Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Notebook Review: Monologue Platinum Notebook

With this post, I am officially back to blogging.

I received a small box of notebooks from Grandluxe early this year. From the four notebooks I received, this silver notebook caught my fancy. Among the leather- and damask-covered notebooks, I liked this one more than the others because of the metallic look and feel of its polyurethane (PU) cover.

The Monologue Platinum A6 notebook I received from Grandluxe of Singapore measures 5 7/8 × 4 1/8 inches, almost the same size as a large Moleskine notebook. A smooth, wide groove on the rightmost part of the cover bears the notebook's matching elastic band.

The Platinum notebook allows for its owner's personalization/customization because immediately after the notebook's inside flyleaf are the following pages:

Personal Notes


Website and Blog

The white, 80gsm, acid-free paper used for this notebook is ruled with clear, gray lines, with different margin settings on all four sides. The top margin is more than an inch wide, the left and bottom margins almost half an inch, and the right margin has a quarter of an inch. The paper is smooth, and has a lovely 'new paper' scent to it. The only thing I do not like about the notebook's pages is the page corners - they're not rounded.

But I forgot the page corners when I saw the notebook's edge: the pages are silver gilded! Cool!

I did this cover's torture test once to my Quo Vadis Habana notebook, and though I cringe at the thought and sight of it, this test is actually very helpful. It lets me know how a notebook's leather will wear off through time. This is important to me because the spine of my first Moleskine was already falling off and I was not even half into using it. I hope that the Platinum's thicker PU cover will last longer.

The Platinum notebook has a back pocket, too, like most of my notebooks. Though it's a functional feature to some, I do not use the back pockets of my notebooks to store anything at all. For the simple reason that whatever is inside the pocket creates a bulge that gets in the way of my writing on the paper on top of it. 

The Monologue and Platinum icons are etched in the lower portion of the notebook's back cover. Charming.

And now for the ink tests on the Monologue Platinum notebook.

I wrote on the Monologue Platinum notebook using different nib and ink combinations. On this page, feathering is seen on the first line where I used a Lamy Joy 1.5 italic inked with Camel Scarlet Red. Most of the inks tested showed medium to excessive feathering. And this broke my heart for I really wanted to use this notebook for journalling. As it is, the paper could not hold ink even from the finest in this lot, my Platinum Preppy.

This is the back side of the ink test page. Grandluxe paper is clearly not meant for fountain pen writing.

Lastly, this is the page after the ink test page. The inks just bled too much on this paper.

Finally, would I keep this notebook? Yes. But I will have to think of a better use for it. I love to write on my journal/diary using my fountain pens and that will be a problem because the Monologue Platinum paper cannot hold the inks. I can use this elegant looking notebook for note-taking, but then again, I'd have to find a pen with an extra fine nib and fill it with a very dry ink. And so the search starts now. :)

Grandluxe is a Singapore-owned company founded in 1945, offering high quality and trendy diary/planners, organisers, calendars, journals, leather accessories and stationery products. The company supplies to major bookstores and retailers in more than 30 countries in five continents. Here in Manila, I've seen Grandluxe notebooks in Glorietta 3's Bibliarch, in Makati.

The Monologue Platinum notebook used in this review is courtesy of Grandluxe of Singapore.


  1. Anonymous6:43 PM

    Great review! Such a pity that it doesn't handle fountain pens well - it looks so cool!

  2. How much do these cost? I did a search on Google and the only thing that came up was this blog post! Guess it's not very popular in the US, and it won't be with paper like that. Does the world really need another pretty journal with bad paper?

  3. @ladydandelion: Thank you for your kind words. Yes, it's sad that the paper cannot take FP inks. Perhaps Grandluxe will consider that concern. :)

    @Brian: This brand is an Asian (Singaporean) brand. I'm sure these are not available in the US yet. But yes, with this paper it won't be very popular anywhere. :)

  4. @Brian: I forgot about the notebook's pricing. This came to me as a sample for review. The one I saw in Bibliarch (local store here) is around P400, which converts into $10, more or less.

  5. Glad to see you back posting. Nice review.

  6. Wonderful review! I would love to see what the other notebooks looked like, even if the paper isn't particularly FP friendly.

  7. I got a small floral fabric bound journal with the Paperluxe niche of Grandluxe. The paper also feathered. Good thing it was only P240 (about 4"x5"). I ended up giving it to my mother.

  8. @bleubug @Julie (Okami) @Speedmaster: Thank you for your kind words.

    @Mona: I have another Grandluxe notebook (not included in the box of stuff for review) I got from Bibliarch, and I bought it because I liked that it had a white PU cover. Then again, not too friendly to my (mostly) medium pens. :( Sayang.

  9. Very helpful review, thanks a lot!