Anyway, on to the review.
This case appealed to me because it seems relatively unique and an improvement over the typical pen case. Most of the cases I'd run across seemed to have the leather flap that goes over the tops of the pens and then gets tucked under a strap to stay in place. Those cases typically have the pen sleeves visible, almost like the leather had been shrink-wrapped around the pens. You know the ones I'm talking about. (If not, click here for an example.) No offense to anyone that has or sells cases like those, but I find them terribly ugly, and they make me think of cigars more than they make me think of pens. Also, it seems like it would be a pain to thread that leather flap through the strap.
This case, as you can see, has a nice, smooth exterior (i.e., no visible pen sleeves) and a convenient snap closure. The holes in the leather, which cover the inner flap and most of the back, make me think of racing gloves or the leather on a steering wheel in an expensive sports car.
Everything about this design says "sleek" and "fast" to me. Honestly, it gives me a little thrill every time I pull it out of my breast pocket. While it is certainly handsome and likely to get a reaction around a conference table crowded with Bic Stic users, the thrill I get is not from impressing others (I've sworn off pen snobbery, remember?), but from . . . well, it's a really cool pen accessory! Isn't that enough? (Besides, you'll only impress some people; the rest will think you're eccentric for even carrying your pens in a case, and they'll think you're absolutely insane when they find out what they cost. Or they'll just think you're trying to show off.)
|Levenger Golden Tortoise True Writer and Waterman Expert in the case|
Though you wouldn't know it from these pictures, the sleeves are quite tight when the case is new, making it difficult to remove and put away your pens. I try to put only threaded-cap pens in it, because the fit is so snug (even on slim pens) that it's easy to pull a snap-cap off when trying to remove the pen. I imagine the pockets will stretch out over time and be more snap-cap friendly, but I doubt they will ever get so loose that your pens are in danger of scraping against each other.
Presentation is a mixed bag. The hinged box with elastic strap is utilitarian but lacking elegance. Yet, open the box and you find the case inside a satin-like fabric sleeve, a touch you'd expect to find in a fancier gift box.
|Presentation: nicer on the inside than the outside|
My only beef about the case is that the leather seems to wear rather quickly. I know bright shiny leather never stays that way (at least, not without a lot of tender loving care), but I am already seeing some significant cracking, and I don't think I've had this case out of the box more than half a dozen times. (I only use it when I'm wearing a suit.)
|Close-ups of leather wear|
As usual, more pictures at the Flickr photo set for this review.