Field Notes wowed us a couple years back when they introduced their "Shelterwood" line of limited edition notebooks, which featured a think veneer of cherry wood bonded to a Kraft paper cover. The edition proved so popular that a variation was later reissued as the "Cherry Wood," which remains in their lineup to this day. So, it was only natural that another company would come along and take this idea to the next level.
Pacific & West is a company based in Portland, Oregon that creates notebooks from premium walnut covers and brass discs, similar to the popular Levenger "Circa" Series or the Staples "Arc" brand. Pacific & West first garnered attention with their 2016 Kickstarter project that combined walnut and brass to make a premium spiral-bound notebook, which funded and from what I can tell, received very good reviews. In response to user comments, Pacific & West redirected their resources from making spiral bound notebooks to developing a refillable, discbound version.
The Pacific & West Discbound Notebook comes in three sizes: Pocket, Large, and Extra-Large. The notebook featured here is the "Large" - slightly smaller than a traditional A5 notebook. Both the "Pocket" size and "Extra Large" size are also non-standard dimensions, meaning that you will likely either need to use Pacific & West branded refills or cut your own paper to size to fit these notebooks. (You can check out Pacific & West's "Size Guide" here.)
While I would have appreciated a standard paper size that would allow me to punch holes in Rhodia, Clairefontaine or other papers that I use to take notes throughout the day, I found the blank Pacific & West paper to be very high quality. In addition to the unlined paper shown here, you can choose lined or dot grid. The ruling and dot grid is a "low contrast light grey" designed to remain in the background.
Takeaways / Where to Buy
I regularly use discbound notebook systems at work to organize project notes and loose papers. The Pacific & West notebook is nice looking and well-made, though if you work a lot with standard-size 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper, as I do, you may not be able to use this notebook as your primary option. If Pacific & West made a standard A5 or letter-sized version, I'd buy multiple notebooks.
You can purchase Pacific & West notebooks directly from the company's website. The notebooks themselves are $59 for the Extra Large, $39 for the Large, and $25 for the Pocket. That may seem expensive, but when you consider the craftsmanship that goes into the cover, and the fact that these use solid brass discs as opposed to the plastic discs used by similar disc-based systems, the price seems reasonable. You're paying for good quality. Paper refills are also reasonable, priced between $7-11 for 120 sheet, which is less than what you would pay for Levenger Circa paper. (I haven't used Levenger paper in a while, but I recall it being relatively non-fountain-pen friendly. I've had a much better experience with the Pacific & West paper.)
SPECIAL OFFER: Currently, Huckberry is offering up to 20% off certain Pacific & West products, including bulk refills for the notebooks. Huckberry promotions typically last for a limited time, so if you are interested act quickly.
Disclaimer: Pacific & West sent me this notebook free of charge for review purposes. I was not otherwise compensated for this review. Certain links contained in this post are affiliate links.