31 August 2016

Guest Post - My Deskfax Collection – Part II - Alan

In the first part of this post, I discussed how useful I find the Deskfax format and showed the vintage Statesman models that I have.  In this second part, I share the more recent models that I use extensively in my teaching.

I have two York Director Deskfax, one that was bought BNIB from Laywine’s, Toronto’s finest Filofax stockist and host of at least two Filofax Meetups, and one that I got well-used and slightly abused in an eBay purchase.

The well-used one is missing a ring opening tab, which means I use it a lot, as I don’t mind if it gets even more damaged in use.  However, I am still quite careful when I open and close it by gently pulling on the rings.

The layouts of the post-Statesman models are more featured.  In addition to the horizontal slit for the pad of paper at the back, the York has slit of business cards, a window pocket for one’s own business cards, the secretarial pocket and a zippered pocket and two pen loops.

I have two, quite distinct, models that say “Professional”, a lovely leather one (the two black ones and the burgundy at the right):

…and one of unknown material:

The second burgundy one of the picture of the four above is a Windsor.  The Windsor and Professional appear to be identical. In catalogs from the early 1990s, the model is called “Professional”, but in the 1996-7 catalog, is it called “Windsor”.  These have unstructured covers, that would be comparable to a Holborn in pliability.  Their layout is the same as the York, above.

As for the one of unknown material, I am actually about 99% confident that it is rubberized fabric.  In the picture above with the model name, you can see the fabric-rubber interface, just below the stitching at the bottom. This one gets used solely for storage.

Next we have the Kensington.  In smaller formats, Personal and smaller, the Kensington is a lovely pliable, hard-wearing, unstructured model, but in A5 and larger, there is a significant stiffener in the covers.  I imagine that if the covers we that same as the smaller formats, their floppiness would rival the Malden, which I think would make them less useful, but I think Filofax went overboard with the stiffening.  The cover is like a hardcover book.

The layout of the Kensington is quite similar to the York and Professional, but the secretarial pocket is a full-length pocket, behind the zippered pocket, and the window pocket is replaced with a larger pocket that was likely designed to hold a 3.5” floppy disk.

With a layout indistinguishable from the Kensington there is the Richmond, with softer leather:

One characteristic that differentiates the Richmond from the Kensington is the rounded corners.

Finally, I have the two Buckinghams

I love their smooth, rugged, Italian leather.  Again the layout remains largely unchanged, although the diskette pocket is now a slit pocket, less expensive to manufacture.

So that’s my Deskfax collection!  6 Statesman, 2 York, 4 Professional, 1 Windsor, 2 Kensington, 3 Richmond and 2 Buckingham, 20 all totalled!  In addition, I bought a vinyl B5 binder from a Chinese company on eBay. I wanted to see if I could find an alternative to the Statesman for use carrying around, but I really don’t like the material.

Missing is the Statesman on my desk, but the cheap vinyl one is at the extreme left:

Thank you Alan for sharing the details about your Deskfax collection. I often wonder if there are ring mechanisms still made for the Deskfax. If they are then I can imagine a whole new interest in them with custom ones being made by Van der Spek


  1. Replies
    1. Sorry I missed off the link to the first part, now inserted!

    2. It seems that you might have fixed a typo or two as well.

  2. Alan, I name you King of the Deskfax. A fabulous collection, I enjoyed reading about them.

  3. That's a splendid last photo with them all lined up on the bookshelf.