Gorgeous VDS Undyed/Torrone binder

Look at this custom Van Der Spek beauty, belonging to Mark S (ArchiMark on Philofaxy)! It is the most gorgeous combination of Undyed and Torrone. This is a combination I would never have thought of but it is stunning.

I am always overwhelmed by choice and intimidated by my dubious taste (I can recognise beauty but not produce it) so I tend to have the same colours inside and out. For that reason I am always fascinated by people who have a flair for coordinating colours and this is too divine. It reminds me of a white chocolate truffle.

The first two photos were taken by Petra, the rest by Mark. You can see the binder in different lights as well as together with a beautifully aged vacchetta Coach binder, showing how the leather ages.

Thank you so much to Mark for allowing me to share your binder journey!



Author: Janet Carr

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

20 thoughts

  1. This is beautiful. Any updates on the Patina of the undyed now that it’s been over a year? Curious how it looks against the Torrone now.

    1. Thanks for the kind words.

      Well, I did something rash and impulsive some months ago and parted with the binder. Wish I’d kept it.

      You can look at Janet’s Undyed posts that show how the leather changes over time.

      Maybe the person that purchased the binder will appear here sometime and share pics…


  2. You are most welcome, Arika…….

    Understand what you’re going through…..making up your mind given all the choices available can be agonizing……would be quick and easy for me to decide about other people’s orders though….

    The undyed was the 4th custom vdS I’ve ordered…..ordered 3 others last year…..and the decision-making went quite fast compared to the first order of 3…..

    The good news is that you can’t really go wrong (at least too much…. 😉 ) with ordering a custom vdS binder….as they are really excellent binders.

    At some point, you just have to go for it…….. 🙂


  3. I’ve been asking everyone, as I’m about to order an undyed myself…Janet, do you know if he had stiffener/Bontex or any foam put in this binder? Thanks!

    1. I did not get binder with stiffener option. Had the idea that the undyed leather is thicker/stiffer than most of the other leathers.

      Think it’s OK without stiffener as my binder is Standard size. However, I’d probably go for the stiffener option if I were ordering an A5 binder as the leather actually is not that stiff.

      Please note that even without the stiffener option, vdS does put some light (paperboard ? can’t remember for sure….) stiffener in the binder. Otherwise, covers would be quite floppy.

      1. Exactly what I needed to know; thanks so much, Mark. I’m trying to firm up my details so I can place my order this week. I’ve literally been hemming and hawing on this since early December, and I’m ready to just own one already! lol

    1. Good eye, Steve!……

      It’s about 12mm wider than the standard Standard vdS…..this is to allow for extra width of Franklin Covey (FC) Compact size inserts.

      Reason is I like to use FC Compact size inserts instead of Filofax Personal size.

      The FC Compact pages are wider than FF Personal and thus better suited (at least for me….) for note-taking.

      FC Compact pages have same hole spacing layout as FF Personal.

      With their tall and skinny proportions I think FF Personal pages are more suited I think for list type pages.

      1. Yes it looked similar in width to my A6 Senior, which of course it will be (same width paper) but yours is taller by about 23 mm.

  4. That is a beautiful and stunning binder, and I love the zip pocket that matches rather than the rather rubbish see through plastic ones..leather ages so well, my A5 Malden is looking good!
    It would be great to see its progress over time, so I will def stay tuned..

    1. Thank you for the good words…..

      If Janet will post ’em, I’ll provide ’em…..progress pics, that is…..

      Already in the midst of my vdSSUTBPAP……otherwise known as:

      van der Spek Standard Undyed Torrone Binder Patina Acceleration Project….

      And already see progress after only 3 days…..


  5. Thank you….

    I tried to select the inside color by thinking about how the undyed leather will look after it ages a bit and turns more of a caramel color like the binder Janet has.

    Please note the aged Coach binder is probably 10 – 15 years old.

    From looking at Janet’s posts about aging undyed leathers, it probably takes +/- 5 years to get to nice brownish look, unless you do some things to accelerate the process. As I really like the caramel and brownish look, I am already trying to accelerate getting a nice patina to the binder.

    I plan on taking photos of it at regular intervals to record the progress. Stay tuned…. 🙂


    1. Thank you for the extra info. Your binder looks in excellent shape despite being so old! The colour is positively stunning! I cannot wait until mine gets this nice patina and although I’m tempted to accelerate things, I will probably just leave it as it is. This is what I love about leather: no matter how treated or untreated it is, it always ages with class! Definitely take those progress pictures! I hope Janet posts them back on her blog!

      1. Yes, that Coach binder is a beauty I think…..if it was a bit wider it would be perfect for my usage. However, it’s not, that’s one reason I ordered the new vdS Undyed, in order to get a wider binder to be able to use Franklin Covey Compact size inserts as noted in my comment below…..

  6. What a gorgeous colour mix! I also have problems mixing colours because I’m colour blind and I tend to go for really bright colours that usually clash with each other. I am absolutely stunned by the very last picture and how beautifully the leather aged… I have made myself a very simple bifold A6 TN using natural undyed leather and I’m using it with my Hobonichi. I cannot wait to see what it looks like in one year, 2 years…

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