There are two different videos I made here, the first covering an overview of the brand with an explanation of the different sizes and formats, and the second where I compare the two different types of paper in Leuchtturm1917 with Moleskine and Rhodia.
Leuchtturm1917 is a brand of journals that we've been asked about a lot in recent months, so we had to look into them for ourselves. When it comes to paper shopping, we're always a little skeptical of any new paper we hear about, as most companies just don't make products that hold up to fountain pen ink. Well, after trying Leuchtturm for ourselves, we were impressed, especially given the price. The paper isn't absolutely premium for fountain pen use, with the right (or should I say wrong) pen and ink combinations, you certainly can push it past its limits to evoke feathering and bleeding. But this paper's threshold of pain is pretty high, higher than anything I've used in this price range before, and their notebooks have a lot of really cool details that make the brand as a whole something really unique.
Here is a bit of their history, as quoted from the Leuchtturm1917 site:
Founded in 1917, Leuchtturm can look back on over 90 years of experience in the production of high-quality stationery. The company was re-established in Hamburg from 1948. From the 1960s, Leuchtturm’s international expansion continued apace, culminating in the company becoming the world’s leading supplier of postage stamp and coin albums. Axel and Max Stürken took over management at the end of the 1990s as the fourth generation to head the traditional Hanseatic family-run company.
Experience and consistency are important requirements for quality. Quality gives ideas a solid foundation on which they can develop. We are convinced that small details can make a big difference.
Some items, such as the springback binder, are still made in the same way as they were back in the days when the company was first set up. Since then, many items have been added to our range. All LEUCHTTURM1917 items unite the belief that success stems from quality and well thought-out detailed solutions. Today, LEUCHTTURM1917 stands for premium quality in more than 50 countries.The most exciting thing about Leuchtturm1917 is the format, the details, and the value. These notebooks cost significantly less than other notebooks like them, and the build and paper quality is impressive for what you're paying. They come stacked full of paper, have numbered pages with a table of contents to organize the book, back pockets (on everything but the Jottbook), and even come with stickers to label the binding so you can quickly glance at your journals on a shelf. They have done a lot of cool stuff with these.
|Leuchtturm1917 numbered pages in every notebook.|
|Place for a date at the top of the page.|
|Table of contents at the front of each notebook, to organize your book.|
|A place for the name and address at the front of the notebook.|
|Back pocket on hard cover and soft cover notebooks (not the Jottbook though).|
|Perforated sheets (ranging from 8-28 total, depending on the notebook) in the back of most notebooks.|
|Thank you card from the owners, Leuchtturm1917 history, and stickers to label your binding available on most notebooks.|
Rachel and I cover a lot in the videos, but there are honestly just so many different little details that it's hard to go over everything, especially the subtle things that change from one notebook to another. We've put an incredible amount of time and effort into detailing and photographing every aspect of these notebooks on GouletPens.com, so that will be the best way to see the specifications of each different product.
There are three basic cover types, the Hard Cover, Soft Cover, and Jottbook. Among these, there are three different sizes available, the Pocket (A6, approx.), Large (A5, approx.), and Master (A4, approx.). The prices on the entire notebook line range from only $6 to $28, so you definitely get some serious page for your buck. They have notebooks in blank, lined (5mm on most notebooks, 8.5mm on the Hard Cover A4 Master only), 5mm graph, and 5mm dot grids.
There are some really neat colors, too! Most of the colors are only available in the ruled format, but that could change in the future.
The paper itself is (in my view) better than Moleskine, not quite as ideal for fountain pen ink as Rhodia/Clairefontaine, so there will need to be some consideration given about which pen and ink (mainly the ink) used on this paper. I tested several inks but there's no way I can test anywhere near the 700 inks we have, so I'd love to hear from anyone with Leuchtturm1917 experience which inks work best. It's been pretty evident that Leuchtturm1917 has catered to more of the pencil/ballpoint/rollerball crowd that Moleskine serves than the fountain pen community, but they are very interested to learn more about fountain pens and what we crazy ink lovers want in our notebooks. Part of what got me so excited about working with Leuchtturm is that they are so open to feedback and excited to learn about our community, so I can definitely see them taking a lot of our feedback to heart. This seems like a company that is very user-oriented, and that's something that I can get behind.
***One thing I forgot to mention in the post originally, but the labels for the notebooks actually hold up quite well to fountain pen ink. Here's a sampling:
|Leuchtturm1917 labels with fountain pen ink, holds up well!|
This is a brand that we've been really excited to begin carrying, and I think it will find a nice cozy place in the fountain pen world. We're offering a significant part of the Leuchtturm1917 line of notebooks at GouletPens.com. If you have any feedback about anything, don't hesitate to ask me in the comments below. I'd love to hear what you think!