Once in a while, I find it necessary to revisit a product. This is an updated version of a review I first wrote 8 months ago.
Habana versus Moleskine (Because at the time, I was trying to find a product whose paper behaved better with fountain pen ink than the Moleskine.)
My first impression back in August 08:
"Ooooooooh.....The HABANA. IT LIES FLAT! (Very important to me) Freshly christened with my best pen. A Sailor Sapporo medium nib, filled with Noodler's Bulletproof Black ink. First impressions? It's significantly larger in size (6 1/2 x 9 1/2 ") than the large Moleskine, (5 x 8 1/4") and the number of pages is significantly less. 80 versus 120. But there is more surface on which to write, and the paper appears to be of a thicker weight. The paper is smooth, white and clearly Clairefontaine. It's very similar to the Moleskine in styling, with the elastic band to hold the book shut during transport, (not shown in the photos) and a utility pocket in the back.
I am noticing that there is a wider ruling that I am immediately liking, because my writing is large, and when I get to writing quickly, the cramped lines in the Moleskine make it difficult to read back what I've written. The cover feels leather like and has a distinctive new-car smell aroma that's borderline stinky to me, but I expect it to fade. Mu only concern is that the covers are not stiff and rigid like the Moleskines. They are somewhat flexible and I'm not sure how they will hold up to my typical "writes on knee" scenario. Time will tell, but I'm really wishing I got the smaller size. It's just a personal preference. Silky smooth papers make writing a joy!"
And now my current thoughts on the large Habana 03/26/09 -
It's a well made book with top quality 90g Clairefontaine paper. For my needs, the large size is awkward and the flexible cover isn't stiff enough to allow me to write "on the knee." The 8mm ruling is much too wide for me and I prefer plain 90g Clairefontaine paper to the ruled because there seems to be something in the manufacturing process that makes the surface of the ruled paper have a slight drag to it that makes the writing experience slightly less pleasurable for me.
During my initial testing I tried a number of fountain pen inks and markers, and with the exception of a few permanent markers, nothing bled - which is typical of 90g Clairefontaine paper. Take note that this is the 90g Bright White paper and that these books are made in the US. The large French made Habanas have an off-white paper that has been known to bleed, and it also has a slightly rough surface.
Difference in size between the large Habana and the Large Moleskine.
Comparing the difference in ruling.
Inside back pocket for storage.
Showing the flexible cover on the large Habana.
Rear Cover Quo Vadis Logo Imprint
In conclusion, this a USA made, top quality book with fountain pen friendly paper. If you appreciate the form factor, I say that these books are worth every penny.
What's special about this notebook?
- Soft, supple covers in black, blue, red and taupe
- Discreet embossed logo
- Inside pocket for notes, cards.
- Extra white, super smooth ruled paper
- PEFC-certified. Acid & chlorine-free
- Elegant round corners
- Elastic closure
- Slim & easy to carry
Available in two sizes:
- 6 1/4 x 9 1/2" 90 g, PEFC-certified paper 96 sheets
- 4 x 6" 64 g, PEFC-certified paper 80 sheets