Related to my fountain pen addiction is a recent addiction to pen cases. Until March of last year all my pen cases had been either free throw-ins with a pen, or a case I bought because it was the cheapest I could find.
That changed last year when I decided to upgrade the quality of my cases and bought a Franklin-Christoph leather case. I was hooked.
Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Six
I bought a Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Six case in March of 2012. This remains my favorite case to this day and holds my daily carry as I travel to and from work. As the name suggests, it hold six pens. I got the boot brown leather with a rust colored interior. The boot brown leather has a distressed look. The scuffs it gets during normal use gives it character.
The case is 6″ wide by 7″ tall and 1.25″ thick and can handle pens up to 7″ tall and .75″ thick according to the F-C website. Based on my case I find the 7″ X .75″ pens size a bit too generous. My 6.5″ Edison Huron Grande does fit, but it’s a very tight fit. Maybe a thinner pen would allow the leather to stretch up rather than out. Still, I’d be wary of expecting a 7″ pen to fit. The Franklin-Christoph Modell 66, at 6.3″ fits in just fine, no stretching required.
There’s a magnetic snap to close the case. The magnetic snap is more secure when my large Huron Grande is in the case, putting some tension on the snap. When there’s no tension the snap can slip open when some lateral pressure is put on the case, such as when sliding it in our out of a tight bag. The cover still stays closed but if I have any complaint about the case, it’s the snap closure. I’d prefer a more secure physical connection, rather than the magnetic one. But it’s a minor complaint.
The interior is a nice heavy cloth that protects the pens well. There’s 6 individual slots for the pens. In my Penvelope 6 the slot on the right side is clearly smaller than the other five. It can handle all but my thickest pens, but there are pens that have to go in one of the other slots.
The pens aren’t completely enclosed in the case. There case is open about 2 1/2″ on ech side, although the pen slots rise about 1″ into the opening to protect the pens. While the material is thick and provides good protection, it’s still a soft case which doesn’t protect the pens from being crushed. I’ve never had any problem after nearly a year of carrying the case in my computer or messenger bag.
As the name suggests, the front opens like an envelope and there a thin pocket for papers or other small items. I typically just carry a slip of paper listing what ink is in which pen and the occasional Field Notes notebook. But as a test I was able to fit a box each of Lamy, Pilot and Waterman ink cartridges.
There’s room next to the pen loops, but still inside the case, for an additional pen on each side. There’s less protections for the pen since they aren’t in a loop, but if the pen has a clip is stays in the case. I wouldn’t recommend in as standard procedure, but it comes in handy to carry extra pens into the office.
After nearly a year of daily carrying the case is still in good shape. It’s got the scuffs that give the distressed leather character, but that’s to be expected.
Franklin-Christoph Lucky 13 Penvelope
After the success of the Penvelope Six I bought a Lucky 13 Penvelope, also in Boot Brown leather. Everything about the Penvelope Six applies to the thirteen pen versions, except for the obvious size difference. It’s a little big for my daily carry so it travels a lot less, mainly being used for pen storage. The Lucky 13 Penvelope is 12″ X 7″ X 1.25″.
Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Two
A couple months later I decided I wanted a smaller pen case and bought a Penvelope Two. I stuck with the Brown Boot leather and as the name suggests, it’s a two pen case. The material and build quality is the same as the other Penvelopes but there’s a leather tab and slot to hold the cover closed rather than a magnetic snap.
There’s also a loop on the back with two snaps that can be used to attach the case to a belt or a strap. The case seems to big to be comfortable on a belt. The snaps weren’t secure enough for me to trust them to hold the case on my computer bag. On my first test trip, traveling to work the case must have snagged on something when I pulled the bag out of the car as the Penvelope Two was missing when I got to my desk. I retraced my steps and found it on the car floor. So I haven’t attached the case to a strap since then.
This case easily holds my Edison Huron Grande so I do believe the claim that it can hold a 7″ pen.
I don’t use this case as much as I thought I would. Mainly because I can’t seem to leave the house with just two pens. But it does take less room than the Penvelope Six so it gets some use.
Like I said in the beginning, the Penvelope Six is my favorite pen case. But all three Franklin-Christoph Penvelope fountain pen cases are at the top of their class. The cases are pricey, but worth every penny in my opinion. The materials and build quality are top notch.
Bottom line – highly recommended.