Following the success of the excellent Moleskine Denim limited editions, Moleskine has added two Denim notebooks to their regular lineup. Yay! The first of these is the Moleskine Denim Antwerp Blue, which is a sort of classic mid wash, blue jeans coloured cover.
The notebook cover is wrapped in denim, and it looks and feels exactly like a well worn pair of jeans. The band is black, unlike the white in the limited editions, and there’s no white print on the cover. I think that the Denim limited editions are more striking and better looking because of these white highlights, but that Molskine made a deliberate choice here to keep these notebooks more muted and office friendly.
The front endpage, with the “In case of loss” covered up because I’ve been using this notebook and so my details are there.
The back endcover with the famous pocket.
The back cover is where Molskine allowed itself to have a little fun. Their logo is printed on a grey fabric band that looks and feels like the kind of labels that you have inside jeans (the ones with the washing instructions on them).
The band is orange, and that adds a welcome pop of colour to the notebook. This notebook uses 70 gsm paper like most of Moleskine’s lineup and there is some show through with gel ink pens and ballpoints. If you are a very heavy handed writer, you can really put a dent into this paper, so take that into account.
Moleskine does not claim that this paper is fountain pen friendly, and it clearly aims it for standard pens (gel ink pens and ballpoints) plus pencils, but their recent standard lineup has featured more fountain pen friendly paper. The Moleskine Denim is no different from the new dot-grid notebooks in my experience in that there is no more of the strange spidering or the over absorbency of the paper that left certain inks looking weird, but there is show through and with wetter nibs also bleed through.
Here’s an example of some pens in use in order from top to bottom:
- Tombow Object rollerball (uses an ink cartridge very similar to a fountain pen).
- TWSBI ECO 1.1 stub with J Herbin Caroube de Chypre.
- Lamy Studio Terracotta fine with Diamine Terracotta.
- Baron Fig Squire rollerball (it uses a Schmidt P8127 rollerball refill that spreads and bleeds on most paper).
- Uni-ball Signo RT 0.5 gel ink pen.
I didn’t test a ballpoint or a pencil because they all work well, and the gel ink is there as a benchmark.
There’s a B-side to the band that comes with the notebook, and this one is a ruler.
This is one of my absolute favourite notebooks in recent years. The cover texture is fantastic — much softer and thicker than the one that Baron Fig uses, and it gets worn like a pair of jeans the more you use it (i.e. it gets even softer, and the colour fades a bit in the edges). It’s subtle and serious looking enough to fly under the radar in office use, and it is just fun to use. The fact that I can use most of my fountain pens in it is just a little bonus.