Comparison: A5 Gillio Mia Cara and A5 Van Der Spek

These binders are both beautiful though, apart from both being A5, quite different.

The Gillio Mia Cara is bigger (due to the outer ‘sleeve’), made of heavier, grained, leather and has gold 30mm rings. The Van Der Spek A5 is regular A5 size, made of lighter, smooth leather and has gold 35mm rings.

I would prefer each of these in different situations.

For carrying with me I would definitely prefer the Van Der Spek. Lighter, more compact and yet capable of carrying a huge amount of paper in those unusually large rings.

For using at home, I would prefer the Mia Cara due to the full length wallet pocket across the back which is hard to do without once you get used to it.

It is hard to compare price because they are rather different binders. The Mia Cara is made of a lot of leather so that definitely is reflected in the much higher price.

If you are harking back to the golden age of Filofax, the Van Der Spek is really evocative of that era. When I first saw it, it transported me straight back to the 80s and 90s (in a good way), which is not surprising as it is from 1994/5.

Price-wise you cannot ignore the fact that the VDS would go for €180 but the Gillio is €610

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Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

5 thoughts

  1. absolutely LOVE the Van Der Spek. FINALLY a company recognizing we want LARGER ring choices sometimes but in a compact planner body !!! THIS is gorgeous and I will own one someday.. hopefully soon!!!

  2. Of the two, I think I’d prefer the Van der Spek… lighter, more capacious. It also reminds me of my oldest Filofax, a tan leather Sherwood personal.

    Having said which, the Mia Cara is *gorgeous*…

    1. It is indeed – less gorgeous the longer you carry it though…and you are right, the Van Der Spek transported me back to the glory days of Filofax. I love it to bits. Could not wait to move in!

    2. I agree with Paul; the Gillio is very nice but the Van der Spek is much more compelling. It looks tidier, if that makes sense. I absolutely do not like binders that look “puffy” or which become round when filled. I think that this aversion may explain my dislike of popular models like the Filofax Malden and Chameleon. I like my binder to look like a hard-back book; squared with a gently curved spine. The gloss on that VDS leather is just divine!

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