Review: Piccadilly Primo journal

I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m a fan of Piccadilly. In fact, it seems almost normal to be a fan these days considering the great pricing of their products. Sure, their products are made in China but so is the mega-star Moleskine. It’s also been my experience that their paper is less inconsistent than the beloved M as well. The Piccadilly Primo journal has been popping up a lot on the ‘net so I went on a journey to find one. After 3 tries, I found a Borders that had some in stock.

They come in 3 sizes which are named… ready for this? Small, Medium, and Large. And would you know it, 2 or 3 shopping trips later, I had all 3!

All the Primos

These journals have 100gsm wood-free paper, the conventional ribbon bookmark, a somewhat unconventional elastic band closure, and a nice cream colored paper. But by far my favorite part is the smell. Yes, I like the smell of the cover, I don’t know why, it just smells … booky? I’m not sure what it’s made of, but it seems like rubber and it’s quite flexible. Something about this design screams “I’m a journal!”

But I know you don’t care about the looks, the smell, or how it stays closed as much as you do about the paper. While it clearly performs better than a Moleskine, it still isn’t perfect which I didn’t really expect seeing how the paper is 100gsm. Despite the fact that most pens work well, it still has the same peculiar single thread feathering that the other notebook suffered from. I managed to capture the feathering using the macro mode of my camera.

Macro of feathering

I wouldn’t let this keep you away from the Primo, the feathering is slight and really seems to depend on the pen. One thing I notice a lot when reading reviews of paper is the distinction that fine tip fountain pens tend to feather less than mediums. Unfortunately for almost everything I review, I’m a fan of a medium/broad nib and therefore I’m probably a bit harder on the paper than I should be. When it comes to “normal” pens; gel, Sharpie pens, and ballpoints, this paper works great. Unlike my experience with the Moleskine, gel ink dries instantly and without much drama at all. I also managed to find a fountain pen that wasn’t a big fat wet mess and the Primo handled it without any feathering at all.

I do have to give points to Piccadilly for binding this journal so it opens flat on almost every page. There’s also a ton of pages (288) which makes this journal a bargain. The Borders in my area sells the small journal for $5.99 which means you get a lot of space to write for very little cash. In my case, that would probably last me 2 years. πŸ˜‰

Sure it has its shortcomings but when you look at the price and the fact that not everyone is a fountain pen devotee, it’s a pretty darn good journal for most people.

Journal Page

And now, a contest!Β  I’m going to give away a FREE small Primo! All you have to do is post a comment. I don’t care if it’s as simple as “I want to win” or you feel like waxing philosophical about my review, any comment gets you entered to win (you can only enter once). On October 30th, I’ll pick a winner at random and that person will get a free small Primo journal! Simple eh?

42 thoughts on “Review: Piccadilly Primo journal

  1. Piccadilly is next on my list for “daily journal” … my current is a Markings that I got at Target.

    Its odd but I cannot get into Medium fountain pens because of less-than-ideal paper… I keep dreaming of a stub or italic nib but cringe at the thought of feathering and bleed through. πŸ™‚

    Thank you for the chance and cheers for pen&paper lovers!

  2. I just discovered your blog lately and I have been really enjoying it. You have some excellent posts on here…Oh yes, I would also really like to win the Primo journal. I have never used a journal by Piccadilly before, so I’m hoping I will be lucky.

  3. Haven’t tried the Primo yet! I’m curious about the 100gsm “wood-free” paper! Thanks for a great review & for hosting this giveaway!

  4. Just started reading your blog in the last week….you’re into to tech and pens/paper, and you’re from michigan…just like me :-0

    I’d love a shot at winning the piccadilly, thanks!

  5. I like the Piccadillys but they are hard to find – you never know which Borders will have them and they are usually tucked away somewhere in the bargain section…

  6. This is the first time I have visited your blog; I came here by way of Pen Addict’s Ink Links. (Darn you, Pen Addict, for putting up so many good links that you consistently take a chunk of my Saturdays!) I wouldn’t mind trying (and smelling) this Piccadilly πŸ™‚

  7. Those look pretty sweet. I really dislike the elastic band on the normal black Piccadillys (mine are stretched out to the point of uselessness =/ ). Hopefully, these Primo journals don’t suffer from the same problem.

  8. I have become a fan of Piccadilly’s large graph paper notebook. I like to use a heavy ink, so I usually only write on the right-hand side of the page. At $5.99 (at Borders), it’s a habit I can afford.

  9. GN said: “I like the Piccadillys but they are hard to find – you never know which Borders will have them and they are usually tucked away somewhere in the bargain section…”

    I have that problem, too. That was how I discovered them, actually– scouring the store for a cheap journal and then discovering the Piccadillys with huge page counts and a great price. πŸ˜€

  10. Thanks for this review. I’ll have to check them out next time I’m near a Borders. Oh, wait. I’m never near a Borders. Drat!

  11. i have the two larger ones and they are nice, but they do have a strange aroma to them that i think needs a bit of airing but i will be getting more.