This post is what is the second part of a trilingual series (in German, Swedish, and English) on pencil cases from German leather distributor Gusti Leather. Since the company operates in different markets, Gusti Leather and I thought that I might be a good thing to have different products reviewed in different languages in order to sort of get the knowledge out for any of those native tongues there. Since my site is rather trilingual anyway – a German living in Sweden with English as domestic language – this idea came in really handy.
While the first part of this little series was in German and on pen rolls, that one here is, obviously, in English. There will be one coming in Swedish as well. So stay tuned.
Having that said, the product that I’d like to take a closer look at here is a Vintage Leather Pencil Case – I got the brown one, but it’s also available in black. Costing 16€, it is – just as most of the Gusti Leather products – really decently priced, being that it is a leather product.
Let’s go ahead and dive straight into things.
The Vintage Leather Pencil Case is part of the Gusti Leder studio-series which, according to the company, “stands for practicality and transparency”. Since the products are often handmade in lower income-countries, this includes
- making sure that employees are living comfortably and are working in good and suitable conditions
- visiting producers severally per annum to maintain a close relationship
- putting measures in place that ban child labour.
This brown Vintage Leather Pencil case I got here, for instance, is made by a slightly larger producer (meaning 50-200 employees) in India. It’s made from buffalo hide and chemically tanned.
The brown leather has a very light structure and the stitchings used are super-beautiful. The workmanship is excellent, I would say. That case is so neat, would you tell me it is machine made, I would probably believe it. I do also love the way it feels in the hands – really smooth, soft and handy and the same time. It has the “Gusti Leder studio”-logo embossed on the frontside.
What I personally love most about that case is its minimalist and elegant look that is somehow vintage at the same time. For me, this is achieved through the simple lines and rounded edges, while this character is sort of amplified by the brown color of the leather. There is also a bigger version of this case – I do also have that here, but in black. I will review that one in the upcoming Swedish-language post and you will see a clear difference in the character of the case, just by a change of the color. While the brown leans much more to the vintage-elegant side, the black clearly tends towards the classy-elegant side. But that is just my two cents and you’ll soon be able to estimate for yourself.
The pen case is pretty compact in size, measuring 19,5 x 5,5 x 3,5 cm (WxHxD). The basic mechanism of the case is that of a slider, i.e. it consists of a tube and a slide-on that sort of serves as a shell.
This is what the frontside looks like once the case is taken apart. Both parts are still really sturdy – you can press on them pretty hard and they won’t indent dramatically. The whole thing just feels really stable and you’ll definitely trust it to protect your pens well.
Upon turning the parts around, you’ll be able to see more of the stitching and the way the leather hide as been put on the shells. The shell on the right hand side, which is the one that’s going to carry the pens, has sort of a felt-coating inside that is very soft but pretty grippy, thus preventing pens from sliding out all too easily upon opening the case.
So let’s now put the case to test a bit and fill it up with some pens. I do normally also carry page markers, paper and file clips as well as other small stuff such as erasers and sharpeners with me, but I do honestly think that while you could potentially also fit them into that case right here, this is not really what it is most suitable for. I think this really is rather a pen and pencil case.
So as you can see on that filling here, the pencil case is definitely not made for carrying highlighters or other bulky pens with you. While you could fit in such pens, they would leave little space for other pens to take with you. As you can see in the picture above, it fills up rather quickly when using such thicker pens. For demonstration, I have put in a Jinhao 159 and a JustMobile Alu Pen Digital (those both really are big pens), which then basically left space only for another ballpoint (Ballograf), a mechanical pencil (Pentel Graph 600) and a fineliner (Stabilo Point 88). Having that said, if you do need a larger filling volume for carrying larger pens, you might wanna opt for the bigger size-version of that pen case – which is also available in brown. That costs only 2€ more, but gives you considerably more space, measuring 1cm more in diameter and about 2,5 cm more in width.
Anyway, if you do appreciate the more compact size case that is under review right here, you’ll be well served by swapping out the rather bulky pens for some standard-sized ones such as the Faber-Castell ones, another Stabilo or a Pelikan Inky. So, if you do tend to carry a number of rather standard pens with you and you want to use the case for that, it will definitely serve it’s purpose and you’ll have a decently priced, extremely sturdy and stylish case with this one here.
So I do appreciate it for what it is, which is just all of the above. I would, however, definitely opt for another case for carrying my more expensive pens, ink, and all that. This is since the pens, of course, do constantly grind on each other in this pencil case here. For the more standard pens that I do also frequently use, this is no problem though.