I was in Hong Kong a couple of days ago and saw in the Church's boutique a new top-of-the-range line called "Royal". To my untrained eyes, the leather seemed to be better than that of the "custom grade" (which I believe was the previous top-of-the-range from Church's) but the sole looked very much the same as that of "custom grade" (the stitiching is still exposed, unlike say John Lobb or Edward Green) except the top half was of a darker hue of brown with the word "Royal" embossed. I picked up (as to held it in my hands, not bought) a pair of plain top-cap oxford and the price was more than HKD 6,600 (approx USD 760) - quite costly I think. For that price, one can get John Lobbs or Edward Greens at full retail (and still be left with enough money for some nice polish and perhaps even a pair of shoe trees). As discussed several times on this board and AskAndy's, there seems to be general consensus among members that the quality of Church's has gone downhill. Personally, my only pair of almost 3 year-old "custom grade" Church's has served me well in terms of fit and comfort but I have found the leather quality to be wanting (cracks + unsightly white "sediments" - is it the right word - showing at the sides after exposure to rain). Any more thoughts on this? Has anyone else seen the new "Royal" line?
post #1 of 6
8/13/04 at 8:43am