Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Amazing 30 mm rings! (Personal Portland Grand)

First of all, I'm very sad to report that the Winchester deal didn't go through. Since the seller refuses to reply, I was forced to open a case on Ebay to get a refund. Very disappointed though!

However, a few days later, I happend to find this absolutely stunning Vintage Filofax on Ebay. I got it at a fairly low price. Yes, it's old. Yes, it's personal sized and I already of plenty of them. Yes, it's plain old boring black. However .......

It's got 30 mm HUGE rings!!!!

It's in fact the Personal Portland Grand!
Now, I've (briefly) owned a Portland before. That one was burgundy-red, had the regular 23 mm rings, but it hadn't been used very much before. Thus, it was still a bit stiff.

This one however, has been used before, and lovingly so! The leather is unbelievably soft, it's exactly how I always imagined the Eton leather to be (though I never touched or seen one in the flesh to be honest). The leather of the Portland is smooth and squishy and very nice to the touch!
Comparison between Kensington to the left and Portland to the right

The layout is rather unusual. The Portland has the zipped pocket on the left, and the nicely shaped six creditcard slots on the right.
It's really black, trust me!

And did you notice the fact that it has TWO penloops? If you are a regular-sized-pen-user, you would be most pleased! The penloops are full leather and have stitched edges. But if you - like me - love Lamy Fountain pens, you'll discover that those are too fat for the loops. Then again, besides the fully elasticated penloops of say a Domino, those Lamy fatties won't fit anything anyway ...

The reason why I'm so excited about the 30 mm rings, is that I am using a Personal sized binder (Kensington until now) for the diary inserts of my kid's journals. Until today, I could only fit in 8 months worth of WO2P per kid. NOW, my friends, I can insert FOUR FULL YEARS of weekly inserts, and still have room to slip my Pocket Moleskine cahier in the back (behind the cardslots).

One fat puppy!

Each kid has his/her own tab!

Another striking feature about the rings - regardless their hugeness - is the craftmanship. I have never ever seen rings that aligned so perfectly! In fact, it's hard to see where one side of the ring ends and the other starts. Also the sound when opening the rings is differently, all you hear is a soft "pop" and they are open.
I really wished Filofax would return to that quality of the ring mechanism. All the currently reported ring problems would be a sure thing of the past!

Futile attempt to show you the ring perfection!

Well, I hope you enjoyed the review of this truly amazing Filofax binder. Make sure to visit eBay regularly, if you would like to own one yourself!

P.S. And don't forget to vote in the latest Philofaxy Awards!


  1. Looks gorgeous! 30mm rings are the bees knees! And you're so right about the ring mechanism. Filofax quality has definitely gone down in that regard. What a wonderful find!

  2. Wow this is amazing!! I would love to find a personal size Filofax with 30 mm rings in soft leather! Congratulations and thanks for showing us!!

  3. My Cuban Zip has 30mm rings but when full it's like carrying a brick around!! As heavy as my full A5 although I tend to not put as much in the A5 which also has 30mm rings.

  4. Wow! Thats one amazing sized filofax!! Happy Planning :-)

  5. hello! so i read your post two years ago on philofaxy about time management

    I was just wondering if you have any resources or links to the time map you showed in that post. I love it but can't seem to find any templates on the internet.


    1. Hi Michelle! I'm most honoured that you like that post so much!
      You can find a similar template at
      It is in German though ...

    2. thank you!! almost immediately after i posted that question i found a link on the internet.. go figure. but thank you for posting! i actually might like yours better. maybe i can teach myself some german this way! :p

  6. Is there any way you would be willing to part with your Personal Portland Grand...I have been looking for one...forever...if so, please let me know how to contact

    1. Tell you what, Kate: I'm now still enjoying the novelty of these huuuuuge rings, but if they wear off, I will make sure to drop you an e-mail!!

  7. I also have a Portland Personal Grand, I bought it when they first came out, wayyyyyyyyback when. Its been my faithful companion. The extra ring space is so useful, I couldn:t get by with the standard rings. I posted on Philofaxy a while back asking if there were bigger rings than 30mm, but alas not. So i got ruthless and weeded. The leather is just unbelievable. Soft, and yet even now, nearly 2 decades later, there:s no scratches on it. A few dents, but no tears or anything. Its lived through Bosnia, Iraq,Afghanistan, its been abused by having a ton of stuff put on top of it, Its been soaked through (immersed, totally), and it has come out of all that smiling. I love it. The only thing I would change if I could is the colour. Black is very businesslike and boring. At the time, Filofax also did a really dark blue (the Piccadilly for example) and bottle green (the Portland Personal, but the Grand only came in black). But you can:t have everything! Glad you found one and hope you continue to enjoy it.

    1. Paul, I would LOOOOOOVE to see pictures of your Portland Grand. I'm very intrigued by how far back its history goes! I also didn't know about the colors (black the only one being released in the Grand version).
      If I could interest you in a guest post on your Portland Grand, please drop me a line!!! (unless you have a blog of your own???)

  8. I so agree about the rings. I have a portland - bought it new decades ago and the rings are perfect. If you look at the ring mechanism of that one, you'll probably see the 'f' logo. The newer ones say filofax and are bolted. The old rings last forever - the new one's don't even align in some new binders. I've read about problems with the temperly binders! I thought for sure they would use quality rings in that one, but apparently no. They are the same cruddy rings... so sad.