Reviews Stationery

Pilot x Somes Cowhide Pen Box – a luxury suite for your prized fountain pen collection

The Pilot x Somes Pen Box is a leather storage case for writing instruments. Manufactured by the “Somes” saddle manufacturer in Japan, the box is constructed from cowhide of the finest quality and is available in black and brown. The box has a length of approximately 19.2 centimetres and a width of 14.5 centimetres. The Pilot x Somes collection of leather goods also includes cases for two or three pens, pen trays and namecard holders.Pilot Somes Pen Box 5

Hokkaido based Somes was founded in Utashinai City in 1964. The company is world renown as a maker of leather horse saddles for top jockeys in the world, and is also patronised by Japan’s Imperial Household. Over the years, the Somes brand has diversified their product range to include a variety of other products, and the collaboration with Japan’s Pilot Corporation is just one of their offerings.

The Pilot x Somes Pen Box has a rather understated design. Apart from a diminutive product logo embossed into the corner of the leather, there are no other markings on the box. This makes it suitable for storing pens of any brand. The case is painstakingly manufactured by hand, and a close examination of the stitching shows that extreme care was taken in putting it together.Pilot Somes Pen Box 3

The pen box consists of three parts – the lid, a five pen tray as well as a bottom compartment. The lid is lined with suede and pens can be placed on it when the box is opened.

The five pen tray is ideal for storing fountain pens because it features curved pen slots. This keeps the pens upright and prevents them from rolling around in the event they aren’t fitted with a clip. The tray also has dividers which prevent pens from bumping into each other and getting scratched. The pen tray can easily accommodate Pilot’s high end pens such as the Custom 823 and Custom 845. The shorter Namiki Capless Raden had absolutely no issues fitting into its slot.Pilot Somes Pen Box 8

The main disadvantage of the box is that the lid does not stay on unless the box is kept upright. The box may therefore be unsuitable for travellers, unless an elastic band is used to keep the lid secured when on the move. That being said, the pen box would certainly look great on any desk at home or in the office.

The Pilot x Somes Pen Box is undoubtedly manufactured to the most exacting standards and uncompromising quality. The pen box is therefore the perfect storage solution for your prized fountain pen or writing instrument collection. That being said, with quality comes a price to match – the Pilot x Somes Pen Box retails online at approximately US$360 with shipping.

Pilot offers a separate range of leather products called the Pensemble collection. Inky Passion had previously reviewed the Pensemble 5, which is manufactured of soft and supple calfskin leather and available at a more accessible price point. The Pensemble collection is definitely worth a look for those who enjoy high quality leather products.

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