Fossil Black Leather Refillable Notebook/Journal

Fossil Black Leather Refillable Notebook/Journal (Plain Paper)

This post originally appeared on FPN August 17, 2011. I am gathering reviews I have posted in the past that are not on my blog. Every once in a while I run across one of my reviews that still has not made the blog, as is the case with this one. Everything in the review still applies and I recently saw the same notebook for sale at my local Fossil Outlet store. This prompted me to make this post. Thank you for reading.

This is my second leather refillable journal but my first leather journal in this size. The leather cover can take 5”x7 1/4” journal refills which are readily available after doing a quick search on The first thing that caught my attention is the smell! I love the smell of leather and I cannot apologize for that. The small and smooth pebbled texture gets me next. I am not versed in leather weights so all I can tell you is that it is roughly about 2 mm thick leather. It is very pliable and gets its rigidity from the journal within.

There were no tags on the book but the price. I purchased it at a Fossil Outlet store in my area and they have a brown leather version also. There is also smooth leather versions in brown and black. For the price I paid ($29 USD) I think it is a good deal considering that I have paid almost the same for a small cahier leather cover. The closure is a simple string that is attached to the back cover which you wrap around a quarter sized concho in nickel/copper on the front cover. The concho has “Fossil” engraved on it in rather small, nondescript lettering which I can appreciate. There is a pocket on the back page of the notebook portion but when I run out of pages, the pocket will go away with a new refill unless I can find one that has that pocket included or make one myself.

Now the paper. There is absolutely no information on the paper itself. I don’t know how many pages it is but the notebook itself is 1/2” thick. For something that I expected to be horrible with fountain pen ink, it works rather well. This is plain white paper. Not something I normally buy but lined paper was not an option. It has very good bleed resistance with a slight feathering issue. Oddly, the ink that bled was Diamine Midnight in a F nib! This is the first notebook that I have tried that bleeds with Diamine. Only two spots got through the paper and they were very tiny. It does have some echo but nothing that would make the back side of the page unusable. Noodler’s Midway Blue in my Baoer “Star Walker” just barely wanted to bleed but did not make it. It was more due to me over-writing when it skipped. I need to adjust the nib on it a bit but have not had the chance to do it yet. All the inks I tested dried almost immediately. I am going to have to print a guideline sheet to use this notebook, which is not so bad. The paper is very smooth and feels very similar to office laser paper.

I am not sure this will be a notebook I take out of the house. The size is about that of a large Moleskine or Markings Notebook. I tried to fit my Exacompta journal in it but it is a tad too large. If I do some strategic trimming of the cover it will work fine. I guess about a 1/4” trim on the ends that slip into the leather flaps will be enough to make it work. One thing I do not like is that the leather is so soft that if you place it on a book shelf, the bottom portion of the leather will begin to flatten under it’s own weight with time. You end up with a lop sided journal.  It is better to store it in a drawer or on a desk.




Comparison to Exacompta Journal

Comparison to Large Moleskine

Fossil Concho

Stitching Holding String

Fossil Pocket

Ink Test Closeup

Feathering Example

6 thoughts on “Fossil Black Leather Refillable Notebook/Journal

  1. Very nice review, Ivan. I really like the clean lines of this journal cover. Sometimes, (as would be the case here) Fossil really impresses me with their simplicity in product design. I have the same question as Ken: are refills still readily available for this size? Also, I’m not surprised about the feathering you observed with Diamine Midnight. I have found that particular ink to be very free flowing, thus prone to feathering on some papers. Very pretty color though.

    1. Good to know about Diamine Midnight. As I replied to Ken, CRG Markings journals seem to be a close fit. I have to verify though. It will have to wait until I can get to my journals since I am on the road.

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