Friday, August 5, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 412

If you're not planning on traveling anywhere this summer, why not buy a nice travel-inspired writing instrument for yourself instead? 😁

(please click on images to enlarge)

Meet my new Cross 'Wanderlust' "Everest" ballpoint and its little "travel bag"--my brand-new Londo Design leather pen case!


According to Cross' website, their 'Wanderlust' series of writing instruments was in
spired by Planet Earth's natural beauty and the love of travel (which is the literal definition of "wanderlust"). The series consists of four beautiful designs --"Antelope Canyon", "Borneo", "Everest", and "Malta"-- all available in ballpoint, fountain pen, and rollerball form.

Whereas the other three models in the 'Wanderlust' series all have gold-plated trim, the 'Everest' is the only one with black PVD appointments (that go very nicely with this model, in my opinion).
The 'Wanderlust' line is based on the Cross 'Century
II' line of writing instruments, which are slimmer than the popular Cross 'Townsend' line, but wider than the Cross 'Classic Century'.
I got my ballpoint for $52.49 CAD from Staples.ca on clearance. The lowest price I could find for it online is currently $50.20 USD on Amazon.com, but shipping to Canada is $14.78 USD so the grand total would be about $84 CAD, meaning I got a very good deal on mine. I also didn't have to wait very long to get it -- after I ordered the pen online, it was available for pickup at my local Staples store the next day.

The pen uses a twist-mechanism and takes Cross' proprietary ballpoint refills or
Franklin Covey's ballpoint refills, which are also sold by Staples online. The Franklin Covey line is part of Cross so their refills fit Cross' pens, but they cost less so it's a good way to save yourself some money. My pen came with a black Cross refill in Medium which writes very smoothly. The length of the ballpoint is 13.7 cm / 5.4 inches, the maximum diameter in the gripping area is about 9mm, and it weighs 27.7 grams with its refill in place (all my measurements).

My photos don't do this material justice--it's stunning, but it also manages to capture the essence of the glistening ice, pure-white snow and dark crevasses of Earth's tallest mountain in the manner of an abstract painting. The pen body is made of white lacquer with chrome-plated engravings that are purplish-black in colour. How this effect is achieved is via "a patented design process (that) layers patterned elements and metallic engravings into white lacquer." (from Cross.com)

I have a lovely Cross 'Botanica' ballpoint (which I reviewed here) made of a similarly eye-catching material, and because the 'Botanica' pens are also based on the Cross 'Century
II' design, they bear a resemblance to the 'Wanderlust' pens. The 'Botanica' pens have a very wide, roughly-textured decorative metal cap band, though, whereas the 'Wanderlust' models have narrow, smooth metal cap bands. I hope Cross keeps adding to both of these lines because they are gorgeous writing instruments.

Despite it being a slimmer pen,
my Cross 'Wanderlust' ballpoint feels really good in the hand. I love using it because of that, and also because it's so darned attractive; like its 'Botanica' ballpoint cousin, I often find myself staring at it lol.

Onto my pen case now...


 My new Londo Design leather pen case was another good online deal--I got it for $27.90 CAD with free shipping from Amazon.ca.

Its colour is described as "Mink" and was one of seven colour options, the others being black, brown, camel, blue, khaki green and red. The "Mink" colour is a very dark brown faintly tinged with red/copper.
On the official Londo Design website, the pen case has a retail price of $43.99 USD, so the Amazon.ca price was a steal...and no, it wasn't an Amazon Warehouse Deals purchase--what I paid was the regular Amazon price. Ok, I just checked Amazon's Warehouse Deals, and there's one available in black leather for $13.67 CAD in used, "acceptable" condition (Amazon, why must you continually tempt me??! 😩).

The pen case measures 15.2 cm x 6.1 cm and weighs 52 grams, according to my little digital scale. Londo Design is based in Los Angeles, but the pen's box indicates that the pen case was made in Turkey. There are a lot of nice leather pen accessories being made in Turkey (Galen Leather goods, for one), so I wasn't surprised that it was made there. This is a very nice pen case for a very reasonable price.

The case is made of genuine cowhide and has the Art Deco-ish Londo Design logo debossed on the flap loop. The leather was described on the Amazon sale page as being "high quality"; I'm no expert, but I think the material looks great and feels really nice to the touch. The leather is soft and supple, and the case's construction strikes the perfect balance between rigidity and flexibility... which I like in a pen case (I'm not a big fan of "floppy" pen pouches). The stitching--which is neatly and evenly done-- looks coppery in colour, which matches the leather's coppery/reddish undertones. Altogether, an attractive, well-made pen case.

I can fit two average-sized fountain pens (like the TWSBI Diamond '580' and Pilot 'Metropolitan.' above) in it, and the pouch closes easily, but securely, via a tuck-in flap. The case has no inside divider, though, so if you're worried about the pens inside getting scratched, you could use the case for a single pen. Londo Design also sells genuine leather multi-pen cases with metal snap fasteners and zippered genuine leather multi-pen cases in different sizes and colours, all on Amazon.ca

(photos & review by Maja)

Whether you're going away on holidays or enjoying a staycation at home, have a great rest-of-the-summer! If you're in town on Thursday August 18, consider joining us for our first in-person meeting since the pandemic started! All details posted here:
https://www.vancouverpenclub.com/2022/08/in-person-meeting-thursday-august-18.html

Cheers,
~Maja

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