Moleskine James Bond Limited Edition Boxed Set

Completing my Moleskine James Bond limited edition reviews (see here for the Titles notebook and here for the Carbon one) is the crowning glory of them all: the boxed set.

Unlike the other two notebooks, this is a numbered edition with 7007 notebooks total made worldwide. It comes in a silk covered box, with its own matching “tie” (to help you get the notebook out. It’s not really necessary, but adds another touch of luxury to this set), and is itself covered in black silk. All of this is terrifically excessive, like Q’s elegant little gadgets on an already over the top car. The result is a notebook and box that you just want to stare at and stroke every once in a while.

The Box
The “tie” inside the box

The notebook with its shiny silk cover:

Moleskine did a limited edition run of silk covered pocket notebooks years back, for the van Gogh museum in the Netherlands. They were all the rage, especially at a time when Moleskine was not doing limited editions except for special events, and they were exceptionally difficult to obtain. The silk on those covers was thinner and rougher, and after a bit of use tended to fray, likely because silk is not an easy fabric to work with, and the company had very little experience with fabric covered notebooks.

The James Bond Boxed Set comes after the Blend, Rolling Stones, Denim and Marauder’s Map fabric covered editions, and you can tell that they know what they’re doing now. The silk on the cover is densely woven and substantial, and unlike the van Gogh notebooks, it actually shines with sheen. It feels like the notebook is wearing a high end tuxedo and just waiting for a gorgeous woman in a skimpy dress and a silly name to bring it a martini, shaken, not stirred.

Front end page, with the well designed map and the number of the edition
Back end page, with all the titles beautifully aligned.

Like all previous boxed sets, the notebook comes unwrapped (the box itself is wrapped) and so without the paper slip and its B-side around it. The sticker sheet that comes with this edition is the same as the other notebooks in this range.

The set originally cost around $35 but you can get it now for $25. If you’re a James Bond fan this is the one to get out of this edition, with the Carbon coming in second place and the Titles in third. The only minus to this notebook is that it is so sexy there’s a good chance that you’ll feel uncomfortable using it (ah, double entendre. What’s a James Bond movie without it?).

Moleskine James Bond Limited Edition Boxed Set

Moleskine James Bond Carbon Limited Edition

Dun da da da dun, dun dun dun, dun da da da dun, dun dun dun, DA DA, dun dun dun!

It’s the Moleskine James Bond Carbon Limited Edition and it is charming, it is sophisticated, it is elegant, it is everything you know James Bond has to be.

The cover has a carbon fibre like pattern and texture to it, and this time it’s all over the cover.

Moleksine went all in on the understated look this time, and just embossed the 007 logo on the cover, instead of gold foiling it. It’s the right choice in my opinion, and works well with their own embossed logo on the back.

So much texture…

The Moleskine logo isn’t as deeply embossed as the 007, which makes it half disappear in the texture of the cover, another good design choice on their part.

The endpapers, sleeve and stickers are exactly the same as the Moleskine James Bond Titles Limited Edition, but they’re slick, so I’ll photograph them anyway.

Front endpaper with the world map which I love so much:

Back endpaper with the titles design, another win, and yes, the back pocket print is aligned with the back cover print, so extra brownie points for that Moleskine:

The stickers:

And the B-side of the sleeve:

The only flaw in this edition seems to be in the spine, which creased because of the texture of the Carbon design. It’s far from a deal breaker and I would normally not even mention it, but there is a possibility that it may break there over use. Only time will tell if it’s just a slight aesthetic thing, or if it’s a real design flaw.

So, should you buy this notebook? Yes, even if you aren’t a die hard James Bond fan. There’s no notebook I know of that managed to pull of such a cool texture without making it feel super cheap and plastic-y. It’s a notebook that you can carry at work and will look completely professional, and also one that will be fun to use as a personal journal, a travel journal, a project notebook, or on your next secret mission to outer space.

Moleskine James Bond Carbon Limited Edition

Moleskine James Bond Titles Limited Edition

Moleskine recently came out with three James Bond themed limited edition notebooks, and after a bit of scrambling, two orders that were cancelled on me, and a bit of trouble with the post office I finally got them. To be honest, if I had that much trouble getting any other recent Moleskine limited edition, I would have probably given up already, but this one is special, for two reasons. The first and main one is my dad. He introduced me to James Bond, we watched all the movies together (some on TV, the later ones in the theatre), and it’s our “thing”. The second one is that I have a thing for maps, and once I saw the map on the endpaper, I knew I had to have them.

All three large notebooks are pretty great, but the Titles edition is probably the weakest among them. The front cover (and only the front cover) has a print of shiny black on the usual matt black of all the James Bond title logos. It’s so interesting seeing them together, with their various fonts and embellishments . It’s also hard to photograph because the gold 007 embossed on the cover of all three editions reflects so much light. Shiny!

But there are two minuses here: one, the design doesn’t wrap around the notebook, it’s only on the front cover, and two, the titles only appear to be embossed, in reality they add no real texture to the notebook. This is such a shame because the other two notebooks in the series, the Carbon and the Box Set are so very tactile. It takes this notebook down several pegs, from the “great” to the “just OK”. It’s on par with the Star Wars Ships and Lightsaber Duel editions for me. Another very good edition that missed becoming excellent by so little that it becomes mediocre.

Everything else about this edition is stunning. I love the map, and the idea of having it there and tying it to globetrotter Bond through the B-side of the paper sleeve around the notebook (keep reading, I’ll explain it all later on). You could easily use a white pen to mark your own travels if you are planning to use this as a travel journal.

The back end paper is also great, with the titles cover design printed on it. Can you imagine now how much better this notebook would have looked like if it had this design on the spine and back cover too? Embrace the typeface, embrace the titles Moleskine!

They do get extra browny points for aligning the pocket with the type on the endcover. That is not something trivial to do, and it gives it all a nice touch.

Like most Moleskine limited editions, this one comes with stickers which are pretty understated, and would probably come in handy if you’re planning to use this notebook as a personal or a travel journal.

Remember the map on the front endcover? Well if you’re a huge James Bond fan, you can mark his travels on that map using the B-side of the sleeve. It has a list of James Bond film titles printed on it, with the date it came out on and the places the movie takes place in printed on it.

So, should you get this notebook?

If you’re a James Bond fan, then yes. If you’re looking for an interesting travel journal or a gift for a cool dad, then also yes. If you’re just looking for an alternative with a twist for your run-of-the-mill Moleskine large hardcover notebook, then I’d recommend the James Bond Carbon for a more understated but unique look, or one of the more colourful limited editions that Moleskine has issued lately.

Wait, what about the paper? It’s the same Moleskine fair of recent years. Expect significant ghosting and some bleed through to the other side of the page, no spreading but a little bit of spidering when using fountain pens, and a very smooth surface that may cause darker pencils to smear. It’s great for ballpoint, gel pens, highlighters (no spreading!), and certain kinds of fountain pen ink (Noodler’s black, Waterman Blue and Blue Black, and too many Diamine inks to list. Avoid J. Herbin and other watery inks like the plague) with medium or finer nibs. I don’t mind the ghosting (it’s the same as on Tomoe River Paper) and use both sides of the page, but that’s obviously up to you.


Moleskine James Bond Titles Limited Edition