Review – Rosetta 4- and 3-Pen Cases

Well, here’s a bit of a blast from my past. This product doesn’t seem to be available anymore, but it can now at least serve as a cautionary tale about getting what you pay for. I’m talking about Rosetta “leather” pen cases that came in both 3- and 4- slot sizes. I acquired these back when I didn’t have an adequate way to transport multiple fountain pens for use (I still don’t, but that’s because I won’t fork over the money for a good case) and these looked the part (they’re modeled after the Aston Pen cases) but were about a quarter the price; was there really any value there?

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There isn’t much to describe about the look of the cases; each has a flat back that curls around the front at the top to form a protective flap which tapers to fit underneath a securing band. Stamped on the end of this “tongue” is the Rosette compass rose logo. Beneath the flap, a single piece of leather has been stitched down in several places to form either 3 or 4 rolls in which moderately sized pens can be inserted. Most of the surfaces have a smooth finish, but the unseen inside of these tubes is rough and unfinished feeling. Any edge where there would be leather is covered by a sealant-type goop.

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From a design standpoint, there isn’t any real problem here, they hold pens well in a relatively compact space while providing protection. The real problem here is the longevity of the materials. The quality of the leather here is so poor that I’d question if it really was leather if not for the unfished inside of the rolls. And the finishing where the pens are held is thin and flimsy, it cracks and tears as the clips roll over it (and the space is small enough that most pens won’t fit inside with their clips not over the lip). And the whole thing is dry enough that it’s started to tear around the stitches with time. This isn’t damage from a dry environment (they’ve lived most of their life in a humid one) or that could have been prevented with an application of leather treatment (the outside is “finished” and hardly takes oil, besides it remains “supple” in that it can generally flex and bend without problems.). This is just a problem of poor materials, thin leather that wasn’t meant to last.

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And so, as pen cases, they’re not really useful to me anymore. I know that with just a little more use they’ll come apart completely. And it would appear that this was a complaint others had, as I can hardly even find evidence that these guys were produced at one time, let alone still being sold. To me, they now serve as a reminder that there are budget options that are too good to be true, or aren’t’ really even worth the time looking at them.

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Review – PaperMate Flair Colors – Maroon, Brown, Caramel, and Grey

And now it is time for the final part of my look at the 20 colors of the Papermate Flair pen. This section only has 4 pens, and it’s special because I couldn’t find names for these colors from any official source. So the 4 names presented here are just what I think most represent the colors. Let’s get started and wrap this up.

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Maroon – I love a good maroon shade, and this one does not disappoint. It’s easy enough to tell, even amongst other dark colors, what it is, and the tone is nice to look at. It might not be the most natural maroon I’ve seen, but it’s quite good, and sometimes it may even be work compliant. It doesn’t smear much but it’s not the best at resisting water, either.

Brown – The brown is a nice dark, UPS, brown. It doesn’t quite look like dirt, more like bark, and it barely smears. It’s easy on the eyes, blends in with dark colors, and could work in some office settings.

Caramel (error in image where this is labeled as Sepia and Micron Colors are switched) – Caramel is the color I’ve had the hardest time naming. I just don’t really get this light brown. It looks fairly standards, but it’s a bit off from the browns in Micron, Crayola, Pilot, and other such brands. It looks all right, but not the most natural, and most workspaces wouldn’t appreciate it. Although smearing is next to none.

Grey – And the final color is also one of the most boring. Grey is a color I love that isn’t featured in many color sets. And that’s because there isn’t much use for it. In nature I can only think of fog, and in an office only if you convince them it’s just your black pen running out. That being said, it’s a nice dark, even grey with very minimal smudging and feathering.

And there we are, the 20 current colors of the Papermate Flair. I do like them, and even some of the more garish colors are better in these sets than others. There’s a good mix of water resistance, workspace appropriateness, and personality in there. And I would recommend the set if you like tones of colors and like the Flair. But it’s a bit expensive and maybe one should consider the smaller sets if they want specific colors.

Review – Pilot G2 Teal, Hunter Green, Navy, Periwinkle, and Caramel

This week I’m gonna take a look at some of the weirder colors of Pilot’s G2 pens. Let’s dive right in.

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First up is teal, which is a deep, bluish-green, almost like an aquatic plant. It’s very subdued and seems almost workplace-friendly (sort of like a blue-black, but with green). It goes on the page a bit thick and is a bit of a hard start when it’s not been written with for a while. A very soothing color overall.

Next up is hunter green, which is a deep, swampy green. It looks like a camouflage color, which I guess it’s supposed to. It isn’t the most pleasant of colors to stare at, but it is quite subtle. This color is probably the thickest ink and has the most problems with startup and skipping of the bunch.

Third is navy, which is a blue-black. It doesn’t really remind me of any previous navy colors I’ve seen, it is simply a very dark blue, but not a deep blue. It looks just like a combination of blue and black. Very work-friendly, I would say, but has no real art application save for maybe a night ocean.

Fourth is periwinkle, which is a light, sky blue. This is one of the lightest and easiest to read light blues I’ve seen. It isn’t quite as light as possible, but that makes it readable. It has a bit of shading (inconsistent color) but not too much. This is likely the most versatile ink color of the bunch, being a close to work-friendly “happy” color, and a realistic color that could be found in both water and skies.

And finally is caramel. Caramel is a light, almost hard-to-read brown. Again it is subdued enough to not hurt one’s eyes, but is very light and not particularly pretty. It does flow well, and really looks like caramel, so if you need a caramel colored ink, this is the ink for you.

That concludes my look at the Pilot G2 pen color types. I hope these were useful, they really do cover the gamut and provide ink colors for a variety of different uses. Unfortunately, I believe they only come in a large, expensive pack, so I would recommend having uses for a few of these pens before purchasing them.  They are great reliable writers with most of the ink colors, especially the more common ones (which are available individually) and can be used almost anywhere.