My fully crammed personal Finchley got quite heavy in the meantime, so I began to search for the ways to make the load lighter.Downsizing to Pocket seemed the first and obvious choice (even more so because I had it in the same style and colour and Finchley's teal is such a beautiful colour!).
Well, I already told you how my first Pocket experiment turned out, and so my second option was to try Compact size. And along it came, in a Raspberry Compact Chameleon, with SNARLing being such a great inspiration for it.
I stuffed Chameleon more than full here, but see how it still appears much thinner!
I find it hard to exactly describe the feel of the compact size - it only comes to my mind that it feels, well - compact. There's no redundant bulk and the spine with the smaller ring size feels nice, the (full) binder on the whole feels more defined, sharper (oooh, I wish my English was better than that!).
Maybe the picture above explains it better: in the Compact, there's no space left between the paper and the cover, while in the Personal one the space between the cover and the paper is bigger.
Is it just me or the ring curve of the Personal size takes up more additional space and cannot be used in full compared to Compact?
Therefore, the verdict: it really feels beautifully compact and sleek, I fell for this format immediately! It is also much lighter, even when full - another bonus!
Please note: the Chameleon comes with only one (elasticated) pen loop which is on the left (which feels quite unusual to me... and a bit impractical, too, being right-handed); I have another pen loop because I used the Leuchtturm pen loop sticker on the right - I wouldn't want the photos to mislead you!
Now on to its leather.
It feels very smooth, the pattern actually feels like a lizard's skin indeed, it's soft and very pleasant. I do find it similar to Finsbury, apart from the feel of the pattern relief - and the Chameleon doesn't lie flat either, well, not for now.
The only thing that I'm not so sure of for now is the pattern and the finish of it.
I find those cute darker "hearts" in the pattern too big and too dark compared to the background, it feels the pattern is pulsating, and I find it a bit too agressive.
I saw the green and aqua Chameleons (not in Compact!) in person as well, but they, on the other hand, the seem a bit too muted because of the muted background and the big proportion of the darker part of the pattern.
The other thing is the wear of the pattern; the Chameleon I got has been used before, and the discoloration that came with the use is clearly seen on the clasp:
Seeing photos of other people's Chameleons, I'm starting to believe it could be a collective problem of the Chameleon range.
There was a damage to its front cover as well, in the two pictures above the last one you can see the discoloration that was area without a colour at all in the beginning; I believe there had to be a price label or a sticker there that a previous owner took off and some of the colour peeled off with it.
I took a purple Staedtler pen (it looked the best colour match, and I was a bit impatient already, you see!) and coloured it; it worked well on the damaged part of the surface (you almost cannot see it with your eye, well, the camera is merciless, though), but to no avail on the clasp where the ink kept rubbing off.
So, here are my concluions about the Compact Chameleon:
1. I definitely love the size,
2. I also love the leather very much, the feel and quality of it.
I'm not so sure about:
- the pattern itself,
- the fading of the pattern colour through simple use and
- one pen loop, and that being placed on the left as well.
To conclude, I think the "hardware" part of it is actually great - the size, the overall quality, the feel of it; the details that I maybe don't like must be the thing of an individual's taste and preferences, I guess.
So, yes, I'd definitely recommend and buy again the Chameleon in Compact, but next time I'd probably choose it in black colour, check it out on the video link above, it's so stylish, sleek and glossy, mmm!