Gillio Firenze Vs Van Der Spek Planner Comparison


Today’s comparison is between a Gillio Amica in Yellow and a Van Der Spek in Janet Leather in Yellow. You may have heard or seen Youtube videos of one or both of these planner brands but I want to write a comparison between these two very similar, high end leather company. I have purchased planners from both of these companies in the past and have continued to purchase from them now because I feel they are of very high-end quality leather. Only few have heard of these brands because both companies are based outside of the United States, plus the retail price of these two do not come cheap. The quality is something you must own to fully understand why I keep buying them. The below comparison is based on my own preference. I will be comparing Gillio Firenze and Van Der Spek on leather quality, price, ring mechanism, delivery time frame, availability and customer service.

                                                **Left Gillio and right VDS



Quick Information about each company

Gillio Firenze is a small company based in Belgium. Their leather line ranges from wallets, planners to handbags. Everything is handmade from top quality leather. The leather is transformed from raw leather and dyed with a slow vegetable tanning process. Their planners are always out of stock and may take months to be re-stocked due to their slow process of tanning the leather. Gillio has a variety of planner size from pocket to personal and A5, as well as an array of color options and leather material for you to choose from. Check out their website at http://www.gillio.be/.

Van Der Spek is a small family own company. VDS is from Netherlands where they hand make all their products. Aside from planners, VDS has leather pen cases to home décor and handbags. Van Der Spek is currently manage by Petra Van Der Spek, who is the daughter of the owner. VDS leather quality is also very high end with an array of color options to planner sizes. VDS work with different leather craftsmen for high end quality leather but VDS hand make all their products at their location site. In regards to planners, Van Der Spek only make customs to order and they do have their Touch-Me planner, which are similar to Gillio's compagna planners and are available throughout the year. Check out their website at http://www.vdsshop.com/about-us.

Leather

Van Der Spek is all about customization. You are able to request your leather, of over 50 leather options/color which also consist of ostrich & croco leather. Van Der Spek allows you to select any leather combination (if its available to select) that you would like. For example, VDS can put Ostich on the exterior and Croco on the interior. The color of the stitching is also up to you, inside and out! Also for rings size, a standard size planner can be fitted with a 25 mm ring or a 3o mm ring size, plus if you can pick silver or gold. Of course gold cost more but that is the desirable option that I seen. The options are endless! 

I had reached out to Petra at VDS when I wanted to make a custom planner to resemble a Gillio Amica planner. I would of bought the Amica from Gillio however at that time the Amica planners were out of stock. Not many people sell that particular planner on the Gillio Firenze Facebook group. I requested my VDS planner with smooth leather and Petra made sure that happened. I even asked to have gold Krause 30 mm rings put in place along with gold poppers. I also had Petra installed stiffeners to hold the structure. 

     

                 

When buying a leather planner from Gillio, all the pieces in the planner are not created from the same hide (cow leather). They can make over 20+ gillio pockets from that same hide so the color variation and leather texture will be different once its all put together. Gillio planners are not mass produced to look identical, every planner is unique to the hide it was created from. Each leather planner have natural crease, texture and somehow this makes the leather unique to the individual who purchased it. You can note on your purchase that you would like a leather that has more texture or that it is smooth. Gillio does not offer customization. Gillio artisan already pre-made the leather so you can not personalize leather combination. There are no stitching options and you can purchase a ring but Gillio does not install the new one in. Whatever is in stock are your only options. However, you are able to request to view your piece after you purchased it and before its ships out. This will allow you to see what you will be receiving.

My Gillio Amica was pre-made and I purchased it as is from the Gillio Market Place on Facebook. This Amica is a pebbly leather and has a stiffener installed to hold the structure but the planner feels so plush, fluffy and soft. Before owning the Amica I thought I was a smooth leather kind of girl, but I like how the Amica look and feel. Here is an example of how a Gillio leather feels. If you owned a Filofax Malden, a Gillio Epoca leather will feel 5 times better. 

                


                 

Overall, I prefer Gillio leather over VDS leather because I just like how soft the Gillio leather feels.

Price

Both companies sell their planners in euros and the prices, when converted to US dollars can range from $200-$900+usd. I hope this does not stop you from buying their planners. Both companies produce high end, top quality leather products that are well made. If you are interested, I recommend checking out Facebook. Both company have FB market sale group for pre-loved to new planners for sell.

Gillio Amica are the cheapest medium size planner coming in at € 202.48 (if outside the EU) plus shipping of € 25.00 which comes out to an estimated $240 USD.

A standard VDS planner is € 155.00 without any customization. Don’t get me wrong, a standard layout is not bad either and more affordable but since I customized it to look like a Gillio Amica, it costed a chunk. Ok let’s do some math here.
  • Standard size with 25 mm rings: 155 + 10% = 170.50 euro
  • Golden rings: 22.50 euros
  • Left side secretarial: 30 X 2 = 60 euros
  • 4 credit card slots including bottom pockets: 45 euro
  • Shipping: 25 euro
Total € 323 and once converts to USD its $341.


  **Left Gillio and right VDS

       

                  

Okay so maybe if I was patient, I could have just waited for a Gillio Amica but no, I wasn’t sure when they were going to re-stock. Gillio Amica still hasn’t been re-stock and if it was then it’s been sold out again.

For price comparison on these two particular planner, Gillio wins in terms affordability on only these two planner I am comparing. Van Der Spek does have a much cheaper made to order planner line that beats the Amica price.

Ring Mechanism

If you’ve never own a Gillio or VDS then you would never have thought of replacing your rings if they become damaged. Well both companies installed their planners with replaceable ring mechanism. The ring mechanism has two parts, the "foundation" piece is already seal inside the planner and the actual rings can be snap off. Once your rings are no longer useable, you can order new rings from Gillio or VDS and just re-snap them into your planner. 
  
                                                          **Left Gillio and right VDS

                 

Yes it sounds ridiculous on why I care so much about the ring quality but when buying a high end planner, good ring mechanism is a must. Here is a video of how to replace your rings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vYL0aFullc. Thanks to Steve Morton I learned how to do this and Ive been switching my Gillio planners with Krause rings the past year.

In terms of ring quality, Van Der Spek buy their rings from Krause. These rings are high quality, sturdy rings which last a long time. For example, when I switch out my Krause rings into another planner and put it back together, the claws do not budge/bend at all once its installed into one piece. Its like brand new. There are two color choices, silver and gold but the gold rings are the most attractive to me.

I am not sure who supplies Gillio their rings but they do have good quality rings and will hold alot too as much as a Krause ring but hands down Van Der Spek Krause rings are the best.

Delivery time frame

Shipping cost to the United States is an added $26-$27 USD. Gillio are pre-made planners and will ship out within 1-2 business day after the purchase date. Gillio took about a week to two weeks to be delivered where I live. During the check out, Gillio gives you the option to view photos of your planner before it ships out. This gives you an idea of what to expect with your purchase. If you are not satisfied, you can request for another piece; however, I’m not sure how many times you can request for a new one. For me, I’ve only had to request a new piece once and Gillio did it without any issue. This is an added 2-3 days until the planner is ship.

Van Der Spek’s pre-made planner line will ship out within a week or sooner. In this particular case I requested a customized planner and Petra quoted me 2-3 weeks when I was expecting 4-6 weeks. But it really depends per piece. Once ship, it took a week to two weeks to arrive. Both Gillio and VDS do require you to sign for the package due to the high value these planners are.

Overall, this is a tie between delivery time frame time from when the planner is ready to ship.

Availability


Gillio Firenze only have a limited quantity of planners in stock and since their fan base has grown since the last few years and its hard to get your hands on a Gillio from their website. It takes time for the leather to tan and to add to that, the artisan has to make the planner. I heard it takes a day to make one Gillio but I may be wrong. It can take up to half a year or more for items to be back in stock. However you can check out the Gillio Market Place for pre-loved planners at a good price.

Van Der Spek are more available to you if you order from them. They have pre-made Touch-Me planners which are ready to ship out within a week. VDS also have made to order planners which does not take that long to make and ship out and will get to you faster then Gillio's re-stock.

Hands down Van Der Spek wins on availability.

Customer Service

No question about this, these two companies are both tie in terms of customer service. Even though there is a time difference, they are both very quick at replying to my emails when I had a question.

Final Verdict

Overall comparison, I prefer a Gillio planner over Van Der Spek planner because it came down to leather and price. If I compared apples to apples, a Gillio Amica is more affordable than customizing a VDS for a similar format. However, if you don’t customize it, a standard Van Der Spek planner is cheaper plus they can provide you a planner in a faster time frame vs waiting for Gillio to re-stock. Both tie in terms of delivery time frame and customer service. You really can’t go wrong with either one of these leather companies. It would just be your preference on whether you prefer leather quality over price. Van Der Spek is all about customization so if you have a dream planner in mind, shoot Petra an email to get it made just for you!

From my experience and others that I’ve spoken to, once you own a Gillio planner, you will return for more. In the one year span that I first heard of Gillio Firenze, I have already grown my planner collection to 4+ planners and might be going back for more once Gillio re-stocks.





















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