A short review of the Filofax Heritage
For the first time in many years I was intrigued by a new release by Filofax. While their Classic Croc certainly looked nice, I have never been a fan of printed (and painted) leather. This time, with the Heritage line, curiosity was peaked enough for me to order a binder in personal size. What follows is a short review of it.
I find the overall design understated and sublimely elegant. It has a very compact profile, with tabs sticking out ever so slightly beyond the covers when closed. There is no strap to hold it shut, which works surprisingly well.
The entire cover seems to be made of two pieces of buffalo leather, glued and sewn together. While the outer leather is nicely pebbled, the inner surface is very smooth. The juxtaposition of the two feels luxurious. The raw edges around the binder have been finished with rubber-like edge dye, which is not my favorite thing. In my experience it tends to chafe in an unattractive manner over the years. As a matter of fact, my binder arrived with a little bit of chafing at one spot. Good thing I had some edge dye leftovers sitting on a shelf. The stitching is nice and even in a slightly contrasting color. The cover doesn’t have any pockets, but the supplied leather flyleaf actually consists of a clever slip pocket.
The rings (as I understand are of the PXR type, thus replaceable) are nice and tight. They are circular in shape (as opposed to oval) and measures a mere 23 millimeters in internal diameter. In my opinion, they are on the smaller side of useful, but they do work.
My gripe with this binder lies with the design of the leather flyleaf. The holes in the flyleaf are very small, so that the friction between the soft leather and the metal rings cause it to stick. This will probably improve with use, but why on earth did they not make the holes bigger to begin with? Surely, this would have been evident in their testing? Also, the pen loop attached to the flyleaf is next to useless. Filofax chose to go with a rather cheap-feeling elastic textile material, attached to the front and back of the flyleaf, arching over the edge. Firstly, this loop cannot take even the smallest of pens without pulling the soft buffalo leather and deforming the flyleaf in a most unattractive manner. Secondly, I am certain the elastic of this pen loop will blow out after a period of use. This is a pity, since the binder obviously was designed to take considerable wear and tear. I have solved it for now, by simply clipping my pen to the flyleaf itself. I suppose you could just clip it to the pen loop too, but then the pen dangles too much in my opinion. I am also contemplating how difficult it would be to replace the elastic with a full leather pen loop. Not that hard at all, I reckon.
All in all, this is a very nice binder. Coming from a world of Gillio’s, Van der Speks and Il Bisontes, it is fantastic value for money. More importantly, together with their previous release, the Classic Croc, the Heritage line promises a return to quality binders from Filofax, which makes me very happy indeed.