Friday, 4 February 2011

Metaphys 44113 Blanc Notebook

Note Booker Esq. kindly sent me his Metaphys 44133 blanc reporter's notebook after I "won" the giveaway he held late last year. Held up on its trans-Atlantic trip by winter weather and Christmas, it finally arrived here on 11 January 2011. My children were fascinated by it, mainly by its size: it measures a mere 104 millimetres long by 65mm wide and 9mm deep. It will fit completely within a standard 3x5 index card (see above).

One advantage of this small size is that it will fit comfortably in my shirt pocket, alongside a Uni Kuru Toga or my Pilot M90. Japanese pens and pencils seem to be a natural partner to this small but well-designed little notebook. Or is it a memo pad? The Engrish message on the front says:

METAPHYS Blanc is designed for drawing and taking a memo on the move

You would certainly have a hard time writing lengthy notes in this memo pad, unless you had really tiny handwriting. It's niche is, I feel, the quick note, telephone number, email address and so on. It is exquisitely made, though I agree with NB that it is expensive ($10.50 at Jet Pens). For that money you get a soft, fabric-clad cover, and a large number (I couldn't be bothered to count, ah wait a minute, the Metaphys website says 70) of white plain sheets of thin paper which is made seemingly from linen or cotton rag. This paper is, by necessity, very thin, as shown by the amount of bleedthrough in my fountain pen samples:

You should be able to see that the Diamine Woodland Green sample written with my M90 showed a lot of bleedthrough, more so than the Noodler's Bulletproof Black sample from my Pilot Capless. I tried out a number of types of pen and pencil, and concur with NB's findings that fountain pens can bleed a lot, and rollerball and felt pens less so, and ballpoints not at all. But the best partner to this memopad is a good old pencil, as the lines will not show through the thin paper.

One thing which struck me in this age of Moleskine and its assorted copies, is that the Metaphys Blanc lacks two of the essential elements of the classic pocket notebook: the page marker ribbon, and the elastic band closure. I find this a bit surprising. First, the cover does not close fully, but stays ajar; look carefully at the first picture. Second, this opening allows foreign objects such as crumbs, bits of fluff, hair, leaf mould etc to accumulate inside the notebook. I suppose the lack of these features marks out the Blanc as sufficiently different to all the Mole knock-offs on the market today, but I found that I missed them. The elastic closure is the most useful feature, in my opinion. In addition, the fabric cover also attracts hair and dust. In fact, I've just brushed off more biscuit crumbs from it.

In summary, then: this is a high-quality pocket memo pad for people with tiny handwriting and who need to keep a memo pad in their shirt pocket. It is pricey, but nonetheless a fine item, even if it could do with an elastic closure. I'll be using it in future.

Thanks again, NB.

1 comment:

  1. My pleasure!

    I think the manufacturer didn't worry about bleed because these sheets are meant to be torn out. But at the price, one might expect more bleed-resistant paper.