Originally Posted by Liquidus
I am very likely going to order a Baker belt and am in the process of deciding what options i would like. A couple of questions:
Do you have a picture of a belt with a metal keeper and are they only available in brass? Is the purpose of a metal keeper purely aesthetic?
Does the leather roller actually help prevent the belt from getting creased by the buckle?
Is there any functional difference between a nickel or stainless steel buckle?
I haven't any pictures of a metal keeper on a Bakers belt, I don't believe any of the last run had them. I'll attach a photo showing one on a Sedgwick belt though. They are only available in Brass or Sterling Silver at the moment. They are largely aesthetic although I suppose one could argue that they will last longer - a metal keeper has a lifespan of forever unless it has something very nasty happen to it whereas a leather keeper is organic and thus has a finite lifespan. That said we've never had a customer who needed a keeper replacing so I suspect the difference is rather academic in practice...
Regarding the leather roller, it will help to a certain degree. Leather to leather is always kinder than metal to leather. On a brass buckle the leather roller would certainly help prevent the coloured mark brass can leave on leather over the decades.
Functionally nickel and stainless will do exactly the same job. The nickel buckles have a stainless steel tounge which is the part of the buckle under greatest stress and both buckles should last until an archeologist digs them up and wonders why people would use such a low tech device. Nickle is much prettier than stainless and is available in the West End, which the stainless isn't andy the nickel lustier and finish is better, but stainless is far whiter than nickel and won't tarnish. Kind of horses for course, which probably doesn't help!
The picture below is a sterling silver keeper - the brass version is just the same in shape but obviously no hallmarks!