Pocket Notebook Review
What is it? The Blackwing Clutch is a pocket notebook that’s meant to be used on its side. The marketing may be a little gimmicky, but no matter how you use it, it’s a premium pocket notebook with fountain pen friendly paper.
- 100GSM Ruled, Lined, or Dot Grid Paper
- Sewn Binding
- Flexible Leatherette Cover
- 3.5″ x 5.5″ (with a workspace of 7″x5.5″ when open)
- $14.95 for a 3-pack
Notes: Palomino Brands’ Blackwing Clutch notebook is their take on the pocket sized notebook. It’s loaded with 48 pages of 100GSM paper that’s heavy, smooth, and fountain pen friendly. Let’s take a closer look at these premium pocket notebooks!
Inside the covers of the Clutch, you’ll find a printed section for notes. There’s a box in the back cover for “notes”, while the front has a dedicated spot for start date, completion date, and a some contact information. The covers themselves are a double layered leatherette. It seems like there’s a paper cover thats bonded to the leatherette cover. It results in a thick, durable cover that’s sure to hold up in your pocket better than if it were card stock alone. Here’s where things get a little funky. The Blackwing Clutch is meant to be used on its side (like shown in the photo above). The marketing surrounding the notebooks suggests that you have a better workspace when writing this way. The thing is, it only really matters if you’re looking at the lined notebook (which I don’t have, but check it out here). The lines are printed so that when the notebook is held horizontally, the lines are oriented properly. When using the dot grid or blank notebook, it really doesn’t matter how you hold it, because dots and nothing are the same no matter which angle you look at them. I see what they were trying to do there, but I think it’s more gimmicky than it is functional. Marketing aside, these are some solid pocket notebooks. The covers are heavy, the paper is nice, and the lay flat binding is sturdy and functional. As you can see in the above photo, the paper plays nice with a variety of writing instruments. It doesn’t have a thick coated feel like Rhodia paper, which I think is a benefit in a pocket notebook. When something is meant for quick notes, you don’t want to wait for ink to dry — you just want to write something down, close the book up, and go. There was a tiny bit of feathering with a medium Lamy nib, but no show through or bleeding. The rollerball, gel, and pencil all performed really well on the paper. Overall, the Blackwing Clutch is a good notebook. At $14.95 for a three pack, they’re a little more than the standard 3.5×5.5″ notebooks out there, but I think they’re worth the premium. The covers, sewn binding, and nice paper result in a pocket notebook that’s worthy of the Blackwing name. This series of notebooks is available in two other sizes – all featuring the same paper and covers. Thank you to Alex (not Andrew 🙃) over at Blackwing for sending over the notebooks!
Want to snag some for yourself? Pick them up from Blackwing’s website here.