PLEASE READ THESE IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS
#1: This listing is for the cover only. The Hobonichi Planner is not included!
#2: These are made from un-dyed, "naked" leather, with nothing covered up - so they will have some natural range marks, scars and other blemishes. In other words, they are not processed to make them appear "perfect", like something you would get in a department store. That said, these are very high quality skins, probably better than most leathers you will find even in high-end designer products.
#3: Please see the pictures for examples of some, but not all imperfections
#4: When adding to the cart, please choose the numbered cover (1-6) that you want. That is the actual cover that you will receive. If you have no particular preference, please choose the "Any Cover" option.
Sometimes you search high and low for that perfect cover for your notebook. Other times you need a notebook to match the great cover you already have. I may be biased, but I think this combination of Gfeller + Hobonichi Planner is as good as it gets.
Gfeller of Meridian, Idaho custom fitted this cover for the Hobonichi Planner annual edition. And wow, what a great cover it is. The skins are sourced from a small tannery in the United Kingdom, and as you may know, some of the best leather in the world comes from the UK - think Swain Adeney cases, Crockett & Jones shoes, and a long history of saddles, bags and other riding gear. If the Lord and Lady Grantham and their daughters Mary and Edith had Hobonichi Planners, surely they would have been protected by this cover while they strolled around the grounds of Downton Abbey.
If you're not familiar with Gfeller, they have been around since the 1940s (please check out this article for more history) and specialize in leather goods for geoscientists - field bags, tool holders, pouches, and various other items. They also do a lot of custom leather work, and one of their specialties is notebook covers. I found Gfeller a few years back when I was looking for a belt. I wanted something very high quality and simple - really just a strip of leather with holes and a buckle. Gfeller's site came up, and the price was no more than, say, what you would pay for Filson or Ralph Lauren, and I'm always one to support the smaller outfits - the craftsmen - where possible. So I took a chance, figuring that I'd at least get something decent - well, it was more than decent; in fact, that belt turned out to be so much better than anything I could get anywhere else. Yes, it is just a strip of leather, but it is the best leather strip you are likely to find, belt-wise...and the finish..... oh the finish - it has this up-close sheen and sparkle that makes me pause to look at it every time before I put it on. And it is so tough my descendants will be fighting over it.
But I digress. My point is that Gfeller makes great stuff. Also keep in mind that these are hand-crafted items - they will have small imperfections inherent to leather and leather work. And, with naked leather, it is both impossible and economically impractical to reject anything with a stitch that slightly off a straight line or has a small scar or stretch mark. Well, maybe Hermes could try to make it almost perfect, but they would charge $1,000; And partly for this reason, Louis Vuitton does not use leather at all (although I really do like their stuff).
Anyway, even though it is obvious that Gfeller just wants their covers to be simple, functional, and well-made, which they are, they fail at being nondescript, because anyone that knows really good stuff will recognize this as a rare find. It is sure to invite admiring or even envious stares, especially after it develops a patina with age.
On to the finer points... it is made specifically for the A6 Hobonichi Planner (annual edition), but will fit any notebook up to 15mm thick with a cover trimmed to 148x105mm. For example, it will fit the A6-size Life, Apica and Midori notebooks because those are all less than 15mm thick, trimmed to 148x105mm, and their actual cover material is less than 1mm thick.
Note that it has the signature Gfeller inner flaps which help to eliminate the "writing bump" towards the beginning and ending pages in a notebook.
CARE: A light coating of neatsfoot, mink or other high-quality leather care oil a couple of times a year is sufficient. Please no more than that!
There is so much more that I want to say, but you may never make it down to the pictures!
Posted by Jen. on 20th Nov 2016
I'm just starting my 3rd year with this cover and it continues to improve with age. The leather continues to darken with age & wear. I can slip little items (double-sided tape, sticky tabs, stickers) into the flaps w/o much intrusion. Also, I use a Hobonichi rivet band as a closure, but the rubber bands on Nanami would also work! This is the only cover I recommend for a Techo, unless you wish to go sans cover.
Posted by John on 27th Sep 2016
I got this A6 cover but not for a Hobonichi calendar - instead, I filled it with an Apica Premium CD notebook and a Life Pistachio cahier. Come 2017, I'll fit a Moleskine monthly calendar as well -- as a result, this is the world's smallest office!
In addition, the long inside flaps can act as a good wallet to carry cash, cards and receipts.
One thing to be aware of - the undyed leather can take on colors. This has happened when I put the notebook into the back pocket of my dark denim. I wasn't surprised, and this is a result of the very rough way I handle it. Otherwise, the leather looks like it will last forever.
Posted by K. Palmer on 15th Sep 2016
I am very pleased with this cover for my new (2017)Hobonichi planner. Looking forward to using it in the new year!
Posted by Carolyn on 31st Jul 2016
I have had a few covers but none has become so much a part of me. It weathers with me, even collects ink stains when I've been clumsy. It is soft and supple balanced with good protection. I love this cover.
The flaps which hold the Seven Seas in the cover are long, so even on the very first and last pages, I barely notice them under the paper. This is the only cover which has worked so well for me, and for some I have paid considerably more $$.
I like to use it with one of the Notebook Rubber Bands sold here.