I found a display rack full of the Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks today at the new art supply shop in Kansas City, Artist & Craftsman Supply, and I’ve been itching to try them for sometime so I grabbed one. I chose the plain, pocket-sized book with a simple black cover ($8.10). From the outside, its almost indistinguishable from a Moleskine pocket notebook from the outside. I didn’t have a pocket-sized Moleskine handy for comparison but I grabbed my husband’s large Moleskine to compare paper and color. Based on the cover measurement, the pocket-sized Leuchtturm is listed as 0.5” taller than a comparable sized Moleskine.
Inside, the paper is a warm white but not as ivory as Moleskine’s paper. The stock itself is a bit toothier but not much heavier weight to the touch. What sets the Leuchtturm 1917 apart from the other leatherette notebooks in a similar class is the index pages in the front of the book and the page numbers printed in the bottom corner of each page to make it easier to reference notes at a later date.
The ribbon marker is black and sealed on the ends from the factory which is a big plus for me.
In writing tests, the Luechtturm paper has just enough tooth to provide some friction but not so much that is would cause ink to feather or resist.
From the reverse, not even the Pilot Envelope pen bled through. There’s a touch of show-through but with most of the pens used, its not so bad that you would be unable to use both sides of the paper.
I purchased the plain notebook first as they tend to be my favorite but I’m keen enough on the quality of this book to consider purchasing either the dot grid or the lined version soon. Office Supply Geek did a nice review of the lined version and Writer’s Bloc Blog and Gourmet Pens have some writing samples of the Dot Grid version.
For the quality and price, the Leuchtturm1917 is a much better value than Moleskine coming in several dollars cheaper with higher quality paper and a bookmark ribbon less likely to fray. It’s also available in an array of colors including white which is not particularly common in notebooks.
Other notes on the Leuchtturm:
- Acid-free, bleed proof, 80gsm paper. The Master A4 sizes contain a heavier 100gsm paper.
- Expandable pocket. All notebooks have an expandable pocket in the inside back cover. The Master A4 size notebook has a pocket that is big enough for letter size documents .
- Thread-bound for durability.
- Archival stickers for labeling
- Perforated pages, last 8 sheets are detachable