Monday, 19 March 2012

Review of the Personal Finchley in Imperial Purple

I don’t understand myself sometimes. I truly don’t. I have four fabulous personal sized filofaxes – a Portland, two Baroques and a Cavendish – more than enough to satisfy a need for colour changes/expansion (into the Cavendish)/contraction (into any of the others). I am also working pretty happily out of my pocket Aston at the moment (but thank heaven for 19mm rings!). So why did I feel the need to buy a personal Finchley in purple?

Oh, because it was on sale at City Organiser and with the extra discount it came in at about £38, that’s why.

So, what’s it like?

The leather is pebbled but it feels very dry and parched. I have two other Finchleys (both A5) and they each feel different from this one – the red one doesn’t feel as dry and is a bit softer and the green one feels as if it has a slightly waxy finish (hard wax, a bit like someone has put a really, really thin coat of candle wax on it). The purple one just feels dry. The cover is fairly soft when you get away from the edges but still very dry. It is leather inside and out and has contrast stitching in cream (which I don’t really like. In the Aston, the contrast stitching is in a paler version of the leather and doesn’t stand out so much. In my red and green A5 Finchleys, the stitching is the same colour as the leather).

Purple Finchley with contrast stitching

It doesn’t lie flat out of the box, even with the pages evenly divided between the two halves. It probably would with training.

Poor flattability
On the inside left there are six credit card slots with a full height pocket behind. The lower two card lots have a turned edge; the others are cut-edge. The lining of the pocket is fabric.

Inside left: credit card slots (turned edge and cut edge); pocket behind
On the inside right, there is a zipped pocket which has a mesh outer. There’s also a leather pen-loop.

Mesh pocket with zip. Lack of flattability leading to the need for a weight on the corner!
The contents are cotton cream throughout – cotton cream week on two pages, 5 cotton cream to do sheets, 6 cotton cream lined pages, 6 plain cotton cream pages, and cotton cream address sheets. All of the printing is in a medium brown ink. The dividers also have brown type and are in a different font from usual. The today marker is also in brown.

Dividers with bown ink and a differernt font

Brown Today marker

Well, that’s my quite factual review… here’s the bummer:

I really don’t like it and it’s going back.

Those of you who know me/follow the blog will realise from that, quite how much I don’t like it! I have a large number of filofaxes that I don’t know if I will use, but I haven’t even come close to wanting to get rid of them. The only one I have ever sold is the extra Cavendish I ended up with before Christmas. All the rest are being kept ‘in case’. (‘in case’ of what I don’t know. Just ‘in case’!)

Why don’t I like it? Hmm. It’s a number of things. I don’t like the colour for a start. It is a lovely purple in many ways, but between it being a teensy bit too dark and the contrast cream stitching, it leaves me with an ‘uh’ feeling rather than one of joy. I struggle to choose which (fabulously bright) Baroque to use, with the Cavendish being a bit dark and brooding at times (but he is a Tardis, so I forgive him for it)… the Aston is a gorgous colour and has a nice feel to the leather. The purple Finchley would never get picked out of the drawer when I fancy a change from the binder I’m using. Even though I know £38 is a bargain, it’s not a bargain if I don’t like it.

Other reasons?

Well, I don’t like the feel of the leather. It feels like it needs a good facial to be honest and maybe some soaking in leather cream would help but it feels parchment-y.
I don’t like the cut leather credit card slots – they look cheap (and, yes, I got it cheap, but it should have been expensive!).
I don’t like the mesh pocket (and yes, I knew it was mesh before I got it and the mesh doesn’t bother me on the A5, but it does bother me now on this one).
The popper is really stiff (and yes, I realise that sounds like a real grasping-at-straws kind of excuse but it’s already bugged me. A lot.).

All in all, the binder does absolutely nothing for me. When I read Caribbean Princess’ post about how she couldn’t move out of the Malden and into her purple Finchley, I didn’t get it as I had hankered after a purple A5 Finchley for long enough. I get it now though. If I was still using a Baroque for my every day filofax, nothing would persuade me to move out of it and into the purple Finchley. I can see myself moving from the Aston back to the Baroques or the Cavendish (or the Portland), but not into this one.

So, back it goes.

Has anyone else been in the same boat and thought they would really like a filofax and then found it incredibly disappointing?


  1. I bought a personal cuban zip in brown. i loved my lyndhurst but it didnt have a zip pocket and i love to use my filofax as a wallet. the cuban zip had fantastic reviews and it looked nice.
    i lasted about three days with it. i didnt like it at all. it was too stiff and didnt lie flat. i no i could have trained it, but the zip pocket was unusable for cash.
    so i understand how you feel on this one. when i first looked at your post i thought "oh oh, im gonna end up buying a purple finchley if i carry on reading" not now. the same niggles you found with it, i would too. so thank you. xx

  2. I bought the very last Personal Almond Amazona that Pens & Leather (a US retailer) had. I bought it in the middle of the night because a) I couldn't sleep, b) the Internet is always open, and c) it was the last one and I thought that I would be full of regret if I didn't get it. Besides, my husband was sound asleep and had no idea what I was doing. Well, it came and it was very shiny and I thought it looked like a big blob of fake glisten-y curdled something. I think that it was just too much almond croco real estate for me. I had the mini version and aside from the shinyness, which I could live without, I like it. Anyway, I kept it for a month or two and wasn't tempted to use it and then sold it on eBay at a loss. And now I have seller's remorse. Go figure. I think I need therapy.

  3. @icclewu - glad I didn't enable you and that the review was helpful! Did you send your cuban back?

    @SSJ - I know what you mean! As soon as I put the package in the post to return it I wondered if I had done the right thing, but then I tried to remind myself that I had. If you didn't want to use it in 2 months, you were probably right to get rid of it (though what a shame you made a loss... Not good.)

  4. Hi. I bought the Cuban off eBay brand new. It went back on eBay and I actually got more for it. Xx

  5. I got the personal Piazza in sunflower, expected a very vibrant filo - I was sorely disappointed, and couldn't even consider the possibility of using it for anything. I still have it though as I am addicted to Filofaxes :o) One day I will be very brave and prove to myself that I can "give it up at any time" by giving one of them away - lol x

  6. I so agree about the ' it feels very dry and parched' I have the same on in A5 and thats exactly the way Id describe it


  7. Do you still have the
    Filofax Finchley Leather A5 Organizer Imperial Purple (021478)

    for sale?

  8. Um, as it says in the title, it was personal size.
    It has been returned to City Organiser.