I have many mainstream Filofaxes and love them to bits. But there is a special place in my heart for rarities and collectibles. I have hunted down Baroques in Teal and Black, Decos in Ivory, Amethyst and Ebony, Vintage Lizard, Vintage Pink and Aqua Maldens in every single size, Portland Grands and Cavendishes with the sought after 30mm rings.
The ones that I am particularly fond of are:
My pre-production Rose Classic in Personal size. These never went into production although you can find them now and then on Ebay.
My two Grace Scurr 75th Anniversary editions. 1,921 were made. I have number 209 and number 315
85th Anniversary Eton Filofax and Wallet. I have number 197 of 200
Gillio Aqua Skorpion. Only four of these were made.
My tips to find rarities at the best price possible – be active, be a part of the community and be patient.
Many people get a bee in their bonnet about something they feel they have to have immediately or they will just die. That is a shortcut to a very empty wallet, not to mention great stress.
If you are patient, everything comes around eventually. It may take years but it will pop up in the end. Search your sites regularly, have people looking out for you and use a sniper. This means you will not lose your head during last-minute bidding wars and end up spending silly money. I have recently lost out on a Shipwreck Reindeer Winchester Filofaxand a 20th Japanese Anniversary Filofax because the prices went too high but being able to lose is a part of winning longterm.
Also, be active in your searches. Check eBay all the time (do not rely on saved searches as many items are already gone before the saved search even gets to see them) prowl sales groups on Facebook, check foreign eBay and bulletin board sites, let people know what you are after. Use Google to find online antique stores, have a look on Etsy. Here is a longer list of useful sites.
Many people join a community just to ask questions that they need answered. They pop up if they need something but only then. But if you stick around, help people out, advise them and take time to become a member of the community it will repay you in wonderful ways. I help out where I can, offer advice, join in on discussions and offer to buy things in my area that people in other countries cannot. It is fun and feels good to help people. A totally unexpected side effect is the lengths people will go to help you when you need it. Bidding for you on auctions that you are excluded from because of your location, contacting you when they find something they know you are after and even not bidding on auctions they know you are interested in. That kind of community spirit and solidarity warms the heart way more than winning a binder, believe me.