Well, next year will be the third in which I will be using my VDS undyed binder. I ordered it the first week of October 2014 and received it shortly afterwards. I have used it throughout 2015, and going into 2016 I will still be using it.
It was a pilot project for Van Der Spek, who had never worked with undyed leather before and were worried about how the untreated leather was going to mark and age. I thus undertook to test one for 6 months for them so that they, as well as potential customers, could see how it aged. It is not for everyone as it changes colour and shows marks like nothing on earth.
At the time I wondered how on earth I would manage to stay in a binder for six months, given my low boredom threshold and the fact that I usually switch every two weeks or so. Well, more than a year later I cannot ever imagine moving out of it.
I have not babied it, cleaned it or conditioned it. Because it is my wallet as well as my planner, I use it up to 18 times a day. It tumbles around in my handbag with keys, hairbrushes and pens. It has been scratched by my nails and my cats, rained on, snowed on and spilled on.
The patina is glorious, the marks add character, it is now a toffee colour and feels so soft and squishy I just cannot stop feeling it. The stitching is perfect, the rings are tight, and apart from one credit card pocket stretching slightly due to daily use as a wallet everything apart from the colour is the same as the day I got it. I cannot imagine ever moving out of it – EVER!