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Discuss Swaine Adeney Brigg cases - Page 3

post #31 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambler View Post
The London tan one you have pictured is my pic of the one I sold over a year ago (so yes, it's London tan). I regretted selling it and ended up buying another one but got the round lock instead.

I thought that was London tan, but wasn't quite sure because I'd never seen one in quite that hue. Similarly, the pics of your current case are more beige than others I've seen. Both are handsome, and the seeming unpredictability of the color after some use is part of the appeal. Thanks for sharing those pics.

Quick question: have you found the newspaper pocket to actually be functional?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince of Paisley View Post
+1. Personally I prefer top framed cases (called doctor's bags here, don't know if that's the case in the States) because they are more easily accessible and can stand up on their own without any dramas.

The only drawback is a fold over case can usually accommodate more stuff as the bag dimensions are less rigid.

I thought about this, but ultimately decided that the top-frame case was too bulbous for what I wanted right now. And it's the same size whether empty or full. A benefit of the wrap-around to me is that it has a slim profile when carrying only a few papers, yet can be expanded to carry much more. I have seen a few partners toting a top-frame case, and I won't rule out getting one one day. But I'm probably more likely to get an attache if I decide I want a hard case.
post #32 of 185
[quote=HEPennypacker;3797354]I thought that was London tan, but wasn't quite sure because I'd never seen one in quite that hue. Similarly, the pics of your current case are more beige than others I've seen. Both are handsome, and the seeming unpredictability of the color after some use is part of the appeal. Thanks for sharing those pics.

Quick question: have you found the newspaper pocket to actually be functional?QUOTE]

The hue of my previous case was in fact different. I think this was mainly attributable to my painstakingly applying the included conditioner to try darkening it somewhat since when it was new, it seemed to be a little more orange than the one I have now. That pic was also taken outside so the natural light could have caused the color to appear differently.

As for the newspaper pocket, it actually came with it on without my requesting it. I like that it's there and do use it occasionally but I probably wouldn't pay extra for it if I had to.
post #33 of 185
I own the American Westminster 3 and the Brooks Brothers version of the SAB top-frame case, so I thought I would add a couple of notes for others who might be considering one of these.

1) I realize that for some people the difference between a hand-sewn bag and a machine-stitched one is vital and important, but the extra handwork on my Westminster 3 has meant pretty little to me. Unless you are completely committed to the virtues of hand-crafting, I suspect that you will not find it worth the additional cost.

2) My sense is that the formality of the case depends more upon its form than its hue. I do not work in the most formal office setting, but I think the London tan top-frame bag would be fine in very conservative business contexts. I am not sure that the wrap-around bag would feel right in those settings even in black or dark brown (or at least that it would not feel substantially more right in black or dark brown than it would feel in London tan).

3) I agree with those who have said that the American Westminster is almost awkwardly large. Unless you pack quite a lot into it, its height and width slightly overwhelm its depth--it can feel almost like a soft-sided attache case. Having said that, I love its very large capacity. I especially like having the ability to fit two stacks of 8.5 X 11 pages vertically next one another. The top-frame bag has a much larger footprint and a much smaller capacity.

4) SAB top frame bags have little in the way of extra support on their bottom corners, which gives them an appealingly clean look but makes them a little bit awkward in rough and ready places like coffee shops, subway cars, restaurants, bars, and the like. You might find yourself wondering where you can put the bag down--at least I find myself worrying about this a little bit. Because the straps on the wrap around case effectively work as a small stand for its body, it takes less care of this kind. If you are planning on carrying the bag chiefly back and forth to work, I think the top-frame is probably ideal. If you are going to lug the bag around more generally, I think the wrap-around messenger case would be better.

5) Commenters are right to say that opening and closing the messenger bag takes a little effort; they are also right to say that it is part of the bag's pleasure. After first thinking the bag slightly awkward, I have come gradually to enjoy the handling rituals it demands.

6) Although the messenger bags can come with shoulder straps, the strap system they employ does not strike me as especially robust. I am not sure how well the d-rings and small leather clasps on top of the bag will stand up to regular slinging, especially as the bag can hold enough to become quite heavy. The Westminster 1 and 2, with strap clasps on the side, might be better. I do not know. At any rate, I do not use the strap with mine, and I suspect that the bag was mainly designed to be carried by hand rather than over the shoulder.

7) Although the Brooks Brothers regular prices for SAB stuff are not especially good, they offer a 40% sale on leather goods twice a year (once near the holidays, once in midsummer). If you pounce on one of these sales, their prices become very, very good. Depending on the exchange rate, I suspect that this is probably the best way to get a machine stitched SAB case. (This is especially the case if the rumors are true that BB uses hand-stitched handles, which add a couple of hundred dollars to the classicluggage prices. To be entirely honest, I can't tell whether my handle is hand stitched.)

Hope this helps prospective SAB purchasers. I have been thrilled with my cases.
post #34 of 185
BB most definitely does not use a hand stitched handle on my case:
http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatP...=&sectionsize=

Looking at the pictures it seems like this is the only case that has a hand stitched handle, and I can't even be sure it is:
http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatP...=&sectionsize=
post #35 of 185
Thread Starter 
rtr--good comments. Had I read them a week ago, I probably would have given the BB version more thought. That said, even at 40% off, the BB version of the Westminster 3 will cost you around $1300. Once you've decided to commit that much, I don't think it's difficult to justify paying a few hundred more to get the hand-stitched version directly from SAB (supporting the craft, getting a unique article, etc.).

Joenobody--I might be completely wrong about the hand-stitched handles. I just recall reading that in one of the many threads on SAB cases. But if it is true, not only is it interesting to note that BB includes one in its price versus classicluggage.com, but it is also interesting to note that classicluggage.com charges an additional fee for a shoulder strap, which I believe is standard with the BB case (and on SAB's website). I suppose they are trying to make a profit, but that seems like an odd way to do so.
post #36 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joenobody0 View Post
Looking at the pictures it seems like this is the only case that has a hand stitched handle, and I can't even be sure it is:
http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatP...=&sectionsize=

I have that one and the handle is handstitched, although the rest of the bag is not.


- B
post #37 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
I have that one and the handle is handstitched, although the rest of the bag is not. - B
Sorry I didn't read clearly. Thanks for confirming that case has the hand stitched handle. Anyone that's interested in one of these cases should really consider only the hand stitched handle. The machine made one is very shitty. It's not much nicer than the one on my Filson Field Satchel (252).
post #38 of 185
Here's my Peal lid-over. It's definitely machine-stitched.

As others have noted, if you can grab one of the Peals at 40% off ($900), you'll save $400+ over Classic Luggage's prices.



Here's a picture of the handle. Comparing it to the ones pictured on Classic Luggage's web site, this handle looks more like the SAB machine-stitched model, but it's really difficult to tell.

post #39 of 185
Thread Starter 
Out of curiosity, how long have you had that case? It looks to be patinating well.
post #40 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by HEPennypacker View Post
Out of curiosity, how long have you had that case? It looks to be patinating well.

I've had it three or four years, but I don't carry it very often. It's hard to tell from the lighting in my office (where I took the picture), but it's still pretty close to the original color. However, I've put a few coats of SAB hide food on the case, which has warmed up the color a bit.
post #41 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by 518aata View Post

Here's a picture of the handle. Comparing it to the ones pictured on Classic Luggage's web site, this handle looks more like the SAB machine-stitched model, but it's really difficult to tell.


That's what the handle on mine looks like as well. Most definitely machine stitched.
post #42 of 185
I definitely agree that the straps are (a) too casual and (b) likely to be a pain in the ass to fasten and unfasten in a business environment.
post #43 of 185
Thread Starter 
So exactly 13 weeks and 1 day after I placed my order (and it took an additional week prior for SAB to actually respond to my several e-mails and phone calls), this finally arrived at my doorstep on Friday:





But, UPS tells me, I have to pay $195 in customs fees

After hurting for a bit, I did some calculations and confirmed that I still came out about $110 better than if I'd used classicluggage.com. I then went to see the King's Speech, and Britain was once again in my good graces . That said, beware of these customs charges. I assumed that they would ship the case by Royal Mail, avoiding such charges, but they didn't. When they e-mailed me to ask about the embossing, I requested that they send me the tracking number when it shipped, and this would have let me know the shipping method. But of course, they never responded. Nevertheless, by using UPS, I did receive it in 2 days, versus the 2+ weeks Royal Mail/USPS probably would have taken. But I would have preferred to save $195...

Continuing along, inside the larger box was a smaller box.



Inside the smaller box was a dust bag.



Inside the dust bag was...beauty:







On my monitor, at least, the pics are true to color (though some were taken the night I received it, others the morning after). The case is London Tan. In other pics that I've seen, the case looks more orange than this, and in others (like Rambler's below), the case looks more beige. I imagine the exact color will vary by bag and by age/use. This thread started because I was debating between three (London Tan, Chestnut, Havana) of the four colors offered (fourth is black, which looks nice with the nickel hardware). I am now happy that I went with London Tan--it's really a beautiful color for this leather. That said, all four colors are nice, and I don't think I would have been disappointed with Chestnut, my close second-favorite. But I'm glad I chose London Tan.

I'm not going to repeat PeterEliot's excellent review linked above, as everything he said still holds true. Instead, I will supplement with a few things I was still curious about after his review.

First, as you can see from this side picture, there is quite a bit of room for the body of the case to expand while still allowing the flap to close completely.



But when I was contemplating the purchase, I debated whether I should order the three-position lock seen here:

Instead, I opted for the round lock found on the larger American-style case (Westminster 3). A square lock is standard on this case. To test the flap's closing ability, I packed the case with a binder from work, some papers, a small notebook, a laptop case, and my phone. This is about equal to a weekend's worth of papers.







As you can see everything fit easily, and there was room to spare. I imagine the case would stretch to over six inches. And to my relief, the flap still closed. I had to tighten the body with the straps and pull down on the flap a good bit, but it still closed without a problem. I imagine I could fit a few more papers in the bag and that over time, the flap will stretch a bit more to accommodate more items. Nevertheless, if I were to fill the case to capacity at this point, I don't believe the flap would close (though the case would still be secured by the straps), and that's something to consider if the three-position lock appeals to you.

As you can see above and below, I also had my case customized with inside pockets for an iPhone/Blackberry/something else of that size, and a couple of pens.



I'm glad I did this, as the organization came in quite handy when I was filling the case. I could still easily access my phone and pen even with papers in the front gusset. Without them, I'd have to rummage around the bottom of the gusset for them. I also debated getting the laptop case, with the foam cushioning. But I think a hard laptop sleeve probably provides as much protection while maintaining the flexibility of having a fully functional middle gusset (and I like the aesthetics better).

In addition, I had SAB add a newspaper pocket to the rear of the bag:



Truthfully, I was expecting something like Rambler's pictured here:



So I was a bit surprised/disappointed when I saw that mine covered the straps as well. I suppose that's a lesson in customization for you: be specific! That said, I'm now glad they did it, as it adds some very functional space to the bag. As you can see here, even when full, I was able to add a regular-sized magazine to the newspaper pocket:




While this probably would have fit in a smaller newspaper pocket, I would not have been able to place it horizontally, like so:



Plus, since it's the rear of the bag, and I don't intend to tote it backwards very often, the fuller pocket does not really interfere with the aesthetics as much as I initially thought. So I'm pleased with the addition, though I realize some might not like it (so be specific if you desire a smaller pocket to be added).

So overall, I'm quite pleased with the purchase and would do it again despite the nonresponsive customer service, 13-week wait, and exorbitant customs charges... I am confident the bag will give me many years of good, handsome service.

I would be happy to update the thread from time with patination pics, since I plan to carry it most days, and patination pics were the hardest to find. In the meantime, I will leave you with a couple more pics of this lovely case fresh out the box:


post #44 of 185
Very nice
post #45 of 185
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