It is always nice to receive emails from our readers, especially ones offering to provide Guest Posts! Gerard contacted me a few weeks ago to tell me about his 'latest find' and then a couple of weeks later he sent me some pictures of his latest purchase, I was even more interested in the story behind his new organiser. And here it is.......
A few weeks ago an on-line search turned up an organiser brand that was entirely new to me.
Glenroyal are a small producer of bridle leather goods, all handmade in Scotland. In common with some other traditional firms, their website is not set up for on-line ordering, so at first I was a bit stumped. Anyway, this worked out well, since – instead of the usual impersonal on-screen checkout – I was able to exchange emails with a very friendly and knowledgeable lady, and quickly finalised an order for an organiser and a briefcase.
As a small producer, they seemingly don’t carry stock, and the idea that my items were about to be made to order added another traditional dimension to things.
A short while later I was notified of the tracking number, and the order was courier delivered to Dublin at a very reasonable cost. Each item was packed in its own green baize bag and wrapped in bubble wrap, all contained in a sturdy cardboard box.
The entire process from order to delivery took just two weeks.
So – what about the organiser itself? As I’m about to give it a rave review, I should declare up-front that I have no affiliation with the company, and that I paid full price for all of the items. I also didn’t know at the time that Steve would come looking for a review.
The binder is a standard six-ring arrangement in 23mm diameter and is compatible with Personal size paper. It came with a generic A – Z index tab set, but realistically I think anyone at this end of the market will have very specific refills in mind and the lack of any included fill won’t bother most readers. Incidentally, Glenroyal don’t manufacture any refills themselves.
Currently, Glenroyal produce a single binder design, in standard Personal size. This is the antithesis of the Filofax approach, but – interestingly – it’s precisely the route that Mulberry have taken.
The materials and workmanship are absolutely first class. The binder is made from thick bridle leather; the finish is impeccable and the stitching is 100% perfect to my eye. Being bridle leather, it comes with a generous application of dubbin to keep it soft and supple during transit and storage, and a thorough polishing with a soft cloth brought it up to a nice sheen.
I opted for the “Dark London” colour, which is a classic rich chestnut tan colour. The edges have a neatly applied semi-matt finish which closely matches the main colour.
The closure strap has a simple “Sam Brown” brass stud which works well and looks like it should last as long as any pop fastener. Similarly, the ring mechanism seems quite sturdy, with a good positive action and perfectly aligned rings. The binder has a single pen loop which is not elasticated, but is big enough to take reasonably thick pens.
There’s a single curved full-length pocket back and front, which I find suits my usage very well, as I’ve always carried smaller cards in a punched holder and don’t use my organiser as a wallet.
I’m delighted with the quality of the Glenroyal organiser – as I say the materials and workmanship are both first class. The cost of the organiser was less than the top-range Filofax binders, and it has a simple, timeless authenticity. I’ve focussed here on the organiser, but I should mention that the briefcase is also a very fine piece of work.
The buying experience was a pleasure, and I found the customer service and delivery arrangements excellent.
This organiser is perfect for my needs, and my only quibble has been the need to scale down from a large-capacity Winchester. Like most readers here, I’m certain to rotate between organisers over time, but I have a feeling that the Glenroyal will be at the heart of my collection for a very long time.
Thank you Gerard for the review and all of the photographs, this organiser I think everyone will agree is a thing of beauty. Gerard in conjunction with Glenroyal has produced a leaflet giving the full details of the Glenroyal Personal Organiser, you might also like to look at their full range of leather products on their website.