|For:||Anchor closure strap, nautical design, generous page count|
|Against:||low on features, leather quality, overpriced|
The Miansai brand offers a fresh take on luxury personal items, namely men’s and women’s jewellery and fine leather products like wallets, bags and journals. Amongst their offering, two distinct product lines stand out from the rest, which are their ‘anchors’ and ‘hooks’ ranges. The first of these is from where this ‘Vintage Navy Journal with Brass Anchor’ product hails.
The only gripe we had with the Miansai online ordering experience was the checkout feature, which would not load when we requested to order the product with monogram personalisation. We tried again and again, but had to settle with ordering the journal as it comes – generic.
The Miansai leather journal was packaged tightly with bubble wrap, and their website had a super convenient option for direct international shipping to Australia from the USA. The parcel arrived faster than other USA journals.
Upon first unwrapping the journal, we noticed the leather had a synthetic sheen to it, and was very thin, at approximately 2mm thick. For comparison, the leather on the Noise Goods journal is 7mm thick. However, the leather has artifacts and graining similar to the premium leathers used in other journals. Not much gets past the afternoon sunlight that floods our review table, so you can see what we mean in the Gallery below.
Our second observation was the vertical fold (pictured) on the right of the front cover. This is clearly man-made and doesn’t belong there. It looks like a crease you’d get from folding leather over the side of a table, and the inner notebook was glued over this.
The nautical anchor closure is the coolest we’ve seen, ever. It’s one of our main drawcards to this product, and makes this product stand apart from others.
The inner notebook boasts a huge 240 page-count, with crème coloured paper to reduce sunlight glare, and 7mm ruled lines. This is glued directly to the outer leather sleeve, so it’s not replaceable. We also noticed upon unpacking that the glue had become unstuck on two of the corners, which one might expect after months of heavy use, but not right out of the box.
We used this nautical themed Miansai leather journal throughout a week of everyday use.
This journal was compact, and easy to carry around. Without the thicker rigid leather of other products, it was easy to flatten out for longer writing sessions.
The idea of the Miansai anchor closure was the coolest modern take on any closing mechanism we’ve seen. However, this proved more of a novelty, was fiddly to take on and off, and had to be tied up so as to not get in the way during writing. This was the only issue affecting the usability of this product for frequent users.
The Miansai website markets the ‘fine Italian leather’ used with their products, and whilst originally excited whilst placing our order, the quality was a let-down. To illustrate, it reminds us of the cheap leather used in discount style shoe shops – the kind that retail assistants promise is real leather, no matter how many times you scratch it, smell it, and raise the topic.
“Dazzling nautical design-on the surface”
Our collective view of Miansai is that they are experts in making unique trendy jewelry, evident by their representation in over 36 countries, but their expansion into higher priced luxury leather notebooks was an afterthought, and it shows. In comparison to other similarly priced leather journals, such as the Franklin-Christoph and Holtz products , the overall quality and value of this product is under par.
We’ll probably just take off the cool Anchor closure clasp and wear it as a bracelet. The guy in our gallery has the right idea.
Wildcard Suggestion: If you really like this product, be sure to check out the version from Miansai’s “Noir Collection”, which is black, with a fishing hook closure (picture above).
It’s available directly from: http://www.miansai.com