Since its introduction (and massive success) on Kickstarter in 2013, the cases from Nock Co. have enjoyed immense popularity. A collaboration between pen addict Brad Dowdy and product designer/seamster Jeffrey Bruckwicki, Nock Co.’s vision was to “make the best pen cases on the planet”. Indeed, the pen cases currently offered appear to be well-made, durable, well-designed, and they even come in a variety of colours to suit most tastes.
The case I was personally interested in was the Lookout. I had been wanting a pen case with three slots for awhile, and the leather options were not doing it for me. I came across the Lookout from posts on various other websites devoted to all things pen- and stationery-related. At last – here was something that had caught my eye! It wasn’t boxy like the leather cases, it came in a resilient material, it was tested thoroughly before release by its dedicated creators, there were individual slots for each pen, and it came in a gamut of striking colourways. Sign me up. For two, in fact! (However, it took quite a bit of wait for me to actually get these cases, because they were perpetually sold out on their website!)
I am particularly in love with the Steel/Blue Jay colourway. The contrast is beautiful, and the Blue Jay coloured stitches pop delightfully against the Steel exterior. The exterior is made from 1000D Nylon with DWR coating, while the interior is made with Nylon pack cloth. That is, the exterior is made of an extremely hardy and tough nylon, and treated with a Durable Water Repellent, while the inside is smoother, but just as durable. For the purposes of the review, I placed a drop of water both on the outside and the inside, and I’m pleased to say that the material is just as advertised – the water remained in a droplet and wiped right off with no absorption of wetness. I am not going to test with ink, however!
Brad and Jeffrey really paid attention to even the most minute of details, which I appreciate wholeheartedly. The fabric has been cut flawlessly, and each stitch is perfectly in place. Consideration and well-execution of these specifics really impressed me.
The slots are stitched all the way down, so each pen is in its own snug space of undisturbed comfy-ness. Some of my pens have finishes that I do not want other pens or rough materials touching, so the fact that each slot is separate and the interior is soft and padded was a major factor in attracting me to the Lookout. Each slot is deep and wide enough for most pens. The pens from left to right are: Montblanc 146, Pilot Deluxe, Pelikan Souverän M800, Pilot Custom Heritage 92, Pelikan vintage 400, and Sailor Pro Gear Realo. The two tallest pens are the Montblanc and the Pelikan M800, and both fit deep enough that less than an inch of their cap is visible over the edge. The material also feels soft and padded, which reassures me that the pens will be fine throughout knocks or drops. I have in fact dropped it once or twice, and the pens remained blissfully ignorant of my carelessness.
The flaps are long enough to fold over the pens and rest securely under the band. I suppose if you do pull the case up by the top you could pull the flap free of the band, so I would keep that in mind when you reach for the case. The profile of the case is slim, and it does not take up much space in a bag, purse, or jeans/shorts pocket. The folds along the side and bottom edges provide a nice cushion for the pens.
Overall, I am very impressed and pleased with this case. I recommend it to others, and even picked one up for my partner who is just getting into fountain pens. The craftsmanship and quality of this product, that only cost $20 and is handcrafted in the US, is a remarkable deal. I’ve had mine for a few months and couldn’t be happier with it. I keep mine in my satchel along with all my other essentials, including a giant, heavy powerbank, with full faith that my pens are secure and well-protected. The Lookout is definitely a well-crafted, thoroughly designed, beauty of a case made by pen lovers for pen lovers. Get yours here!