Pen Case Review: Pilot Somes 3-Pen Leather Case

I purchased the Pilot Somes 3-Pen Leather Case from a Japanese seller on eBay for ~$75. Before this purchase, I spent way too much time online looking for the perfect 3-pen pouch. I own a Franklin-Christoph and a Pelikan 3-pen leather pouch and find both to be a good value for their price points ($45-$50), but both were slightly lacking in what I ultimately wanted in a pouch—a soft, suede leather interior with high-quality leather dividers between the pens, as well as a durable and protective exterior that offers some “crush” protection. When I saw pictures of the Pilot Somes on some blogs on the fountain pen network, I knew I had to give it a shot. They come in 2-pen and 3-pen models in both black and brown, and I ended up choosing the 3-pen version with brown leather.

Design (5/5):

The Pilot Somes is made of luxurious, high-quality leather that is molded into a protective shell. I’m not sure exactly how they do this (whether they wrap the leather around a plastic mold or simply use a harder leather at this part of the construction), but whatever they did to it, the hard leather design gives the case a decent amount of crush protection. The case opens & closes using a leather flap that feels solid and secure–it won’t come undone unless you intentionally raise the flap.

Somes 1Somes 4

The interior of the case, however, is what won me over. It’s lined with a suede leather material that is soft and a pleasure to touch. The same suede leather is used for the 2 internal dividers, which go about half-way down the case. Although I was initially concerned about this construction, preferring that the dividers go all the way down, I find that the half-way design is actually sufficient, as the dividers are thick enough to prevent the bottom of most pens from rubbing against each other.

Somes 2

Above: (from left to right) Kaweco Dia2, Platinum 3776 Century, Italix Parson’s Essential

The case can comfortably hold pens ~140 mm long (e.g. Pilot Custom 74), but can still hold pens up to 150 mm long (e.g. Pilot Custom 823) while just slightly pushing up on the leather flap. The actual dimensions of each slot will likely vary depending on the particular case, but it seems like the ideal set up is to have your widest pen in the middle slot, while keeping thinner pens in the side slots. You can also probably fit two wider pens and one thinner pen in the case, but it’s not really made to carry three wide pens.

Somes 3

TL;DR: The case is made to fit Pilot’s line of luxury pens (which are on the medium to narrow side).

Fit & Finish (5/5):

The fit & finish on the Pilot Somes is one of the best I’ve seen in a leather pen case. The stitching is clean and tight, and the leather flap fits perfectly into the cross strap, without being too stiff or rigid to open (comparatively, I find the leather flap on the Franklin-Christoph 3-pen cases rather stiff). The leather feels like its amazing quality, with a smooth and hard leather exterior and soft suede leather interior. Everything is very well executed.

Somes 5

Overal Impression (10/10):

I love this case and use it everyday for my medium-sized daily carry pens. Pens that are too large to fit in the case go in my Visconti Dreamtouch 3-Pen Leather Case.

Pros:

  • High-quality leather
  • Hard leather exterior offers some crush protection
  • Soft, suede interior with thick suede interior dividers offers great protection
  • Flap is made of a thick leather but is still quick and easy to maneuver
  • Clean lines and attractive design

Cons:

  • Cannot fit oversized pens
  • A bit expensive for a small leather box. Can almost buy a leather bag for that price.

*Photos shot and edited on iPhone 6.

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