Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean review! On this shiok Sunday, I’m reviewing the Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pen and Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal that I ordered from local stationery purveyor, Cityluxe.
I picked up journaling during last year’s Circuit Breaker. Like many, I spent most of my time at home in front of the computer, and just found myself desiring a touch of traditional, analogue life. Putting pen to paper was one of the ways I attempted to take a break from the digital life, and to be honest it was quite therapeutic. I then began to research more about pens and notebooks (bought myself a Montblanc along the way), and down the rabbit hole I went.
Two of the brands that kept popping up in my research were Parker and Leuchtturm1917, for pens and notebooks respectively. As such, when Cityluxe offered me to send both over, I immediately jumped at the opportunity.
Parker Jotter and Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal – Video Review
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of the items, do check out my Youtube review below!
Parker is one of the world’s most distinctive pen makers, probably second only to Montblanc. Everybody (with the possible exception of Gen Z tiktokers) has heard of Parker and its pens. If Montblanc is the Rolex of the pen world, Parker is probably Tissot. For many, Parker – in particular, the Parker Jotter – represents their first real pen. Debuted in 1957, the Parker Jotter became the brand’s bestselling ballpoint pen and even has its own dedicated Wikipedia page.
The Parker Jotter Bond CT Ballpoint Pen came packaged in the brand’s trademark slate grey box, which has the brand logo in gilt. It’s not the most impressive packaging I’ve seen, but if you’re looking to get this as a gift I would say that it’s nice enough.
Even though the Jotter now comes in rollerball and fountain pen variants, I decided on the ballpoint model as that was its original claim to fame. Featuring the brand’s signature arrow clip that has remained virtually unchanged since its inception, the latest iteration of the Parker Jotter feels solid in the hand due to the usage of a metal barrel. There are also a variety of colours available, though I stuck with black as I felt it was the most refined option.
The Parker Jotter uses a refillable ink cartridge, so rest assured you won’t have to buy a new one when the ink runs out, as is the case on the cheaper, disposable ballpoint pens. In fact, the refills are “formulated for superior performance and offer optimal writing with no blockages”, and are designed specifically for Parker’s ballpoint pens.
I’m also pleased to report that it writes very well. I’ll be honest – I’ve only used the cheap, Pilot ballpoint pens before, and thus the Parker Jotter was a significant upgrade in terms of the writing experience. The writing was smooth, and the nib glides across the paper with relative ease. And due to the reassuring heft of the pen (as compared to the plastic construction of cheaper ballpoint pens) I enjoyed writing with it more too. Overall, it definitely opened my eyes to how a quality ballpoint pen writes.
Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal – Review
Of course, a good pen needs to be paired with a quality notebook. While the standard of the paper isn’t as important with ballpoint pens as it is with fountain pens (the ink from fountain pens will bleed through cheaper quality paper), writing on great paper nonetheless elevates the journaling experience. It’s like pairing a good watch with a great strap – a handcrafted, quality leather strap just enhances how the watch wears, and it’s the same with the Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal here.
As I’ve already ordered the Parker Jotter in black, I figured a black notebook would be the perfect complement for the noir look. That being said, the Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal is available in a variety of different colours. Notably, it’s also hardcover, and thus feels premium to the touch.
Priced at S$52, the Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal (Edition 2) is definitely positioned as a premium product – a tier above your mass-market Moleskine notebooks. However, it does come with a host of features, which the brand takes pains to point out at the back.
The most impressive feature that stood out to be is probably the quality of the paper itself. At 120g per square metre, the paper is thick and perfect for writing, especially with fountain pens. Honestly, I have to say that it’s probably the best paper that I’ve ever written on. There are also other useful features, such as three bookmarks and a pocket guide on how to make the most out of the notebook.
There’s even a sticker pack included, so you can be really creative in your usage of the notebook. It’s great for more visual writers/learners as well.
As its name suggests, the notebook is a bullet journal, which means that the pages are made out of equally spaced dots. For ideas on how to use a dotted notebook, Papier did a wonderful article on it here, though the aforementioned pocket guide that’s included explains the possibilities in greater detail. Personally, I find dotted notebooks more versatile than the standard lined notebooks, and thus enjoyed using the Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal as my daily planner.
There’s just something different about putting pen to paper (as compared to typing a note on your phone) that makes you more committed to sticking with your plans. There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing out a task that you have completed. It’s been a slight lifestyle change for me, going from typing out my plans on the phone to writing them in a journal, but one that I definitely don’t regret.
Conclusion – so the Parker Jotter and Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal “shiok” or not?
For those looking to get started with journaling, I think this is the perfect starting kit. The Parker Jotter is a significant step up from the usual ballpoint pens, so much so that you will feel like using it to write. But unlike a fountain pen, it’s eminently convenient, and you don’t have to worry about leakages, ink drying up, etc – it’s a perfect grab-and-go pen. At S$31.50, it’s a good chunk of change for a ballpoint pen, but objectively speaking it’s still not a lot of money. And as for the Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal, it’s easily the best notebook that I’ve used thus far. It’s jam-packed with features, but is also very beginner-friendly. It is relatively expensive for a notebook at S$52, but it will easily last you an entire year. From that perspective, the price seems reasonable, especially after taking into account the promo code below.
For those interested, you can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off most items on Cityluxe’s web-store, excluding Pilot and Pentel products. After the promo code, the Parker Jotter Ballpoint CT Pen can be had for just S$28.35, while the Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal costs a mere S$46.80. Cityluxe also provides gift wrapping as well as greeting card services, making it a convenient way for those looking to send a gift. Personalisable engraving on pens and notebooks are available for a small additional charge too. With Father’s Day just next week, Cityluxe’s gifting and customisation services – they also provide worldwide shipping – will no doubt come in handy.
And for those looking to learn more about pens and paper, you can watch an interview I did with Wing (founder of Cityluxe) here.
View Cityluxe’s web-store here.
Cityluxe’s physical showroom address: 12 Little Road, #05-02 Singapore 536986 (Free Visitor parking)
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah So Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.