19 February 2014

Filofax Cavendish Personal

I recently bought this Cavendish personal size organiser from one of our readers. Whilst I saw plenty of photographs of it that she kindly sent me before agreeing to buy it, I didn't really take much notice of the internal design of it. I was obviously looking for faults with the rings or damage to the leather, which thankfully there were none.

However, when I opened the parcel last week and took this organiser out of the box and started to look at it, I suddenly started to appreciate why this particular model is so popular with people that are fortunate to own one.

To me there are so many good things with the way it's been designed and made.


The exterior is quite understated in some ways. The leather is soft to the touch and the clasp of the older type designs. I am not sure when this particular model stopped being sold, the box had hints of 2005 on it, gosh 9 years ago!


Opening up the organiser and you will see the immediate attraction for most people, 30mm rings and on this example they snapped perfectly shut.

On the left inside front cover there is a large pen loop, which takes my Cross fountain pen comfortably. And eight... card slots.. I've put Philofaxy cards in them just so they all show up! There's also a full height pocket to tuck things in to behind the card slots.



The inside back cover on the right has another full height tuck in pocket and also a slim secretarial pocket in front of that. With a smaller pen loop as well. This one will take a 0.5 Frixion pen with out too much of a problem.


On the back cover there is a zip pocket, it's quite tall but not very deep, but you are less likely to lose things in the depths of a deeper pocket I guess. This would be fine for tickets and may be for collected business cards. The zip is covered by some thin leather flaps which is a neat touch.


So in use, as you can see it takes all of my usual pages without any problems at all. Capacity to spare in fact. It feels special in a way, luxurious but without feeling fragile. Plenty of secure pockets for things like my passport and prescriptions etc. Card storage well beyond what I will need! I just like the simplicity of the design, no zips on the inside to create unwanted 'lumps' to write against.

The organiser doesn't sit perfectly flat when empty as you can see. But I guess over time it might loosen up a bit, it's certainly ok with pages in it and fine when you are holding it in your hand which is the norm for a personal size for me.


Although this has got 30 mm rings it doesn't feel that bulky. Clearly if you loaded the rings fully up with paper then the weight would increase.


The Cavendish is shown here between the Gillo Amica and the Launer, the Amica has 26mm rings, The Launer the same as the Cavendish with 30mm rings. The other two though are very square at the spine where as the Cavendish is quite rounded, I wonder if that is why it doesn't feel quite as bulky.


This one is certainly in my top ten of Filofax designs and I'm proud to be the owner of one.

24 comments:

  1. Nice write-up and great photos! I loved my Cavendish but never really liked the curved spine, I prefer a more squared spine with defined spine, hinge, and cover construction like a hardback book. But the leather on these is lovely, the design incredibly practical, and overall a good proper filofax. Shame they don't make anything even remotely similar these days!

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    1. Stupid me. I didn't look for the detail and wasted an hour looking for a damn Cavendish - only when I read your post did I realise they don't make them any longer. How frustrating.

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  2. What's not to love? Loads of pockets, beautiful leather, two pen loops, simple and classic. This was a great share Steve. Photos came out great! Such eye candy!

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  3. Gorgeous photos as always Steve. I like the Philofaxy card in every pic - better than a watermark! I really love my Cavendishes. You can almost understand why they are going for such horrendously high prices on ebay (last one I saw was almost €300).

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    1. Yes you have spotted my ploy... angle the organiser, put the card in a place so it would be hard to crop out of the photo!

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  4. We need to share this post with Filofax company and ask them to make Cavendish again in several modern colors!!! I will buy it definitely and many others too!

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  5. Absolutely fantastic Filofax! Has all the characteristics of my perfect Filofax: smooth leather, big rings, great pockets, and two pen loops! If you ever decide to sell it (which I'm sure you won't) please call me first!

    Gorgeous photos, excellent post! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  6. That's a thing of beauty Steve.....I'd be happy to carry one of those......

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  7. Beautiful Filo indeed - who needs all these modern fluorescent colors, let's hear it for the understated elegance of the vintage Filo :)

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  8. That would be my dream binder. I wish Filofax would consider making more of them. I would think there would definitely be a lot of us who would buy them.

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  9. All I can say is wow!! This would tempt me from A5 into personal size. Come on Filofax, you know you want to make some!!

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  10. As a lucky owner of the same one (result of a sleepless night, caught one listed on one of the groups within minutes of it being posted) I concur with everything you posted. Great review. I would love to see a remake of this model with the larger rings, standard rings and compact size in classic colors, black, brown, green, maroon or red, navy. The compact would probably only accommodate one pen loop. But the pocket configuration is perfect and with the various ring sizes would make a terrific planner/wallet in all ring sizes.

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    1. I use daytimer page lifters front and back to help with page turning. Works like a charm.

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  11. You're killing me, Steve! I've loved the Cavendish since before the "craze" and $300 eBay sales... I'll definitely be on the lookout for one if and when my Malden ever falls to bits. Hopefully by then they'll be out of the spotlight and in my budget!

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  12. I'm loving this one, it really has so many things right about it. Even if it only had 23 mm rings (standard size for Personal these days) then I still think it would be a great organiser to use.

    Thank you for all your great comments I really appreciate them all.

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  13. The combination of the leather, large rings and practical pockets makes this perfect, no wonder it is so popular!

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  14. Gasp, sigh, weep - I long for a Cavendish. It would be purrrfect for my needs. I'm so glad you found this one and have given it a good home. :)

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  15. I love it. Big ring, Good order of the pockets. The position of the zip pockets. Why Filofax dose not have similar designs any more. I just am not interested with any of those new launched designs.

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  16. Gorgeous Filofax. I love the big ring, but would have liked it with a design more like the interior of the Malden (which is my favorite). :)

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  17. i have a well loved and much used cavendish, in beautiful buttery soft black leather, which my husband bought me before we were married, so i've had it since around 1998. It is still going strong, and i hope it will be for many more years as there is nothing similar made by filofax nowadays :(

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  18. I dug up my old pocket cavendish today, it is certainly lovely, I love the back cover zip pocket and wallet pocket. I have a question; the rings have a gap, is it possible to replace these filofax rings with krause ones or other ones, if it becomes necessary? Thank you

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    1. I've not taken out the rings, but they are of the replaceable type. See my video on rings on the Philofaxy YT channel:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vYL0aFullc
      Then measure the distance between the mounting points and compare them to the ones on the VdS Shop website here:
      http://www.vdsshop.com/home/120-mechanism.html
      The second image has the dimensions of the mounting points.

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  19. Hello Steve, thank you for the helpful concise information, it's good to know the rings are replaceable! I remember purchasing this pocket Cavendish at the City Organiser in Oxford in 1999. I think the quality was much better back then. I will have a look at your video. Thank you also for this lovely blog!

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