Monday, March 6, 2017


By now you probably all know that I love my Visconti Dreamtouch leather pen case (my review of this case can be found here). It's a great case, but it's not the most carry-friendly thing. Even the two or three-pen versions still have a pretty wide, bulky profile, so you'll have to search elsewhere if you're looking for something sleek and compact. 

That elsewhere might be Tom Barrington's exotic leather 2 pen pouch. I've seen the brand name pop up a couple times in the last few years, and I was always intrigued by the unique leather they use. So thanks to them for getting in touch and hooking me up with one of their Ray skin (!) double pen pouches.
The case arrived nicely presented in a drawstring bag with a leather logo patch.
Ray skin leather isn't something you come across everyday. Yet it has been used for ages, with the most famous example being the handles of Japanese katana swords. It goes under the collective name 'chagreen', which means as much as rough leather. Ray skin gets its texture from the pearl-like calcified 'pores' (I don't know if that's the correct term) that make up the surface of ray skin. 
The effect this creates is slightly strange, but also very cool. And on top of that it feels great in the hand. Unlike normal leather that has a soft pliable feel, these pearls are quite hard. It's really weird and intriguing at the same time.
On the inside of the case, it's lined with black napa cowhide leather that protects the pens. The two layers are nicely stitched together around the edges, and a stitched line in the middle of the case creates the two pen slots. Construction and fit and finish are very good. I couldn't find any blemishes in the leather.

It's a fairly compact case (8.5x15.5cm or 3 1/4" x 6"), so you won't be able to fit oversized pens in it. On the website of Tom Barrington it states that it can hold pens up to 14.7cm (roughly 6in), but I found that a bit optimistic, perhaps if you don't mind the top of the pen sticking out of the case? I tried a couple pens that I had on hand, and I found pens like the Lamy 2000 or Pilot Capless to be a perfect fit. Pens up to somewhere in the range of 14cm (5.5in) tall and 1.4cm (0.5in) wide are about the maximum you can fit in there.

In the first couple of days of using the case, the leather was really stiff and it was quite difficult to get pens in and out of it. But it broke in rather quickly and became easier to use after just a couple of days. It's not the most supple case ever, which I assume is due to the double layer of leather (instead of just one layer on normal leather pouches). Pens still sit rather snug inside, so they won't fall out accidentally.
It's an expensive product, that really is my only gripe. At 80USD it's the same price as the Visconti Dreamtouch case for two pens, and you can get something like the Franklin-Christoph penvelope six for even less. The selling point for this case obviously is the exotic material, but it's up to you if that's worth paying the premium. Your choice will also depend on the amount of pens you usually carry with you. If you know your everyday carry will always be limited to two pens, this can definitely be a compact and stylish way to carry your pens around!

Note: This product was sent to me free of charge, by Tom Barrington, so I could write this review.  I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared in this review are completely my own! This post does not contain affilate links.

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