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  1. A5 size note-pads are my "go-to" size for jotting things down at my desk, playing with pens working on my handwriting, and taking to meetings for note taking. I kind of wanted a leather portfolio for the meeting part (and also to close at my desk and hide my doodles...). I ran across the Van der Spek writing cases at Appelboom, and ordered the "bottom of the line" model for 39 euro to see if I liked it. http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Van%20der%20Spek%20Writing%20Case/VanderSpek001_zps4721de0a.jpg For where it's priced, it's hardly a base model. The leather is very nice and the whole thing exudes quality. This won't be my last one, and I think I'll see about having a custom one made. (more on that as we go along). Included is a very nice Van der Spek labeled A5 notepad. A thoughtful inclusion so you are free to write immediately, in case you didn't already have an A5 notepad... http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Van%20der%20Spek%20Writing%20Case/VanderSpek003_zps343476a1.jpg Another thing that sold me on this brand was that there is a pen loop built in. It appears quite small, and a Pelikan M300 fits easily and snugly. http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Van%20der%20Spek%20Writing%20Case/VanderSpek004_zpse8d5fbed.jpg The problem with pen loops is that they're almost never the right size for the pen you intend to use. Van der Spek gets around that issue by hiding a bit of elastic in the loop. The loop that securely holds an M300 will also accept a large pen like this Omas Extra (roughly MB 146 size). http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Van%20der%20Spek%20Writing%20Case/VanderSpek005_zps8c284e9d.jpg Here's a closeup of the elastic. http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Van%20der%20Spek%20Writing%20Case/VanderSpek006_zpsd0a5570c.jpg I'll use the included paper for something (or give it to the wife), but I prefer to have some Rhodia in there (which is why I bought the thing in the first place. As you can see, the A5 sized Rhodia pad fits perfectly. http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Van%20der%20Spek%20Writing%20Case/VanderSpek007_zps9e24277d.jpg Overall I'm quite pleased with the case. The leather is very, very nice and supple to the touch. One minor complaint is that they used a bit of foam underneath to give it a "pillow touch". I'm not a fan of that and wasn't aware that this would be the case (no pun intended!). The small pockets will hold a business or credit card, but I would probably prefer if one held Exacompta note cards (I like the 74x105mm ones readily available in Europe). I put a few of these in my Midori Passport notebook for jotting a to-do list or being able to pass along a quick note or info. The last thing is the pen loop. It is quite snug, and while a tapered pen like the Omas (or a Lamy 2000) will fit; I have some concerns about the durability of the elastic. A pen like a Pilot 95S seems to snag on the lip where the cap meets the body. I think I would like a finger pouch fashioned in place of the loop instead. I'll call Van der Spek and see if they can do something like that. http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa163/roomdog/Van%20der%20Spek%20Writing%20Case/VanderSpek008_zpsc4801ff8.jpg





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