PLEASE READ THESE IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS
#1: This listing is for the cover only. The notebook is sold separately.
#2: These are made from un-dyed, "naked" leather, with nothing covered up - so they will have some natural range marks, scars and other blemishes. In other words, they are not processed to make them appear "perfect", like something you would get in a department store. That said, these are very high quality skins, probably better than most leathers you will find even in high-end designer products.
#3: Please see the pictures for examples of some, but not all imperfections
#4: When adding to the cart, please choose the numbered cover (1-6) that you want. That is the actual cover that you will receive. If you have no particular preference, please choose the "Any Cover" option.
Sometimes you search high and low for that perfect cover for your notebook. Other times you need a notebook to match the great cover you already have. I may be biased, but I think this combination of Seven Seas + Gfeller is as good as it gets.
Gfeller of Meridian, Idaho custom fitted this cover for the Seven Seas Writer notebook. And wow, what a great cover is. The skins are sourced from a small tannery in the United Kingdom, and as you may know, some of the best leather in the world comes from the UK - think Swain Adeney cases, Crockett & Jones shoes, and a long history of saddles, bags and other riding gear. If the Lord and Lady Grantham and their daughters Mary and Edith needed leather notebook covers for their Seven Seas Writers, these would surely be on their wish list.
If you're not familiar with Gfeller, they have been around since the 1940s (please check out this article for more history) and specialize in leather goods for geoscientists - field bags, tool holders, pouches, and various other items. They also do a lot of custom leather work and one of their specialties is notebook covers. I found Gfeller a few years back when I was looking for a belt. I wanted something very high quality and simple - really just a strip of leather with holes and a buckle. Gfeller's site came up, and the price was no more than, say, what you would get at Filson or Ralph Lauren, and I'm always one to support the smaller outfits - the craftsmen - where possible. So I took a chance figuring that I'd get a decent belt but if it was just average so what it's just a belt and how good could it get anyway?
Well, that belt turned out to be so much better than anything I could get anywhere else. Yes it is just a strip of leather, but it is the best leather strip you are likely to find, belt-wise. The grain is tight, the leather is thick (11 ounces) and the finish..... oh the finish. Even though it is naked leather it has this up-close sheen and sparkle that makes me pause to look at it everytime before I put it on. And it is so tough my descendents will be fighting over it.
But I digress. My point is that Gfeller makes great stuff. Also keep in mind that these are hand-crafted items - they will have small imperfections inherent to leather and leather work. And, with naked leather, it is both impossible and economically impractical to reject anything with a stitch that is 1/64 of an inch off a straight line or has a small scar or stretch mark. Well, maybe Hermes could try to make it almost perfect, but they would charge $1,000; Louis Vuitton would not use leather at all.
Anyway, even though it is obvious that Gfeller just wants their covers to be simple, functional, and well-made, which they are, they fail at being non-descript, because anyone that knows really good stuff will recognize this as a rare find. It is sure to invite admiring or even envious stares.
On to the finer points... it is made specifically for the A5 Seven Seas notebook, but will fit any notebook up to 15mm thick with a cover trimmed to 210x148mm. For example, it will fit the A5-size Life, Apica and Midori notebooks because those are all about 10mm thick with 210x148mm trimmed covers.
Note that it has the signature Gfeller inner flaps which help to eliminate the "writing bump" towards the beginning and ending pages in a notebook.
CARE: A light coating of neatsfoot, mink or other high-quality leather care oil a couple of times a year is sufficient.
There is so much more that I want to say, but you may never make it down to the pictures!
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Posted by David on 1st Jun 2015
Cover fits perfectly and I like the way the leather extends on the inside so that I am not writing over a hump...I'm a bit of a leather junkie, and this Gfeller is as nice as any that I have. Nice and supple.
Posted by Trée George on 2nd May 2015
Before I discovered Nanami, I ordered a Gfeller Kip cover for a extra-large notebook direct from Gfeller, which I have had for about a year. The cover has aged magnificently, the construction and design is first-rate, it fits my notebook like a glove, as it was designed to do. I absolutely love it in every regard.
Recently, I purchased two of the A5 Gfeller covers from Nanami. Everything I said above is the same. As with previous orders, the shipping, packaging and customer service is as good as any vendor on the market. From sale to delivery to everyday use, the experience with Nanami and Gfeller products has been of the highest order. I cannot recommend either too highly.
Posted by Kevan on 12th Feb 2015
Having previously bought the kip Gfeller cover for the Hobonichi planner, I knew immediately that if I ever bought the Seven Seas journal, the Gfeller cover would be another must.
Leather products are expensive. There's no getting around that. You can easily balk at paying a lot for what is essentially a few strips of leather stitched together, but the quality of these is unquestionable. Barring a catastrophe, they will likely last a lifetime, making the cost a worthy investment.
The extra-long cover flaps make installing the cover a bit of a pain, but once installed, it fits the journal like a glove. And the leather is soft, supple -- a pure joy to handle. My specimen has marks and "imperfections," but I don't mind. I'm sure they will add character as it ages.
Since the kip leather is unfinished, I'm finding myself a bit impatient for it to age and darken. I could speed up the process, but I've elected to leave it alone as a testament to the craftsmanship and quality of the people at Gfeller. They aren't as vocal and don't have a big online presence like other companies...they let their work do the talking. And this cover gets a lot of queries from friends. That's a testament to its quality, too.
Posted by Andrew on 13th Jan 2015
I had previously bought the "MF Faux Leather A5 Notebook Cover" and found it very good. It was so inexpensive and yet of such quality that I just had to buy the considerably more expensive "Seven Seas Gfeller A5 Cover - Kip Leather" to see how they compared. The Gfeller cover is worth the extra expense! It is handsome; it fits the Seven Seas notebooks perfectly; has a nice tactile feel; and it is very sturdy (likely will last my lifetime).
Posted by Jack on 4th Nov 2014
I bought this cover for my day to day journal, but as a field geologist I've used Gfeller and other leather field gear for years and have never been disappointed. I'm looking forward to watching this cover as it ages and gains it's color, stains and scratches that will give it character and make it mine. It's a perfect fit for my Seven Seas Standard. Highly recommended.
Posted by Doug Kim on 25th Aug 2014
I own a lot of high end leather products and this naked Kip cover is top quality.
The greatest compliment I can offer is that two coworkers came by my desk, saw this Kip cover on my Seven Seas and picked up the book and caressed the leather which prompted all sorts of oohs and aahs and questions.
Looking forward to the next several years with this cover to see how it ages.
Posted by RPB on 22nd Aug 2014
I was really looking forward to this. I am disappointed with the cut of the leather on the long edges. Hand made does not mean it has to be so far out of being a straight line. Just not what I was expecting at all.
The leather is ok. I am afraid the workmanship of the edges let this cover down badly. I will use it, I will enjoy it, it will do its job well.
With that said, I would still recommend this cover. Just check the photos well and email your questions beforehand.
Posted by Unknown on 20th Jun 2014
PS Please make this notebook in A4 too!!!!I will buy a dozen!
Posted by Josey on 18th Jun 2014
I had been contemplating getting a Gfeller cover of some sort for months, after pouring over reviews and feedback for all sorts of leather notebook covers on the internet and finding that this brand had the most fans (from what I could see). My trouble was choosing what brand/size of notebook to get a cover for, as I had yet to "fall in love" with a particular format.
But I kept on coming across glowing reviews of Tomoe River paper, and of Nanami's TR notebook in particular. As a new fountain pen addict, all the available information indicated that I would love this notebook, and so I ordered 3(!) Seven Seas notebooks and this cover.
I love this cover. It is exceptionally well-designed (there is a teeny bit of unevenness in the cut of the leather at the top on one side, but Dave is extremely transparent about possible minor flaws in the covers, and I have zero complaints; it's barely noticeable at all), and thought I was worried about a thick softcover notebook staying put in a pliable leather cover, the cover and notebook fit together wonderfully (FYI - this cover also fits large Leuchtturm notebooks!! Although there is of course no cut-out for the elastic band).
I am very very satisfied. I love how the cover is obviously high-quality but not ostentatious or flashy. Very, very strongly recommended!
Posted by Candice B on 10th Mar 2014
I've dabbled with various notebook covers for several years now trying to find a "fit" for my tastes, the notebooks I use, and functionality. I'm naturally attracted to leather products. I learned about Gfeller on the fountain pen network but hesitated in purchasing one for a couple of years--bottom line it was due to ignorance--not knowing enough about kip leather, its weight and durability. Having roved through several other leather covers, I returned full circle to Gfeller. When Dave offered this cover to match the Seven Seas Notebook, which I have many, I couldn't resist.
Let me say that Gfeller kip leather notebook cover is truly a married match for the Tomoe River Seven Seas notebook or for any A5 notebook. I love the simplicity, fine craftsmanship, and leather quality. I don't think you could find a better one on the market.
If you are looking for an understated, quality item, this is it. It will out last me; with care, it will outlast my grand kids too. I would suggest purchasing a leather conditioner to keep it in top shape at Gfellers and to allow it to naturally age rather than artificially distressing the leather. You want regret this purchase!
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