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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.




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...




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.




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).




Here's a closeup of the elastic.




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.




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.




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  • da vinci


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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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