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X47 Leather Notebook System


elderberry
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Today I'm reviewing a leather notebook/diary system made by a German manufacturer. The X47 is their high end line, there also is X17 which is cheaper and, I think, uses a less sophisticated system to attach the refills. As I haven't found anything about the brand on FPN yet I feel it's high time.

 

I've never liked ring notebooks like Filofax but the idea of something refillable always appealed to me. That's why I own two Midori Traveler's Notebooks and three A5 sized handmade leather journals of various colors. The X47 is a very different animal as it doesn't breathe "handmade and rugged" but "businesslike and classy".

 

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Necke6IoktI/UkZ43LC7SKI/AAAAAAAAAws/Q4dIkE7-1r4/s1600/x471.JPG

 

They are handmade though, sewn here in Germany. A5 and A6 size are available. There is a range of leather colors and surfaces to choose from. I chose glossy chestnut brown calfskin and it's beautiful. Boyfriend is working with leather and if you've touched and worked with hides, good ones and poor ones, you can feel if it's good quality. For me, a glossy surface notoriously rouses suspicions because many poor quality leathers try to hide behind a ton of lacquer and dye. These are the leathers that feel like painted cardboard. My X47 isn't like that! It's nice and supple and feels good.

 

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GkCd_lzgcGQ/UkZ7TXbtM4I/AAAAAAAAAw4/BsuGLY578_g/s1600/X472.JPG

 

The notebook offers a few goodies. For instance if you choose the A5 size you can insert an extra A6 cahier into the inside of the front cover. The one currently sitting there is a little smaller than A6, but it's wise to put something there, else the gap could be bothersome when writing on the first pages of the first refill.

There is also a stamp sized space with a leather flap but I have no idea what that's for. It's definitely too small for business cards (plus there is space for business cards at the inside of the back cover). Any ideas?

The leather is really thin so there's something stiff between the layers of the front and back cover. It will prevent the whole thing from becoming too soft and wobbly over time.

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Mi77-B4cofA/UkZ8Vo29n0I/AAAAAAAAAxA/kwpAAfj7Bh0/s1600/X473.JPG

 

Refills are inserted using slim aluminium rods. The curvy parts are attached to the leather, the straight parts can be taken out and have two thorns which go through the spines of the notebook refills. Near the lower edge of the next picture you can see such a thorn.

The ready made refills you can buy at X47 already have such a straight rod attached to their backs so exchanging them is quick and easy. You can also remove those rods and attach them to any notebook you'd like, in my case a Midori MD light, a Rhodia and a Semikolon.

Another cool detail: sewn-in ribbon bookmarks. The ends of those have been covered in resin or something similar so they won't fray. I don't know if I would mind them fraying but I'm a little impressed by the thoughtfulness.

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pbqfCY9pwAo/UkZ-h0xVUTI/AAAAAAAAAxM/zQZOprNfnqw/s1600/X474.JPG

 

This picture also shows the color better, a very nice reddish brown. The glossy surface makes it even more lively.

I have to say I like this system, it's very slim and elegant. Even though it makes using your own paper a little more complicated than with a Midori I feel it's worth it.

 

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xA-ZTw347O8/UkZ_kXpxNmI/AAAAAAAAAxU/BVWmpiPtzRI/s1600/X475.JPG

 

There's also a pen loop large enough for a slim fountain pen - part of it is elastics but anything fatter than, say, a Pelikan M400 would be a really tight fit.

 

The notebook weighs 570 g with said 3 refills, which is a little heavier than a larger sized Midori TN - which is still quite a bit smaller than A5 -, but lighter than my handmade notebooks. I'm still not sure if this very classy style is really for me but no matter what, this is some really nice piece of work.

 

Hope you've enjoyed my review. :)

 

P.S.: The decorative pen is an Omas Extra Lucens.

Read more about me, my pens, photography & so on my little blog

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very nice - thank you reviewing this. I like the style - discrete and professional.

 

Could the "stamp-sized space with leather flap" be for urmmmm stamps? :)

Verba volant, scripta manent

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They look very interesting. What is the quality of the refills like - fountain pen friendly or not? Do they take a standard A5 notebook like the Clairefontaine? What does the A5 cost?

Appreciate the review - very interesting product.

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They look very interesting. What is the quality of the refills like - fountain pen friendly or not? Do they take a standard A5 notebook like the Clairefontaine? What does the A5 cost?

 

Appreciate the review - very interesting product.

 

The ready made refills are so-so in terms of fountain pen friendliness. They will tolerate finer points with less juicy ink flow. If you buy a few of their refills you can take their aluminium rods and use them on any notebook you like as I did with mine. All you need to do for that is punch 2 holes into their spines at the right position so you can attach the rod to them.

 

I think the A5 is about € 300,- plus refills.

Edited by elderberry

Read more about me, my pens, photography & so on my little blog

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Thanks for the information, elderberry. I think this system surfaced a few months ago but no one had actually gotten hands-on with one of the units.

 

(My opinions only, of course) The x47's spring-loaded steel rods are an advancement on the Midori-style rubber band, for sure, (although, it must be allowed, the Midori has many satisfied users and imitators) but the whole cahier-based insert system is useless as an organizer/agenda/planner for me, personally. The beauty of the 6-ring binders I use is the ability to shift the spatial location of any piece of punched paper. That single feature delights me and has made my professional life possible. Static systems just don't have the flexibility and spontaneity I require.

 

I'd like to see one of these in person; the leatherwork looks great.Wonder if anyone in the States will import them.

 

Thank you again for drawing our attention to another interesting product.

I ride a recumbent, I play go, I use Macintosh so of course I use a fountain pen.

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Wow 300 euros is a flagship price for a notebook insert. The review was wonderful. Thank you.

 

I wonder if the cut out was for a usb or flashcard device perhaps.

Rob Maguire (Plse call me "M or Mags" like my friends do...)I use a Tablet, Apple Pencil and a fountain pen. Targas, Sailor, MB, Visconti all wonderful.

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Thanks for your ideas! It could be for a small sticky notes pad, though what's the flap for then?

Now I went back to their web site and took a closer look, it's actually said there: It really is for stamps and other small things.

 

Mags: The price is for the notebook system, not for an insert - that would indeed be overpriced. :-D

Read more about me, my pens, photography & so on my little blog

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Interesting notebook...that OMAS is beautiful. I don't think anyone does celluloid better.

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