What feels like ages ago, I reviewed original Sinclair. It was and continues to be a great pen case that carries and protects three pens comfortably with room for a small notebook, some washi tape, or more pens. The subtle exterior is tough enough to survive in a bag or large pocket, and aesthetically simple in a way that doesn’t scream fancy fountain pens within. A perfect balance of style and substance with less focus on bells and whistles, and more focus on quality and fulfilling a purpose. The Model R takes that original design concept and upgrades just about everything they can; the dimensions are larger, the pen-facing materials are softer, and the aesthetic finishes are (almost infinitely) more diverse. Let’s take a closer look at this Sinclair Successor and see how it stacks up.
The Model R is a three-pen case featuring tough Cordura material on the outside and a soft plush liner inside. The case measures up at seven inches tall, giving plenty of space to fit all but the largest fountain pens in the three lined sleeve pockets. With a secondary pocket on the opposite side, there is room for a small notebook, wallet, or more pens. The exterior also got a slight upgrade in the form of another (unlined) utility pocket that is perfect for a pocket knife or other EDC-type items or, as will likely be my use case, sticking some cool pins on there.
Although they sound similar on paper, when placed next to each other the differences between the original Sinclair and the new Model R become apparent. The Model R is larger measuring in at 7×4.5×1 inches, about an inch larger than the Nock original in all dimensions. The YKK zipper closure has been upped to a larger size than the original, and topped with cord pulls to make opening and closing the Model R just that much easier.
The final feature of note is not specifically an upgrade to the Sinclair platform, but more a feature of the Rickshaw family of products. The Model R is available in a wide variety of colorways as well as overlays of beautiful patterns and popular pieces of art. With nearly every option available to me upon visiting the Rickshaw table at the SF Pen Show, I chose Van Gogh’s Sunflowers as I tend to do whenever I am given the option, regardless of context.
I’m very happy with the case so far. When the Model R was initially announced, Rickshaw got bumped from a “must visit” to a “first stop” on my SF Pen Show itinerary. The case fits nicely into my current commute bag, the Topofolio (review coming soon), and enables me to carry a few of my currently inked pens along on my weekly visits to the office. The soft plush interior gives a very cozy feel to an otherwise rugged protective case. Long story short, if you were a fan of the original Sinclair you’re going to like the Model R.
In terms of value for the money, the introductory price tag of $40 is pretty reasonable, the quality and materials put this item in the “buy it for life” category of pen accessories. And, with the Rickshaw’s assortment of colors and patterns available for this case, you can really get a case that matches your own unique style and aesthetic.
I’ve been using an original Sinclair as a travel and transit pouch for about five years now so strictly speaking I didn’t need this case, but I’m very happy to have it in the lineup. Are there better cases out there, maybe even better buys for the money? Sure, probably. But what can I say, I’m a fan of the brands involved, I’m a fan of shopping from small businesses in the stationery community, and I’m a big fan on the Sinclair Model R.
If you’d like a second opinion, check out this great first look from The Gentleman Stationer.
Disclaimer: The products mentioned in this review were purchased at retail price. All opinions stated are my own.