This is the first side by side comparison I have done of my personal/standard sized Van Der Spek undyed leather binder.
On the left is the binder the day it arrived (early November 2014) and on the right is the binder in January 2016, after being used daily as a wallet and a planner since the day I got it.
I have not babied it or treated it in any way. It goes into my bag with my keys, hairbrush, and everything else I carry around with me. It has been snowed and rained on and had water spilled on it. It has scuffs, scratches, ink marks. I open it about 18 times a day.
The only thing I have done to it is wiped it with a baby wipe once when it was covered with dust. Other than that daily handling has given it patina and daylight has given it a tan.
Apart from the darkening of the leather, everything else is like new. The leather has softened up nicely and become really squishy, and the cover hugs the contents, but the stitching is still perfect, as are the rings. Nothing has unravelled or come loose. I have really used it heavily and I can tell it will be good for decades more of daily use.
It went through a rather awkward ‘teenage’ phase when it was still pale and got the first few marks but as it darkened and everything blended it, they became part of the patina. Now, I barely notice any new dings.