27 September 2018

Guest Post – Time of change by gmax

Thank you to Max for this guest post. 

I’m not one for undertaking changes lightly – my faithful Winchester 4CLF 7/8 BK had been in service for around 30 years, and has survived with only a few signs of wear.

Worn pen holder on 7/8” Winchester

Most of that time it’s been “over-stuffed”, making it rather hard to get pages in and out, and I realised towards the end of last year that I seldom took it out of the house any longer.

So, after wrestling mentally for a while, I decided to switch to a very similar 5/4” large ring model, figuring that the increased size would be less of a problem now that I didn’t carry it much out and about.

I’d bought a slightly used 5/4” one on eBay, and just had to repair the snap fastener cover.

Large 5/4” ring Winchester

My “over-stuffed” 7/8” Winchester with its 5/4” replacement

According to the catalogues, a 7/8” model will hold 200 leaves, while a 5/4” model will take 300.

Certainly the capacity is more suitable in my case, as you can see below.

Contents transferred to the larger model

I found it very hard to actually make the switch – it’s surprising how much loyalty an inanimate object can inspire! But I’m very happy now with the “new” model – so much easier to work with overall.

Even changing leaves at the very front or back is possible now

For reference, here’s a photo comparison including a ½” (120 leaf) model as well

Three Sizes of Winchester
And of course if you reduce the number of pages it will be easy to swap back to the smaller ring size organiser! 


  1. Hi Gmax and thank you for posting this. Yes, it is surprising how loyal we become to our organisers! But the 5/4 looks like a very adequate replacement for the 7/8. I think there is a general issue surrounding the fastener caps because I can't recall ever seeing one which didn't have this issue - at least, before repair!

    I find that I operate at just about the limit of the capacity of a 25mm (7/8) ring binder, and sometimes I 'slip over' into 30mm (5/4) by migrating to my Cavendish (and usually back again fairly quickly). Just recently I've been using larger formats (A5 and even a Franklin Planner for a while), but for me nothing beats the portability of Personal size - and I carry mine a lot.

    I hope this new Winchester will be a welcome replacement for the 7/8, and that overtime you'll come to appreciate it just as much!

    1. Thanks David.
      I think you are right - degradation of the plastic of the snap fastener covers from that era is pretty much universal. It then depends on the degree of handling as to whether they split completely and fall off.

  2. At a time that the paperless office has (after many false dawns) finally become a reality for many, I’m interested that you’ve expanded from 23mm to 30mm. Filofax hasn’t commissioned a 30mm Personal for many years, even though the size was once very popular. I’ve gone very much the other way and my 13mm Holborn Slimline or 11mm Lockwood Pocket Slim always seem to be enough these days. Even my 23mm Holborn seems bulky.

  3. Hi Tim - I think I've always been close to the physical capacity limit in the 7/8" model, rather than having had a recent build-up. The Filofax I carry to work now is a 3CL, so 1/4", which suits me fine.