10 July 2017

What if.....

For some reason an idea came in to my head the other morning...
'What if you could recreate the Filofax Winchester'
The Winchester started life in the 1980's, it is considered to be the 'Classic' Filofax design. It was made in the thousands in England in leather. It is quite simple in its design, to some it is the perfect design.

It was only available in Personal size, but with a variety of ring sizes ¼"(6.4mm), ½" (12.7mm), 7/8" (22.2mm), 5/4" (31.75mm),  all measured in inches of course, and a variety of colours and leathers, some quite exotic leathers as well were included.

Despite the number of variations the basic design remained the same. The exterior is just a plain cover with a modest size clasp to hold the organiser closed.

The interior contains just four pockets. Here is a 'sketch' of the interior.

On the left hand inside cover you have an ID card pocket, above that another pocket and a full height pocket behind those two. On the right hand inside cover there is just a full height gusseted pocket.

On both sides there are flaps that cover the openings to the pockets, these flaps are wide and also act as 'ring protectors' These flaps also remain closed when the organiser is closed, this secures the internal contents without the need for any zips.

The leather interior and exterior is simply sewn together. The edges appear to be burnished and finished off with a Edge Kote type product to give a clean edge to the leather.

On the right hand inside cover there is also a single all leather pen loop.

So would I keep the design exactly the same? Having owned a Winchester for 30 years I think I would make some minor changes.
  • Consider offering it with a wider clasp, or if the same width then a concealed popper on the clasp. 
  • Consider changing the pen loop to include an elasticated section, and possibly a second pen loop added to the left hand inside cover. 
  • Now the difficult one, provision of credit card slots. I would say no, leave the pocket arrangement as it is. But offer a credit card holder that can be added as an accessory on the rings (Filofax also did this) 
  • Another possible 'addition' to the original design, it could possibly have a full width back pocket added, although this will of course add to the bulk and weight of the organiser. 
  • May be offer it in other sizes? A5 and Pocket... may be even an A6.
Here are a couple of photographs of my own Winchester I bought in 1986.

So should an updated version of the Winchester be created/manufactured? May be with a different name if it has a different design?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I will take cover now !


  1. Not sure I'd want to include elastic, but I have one organiser with a leather pen loop that can be adjusted from inside one of the pockets to suit different pen sizes. I think that would be a worthwhile tweak to the design.
    Keeping the original cut and sewn edges would be a must.
    A back pocket? Steady on Steve!
    Actually it would be nice to try in a prototype. The overall bulk could be too much as you say.

  2. I have a Winchester in green leather, the button fell off years ago, and I replaced it with a bead of Sugru, which looks much the same as the plastic, but more durable. Mine still looks good, with good colour and when I treat it to a leather food, basised on lanolin it looks faboulous. It takes a Parker Jotter in the loop and is still useful. I
    It is a Winchester but bears the 4CLF7/8 stamp. I'd love a matching Deskfax in green leather with a elastic supplemented pen loop. I can't see the present Filofax company producing this though, unfortunately.

    1. The Statesman - the DX1CLF Deskfax model that matches the Winchester - never came in Green. Bright Red, Burgundy, and Black.

  3. I would say yes to the Winchester being recreated IF it were to the same standard - leather and craftsmanship - as the originals. I doubt they would be with cheaper mass production methods used these days.
    I prefer all leather pen loops, and external popper even if they do come off. Perhaps a more durable alternative there.
    I also say no to credit card slots but yes to a leather insert.
    Definitely yes to giving it a different name.

  4. An elasticized pen loop would be ideal, and 1" rings would work better than the 7/8" (5/4" can make the planner too bulky to live with for very long). While I like the back pocket, it also can bulk it up too much. The strap being a little broader is a good idea. I'd really love a concealed popper - most especially if it had 2 poppers as in the Bridle and Balmoral.

  5. I like the popper on the Malden though a nicer looking popper like on the original, I prefer the leather pen loop too as I would want it to last. I would only want a back pocket on the pocket size if it was made. I don't use them anyway. I agree most of what you said, as I also don't use the credit card slots. So I don't miss them on the Winchester. But I like the left side configuration on the Lockwood or the Regency, because I don't use the pockets like that, or even a zip pocket there instead.