Kaweco Eco Wild Raw Leather Pen Pouch

The Kaweco Eco Wild Raw Leather Pen Pouch is a Cult Pens exclusive, according to their website. I typically order from them once or twice a year, concentrating on products not available in the US (they’re in the UK) and added this case to my last order. There’s not much to the cases, their a simple sleeve. There is a one pen case and a two pen case for the Sport line of pens. There’s also a one pens case and a two pen case for the Lilliput line of pens. Based on the pictures on Cult Pens’ website it looks like the the two pen versions don’t have a divider so the pens touch.

I ordered the one pen case for the Kaweco Sport. I have a red Kaweco AC Sport and unlike the AL Raw Aluminum or my new Black Stonewashed I don’t want it to get scratched up being carried in my pocket. The case is £22.99 inc VAT or £19.16 ex VAT. US foreigners don’t pay VAT.

The case is nice soft calf-skin leather. Initially the AL Sport was a tight fit but after a day or two of use it stretched out nicely and the pen is now easy to remove. It’s still sits securely in the case with no chance of slipping out. The case seems well built and durable but only time will tell. The stitching is a little rough where it ends. There’s a stiff piece of thread extending about 1/20th of an inch from the case. The leather will attract nicks, cuts and scuffs over time which will give it character.

My Franklin-Christoph Model 40 Pocket also fits in the pouch but it’s a much tighter fit. I imagine the pouch could expand a little more but in that case it might be too loose for the Kaweco Sport. I won’t be using the Model 40 in this sleeve while I still use it for the Sport, but If I wanted a case dedicated to the Model 40 I would consider this pouch.

The case is also light so it doesn’t add much weight to the pen. My case is 0.4 oz (12 g) so with my currently inked AL Sport Stonewashed the total weight is 1.3 oz (36 g).

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The pictures below show the case slightly lighter in color than mine really is thanks to the lighting. My case has more brown to it. But I couldn’t get the color right so decided to go with these. The photos on the Cult Pens site are a bit darker than my case.

Except for the first photo, the pictures all show the case with a pen in it. The pen is listed in the caption since it’s not obvious from the picture.

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Review: Hightower Pen Case by Nock Co

Photo of the closed Nock Co HightowerI already had more pen cases than I needed but that didn’t stop me from backing the Nock Co pen cases on Kickstarter. I backed at all the cases, along with 472 others, and this has proven to be the most used case of the bunch in the month and a half I’ve had them. It’s the Hightower Pen Case in the Kickstarter LE colors, Peacock exterior (a blue-green) and a Midnight Blue exterior (a navy-blue).  There’s slots for three pens on the left, covered by a flap. The right side has a pocked sized for Doane Utility Journals, Field Notes or similar pocket notebooks and fits three comfortably. A fourth can be squeezed in put it requires a bit too much effort to be practical. While multiple notebooks can be held it does bulk up the case and keep it from being flat when it’s closed. I find anything more than two notebooks and the case doesn’t close flat enough for my taste.

For the record, my iPhone 5S and a Nokia Lumia 920 fit in the pocket (not at the same time) but are not secure and bulk up the case. It seems inevitable the phone would slide out and head to the floor.

The exterior is made of heavy nylon with a durable water repellant (DWR) coating that feels very cloth-like. The interior is pack cloth that is very smooth and is unlikely to scratch any pens. I say unlikely to scratch because there are no guarantees, but I’m certain all my pens will be scratch free.

Personally, I prefer using my Franklin-Christoph Penvelope 6 case for transporting pens in a computer or other bag. The heavy leather and heavy cloth gives the pens more protection, in my opinion. Since the Hightower material is cloth I’m paranoid the pens could be crushed or cracked if the bag was thrown around and a heavy object shared the space with them. That said, the material does seem very strong and would protect the pens against keys and other objects. Another concern is that the case doesn’t snap closed so something could work it’s way into the case. I’m too paranoid to use this case in my daily computer bag, since it doesn’t have it’s own pocket to secure it and would bounce around. The Hightower is not the case I use for my everyday carry, but it still gets used. If this case closed securely, with a zipper for example, it would probably replace my Penvelope and be nearly perfect. It does get used to keep my current favorite writers and active notebooks handy. I have a habit of leaving them around the house and end up having to search for them. Keeping them in the case avoids the problem. It does leave home and travels occasionally and keeps the pens well protected.

The case is about 6 3/4 inches tall and about 4 1/4 inches wide when closed and 8 3/4 inches wide when open. I haven’t had the case long enough to really test the durability but the case is well made. The Nock Co cases are handmade in Georgia. I expected to find some hanging threads or mis-cut corners but can’t find any on my case. This, along with the tight stitching, bodes well for the long term durability.

I keep three pens in the left side, usually three different inks in thin nibs, suitable for writing and note taking. There’s one, sometimes two, pocket notebooks on the right along with some business cards. I primarily use it to keep handy around the house so I don’t have to go hunting for pens or the current notebooks. But it does travel with me on occasion.

At 6 3/4 inches the Franklin-Christoph Model 66 either doesn’t fit in the case or just barely fits, depending on your point of view. It comes right up to where the flap is sewn onto the case so the flap doesn’t lay flat when the pen is in the case. On the other hand, the case can be closed and the pen will be protected. But in my opinion, the pen is too big for the case. All my other pens fit fine. The pen slots are about 4 3/4 inches deep and the flap seam is about 1 1/3 inches above the slots.

Nock Co is a venture of Brady Dowdy and Jeffrey Bruckwicki. You can read about them here. The Nock Co Kickstarter cases are almost all shipped out. They’ve said they’ll need to build inventory after the that and then will open their online store. Currently you can sign up to be notified when the store opens or read additional information about their products. Brad has mentioned (either on the Podcast or twitter) that they expect the store to open in June.

Additional Reading

Reviewed at The Well -Appointed Desk

Reviewed at The Clicky Post

Reviewed and then a motorcycle test at No Pen Intended

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Review: Zeller Writing Co. 1-Pen Stand – Steam Bent Chair Arch

Lamy 2000 resting in the Zeller 1-Pen Steam Bent Chair Arch penstand (side view)The Steam Bent Chair Arch is a unique handmade pen stand from Zeller Writing Company. I bought it mainly for its unique looks. From a pen stand point of view it’s got its drawbacks, but if viewed as a display stand its a winner.

The stand arrives well packed and includes a certificate of authenticity and a personal note from Aaron Zeller. While neither the certificate or the note make for a better pen stand, they do indicate a high level of care that goes into making the stands. The packaging and presentation is top notch.

The stand is a simple design. There’s a dimple in the base to hold the pen in place. The steam bent arch has a notch at the top to help hold the pen in place against the smooth surface. Since each stand is hand made the exact size will vary, but the base of my pen stand is 2 1/4 inches wide and 4 inches deep. The base is about 3/4 inches high and the arch rises about 3 1/2 inches above the base.

The pen stand isn’t as delicate as it looks. While I wouldn’t throw it around it isn’t going to break during normal use. Or even if it’s dropped on a carpeted floor, as I learned.

The pen can be knocked out of the stand relatively easily, although how easily depends on the pen. It’s been more stable than I expected with my Lamy 2000 and Franklin-Christoph Model 66. I could kick my desk and most times the pen would hang in there. But pens do fall off and this has to be taken into consideration when placing the stand. I keep it away from the edge of my desk. I also keep it clear of my Mac Mini which has sharp edges which could potentially scratch a pen that falls against it.

The product page at Zeller Writing Co also has a video about the Steam bent Chair Arch 1-Pen Stand.

The ZRC 1-Pen Steam Bent Chair Arch stand is a cool looking handmade stand that looks good on my desk. No pictures of it on my desk, while it looks good the res of the mess doesn’t. But more pictures below.

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Dudek Modern Goods (Mike Dudek) “The Groove”

Dudek Modern Goods logo

Mike Dudek runs The Clicky Post website and also makes hand made wooden pen holders under the Dudek Modern Goods brand. I’ve admired them since I first saw them online although I never came up with a scenario where I could actually use one. My home desk is too cluttered and until recently I worked from home more often than not. But now I go into the office most days and there’s plenty of room on my office desk. So I ordered one last Wednesday.

I ordered “The Groove” ($55 plus shipping) which holds 9 pens and has a place to store small notebooks. I ordered the version with six 1/2″ holes and three 5/8″ holes since many of my pens are too small for the 1/2″ holes.

Timing is everything. I ordered just before going to bed on Wednesday and by the time I awoke I had the shipping notification and a note that he had just made a batch and had one ready to ship. (The website says turnaround could be 3 – 5 weeks as they are handmade to order.)

The holder arrived on Saturday. It was well packed and also included a Doane Utility notebook and a note from Mike.

Many of my pens are too big for the 1/2″ holes but none had a problem with the 5/8″ holes.

  • Kaweco Sports fit in the 1.2″ holes but rest on the cap since they don’t quit reach the bottom. This doesn’t seem to risk harming either the pen or the holder.
  • Some tapered pens such as Parker Vacumatics and my Edison Menlo fit until the taper expands beyond 1/2″. This seems to risk damage to the pen or holder since the pen could wedge itself in there.
  • The TWSBI Vac 700 need the 5/8″ holes as do the vintage Sheaffer Balances.
  • Esterbrooks fit nicely in the 1/2″ holes.

The Groove can hold 3 Field Notes or Doane Paper style pocket notebooks. But I’ll be using mine with a Maruman Mnemosyne Today’s Act notepad which I is where I keep my current work related To Do list. The notebook fits with enough room for a pocket notebook.

There’s not much else to say. At the simplest it’s just a block of wood with holes drilled into it and some stain applied. But it comes together nicely. I like the simplicity and the fact that it’s hand made, functional and I like the wood finish.

Perfect Match: Pelle Notebook and Retro 51 Pen

Retro 51 Deluxe Tornado LincolnThere’s one pen in my accumulation that’s not a fountain pen. It’s paired with a leather notebook cover and I consider them a set,

The pen is a Retro 51 Deluxe Tornado Lincoln Rollerball. It’s got a terrific antique copper finish. It’s developed a unique patina over time and use. Pictures don’t do it justice , but I love the look. If the finish was available as a fountain pen it would be perfect.

The notebook cover is a small Pelle Leather Journal in brown. The notebooks inside include a Pelle notebook and a Field Notes notebook, both with blank pages, The Field Notes notebook is a little big but more on that in a moment.

I came across the Retro 51 Lincoln last May but was unsure if it looked as good as it sounded. Pictures didn’t tell the story. As for the leather cover from Pelle I had come across it when looking for a pocket notebook but it seemed small for the notebooks I wanted to use. The replacement books from Pelle were a bit expensive for my intended use (abusing a notebook by carrying it around all the time and using it for disposable notes).

As I was debating this episode 18 of the Pen Addict podcast was released. Myke had bought the Lincoln Retro 15 and his description removed all doubts I had about look of the pen. As for the notebook he solved that problem too. Well, not so much solved as turned it into a feature. The Field Notes notebook are in fact too big, but just a little and only if the intent is to keep them entirely inside the leather cover. The books fit inside the retaining straps just fine. The books stick out a little, but since they are brown they match the leather cover and give it character.

I use the notebook as a pocket notebook or carry it in my computer bag. It’s generally paired with the pen. Except for the Pilot Vanishing Point a fountain pen is typically too cumbersome for quick notes.

Any notes I make in the notebook are temporary by nature. If I need to keep the info I transfer it someplace else.

The Pelle paper is nice. It’s more fountain pen friendly than the Field Notes paper. But it is thin so there is show through, but no bleed through.

The Pen Addict has a review of the Retro 51 Tornado. It’s a different finish but the same basic pen. I like the pen, although a thin metal pen wouldn’t be my choice for longer writing sessions. It’s perfect for quick notes.

The rest of the story can be told in pictures.