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Van Der Spek Schrijfmap (Writing Case)


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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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That is gorgeous, and probably exactly what I've been looking for. Nice review.

Pens: Pilot Vanishing Point, Pelikan m150, Pilot Prera, Pilot Metropolitan, Parker Arrow, Countless amount of dip nibs. |
Ink: Waterman Black or O.S. Arsenic for note taking, Iroshizuku Fuyu Gaki & Diamine Oxblood or Ancient Copper for correspondence. Although the last two are nearly always subject to change.
Paper: Rhodia / Clairfontaine. Outstanding quality, and relatively inexpensive.
I think I've finally satiated my thirst for pens, but never ink!

Absolutely amazing B&M pen store.

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