07 June 2018

Guest post - Filofax Duplicate Model Names - Alan

Thank you Alan for this excellent guest post. 

In the Philofaxy Facebook group, one of our members asked whether the Piazza was made in England. I too-quickly replied that it was not, not realizing that the model name “Piazza” had been used twice by Filofax. This prompted me to add “Piazza” to the list of names used more than once by Filofax and Steve asked that I do a guest post on the subject.

As you will see, many of the duplications involve the Winchester Era. The Durham (0CLF in two rings sizes, 7/8” and 1/2") was a simple, clasped calf’s leather binder. It was available in black, burgundy, brown and blue, with the half-inch rings only in black and burgundy. This last appeared in the catalogs in 1990.

In 1999, The name was used for a zipped model in Pocket, Personal and A5 sizes but only in black and featured an external clasped pocket. The model was still in the 2001/2 catalog, but we have not been able to ascertain when it’s availability ceased. Darren Rounce has a nice article about the later Durham here

During the Winchester Era, the Buckingham was the name used for clasped binders with two full length pockets front and back in pigskin (PLF), hide leather (HLF), bridle leather (BLF), saddle hide leather (SHLF) and Moroccan leather (MLF). (Oddly, in calf’s leather (CLF), the model name was the Argyll!) In bridle leather, these pockets were gusseted and you can see in the 2BLF entry on Filowiki.

A number of years later, the name resurfaced on a line of binders with thick smooth Italian leather in sizes that spanned at least Pocket to Deskfax. The A5, available only in black, featured the largest rings ever put in a Filofax A5, 35mm. The personal was available in a variety of colours seen below, plus black.

Two of the most sought-after models of Filofax share the name Balmoral. The Winchester Era model (code 10CLFJ5/4) featured large 30mm rings in a trifold design with a “jotta” folding over to clasp shut. This was available in black and burgundy and resales invariably generate lots of interest.

Over a decade later, the name was reprised in a family (M2, Mini, Pocket, Personal, and A5) of leather binders in crocodile print. One sought-after feature is that some, but not all, have wallet pockets in the covers. Filowiki has pages about each size, but the personal page shows the range of sizes and colours as well as the wallet pocket.


As mentioned in the introduction, it was the Piazza that led to this post, as I had not remembered that the name was used first in a model that appeared in the catalogs for only one year, 1998. This model, available in Pocket and Personal, was made of faux nubuck in three colours: cream, cappuccino and espresso – perfect for working at the coffee shop! Nubuck must have been popular at the time as the 1998 catalog also featured the Connaught and Dorchester, which both were made of nubuck. Another distinctive feature of the 1998 Piazza was “Filofax” embossed on the front cover on the lower right corner.

Eight years later, in 2006, a Piazza model in Mini, Pocket, and Personal surfaced in two deluxe smooth leather colour choices: blue and rose, with the blue option being a light pastel shade. The most distinctive feature of the later Piazza was the inlaid strip of suede across the middle of the covers. Filowiki has an entry for the mini, which nicely displays the hue of blue.

The original Ranger (code 0C7/8) was from 1990 and was a simple canvas covered binder without pockets in six colours: blue, black, brown, green grey, and red. The 0C7/8 had been around from the mid-1980s, but the name Ranger didn’t appear in the catalog until 1990. The later Ranger is a rather sought-after model in Pocket or Personal sizes that often gets misrepresented on resale listings as leather, but it is actually faux leather. This Ranger has a reputation as a durable, hardwearing binder, which features a purse compartment on the front cover for a press stud closure. Filowiki’s entry can be found here.

During the 1990s, Filofax offered price-conscious students non-leather binders with academically-oriented inserts. From 1991 to 1996 the College binder was described as “smooth suede-like vinyl” while in the 1998 and 1999 catalogs, the College is a nylon weave. There have been reports of nylon weave College’s with 5/4” rings, but these are not mentioned in the catalogs. Filowiki has an entry for the earlier vinyl model. This is the nylon weave model:

In three different decades, Filofax has sold an Ostrich leather binder. In the 1980s, It had a Winchester layout; while in the 1990s and 2000s, the layout was similar with lots of card slots and pocket. All three had ring protectors.

The Chester had two looks, both leather trimmed suede-like vinyl with leather trim, one having a tapestry inset, but these are really two version of the same model. The generic name “Slimline” has been used several times on 11mm-ringed personals.

Names of Filofax models used by other companies:
In addition, the following Filofax model names have been used by other organizer binder companies:

  • Westminster and Bloomsbury (Lefax)
  • Balmoral and Rochester (Collins)
  • Bloomsbury, Piccadilly, Westminster, and Belgravia (London Organizer Company)

Thank you Alan for a very informative post, I learnt a lot from it. 


  1. Interesting to know about the duplicates and always good to get some Filofax information. Thanks Alan.

  2. Nice post thanks Alan.
    I can add one more duplicate - the name Domino has been re-used. There were a pair of black and white binders produced in the 1980s as well as the current, elasticated model.

  3. And Deskfax has historically been used as the name for two completely different formats.

  4. One more to add - the name TravelFax has been used for both a zipped 14 pocket model and a slimline wallet with zipped compartments.

  5. There's also the Japan exclusive all italian leather Chester. I picked it up a month ago in loft in Shibuya whilst visiting. It's absolutely gorgeous but was incredibly expensive. About Y30,000 (£205) and that was for the personal size