27 June 2012

Filofax Holborn Personal - Review

[Full Disclosure: We would like to thank Claire at SlamPr for arranging the loan of this Filofax Organiser for us to review.]

This was the first time I had been able to handle and examine a Holborn in some detail and get beyond the first impression in a shop. In this review I'm comparing it alongside my own Filofax Malden personal organiser in Ochre.

The leather of the Holborn is very similar to that of the Malden, both being described as 'Buffalo Leather' But the Malden does feel more supple and soft. I think this is down to the differences in the interior design, which we will come to in a moment.


The Holborn is a more matt finish than the Malden, I think the difference between the two shows up quite noticeable in these exterior photographs. 


The Holborn has uses a smaller clasp compared to the Malden, it is the same size and design as used in a Finsbury and other similar leather Filofax organisers. 


Whilst the design of the Holborn from certain angles looks plainer than the Malden, but overall they are balanced because of the way they have added the cover over the spine and the stitching details included.


When looked at from above you can see that the Holborn is slightly squarer in profile compared to the Malden. Both of the Holborn and Malden personal organisers are fitted with 23 mm (internal) diameter rings.


Internally the Holborn reminds me very much of the Cuban in it's internal design. It has the same number of card slots and the pocket layouts. 


There are slot pockets on the outside and inside on the left hand side. On the right hand side there is a slot pocket and a zip pocket as well.  The single pen loop is a leather and is elasticated 

If the need for multiple pockets for holding tickets and documents are you requirement then the Holborn Personal will not disappoint, although the converse will be 'now which pocket did I put my theatre tickets in' could be an issue!

One interesting observation, which might convince you I need to get out more... I could not find a quality control mark anywhere on the Holborn. If you have ever got your magnifying glass out and looked closely at your Filofax personal organiser,  you will normally find this on the inside of the leather clasp.

Here is the one on the Malden, 'SEW' in this particular case. I will one day list the codes on all of my Maldens, I will get my coat!


I enjoyed my short time with the Holborn, if it wasn't for the Malden I would certainly consider the Holborn as a suitable and comparable Filofax Organiser.

Amanda at Paper Pens and Ink also recently did a review about her Holborn.  And you can see pictures of Zoe's pair of Holborns on her blog 

Again thank you to Claire at Slam PR for arranging the loan of this Filofax personal organiser.

25 comments:

  1. Hi, Steve, thanks for the nice review - and for such an eye for small details like the quality control mark - chapeau! So after reading your post I searched my Filofaxes for their quality control marks (I had noticed them but never really thought about them or checked wether all of my binders have them) And I found out that my black Holborn Pocket has got one (VWL) - but my Panama has not.....then again my old Belmont has one..... What a strange thing. Do you have any idea what that means??

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  2. The pocket layout clearly works well in Personal size where the binder can still effectively also act as a wallet. Unfortunately, I found it's not effective in A5 size, where credit cards fall out of the Holborn and the whole thing looks distinctly cumbersome and awkward at the supermarket till. The zipped A5 Holborn may stop this but is even bigger and fatter! The other problem is that the outer pockets only go half way, meaning they don't lend themselves to slotting in a notebook.

    After a few weeks, I gave up on my A5 Holborn and switched to a Flex A5 (with ring inserted) and Flex Slim combination. Both have a similar layout to the Holborn.

    My A5 Holborn code is VFW by the way!

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  3. My brown Personal Holborn has the VFW code.

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    Replies
    1. Where is the code on yours Ray?

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    2. My personal Holborn has a code as well: VEW on the inside of the closure strap.

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    3. Hi Steve many thanks for the review, very interesting.
      I have two FF Sketches bought at TK Maxx just below 50% discount both have DEW on the inside of leather clasp. It'd be interesting to know what this stood for.

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    4. Yup. My personal Holborn has the code as well. But the leather on my Holborn looks different from the one you reviewed ("yours" looks a lot more "dry"). But then, I own the personal, A5 and slimline sizes and none of the leathers are alike. The leather on the personal is the best, though.

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    5. In the usual place, Steve.

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    6. Mine has VFW too - on the inside of the strap, right next to the binder edge.
      I wonder why yours doesn't, Steve?

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    7. Not sure why. It has now gone back to Filofax now so I can't examine it further!

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  4. I have an A5 Holborn Zip in Wine and I love it. The size is perfect for my needs (work/family/personal) and I like the look:)
    Holborn's leather is so buttery soft.
    However I can't see a code anywhere, maybe I don't know where to look.

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  5. My brown compact Holborn has the card slots vertically so no problem with losing cards, and is big enough to slot in a pocket Moleskine sized notebook like a cahier, so a thin cover. Mine has the code VBX.

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  6. Steve,

    Thanks for the review. What is that small tab of leather at top right inside the back cover in the second-last picture?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gerard
      It's a slightly moulded section, so when the zip is closed the zipper hides behind this section. Quite a neat solution I guess.

      Steve

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  7. I really want a non-zip personal in wine, but will have to wait... I know they are available in Compact now, but I prefer the credit card pocket layout of the personal sized ones!

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    Replies
    1. Compact and Personal have different credit-card layouts? I did NOT know that!

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  8. I'm loving my A5 Holborn Zip's in Wine and Brown, i'd love a personal zip and I fancy trying a compact, but i'm on a Filofax diet!!! :o

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  9. I use my brown personal Holborn zip everyday and it's just great. Really 'solid' binder.

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  10. Thanks for a great review, Steve. The Holborns are lovely :)

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  11. My Holborn has the code VDX on it and also this review only mentions one full height vertical pocket on the back cover when there are two.. The leather on that one does look a lot more dry than mine... and also stiffer, maybe just because of the colour I guess

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  12. Great review! My code is VCX. I love my personal Holborn in wine!

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  13. Loan? Do they always do that? I know I've seen it before but it makes no sense... How are you to use it? See how it holds up, if its better then what you have.... It seems like what they want are close up pictures and not reviews.... I don't know, maybe slampr isn't used to working with blogs? I've never had an experience where something was sent for review on loan... Why would a company want to get it back - to sell it as 'new'? People are expecting new to be fresh out of Filofax... Plus isn't the exposure (and your time) worth the products actual (not retail) cost to filofax at the very least?

    Tracy

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