It’s been nearly six months since it was announced that Quo Vadis Habanas would be changing from 90g white paper to 85g ivory paper. It caused quite a stir over on Quo Vadis blog! I think everyone’s biggest concern was that the quality of the paper would suffer with the switch, and I’m going to just say outright that the paper quality is very much up to par with the old 90g paper. It’s ever so slightly thinner, but I don’t think you will notice the 5g difference.
The paper is off-white, very similar in color to the paper in the Rhodia Webnotebook, if you’re familiar with them. The most drastic change that I wasn’t quite expecting was the ruling change. The large Habana in the old 90g version used to have 8mm ruling, which is pretty wide (the small 64g Habana had 5mm ruling). All of the new 85g Habanas, large and small, have 5.5mm ruling. It’s quite a drastic change from 8mm to 5.5mm, which I suspect will be a welcome change for most of you.
One cool thing is that the lines themselves are made up of small gray dots, so the overall appearance of the line is much more subtle. Compare the 90g white paper with 8mm lines to the new 5.5mm ‘dot’ lines:
What is most important to me in any journal is the paper quality. If the paper won’t hold up well to fountain pens, then I don’t care if it’s the perfect size, shape, color, ruling, whatever else….it just has to hold up to the ink. And this paper does, just like the 90g did. I did a comparison between the old and new with a whole slew of ink and pen combos that I had on hand, and I didn’t see any noticeable difference between the two.
The Habanas are available in 4 colors: black, anis green, red, and raspberry, in both lined and blank versions, large (6.25″x9.25″) and small (4″x6.25″).
My impression of the new Habana paper is positive. I’m still mourning the loss of the white paper versions, as I personally had a preference for both white paper and larger rulings, but I will survive. I’m finding that I’m coming around to the new version. I do like the more subtle line, and the color of the paper is pleasant to the eye. I have to wonder if perhaps there is a place in the writing world for both a white paper Habana and an ivory Habana….but that is a discussion for another day. Today, I welcome the new Habanas. They are respectable journals that I think will stake their claim in the fountain pen world.
***Since the original posting, the sleeves on the Habanas have changed, which I blogged about here. Here’s a pic comparing the old ones to the new ones:
In case you were wondering where to get them, we have them over at Goulet Pens, available now. They should be available at retailers across the world soon.