19 May 2010

The Quality of Current Organisers

So I was thinking the other day about the organisers currently available and comparing them to the organisers available in the 1980's. There's been plenty of discussion about the quality of modern organisers not being up to the same standards as those in the 1980's. But lets look again at what is currently on offer and see if there are any that get close to the quality.

So if money was no object... and you wanted to buy one of the current organisers in say Personal or A5 size, which would you buy? I'm ruling out any of the 'fashionable' ones with fancy decoration on the outside... sorry, but we want a general workhorse that will last a good few years, it won't look too dated after a few years either. I think leather is a must if it is going to last more than say 5 years. I'm not too fussed about colours, so we shouldn't be constrained by that.

I was also looking back at Laurie's post about her chat with Brigitte in the Filofax shop, particularly her comments about leather interiors being more harder wearing compared to cloth.Which ranges have leather interiors?  I've looked at the photo's on the site and it is not easy to tell the difference.

So your thoughts please in the comments.



  1. Like all things, I think it depends on the model. I, generally, tend to think the older models of filofax are more resilient; however, consider the Windsor. I have owned two windsor leather filofaxes and both have lost the pen holder, the strap and the cloth in the card holders. Not great quality. Beautiful, sure. But no Winchester. It is the same with book binding - compare leather bibles, for instance. Compare an Allan's Bible and a Zondervan. Price, craftsmanship, integrity, honesty. As one person said about a Gfeller Moleskine cover - it is something that will be passed on to another generation. Will our Finsbury's or Metropols say the same?

  2. I agree that a lot of brands including Filofax will have issues quicker than their older counter parts built in the past. When I pick a binder whether it be Filo or FC I try to think about the strength of what I'm purchasing. Holding the Guildford in one hand and the Finchley in another, both in the color black, I'd bet a paycheck that the Finchley will outlast the Guildford. Just as in the FC products, I purchased the Supremo rather than others for the hopes that purchasing an all leather binder inside and out will outlast others. I buy my briefcases and laptop bags the same way. Of course some of the items I have purchased cost a ton of dollars but I grew up with the words "you only get what you pay for" instilled in my brain. But I think that some of what we buy like Filofax is costly because of the name, not beacuse it is the best quality we could find. Just my thoughts, I could be all wet on this one.

  3. I agree wholehearted with The Reverend. My '89 Winchester is in pretty good shape, having taken the first decade or so of its life just to develop a bit of a patina. All that's happened is that the plastic cover on the stud popper broke off. My Guildford however, was a different matter before I eventually discarded it. Pen loop failed in a couple of months, the ring mechanism began to separate from the binder... A sorry sight.

  4. gregor: i too grew up with "buy the best quality you can afford" instilled in me.

    and i agree that pretty much ANY product manufactured now is probably going to be a lesser quality.

    back in filofax's heyday i had a brown ostrich personal that i carried for at least a decade and all it did was break in. the leather button covering the snap closure got a bit worn, but that was it.

    bought a filo bromley travel wallet as a gift a couple months back and the pen loop snapped the first week. utterly not worth the $100 i paid for it!

    i can't help wondering how long an ostrich filo made today would hold up in comparison to my old one...alas, i don't have it anymore.

  5. My views are pretty well known (and more or less cliche), but if I had the company's ear, I'd encourage some limited edition revivals of classic styles. This wouldn't even be inconsistent with the idea of Filofax as a consumer brand: look at the way shoes made of Horween Leather (or anything else with the Horween name) fly off the virtual shelves. There are people offering bridle leather organizers still, for example:


    A limited run with nice "brand name" leather and some modern amenities (like a fountain pen sized loop) would get me off the fence.

  6. SP's blog comments here were quite telling on this subject.
    Do any currrent models match the quality of the "vintage" products? In durability terms at least I doubt it.

  7. I would suggest the personal Pimlico in Italian leather, as high quality appraching that of the 'old' filos (but Pimlicos don't tend to lie flat!) The older versions weak point was always the laastic which tended to come off. I have a pigskin Duplex, 1/2" rings (now beautifully aged), which I used when serving in the army, and it came 'factory fresh' without the plastic poppers, just the bare metal covers, because they were known to be vulneable to hard wear.

  8. Apologies for the idiosynchratic (as in wrong) spelling in my earlier post. It should, of course, have said plasic covers on the poppers!


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