Dot grid and indentation ruling on each page spread
100GSM off-white paper
Stingray leatherette cover
Lay flat binding
Code & Quill offered up a sample notebook for review, I was immediately intrigued by the unique ruling inside. The right sheet is printed with their proprietary “indentation” rule (a hybrid line + graph) and the left sheet is printed with a 5mm dot grid.
The grey leatherette cover is nicely textured, it reminded me of stingray leather’s pattern. There’s minimal branding, but I like how it is done. Code & Quill have sewn on a fabric patch with their logo on the front of each book. The ruling inside pretty much has all of the bases covered for anything you want to write or sketch – thanks to the lines, grid, and dots. I can definitely see the layout being useful. The paper inside reminds me of that which is found in the Rhodia Webnotebook. It’s slightly heavier at 100GSM, but retains a similar off-white color.
The paper is slightly more absorbent than Rhodia and lacks the slick “coated” feel, but it’s a pleasure to write on. The paper easily holds up to fountain pen, gel, rollerball, and pencil without bleeding through. There was a slight bit of show through, but nothing to the point where the page wouldn’t be usable on both sides.
I was informed by the company that they have further improved the paper for the final production version, which I would definitely like to see. The size, shape, and ruling are ideal for everyday use. It’s a great looking book that brings something new to the table. The Origin is competitively priced at $20, coming in slightly cheaper than other books with similar specs. I’m definitely a fan of the notebook and I’d like to see where the new brand goes in the future. Thanks again to Code & Quill for sending over the book!
I Went To A Brick & Mortar Pencil Shop and It Was Awesome
I had a few errands to run in the city this week, and had heard about a shop down in SoHo completely dedicated to pencils. There has definitely been a buzz around woodcase pencils recently, and I wanted to stop in and see what it was all about. This shop is called CW Pencil Enterprise,run by Caroline Weaver. I stopped in the shop, introduced myself, and took a few pictures. Upon entering the first thing I noticed was the Dudek Modern Goodsdisplays that were in the window, looking great. The second thing I noticed was the overwhelming (but still great) smell of pencils. You may not notice the scent when you’re sharpening one or two, but if you’re standing in a store that exclusively deals in pencils, then you’re bound to notice.
Caroline was hugely helpful. I told her I was a pen guy through and through, but wanted to see what the pencil craze is all about. I asked her to set me up with a starter pack so I could easily narrow down what I liked. She knew everything about all of the brands she carried, and set me up with various pencils from around the world, all with different wood types, shapes, lead hardness grades, and even synthetic graphite.
I got some information on what makes a pencil sharpener cost $500, and I totally get it. I completely understand why pencil people would need a precision sharpener in the same way that I can justify an expensive fountain pen purchase.
She showed me her vintage hot stamping machine that customizes pencils and how it works. Although I didn’t get any this time, I will for sure in the future. Caroline packed up my “starter kit” of around 10 pencils in a neat yellow parcel, and closed it up with baker’s twine. I’m super excited to dig in and check out all of these pencils! I can tell that his sector of the analog writing hobby is slightly more accessible, as I left the store with a total bill of $15. I really felt as though I got a lot for my money. CW Pencil Enterprise is definitely a must-see destination for the writing enthusiast if you’re in New York City. Thanks again to Caroline for the help, knowledge, and for letting me take some pictures!
I used to have a Pelikan M605 that I got rid of because it wasn’t seeing as much use as I would have liked. As soon as I saw the announcement of the Stresemann, I knew I had to once again add a a Pelikan to the flock. The M805 Stresemann is an anthracite grey striated M805 with silver trim and an entirely rhodium-plated nib. The M8XX series is Pelikan’s second largest pen, right under the M1000 and right above the M600. The size and weight are ideal for me. Many thanks to Ron over at Pen Chalet for sponsoring this review! Read on to see how the M805 held up to regular use!
Make sure to check out the gallery at the bottom of the review, featuring 20 full-sized photos of the Pelikan M805 Stresemann!
Appearance & Packaging:
The Stresemann comes in the standard Pelikan packaging. A faux wood and white box. Inside is a nice leather pouch, held closed by an elastic band bearing a plastic Pelikan logo emblem. Packaging doesn’t mean a whole lot to be, but the Stresemann is nicely presented. Inside the box is what really matters. The pen is absolutely stunning. The grey striated barrel has a deep shine and is transparent between the stripes. This allows you to see the ink level remaining.
Since the ink level is visible through the body, there is no need for Pelikan’s signature green ink window on the black pen bodies.The lack of ink window streamlines the body and results in a cleaner look overall. The pen is large, and posting the cap makes the pen larger. Usually Pelikan uses a dual-tone nib, but the Stresemann is unique in that they have implemented an entirely silver, rhodium-plated nib. The large size nib looks wonderful and matches the aesthetic of the pen perfectly. I love the shape of Pelikan nibs and it is accented in this larger pen. The silver trim nicely compliments the grey body and silver nib on the pen.
Nib Performance & Filling System:
I opted for a broad nib, which is quite out of character for me. Admittedly, the tines were ever-so-slightly misaligned out of the box. A quick adjustment and everything was fine. The nib is super smooth and in the middle of the wetness scale. The broad nib is a bit narrower than the Lamy 2000 broad nib I also recently picked up. I’m happy with it, but I’d prefer a bit more ink flow.
The M805 employs a massive piston filler. Ink capacity is great, especially given the amount of ink a broad nib goes through. The piston is buttery smooth and there’s no play in the knob. The brass components inside add some heft to the pen, but it stays balanced. Unscrew the knob, submerge the nib, screw the knob back in, and you’re ready to write. No complaints here!
The M805 isn’t nearly as heavy as I was expecting it to be. For some reason, I had it in my head that this thing was going to weigh me down. It’s quite comfortable in hand, especially when writing with the cap off, unposted. Posting the cap makes the pen a bit unwieldy. The added length and weight towards the back are not the best for my hand / writing style, but for those with larger hands it just might be.
The body of the pen is smooth and without faults. The resin is particularly sleek to the touch. Be careful, as the black is particularly prone to micro scratches. The cap threads are small and unobtrusive, meaning that those who grip higher up on the pen shouldn’t be bothered. The width of the grip section is very comfortable and the gentle taper keeps inky fingers at bay. For long writing sessions, I’ve found no fatigue or cramping due to the shape and weight of the pen.
– Looks extremely classy
– Broad nib is silky smooth
– Weight, balance and shape are comfortable in hand
– Nib tines were slightly misaligned out of the box
At around $640, the Stresemann is most certainly a luxury. It performs well, and the price isn’t simply just for the brand. The components and construction match up to the price tag and it will last a lifetime. Pelikan is a highly-regarded brand and there is tons of heritage and history behind this M805. This pen is not an impulse buy for most, but if you’re in the market for a Pelikan, the Stresemann should definitely be considered!
Notes: It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these and there are a lot of new things here. Also a few things I’ve had for a while but haven’t gotten around to reviewing yet. I just figured out that the Hero 9018 fude nib fits into the Karas Kustoms Ink and I’m having a lot of fun with that. I recently picked up the Lamy 2000 and the Pelikan M805 so those two are being put through their paces for official reviews – expect those soon! The Pilot 823 is almost always inked up, the architect point is so fun to use. I haven’t emptied out the 580AL in a while, no problems with the ink and no visible staining, which is nice. I’m not huge on this pen, but somehow it’s managed to stick around. I filled the Vanishing Point with the JH ink to do a review, it’s just about empty so it will be back in storage soon.
“French Paper supplied four cover stocks for these books: Pop-Tone 100#C “Lemon Drop” and “Sno Cone,” Speckletone 100#C “True White,” and Dur-O-Tone 80#C “Packing Brown Wrap.” We hand-set several designs using Hamilton’s collection of vintage type and ornaments. Hamilton then printed our designs in two random colors on a 1961 Heidelberg GT 13″×18″ windmill press. Randomizing the designs, papers, and colors resulted in thousands of variations. Further variations were introduced thanks to the nature of wood type, letterpress printing, and the music playing in the print shop during the 200+ hours on press.
Back in Chicago, our logo and specifications were added with a hit of “Broadside Blue-Black” ink. Then the books were bound with 48 pages of Finch Opaque Smooth 50#T featuring our “Double Knee Duck Canvas” graph grid. Three copper staples hold ’em together. As always, they’re all-U.S.A.-made, with a lot of love from the shores of Lake Michigan.”
This is less of a formal review and more of a “GO GET THESE BEFORE THEY’RE GONE!”. Field Notes are some of my favorite notebooks in terms of design, especially the COLORS editions. This one is no exception. I’m a sucker for all things screen printed, and these being a mix of wood block and letterpress immediately grabbed my attention. The books are all unique, in that they are all a random assembly of designs and text. Even cooler is that each one is hand-set, making the creation of the covers less of a set-and-forget and more of a hands-on process.
I can definitely appreciate that. The subtle details like the dark blue inked “FIELD NOTES” logo on the front and the copper staples really stand out. I ordered three 3-packs and each book is different from the next. As far as performance, the Finch Opaque Smooth 50#T paper works well enough. I decided to use a book for doodling with my Lamy broad nib, and there’s a fair amount of bleed and feathering. The paper works great with ballpoint, gel, finer rollerballs and finer fountain pen nibs.
The graph inside is pretty standard, the 4.5mm spacing nicely compliments the size of the book. I’ve been using one to keep track of what episodes of the X-Files I’ve watched, rating them as I go. The graph definitely proves helpful for making a checklist. The cool factor on this limited edition is through the roof, go pick some up before they’re gone forever!