Monday, July 6, 2015

Review: Montblanc #146 Flannel Notebook @AppelboomLaren @Montblanc_World

Review Montblanc #146 Flannel Notebook @AppelboomLaren @Montblanc_World (1)
ABOUT

Size: 150 mm x 210 mm
Color: Grey
Ruling: Lined
Sheet Count: 96
Weight: 85 gsm
Price: €55.00 (excluding VAT €45.45)
Where to buy: Appelboom Pennen
Appleboom
APPEARANCE

This fine notebook by Montblanc is quite attractive. I love the size of it - it doesn't look so big that it's overwhelming. The cover is a soft and flexible leather, with an irregular cross-hatched texture to it (Saffiano). It is a grey flannel color, with a silky, light silvery bookmark inside. There is a raised Montblanc emblem on the front cover - minimal logo marking, but it looks good. The binding is rounded and stitched with grey and white thread, and the edges of the pages are silver cut. The back of the notebook says Montblanc Made in Italy at the bottom in silver writing. The whole thing looks really great, classy, expensive, and put together.
Review Montblanc #146 Flannel Notebook @AppelboomLaren @Montblanc_World (11)
Inside, the first page has a calligraphy guide that shows how the lines can be used, and it also explained to me why the ruling was so wide. I prefer ruling that is more narrow than this notebook's, but after seeing the calligraphy ruling, I tried to make use of the space. I think it worked out pretty well.
Review Montblanc #146 Flannel Notebook @AppelboomLaren @Montblanc_World (5)
The paper is white, with a watermark of the Montblanc star. The bottom of the page says Montblanc in grey, and the ruling is grey to match.
Review Montblanc #146 Flannel Notebook @AppelboomLaren @Montblanc_World (3)
I love the colors of this notebook, the silver edges, the matching bookmark, all of it. I think it looks great. It's not a notebook I want to just scribble in: I want to fill it with proper practice and great things.

PERFORMANCE & FEEL

The notebook itself feels great. I love the soft, flexible covers - the notebook felt portable and easy to carry, squeezing in between all my other books and notepads in my bag. The cover held up really well to being scraped and rubbed on other things. The bookmark has not frayed on me, keeping the notebook looking intact.

The paper is slightly toothy to the touch, and the watermark is visible at a low angle (and with the right light). I think the watermark is interesting and subtle. Whether it serves an actual purpose, I don't know. Each page feels pretty thick, and they are not slick and coated.

Although it pained me to do so, I tested pencils, ballpoints, gel pens, and rollerballs. Everything wrote without issue, and actually I found the experience very pleasant because of the slight tooth of the paper. There was no feathering, no bleed through (with normal use - I did have some bleeding when I cut through the page), and show through was low enough that I could use both sides of the page. Markers bled through, of course, but did not feather.
Review Montblanc #146 Flannel Notebook @AppelboomLaren @Montblanc_World (17)
Brush pens performed really well, shading beautifully, drying fast, and there was no bleed through and the show through was minimal. Brush pens appear to be awesome in nearly every notebook I use.
Review Montblanc #146 Flannel Notebook @AppelboomLaren @Montblanc_World (18)
The real question is: is it fountain pen friendly? It would be a bit absurd if it wasn't! Yes, it is.
Review Montblanc #146 Flannel Notebook @AppelboomLaren @Montblanc_World (19)
Fountain pens ranging from extra-fine to double-broads, stubs, and calligraphy nibs were all really well tolerated by the paper - no feathering, no bleed through, low show through, great shading, captivating sheens and particles, and drying times that weren't particularly long. In addition, the slight tooth of the paper made the writing experience very pleasant; somewhat tactile and a little audible. I love this paper.
Review Montblanc #146 Flannel Notebook @AppelboomLaren @Montblanc_World (8)
Review Montblanc #146 Flannel Notebook @AppelboomLaren @Montblanc_World (9)
Review Montblanc #146 Flannel Notebook @AppelboomLaren @Montblanc_World (10)
The notebook can open and lie flat, and the spine never or feels broken. When I close it again, it still closes, even after using the middle of the notebook.
Review Montblanc #146 Flannel Notebook @AppelboomLaren @Montblanc_World (4)
PROS
  • Paper from responsible sources - FSC™
  • Paper is chlorine-free.
  • Ruling allows for calligraphy as well as normal writing.
  • Beautiful notebook - very elegant and classy. A perfect companion for pretty much any fountain pen. 
  • Lies flat and opens easily - can use all of the pages.
  • Nice tooth to the paper - offers a pleasant writing experience.
  • Fountain pen friendly.
    • Inks shade well.
    • Sheen and particles show up well.
    • No bleed through with normal use.
    • Low show through.
    • No feathering.
  • Durable cover, easy to clean.
Review Montblanc #146 Flannel Notebook @AppelboomLaren @Montblanc_World (13)
CONS  
  • Price. It's a little high.
  • Ruling is on the wide side, so if you don't intend to use it as demonstrated (for the art of writing, as they say), it may be too much space.
OVERALL 

I love this notebook. Like all Montblanc products, it carries a hefty premium, but I dislike very little about it, except for the price tag. The paper is great, offers a pleasant writing experience, and it's fountain pen friendly. The notebook is elegant, classy, and feels great. Gorgeous. It's going to be a little painful to replace this when it's full, but if I use it for very special things, I can extend its life some...
Review Montblanc #146 Flannel Notebook @AppelboomLaren @Montblanc_World (14)
I received this item free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. 

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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