Nock cases are, to me, a high water mark of design in pen carry. While I dally with other brands (from Franklin-Christoph, Esterbrook, Hurlestone and others), I return to Nock for my daily users. I have accumulated quite a few…
I like the robust, colourful materials. I like the fact they’re lightweight and flexible, with minimal bulk. I like the practical layouts that you can cram tons of pens in, while keeping each pen separate. I like the fact they hold large pens. Not all of Nock’s designs suit me — the Seed, Hightower and Sapelo don’t fit my use cases — but I have found a Nock for every situation. They’re always well thought-out.
So when I found out that Nock was coming out with a kind of A5 carry pouch, the Burton, I shot Brad an email and asked for one to review. He was kind enough to oblige.
Apart from the Lanier briefcase, with its A5 pouch, and the A5 Seed, this is the largest Nock case to date.
It is designed in landscape orientation to comfortably fit a thick A5 notebook, one or more pocket notebooks, and at least three pens in separate slots, with a space down the middle to cram in more stuff if you want.
It doesn’t open out fully like the Seed, so nothing will fall out. And the end result is still compact and rounded enough to slip into your messenger bag, backpack or briefcase. If you move between bags as I do, this kind of organiser is really handy. It’s also great for carrying with your laptop between meetings without dropping anything.
Aside from the size, the Burton is different from other Nock cases in two ways. First, the exterior is made out of a micro waxed cotton, rather than the cordura-style nylon of the other designs.
Second, it’s padded. This is a welcome design choice in a case that holds more stuff, and will likely see your pens squished into a work bag.
As with all Nock cases, the Burton is robustly constructed, with a plastic YKK zipper running around two sides, so you can easily get to your stuff and not have to worry about scratches.
Personally, I’m not a fan of this colour scheme, which is sober black outside and Kickstarter green inside. But I’ll take it until another colour is available for purchase!
The inside layout is exactly perfect for me as a journalling or work setup, since I use A5 for my main notebook/journal and always have a pocket notebook on the go.
In goes my Elia journal:
My Tomoe notebook in Franklin-Christoph case:
And three huge pens (Oldwin, Montblanc Homer, Pilot Custom Urushi).
The resulting loadout keeps all these items safe and snug in their own slots, without any unnecessary pockets and divisions to add bulk.
Aside from that lurid interior, I have zero complaints with the Burton. It fills a hole in my case collection, providing exactly the storage I need for cafe trips, holidays and a day in the office, in inimitable Nock style.
This particular edition is a 2019 Kickstarter reward, and was priced at $40, or $50 with a sticker set and a set of notebooks. That’s a criminally good bargain. I have no idea what the retail price will be, but I’d be very happy up to $75 or so — and I will be watching the Nock site like a hawk!