I have some mini watercolor pans in a tin. I guess the next step involves actually using them). Tomoe River paper can take a lot of ink without any bleedthrough, but being such thin paper you can absolutely see through it. This may be a drawback or dealbreaker for some people, but it keeps the planner relatively slim and portable while still being wonderful for fountain pen ink. Only you can decide how showthrough impacts you.

Only you can prevent forest fires

Will I be patient enough for the Hobonichi to be in stock thru Jetpens? Or will I cave and order it at the first available second direct from the Hobonichi website? We’ll find out on September 1st, 11AM Japan time if I can resist the temptation.

 

Update: Of course I wasn’t patient enough to wait! The Hobonichi website on the first day of ordering is an exercise in frustration and futility–the servers historically have never been beefed up enough to handle the worldwide demand for a planner we really won’t actually be using for several months. After about 8 or more attempts in which my cart kept repeatedly getting deleted, I finally managed to place my order on September 1st. It was shipped September 8th, and made it all the way from Japan to my apartment complex office in NC on September 13th. As for JetPens, the planners came in stock on September 15th, and I completely missed the email about it. The only thing you don’t get from JetPens are the Hobonichi Store Exclusives (this year, a small toast-shaped plate and a 3 color pen), nor access to the accessories (I also ordered a planner ruler and a pencil board).





Gfeller Casemakers Leather Cover / Clairefontaine My.essential Notebook

28 08 2016

First, you get the fancy pens. Then, you get the special inks to put in the fancy pens, followed by the nice paper for writing on with the fancy pens filled with special inks. The pens get carrying cases. Now, we are entering the stage of the illness addiction insanity hobby where the nice paper gets a spiffy carrying vehicle too. A step up from whatever cardboard claptrap it came factory-clad in. No material better answers that call than leather.

A wild notebook appears


I was fortunate enough to be one of two winners of the giveaway of a Gfeller Casemakers leather notebook cover and a new Clairefontaine My.essential notebook. I’ve given the products a couple months in the rotation, and now it’s time to pass judgment. Let’s start with the leather cover:

When computer screens are able to broadcast tactile sensations I will add the feel of this leather to my review for you all to enjoy


The leather is soft. Luscious, luxurious, rub it on your face soft. I have a pair of Italian leather gloves that are softer, but not by much. The light color worries me–will I stain it? Will I ruin it irrevocably in some unforeseen manner? But this concern is not unique to this case; I would feel the same about any light-colored leather. The notebook cover is well-made with smart details–the flaps that the notebook covers tuck into come much further in than I’ve seen on any other notebook cover, to avoid creating a bulge line under the page, and there is a cut out in the back flap to allow use of the elastic band attached to the notebook. It integrates well. The quality is solid. I’m thinking of getting a Gfeller notebook cover for my Hobonichi, I’m liking this cover so much.

Would I like this as much with no notebook cover? Probably not. I like my medium to large notebooks with a bit of sturdiness to them


On to the My.essential notebook, which the Clairefontaine people told me is a new product that will be available later this year (or possibly already, the email was a few months ago). I’m kind of surprised that this didn’t exist already in the Clairefontaine and/or Rhodia line-up: a paginated notebook with a table of contents, headers on each page, filled with high quality Clairefontaine 90gsm paper. It really feels like this should have already been around. It’s a wonderfully usable format.

Here is what cream colored paper looks like at sunrise, in case you were wondering


In design, the My.essential notebook is very similar to my beloved Leuchtturm 1917. The My.essential is a soft cover with camel-colored leatherlike cardboard pattern, quarter pockets in front and back, and dark brown elastic band and ribbon. It really has everything essential to a good notebook, unless you prefer hardcover. But that’s what the leather notebook cover is for! I have no complaints against this notebook, and hope they’ll be releasing editions besides just lined. Maybe include a 2nd bookmark for bullet journaling? There’s not a whole lot to say; it’s a darn good notebook with fountain pen friendly paper. That’s a Clairefontaine product for you.

 

Various Gfeller Casemakers Leather Covers

The giveaway & fan profile of Steve Derricott at Rhodia Drive

 

(The notebook and cover were won by me in a giveaway, thus I received them for free. Opinions entirely my own)

 





Kaweco Skyline Sport Fountain Pen – Mint – Medium Nib

10 07 2016

Remind me to upload a scan of this sample later, rather than a picture of it

If you have a very good memory, you’ll recall that I’ve reviewed the Kaweco Sport before. Years ago, in fact. So why am I reviewing a Kaweco Sport again? Well, it’s the Skyline edition with different colors and this one has a clip and it came in a different box all the way from Australia.

It's pretty much an entirely different pen

It’s pretty much an entirely different pen

First off, a general update on the durability of the Kaweco Sport — my original survived a trip through the washing machine without damage and without coming open/putting ink all over my clothes. When the feed broke (for no apparent reason) after 5 years of service, Kaweco saw my Instagram post and got me in contact with their customer service, who sent me a new feed/nib/grip assembly. Great customer service. Very durable little pen.

Stealthy

Cool container, Kaweco

I don’t know if this is the box specific to the Skyline edition, or perhaps specific to a certain geographical distribution area, but this is a cool box. Matte black, stealthy metal tin. Much nicer than the tin my Liliput came in.

Kaweco Skyline is evolving! Kaweco Skyline has learned clip. It's super effective!

Kaweco Skyline is evolving! Kaweco Skyline has learned clip. It’s super effective!

This pen also came with a clip. When I bought my original Kaweco Sport, I could have ordered the clip separately. Maybe I will. I still can. I’m glad this one came with a clip–it’s sturdy and secure, and help makes the pen easy to find, clipped to the side of a pocket rather than lost in the bottom of a bag. It’s not a clip that will be easily or accidentally knocked off.

cool

Believe me, I tried

The color scheme is refreshing. I prefer silvery accents to gold, so this is more up my alley. And it pairs nicely with the soft mint blue. Can mint be blue?

Sufficient!

I say yes.

The Kaweco Sport is lightweight, being plastic, and pretty comfortable for a compact pen, with its round, slightly curved-in grip. The flat sides on the octagonal cap don’t dig into my hand when I’m holding the pen in my horribly abnormal grip. There is definitely a sweet spot to this nib, and for most of the handwritten version of this review, I’ve been falling off it.

Look close and witness the madness

When it’s on, it’s good stuff. Nice flowing tactile nib. But when it’s off, what a pain. My overwriting angle may be partly to blame. But I probably won’t be entirely satisfied until I’ve fiddled with this nib. Your out of the box experience may vary. Oddly enough, I seem to have little to no problem when I’m using it to jot a quick note, be it at work on a post-it, or on the back of a receipt while on the side of a mountain on a motorcycle trip. It’s just this more longform stuff that brings out the less cooperative aspects of this nib.

Here’s where I’d put a good converter, IF THEY MADE ONE

The biggest drawback to the Kaweco Sport is the lack of a good converter option. The pen takes standard international cartridges, but the body is too short for a proper converter. There’s a squeeze converter available, which doesn’t hold much ink and isn’t the most convenient thing to use, and a mini twist converter that similarly fails to get the job done.

Competitively priced entry level fountain pens, left to right: Pilot Metropolitan, Pilot Petit 1, Pilot Kakuno, Kaweco Sport Skyline, Platinum Preppy, Jinhao 599A, Muji Round Aluminum Fountain Pen, Pelikan Pelikano, Pilot Penmanship, Sailor HighAce Neo

A selection of competitively priced entry level fountain pens, left to right: Pilot Metropolitan, Pilot Petit 1, Pilot Kakuno, Kaweco Sport Skyline, Platinum Preppy, Jinhao 599A, Muji Round Aluminum Fountain Pen, Pelikan Pelikano, Pilot Penmanship, Sailor HighAce Neo. Most expensive pen in this pic: the Kaweco

The Kaweco Sport (without clip) used to cost $15 when I bought my first one, which made it a competitively priced entry level fountain pen. The higher that price goes, the harder it is for the Kaweco Sport to remain in that category. It doesn’t have much competition in the compact/pocket size entry level fountain pen front, but for how long? At least you know the money gets you something durable backed by a responsive company.

Every day carry. Or at least every other day carry

Every day carry. Or at least every other day carry

All in all, the Kaweco Sport remains a decent little fountain pen well suited to everyday carry. The Skyline colorway is a welcome addition to an enduring product line.

Kaweco Skyline Sport Fountain Pen – Mint – Medium Nib at NoteMaker

(Notemaker provided this product at no charge for reviewing purposes–opinions entirely my own)