Thursday, 8 November 2012

Filofax dissection.

I paused for more than a moment before I did what I did but, in the interests of science, personal curiosity and a growing desire to dispel a few myths, I took a knife to my pocket Finsbury.

So what do I think, now I've done the dastardly deed?

Well, to be honest, I thought that the outer cover was of better quality than I would have imagined - strong, durable and pliable, perhaps more so than usual because I had "fed" the leather some time ago.

But, and it is a big "but" for me; I now realise that my attempts to "train" my filofax in the dark art of flatability were in vain. Although I can only comment on the construction of just this one filo, there are simply too many layers of stiffening material underneath the outer layer of leather.

But that has to be only my opinion.

My Filofax Finsbury is no more, but some of the parts will live on in other incarnations. The ring mechanism is destined to be used in a bespoke custom leather binder project, and the original Finsbury leather cover just happens to be the right size to patch a hole in my bicycle panniers.


  1. Yep. Poor materials, cheap Chinese (some would say exploited) labour and built to last just a season or two. Reputed to land in the UK at around £5-£6 each. Retail at £45. And still the company is struggling!

    1. I'm not surprised, Tim. I have it on good authority that a well known clothing chain just converts pence to pounds, ie if a dress comes into the UK at 37 pence it goes into the shop at 37 pounds. Interestingly, a pair of UK made men's trousers might have cost 8 pounds in 1950, which at the time would have been nearly half a week's wages.

      I bought one of the last English filofaxes for 50 quid, from WH Smiths in the early nineties, which might be around 150 today. Would I pay 150 today, for an English made filofax, instead of perhaps a Malden for 50 ish? I think I would, because I've been using my 50 pound English binder daily for the last 20 years, and it shows little sign of wear.

      Perhaps, if they're losing money, they could revamp their tired website. At least that would be a start. It's certainly going to be interesting, following the fortunes of this enigmatic brand.