The muted fate of the book Stationery Fever was somewhat of an enigma to me – it had so many references and contributions from prominent online presences that I thought it must have smartly set itself up for success. It even examined some of the issues with the new “Blackwing”. I’ve heard the publisher didn’t treat authors or photographers as they expected. That is sad to learn, as the book has a lot to offer, and introduced me to several very interesting stationery products and stores, including the Neri leadholder, the subject of today’s review.
The leadholder takes 5.6mm lead, and is available in black, anthracite, and aluminum. The version shown here is the anthracite. The body is aluminum. There is also the Neri S, a 3.15mm version in a wider colour range. And a ballpoint also joined the family. A matching lead pointer would be a nice accessory.
A writing implement usually leads one’s eye to the point of contact – the point, the nib, the brush – but the Neri is different – it has a striking feature – a giant brass screw.
The simple design is very appealing. Having seen various complications over the years – the Neri is simple in contrast. (The Parafernalia association surprised me. Parafernalia in particular are known for exceedingly complicated products such as their Revolution pencil.) The Neri is a holder for a 5.6mm lead, with a large brass screw to hold the lead in place. That’s it, only two pieces!
How well does it work? I believe there is one serious problem. This mechanism doesn’t have a piece on the other side of the screw to hold and thus centre the lead. So the lead is kept in place by the screw on one side, and hugs the leadholder’s opening on the other side. It is off centre or askew.
The feel in the hand is a personal matter. I’ve both liked and not liked it at times. I’d recommend trying it in person before purchasing.
Overall, the product has great design, but for me the off centre lead is a letdown.