Earlier this year when I attended the National Stationery Show in NYC, I saw these journals by NUCO International and they looked great so the kind folks at the booth there offered to send a sample my way after the show. What we are looking at here today is the Nu Elite Wiro A5 Journal with 120 gsm paper. As with any other review where the product has been supplied by the manufacturer or retailer, that doesn’t influence the opinions you are about to read of the product and its performance.
The wrapper on the Nu Elite A5 Wiro Journal covers the major features of this journal which include its 2200 sheets of 120 gsm ruled and perforated paper along with its inside back pocket folder. In addition to those features the journal also has a very soft leather-like cover and an elastic closure strap to keep your journal shut for you. Although the cover is fairly thick, it does have quite a bit of flex to it, so it is not as hard and stiff as regular cardboard cover that will almost crack if you bend it even slightly. The branding on the cover of the notebook is fairly large, however it is also quite subtle as it is tucked away in the upper right corner and embossed with the same color as the cover itself so it blends in pretty well. The whole package is bound with some pretty solid dual coil binding as as previously mentioned the other side has a black elastic band closure. The elastic for the closure definitely does the job of holding the 200 pages of this notebook shut, but it does seem to stretch rather easily and has a bit of a loose feel to it. I’ve had journals with similar feeling elastic that eventually became useless because it lost all of its elasticity over time so I’m going to keep an eye on this one, maybe it will hold up though.
The back inside cover pocket on the Nu Elite Wiro A5 Journal is rather roomy and opens up easily, plus it seems as if its attached to the cover pretty firmly. While we are talking about the back cover though I did want to mention that the leather like material used on the outside of the cover also wraps around into the holes that the double coil binding are fed through, which unfortunately makes for a sometimes un-smooth opening and closing of both the front and back cover of the journal. In the majority of my attempts at a quick closing of the cover, it seemed to get hung up on the metal binding rings and I had to tape a small step back and then move forward again gingerly as to not get hung up on the coils again.
Nu Elite A5 Wiro Journal Writing Sample:
Although I’ve definitely got some minor issues with the cover and the elastic closure, those quickly became afterthoughts once I started writing in the journal. The ivory color 120 gsm paper with grey ruling is a very smooth surface for even the finest nibs in my currently inked collection. As I was making up the writing sample page I realized I must have been in a green and grey kind of mood when I inked up my pens the last time, but that works out well because I really like the contrast of all of these colors on the slightly muted tones of the ivory paper. Not only does this paper hold ink well on the surface and not show any feathering or spreading (which is also influenced by the ink, not just the paper) but it also refrained from displaying any show-through at all of the inks on the back side once the paper was flipped to the other side. Keeping in mind that the Platinum #3776 Ultra Extra Fine is probably the thinnest nib I own and it will never write “super smooth” on any paper because of how narrow it is, it still felt pretty nice on this paper. As a side note, I should mention that the perforations on the paper here rip off neatly and cleanly, which is always nice to see because it drives me crazy when perforated pages leave behind jagged and torn edges.
You often hear the expression “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” and I think that should apply to this journal as well. Although the annoyance of the cover getting hung up upon closing, and the potential for the elastic closure to become a bit flimsy, the inside of the journal is where it really shines. The 120 gsm paper is an excellent canvas for your fountain pens and is a complete pleasure to write on. With some minor upgrades to the cover and the elastic strap this journal has the potential to be a standout, hopefully that is something we can look forward to in the future. The Nu Elite Wiro A5 Journal doesn’t seem readily available here in the US, but that doesn’t mean you cant bug your favorite stationery and fine pen store to look into stocking these. Thanks again to the folks from NUCO International for sending over this review sample of their journal.