31 October 2016

New 2016 Van der Spek Touch Me Leathers and a Custom A5 Manager Organiser

Today I'm going to introduce you to the new Van der Spek 2016 'Touch Me' leather collection as well as a new A5 custom organiser made using one of the new colours of 'Touch Me' leather.

Back in June at the Van der Spek meet up, Petra Van der Spek got everyone in attendance to help Petra choose the new 2016 'Touch Me' leather colours.

Petra had decided to get a new supplier for this leather, but they offered a vast range of colours and obviously Petra only wanted to stock a small number of colours.

So each person was given a voting sheet and they were asked to pick their 10 favourite colours from the sample card with approximately 60 different colours on it.

In addition Petra had made some sample organisers using some of the new leather, this gave people a better idea about what the leather would feel like as well as look like in items larger than a small sample size.

Following on from the meet up, a series of votes took place in the Van der Spek Facebook group to reduce the options down to three new colours, plus black and brown, which were by default going to be included.

It came down to the following five colours: Black, Grey-Blue, French Blue, Tabac, Methe

L-R Black, Grey-Blue, French Blue, Tabac, Methe
The Van der Spek 'Touch Me' range of organisers are made by a sub-contractor to the requirements of Van der Spek.

Van der Spek will be supplying the leather, which has been sourced from a tannery in France and the items will be made in a large batch and you will be able to order them from stock on the VdS Shop website.

The design is very good and incorporates some great features including a full width back pocket, zip pockets and plenty of other pockets too.  They come fitted with Krause rings as standard and are very competitively priced.

In addition to organisers, there will be a new 'Touch Me' Nomad Travellers Notebook cover available as well.

The leather is very supple and nicely textured. It resists 'finger nail' scratches nicely too. The colours are very vibrant yet not too over-powering.

Delivery is expected some time in November, but I will announce when they are available on Philofaxy. They will be stocked in Junior(Pocket), Senior (A6), Standard (Personal) and A5 sizes.

One small design change for the new 2016 range of 'Touch Me' organisers, the Senior (A6), Standard (Personal) and A5 sizes will all have two pen loops. I think this is a great addition.

Janet Carr has also done a post about the new leather as well, which is of course well worth reading. Closer look at new Van Der Spek Touch Me leathers

Petra has also kept some of the new leather for custom orders as well.

You can now order any of the custom items (Organisers, Nomad TN covers, Codex Hobonichi covers, Pen cases, Writing cases, Pillows etc) in this new 'Touch Me' leather as well as the scores of other leathers.

As the new 'Touch Me' Leather was available for custom orders it gave me an idea.

As you know I've been experimenting/using just a single A5 organiser for the last couple of months.

It started with the arrival of the Filofax Heritage Compact A5. Since then I have tried out other A5 organisers in my collection with 25mm size rings.

I've used them for at least a week in each case. The main advantage over the Heritage was the additional pockets and the slightly increased paper carrying capacity.

So with Petra's help we came up with a custom designed A5 organiser that would suit my needs exactly. I opted for a typical layout internally, which includes a zip pocket as well as several slip pockets and a small number of business card pockets.

I also wanted two pen loops in the design. I didn't need a full width back pocket, that would have just added to the bulk of the organiser and the idea with this one was to keep it as light and flexible as possible.  I also opted for no stiffener in the covers, in fact they used a Bontex frame, which gives the covers structure but keeps it very soft and supple.

So that was the design brief... and here is the result.

This is an A5 Manager made with the Tabac new light brown 'Touch Me' leather and slightly darker brown(184) contrasting stitching.

Petra also had a matching flyleaf made for me as well, this is great because I will not be keeping stacks of paper in this organiser and the flyleaf gives me a good surface to write against.

I'm still using the same contents as before, just two diary inserts (Week to View for tasks and every day planning. Month to a page for blog post planning). I moved in straight away, no hesitation at all!

The zip pocket at the back is essential for me to keep items such as my Passport and other important documents safe.

As you can see it isn't short on pockets with three full height slip pockets, three business card slots, and two other deep pockets in the front cover.

You can also see the two pen loops, I use these to carry a mechanical pencil and a Uniball Vision Elite rollerball pen.

The rings are 25mm internal diameter and more than adequate for my needs.

The cover is super soft and flexible

End on as you can see I've not go many pages in it. I am carrying about 10 months of planner pages through to about June next year, plus year planners. And 24 months of a Month on one page for blog post planning.

I'm using a couple of today markers in different colours to separate the two sections, no need for dividers, they would just add weight.

The organiser and all the contents including the pens and the contents of the all the pockets shown in these photographs tips the scales at a very reasonable 700 grams, which I think is very good.

Thank you to Petra and the team at Van der Spek for making me this superb organiser. I'm very pleased with it. I think I've found the perfect organiser.

Additional information: Van der Spek On-line shop
Facebook Group:  Van der Spek Organiser Fans
Previous Philofaxy posts about the Van der Spek 'Touch Me' organiser range:


  1. Wow, what can I say they look amazing the Tabac and the Methe look awesome

  2. The Touch Me line has always tempted me. Now with the second pen loop, my hand inches closer to the Buy button. Exercising super human strength to wait.

  3. Your new A5 organizer looks gorgeous! Can't wait to order my TMs.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. It's an option on the Custom Models. But it does come as standard on the actual Touch Me models

    2. You were quick replying - I just saw that it was a custom and had deleted the comment already.

  5. Your planner looks great! I can't help but being a tad disappointed that of the 5 new colours 3 are blue...

  6. Steve, How are you liking your new custom A5 vds? I'm also contemplating going the same route as I want an a5 size but without the bulk that most ring binders have. Has the bontex frame provided enough structure compared to the ready made touch me line where there is no stiffener. I don't like the binders to be too floppy like the ready made touch me line. If you would've gotten a stiffener in your custom Touch Me would it have made less pliable and more/bulky. Any first hand experience from you is much appreciated. Thanks