The Perfect Penvelope

The Prefect PenvelopeBack in the days when I made daily trips into an office I would use my Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Six case to carry my fountain pens.. True to the name it has six pen slots, but another pen can fit on each side (although with less protection) allowing an eight pen carry. Back in those days I would keep a mix of nib sizes and ink colors. Since then I’ve just loaded whatever pens were handy when I used the case. I only had a a few fountain pens inked up so I decided to ink up a selection appropriate for the Penvelope.

My Penvelope Six dates back to March 2012 and is an early model. I want to say it’s the original version of the case but I could be wrong about that. The case is boot brown leather with a rust colored heavy cloth interior. The leather attracts scuffs and scrapes which gives it a distressed look that I love. The more recent cases claim to be more resistant to scuffs, which is a downgrade in my opinion.

This isn’t a top fountain pen and ink list per se. While I certainly like all these pens and would consider them to be among my favorites, there are certain limitations imposed by the Penvelope. Plus I want a nice mix of nibs and ink. The case has openings on each side and the leather provides little support against crushing. The slots are formed with thick cloth material which isn’t safe for fragile clips. So fragile pens, such as my Sheaffer Balance II’s and vintage Sheaffers don’t travel in this case, no matter how much I like using them. Finally, there are some pens that are just too big for the case, such as my Newton Eastman.

The Prefect Penvelope - raised pensI use fine & extra fine nibs along with three distinct ink colors for marking up documents. So at least three of the pens will need to meet these requirements. I’ll pick the rest to provide a little variety in the writing experience.

My first fountain pen choice was the Pilot Custom 823 with its fine nib (a thin Japanese fine) and Pilot Blue-Black ink. It was already inked, but it would have been picked anyway. The 823 is a great writer and so comfortable that I can write with it for hours. That said, it is the least aesthetically pleasing fountain pen that I use on a regular basis.

Joining it was the Montblanc Meisterstück Ultra Black LeGrand with Montblanc Bordeaux ink. This is my favorite ink and was an obvious choice for inclusion in the case. I always want to have this ink in at least one pen, at least until I run out. The pen is perfectly sized for my hand and the oblique medium nib meets the paper perfectly with my natural grip. The larger medium nib means I don’t use the pen for note taking. It gets used for longer, sit-down writing sessions.

My new(ish) Visconti Brunelleschi, also made it to the Penvelope. It’s another medium nib but a great writer and comfortable in my hand. I filled the pen with matching Callifolio Aurora ink.

I went with yet a third medium nib when I added the Aurora Optima Nero Perla to the case. Aurora Black seemed an appropriate ink for the pen since I wanted to add a dark ink to the case. Even though the pen looks smaller than my previous choices it’s very comfortable in my hand.

My Penvelope Six has three medium nibs and only one thin nib. It’s time for me to fill out the case with thin nibs.

The Fisher of Pens Hermes with a fine nib was my next choice. The pen is a tall one but does fit comfortably in the case. I wanted a green ink both to match the pen and because I like green inks. Montblanc Irish Green is usually my choice, but this time I went with P.W. Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Green. This ink is beginning to rival Irish Green as my go to green ink.

The sixth choice is my favorite fountain pen. It may be sixth on this list but there was never any doubt it would be included. The Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with its extra fine nib was picked. I wanted some more color so picked P.W. Akkerman #12 Mauritshuis Magenta ink.

The Blue-Black ink in the Custom 823 along with the Magenta and Green inks in the Homo Sapien and Hermes provide a nice color selection for marking up any documents, but they’re also suitable for note taking and just about any other writing that I do.

Just because it’s a Penvelope Six doesn’t mean I have to stop here. There’s room for a couple more pens.

I loaded the Kaweco Brass Sport (extra fine) with a Visconti Red cartridge. I never know when I’ll want a red ink. The pen is short enough to be completely covered along the side of the case.

The final pen was the Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe which was already inked with a waterproof ink. I probably wouldn’t have picked it if it wasn’t already inked, although I did want a waterproof ink and I really like the pen. But it’s a little out of place and unprotected along the side of the case.

There was one fountain pen I hard a hard time keeping out of the case, but I just couldn’t make a place for it. The Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with it’s medium nib was hard to leave out. It’s a great pen but another medium nib of which I already had three. It’s also a big pen and while it does fit in a pen slot it’s a very tight fit. It’s not easy to remove and I figure all that stress on the pen as I remove it can’t be good. At the very least the cap band would probably wear down over time due to the friction from the pen slot. And last, it’s a pen I use to test new inks and I was unwilling to take an slot with an untried ink.

So is it a perfect Penvelope? For me, at this time I would say yes. It provides a nice mix of eight pens that should meet all my needs. In a month or two I may get bored with a choice or two and it will no longer be perfect, so I’ll make a change. But for now I’m happy.

The Perfect Penvelope pen selectionPerfect Penvelope Writing Samples

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Review: Visconti Dreamtouch Leather 3 Pen Holder

Visconti Dreamtouch 3 pen case full with SheaffersI picked up the Visconti Dreamtouch Leather 3 Pen Holder a few months ago and have been enjoying it ever since. Once a year or so I order from overseas. Usually for items that aren’t available in the US, such as Pelikan Blue-Black ink. Even though it’s available in the US I added this case to the order. I’d done some research and picked this case as my solution but was holding back because of the price. The exchange rate gave me a significant savings, plus it brought me above the free shipping threshold from Cult Pens.

Rather than buying it because it’s a nice case, which it is, I bought it because it’s the one pen case I found that met my current requirements. Cases for three pens are the sweet spot for me since I often carry three pens when I’m out and about. I had been using the Nockco Sinclair but it didn’t meet my current requirements, although I’ll certainly continue to use it.

I have three Sheaffer Balance IIs that I love using, despite their medium nibs. The pens have the reputation of being fragile (and feel it), especially around the clip. Mine are still crack free and I’d like them to remain that way as long as possible. They’ve been home-bound because I’ve been afraid to take them outside the house. I love using the pens and they give me a nice trilogy of pens and ink – a grey or brown in the Aspen, red in the Crimson Glow and green in the Jade Green model. They are too nice to ignore so I wanted a way to carry them in relative safety.

I wanted something that was more rigid although it didn’t have to be a fountain pen bunker. I wouldn’t expect it to survive me sitting on it, but I wanted it to survive in my iPad bag which is my typical carry these days. I didn’t want it to cause damage if the iPad ended up on top of the pen case. It also had to protect pens from bouncing notebooks or keys. I also wanted it to hold all three pens securely without using the fragile pen clips.

The Visconti 3 Pen Case is the one I found that met my requirements, plus it does look good. I just had to get past the price, which I obviously did.

The case has a rigid bottom which keeps it from bending. This was important to me because I’m more concerned about an indirect hit putting pressure on half the case that I am about it being crushed under a large object. The top panels are also rigid although there’s a hinge between them. The sides are rigid except for the zipper which has cloth along it’s length, which doesn’t provide any support. While it’s not a fountain pen bunker it does provide good protection without requiring that the pen be clipped in place. Overall, I think the case provides very good pen protection.

The pen slot dividers run the entire length of the case and are attached to the bottom along the entire length of the case. The don’t flop around and do feel like they are also attached to the bottom side of the case. The inner lining is soft and has a felt-like feel. It doesn’t appear as if it will scratch or wear the pens at all. Unless of course some sand or other grainy particles get caught inside it.

The zipper is exposed to the inside of the case. The zipper teeth are small and fairly smooth along the inside. The zipper is metal. The position of the zipper, high relative to the pens rather than along the middle, plus the small zipper size makes me confident that it won’t scratch my pens. That said, I can’t rule out a series of unfortunate events that could cause it to scratch a pen since it is exposed. Wrapping the pens in a protective cloth, or a protective sheet along the zipper side would eliminate my concerns, but that adds a complication I decided was more of a hassle than the low risk deserved.

I used the case for a couple of months with my regular carry pens to build my confidence that it will protect my more fragile fountain pens. Then a couple weeks ago I inked up my three Sheaffer Balance IIs and moved them into their new home. I don’t have any complaints about the case and it’s protected my pens well. The Sheaffers are the few pens I have that I consider fragile, requiring special handling. I’m not about to see how much abuse they can take inside the case, but I am confident they are safe in there during my normal travels. My only concern is to make sure I don’t run the pen over the zipper as I take it in and out of the case. The cover opens wide and the zipper is easily avoided, it’s my carelessness that I worry about.

“Dreamtouch” is the name Visconti gave to their leather processing. It tends to turn me off when manufacturers give a made-up name to their process, since it’s meaningless to me. I’m more concerned about the result and the name doesn’t help determine that. That said, the leather is smooth and soft and it does appear to do a good job of resisting abuse. Scuffs have been easy to work out so far. There is some creasing where the hinged top attaches, but no signs of cracking. Being black every spec of dust is highlighted in the photos. In real life it has a much cleaner, dust-free look.

Three months of normal use isn’t exactly an endurance test, but the case has held up well. The stitching seems solid and there isn’t any sign of it coming apart. Normally I like my cases to show they’ve been used. This case has had a few scuffs which really stand out on that black leather, which I don’t like. I’ve been able to work them out with just my fingers. The zipper is another potential failure point but it seems to be holding up well.

The case fits all except my largest pen, a Edison Huron Grande. My Franklin-Christoph Model 66 just fits in the center slot, although it doesn’t fit in the side slots. Both the case and pen have an official length of 6.3″. The Model 66 does press against the top end but not enough to affect the zipper operation. It’s a bit hard to remove since friction holds it in place. I haven’t tried all of my pens but I’m confident any others will fit fine. Because the pen clip won’t hold the pen in place smaller pens may rattle around a bit but that isn’t a concern for me.

I’m very happy with the Visconti Dreamtouch Leather 3 Pen Holder and it’s been used daily since I got it. Now that I’m confident in it’s protection, my 3 Sheaffer Balance II fountain pens have claimed it as their new mobile home. I’ve enjoyed having them with me which makes the case worth the money.

Additional Reading

My Pen Needs Ink – 3 pen case review

The Pencilcase Blog – 6 Pen Case review

What I Use: Nock Co. Fodderstack XL

Nock Co Fodderstack XL with two Vanishing Points

Rather than a regular review I’ve decided to start talking about the things I use regularly and why. The things I use regularly will be written about in the What I Use category.

I’ve been using Nock Co. cases since their Kickstarter campaign to launch the company. They’re pretty much the only soft cases that I use. Since I started working from home exclusively I’ve had to carry fewer pens and I’ve gravitated to carrying the Fodderstack XL since it arrived as May began.

I ordered the Steel/Blue Jay version. I like the color but there’s one unanticipated trait that I didn’t expect. It tends to highlight dirt and dust. Like all Nock Co. cases the material has a texture to it and this can hold on to dust and dirt. This is unnoticeable with other colors, such as my orange cases, but it’s very visible in this darker color. The clips from the pens can also discolor the material. None of this is permanent and can be brushed right out, but it doesn’t stay pristine for long. I don’t mind when the things I use show evidence of use, and I rather like it. So while I don’t necessarily want things to look dirty, this doesn’t particularly bother me. In the photos the case was brushed clean about a day before. The way I carry this case, in many varied environments, probably doesn’t help keep the case clean.

Like every other Nock Co. case that I have the build quality is first rate.

Nock Co Fodderstack XL with a KarasKustoms Ink and Pelikan M805The Fodderstack XL is big enough to hold two good sized fountain pens. They do touch, which also doesn’t bother me. I have only a few pens where I’m worried about damage and those don’t get carried out and about in any soft case. Other than from each other, the case provides good protection to the pens. It’s a soft case so it won’t protect against aggressive abuse but there is padding from the material. Obviously there’s no protection for the part of the pen sticking out of the case.

The material is a bit thick so pens with tight clips take some effort to insert. I have a couple KarasKustoms Inks, which all have a stiff clip, where the clip is too close to the body to use with the case. They could probably be made to fit, but only after a bit of a fight.

The Fodderstack XL is sized for Nock’s DotDash Pocket Notebooks. This means that most standard pocket notebooks will also fit. This includes Field Notes and Doane Small Utility Notebooks, both of which I’ve used. Two DotDash Pocket Notebooks can be made to fit but it’s a tight squeeze and eliminates the ability to quickly remove and insert the notebook. A Field Notes Ambition and a DotDash Pocket could also be carried but it was also a tight squeeze. I don’t find the extra effort worth it just to have a second pocket notebook.

I typically carry one pocket notebook and two pens in the Fodderstack XL. I usually pick two pens for the day and carry those pens throughout the day. (And honestly, it’s been the same two pens all this week, so they don’t change every day.) One pen is a extra fine or thinner pen and the other is a fountain pen and ink suitable for regular writing sessions, so it can be a wider nib. This week I’ve been carrying my two Vanishing Points, one with a XXXF nib and Pilot black ink while the other is a left oblique nib with Pilot blue ink.

Nock Co Fodderstack XL with two Vanishing Points with the Doane Small Utility Notebook in front of it.

Lately I’ve been carrying the Nock Co. DotDash Pocket Notebook but have carried a Doane Utility Notebook in the past. I like the DotDash design but I’m finding a standard (meaning bound on the left) notebook suites my current usage more. My current pocket notebook carry is a mess and the notebook will change on occassion, but that’s another topic.

A typical day has me almost exclusively using these pens until the evening, where I may switch to a different pen if I do any writing. The exception is if I want an ink that’s not in one of the two pens, such as red. Since I work at home I’ll carry the case around the house if I change locations (office desk, patio if the weather is nice, or a chair by the big patio door if the weather isn’t nice but I want to see the world and daylight). This way I always have a couple pens and notepaper handy.

I also grab the case whenever I head out. It fits in all my shirt pockets. While it’s a little bigger than I prefer for a shirt pocket, it is very light. Little weight is added beyond the pad and paper. It also fits in my jean and trouser pockets, but I only carry it there if my hands and shirt pocket are full and I’m going to a nearby location, such as my car, where I then pull it out. It also slide nicely into my Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter so I can carry it in my mobile office.

I like having it with me so I did develop a habit of leaving it in my car at times, although now that hotter summer weather is here I carry it in a pocket more often with my preference being a shirt pocket, even if I’m heading into a store where I’m unlikely to need it. The notebook pocket is also nice for holding receipts, business cards and other scraps of paper collected throughout the day.

I do have to pay attention to the pens I carry. Two KarasKustoms Ink fountain pens do fit, but they are heavier than my preference for a shirt pocket carry, even without the case.

I like the style so much that I recently bought the smaller original Fodderstack, but I have different plans for this one which I’ll write about in a future what I use, article assuming I do use it. The original Fodderstack is smaller and can only hold one pen (unless they’re really thin pens) and it’s designed for the Nock Co. index cards.

What would I change? Nothing really.

While a different color wouldn’t show off dirt and dust I got this color because I wanted to carry it in my shirt pocket and I didn’t want anything bright, so I’m happy with it. It’s a business friendly color.

I sometimes wish it held three pens but that would make it thicker and heavier, and therefore less useful for me. Three pens in my shirt pocket annoys me even without the added case and notebook. I’ve gone back to carrying a Kaweco Sport with red ink so that gives me a pen to use with bright ink if I need to mark something up.

Bottom Line

The Nock Co. Fodderstack XL works for me because it’s light and easy to grab and carry. I got it intending to have something I could easily toss in a bag or briefcase but I’ve found it’s something I use and carry all day. While I’ve always been happier carrying more pens, I’m finding that the right two pens works well for me and is easy and light to carry. Plus, it works throughout the day in any environment.

Additional Reading

Write Analog (pre-production review)

 

Gallery

Review: The Rest of the Nockco Kickstarter Pen Cases

Nockco should be launching their store soon. (If they haven’t already launched – this post was written last weekend and scheduled for today.)  launched their store yesterday. They’ve already announced additional products so there should be plenty to choose from. Now seems to be a good time to review the rest of my Nockco cases.

I reviewed the Nockco Hightower (the cases are all named for mountain peaks in Georgia) back in May and it remains my most used Nockco pen case. My most used case overall, if I  only consider a case used when pens are put in and taken out. I pledged at the “All the Cases” level when they had their Kickstarter campaign and these are the rest of those cases. And as an aside, it’s nice to see a Kickstarter campaign used to launch a business, and a business that makes their own products, rather than just be a storefront.

The red-white-blue flecked Grand Huron is over 6.5″ long so doesn’t fit in most pen cases but is shown in some photos for reference. The Edison Collier, Lamy Safari, and Pilot Vanishing point are also used (and fit) as a reference for all the cases and should provide a good cross-section of know pens.

Most cases are orange because I picked that as the color for the cases I expected to carry in a bag. This was to make them easy to find. Plus, I like orange.

The Lookout

I expected this three pen holster to be the case I used most but a change in my daily carry bag changed that. Three pens are an ideal carry for me so it does get used.

Like all the cases it’s well made with even stitching and no loose threads. The lining is soft and won’t scratch my pens. I’d consider it a “normal” size case that can accommodate most pens. The material is heavy and protects the pens quit well. Like many cases the sides are open towards the top of the case. I feel more comfortable with my heavy leather Franklin-Christoph Penvelope case bouncing around in my bag if there are heavy objects sharing the space with it. It may be psychological but I feel the leather would provide better protection against being crushed. But as far as cloth bags go, the Lookout provides excellent protection. There is padding and I can’t foresee anything ripping through the material. This the only one of the cases that has the extra padding.

Some people have noticed a Field Notes book fits under the strap and carry one there but I haven’t tried it.

Large Chimney Top

I ended up using this for computer/phone cables, a wireless hotspot, batteries, headphones, thumb drives and more. Thanks to the hotspot and large(ish) brick battery it can be tight at times but a lot does fit in.

The case is unlined but the interior is still smooth. There’s no padding. Again, good construction with even stitching.

The case is about 7″ long so it doesn’t fit full size wood case pencils.

Nockco large chimney top

Small Chimney Top

This case is as long as the Large Chimney Top but narrower. I use this to hold my Vac 700 with its extra nibs. It’s my ink testing case.

Broken record here – good construction with even stitching. Like the large version there’s no lining and large, new wood case pencils just don’t fit.

Nockco small chimney top

The Maryapple

This is a bi-fold case with a notebook pocket on each side. Pens fit too, as long as you don’t mind that they touch. This one is lined. I’ve yet to find a regular use for this case. My particular case is the Steel exterior with Blue Jay interior.

Guess what? Quality construction with even stitching.

Nockco Maryapple

The Maryapple with a Field Notes 3 pack on each side

The Sassafras

This is the pen version of the Maryapple. It’s a bifold case with five pen slots, three on the left and two on the right. The slots on the right can easily hold multiple pens if you don’t mind touching.

Yet again, even stitching and solid construction.

I’ve used this on occasion but it hasn’t gotten a lot of use.

The Nockco Sassafras

The Brasstown

The Brasstown is the most ingenious design of all the cases. It’s a six pen roll that fits in a zippered case. It holds six (or more) pens in a six pen roll. More pens or other small items can fit loose in the case. That’s a lot in a small area.

I would have expected to use this case more but find I usually pick another. If I need less than six pens then it’s the Hightower. If it’s six pens then it’s the leather Penvelope. Because of this I’ve started to use it for my Retro 51 accumulation and spare refills.

The case is lined. New wood case pencils won’t fit in the roll out sleeves but they do fit loose in the case. My Edison Huron Grande won’t be completely wrapped in the roll out sleeve, but it does fit in the case.

And yes, even stitching and overall quality construction.

 

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).

Gallery

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.

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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Pen Cases: Franklin-Christoph Penvelopes

Franklin-Christoph Logo on Penvelope SixRelated 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

Photo of the F-C Penvelope SixI 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.

Penvelope Six side view

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

Photo of the F-C Lucky 13 PenvelopeAfter 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

Photo of the open F-C Penvelope 2A 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.

Wrapping Up

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.

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