Anyone have experience with wallets from Swaine Adeney & Brigg, or WS Foster & Son? (or suggestions

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by The Silverfox, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. The Silverfox

    The Silverfox Senior member

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    Good evening,

    I'm looking for a new wallet as my current one seems to be falling to pieces. I'm interested in Swaine Adeney & Brigg as they're known for quality leather products (though I suppose that's mainly briefcases and luggage), and I also have a Brigg umbrella I'm very happy with. They're not the cheapest, but from my understanding you pay for craftsmanship rather than a big markup for the label.

    What I was wondering is if anyone who's had their small leather goods could tell me if the quality of these (raw materials and craftsmanship) is as good as that of their briefcases and their reputation in general.

    I'm also interested in the offerings of WS Foster & Son, if anyone have experience with them. The price-level seems to be about that of SAB, but can anyone comment on the quality and make of the items? If possible, in comparison to SAB.

    Also open for suggestions if anyone has any other ideas for makers of the same price-level or lower. I'm not very interested in paying for luxury for the sake of luxury, what I'm after is the best quality for a given price.

    By the way we're talking about the readymade products here. Bespoke is out of my pricerange for a few years still I suspect.

    Thank you very much in advance

    The Silverfox
     
  2. KObalto

    KObalto Senior member

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    I have no personal experience, but there is a lot of love for April in Paris on the forum. I think she used to do leather work for Hermes (insert green breast wallet joke here).
    http://www.aprilinparis.us/
     
  3. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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  4. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    I own a SAB breast wallet, it is a fantastic piece.
     
  5. The Silverfox

    The Silverfox Senior member

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    The one I'm looking at is the Yen breast wallet . Which one do you have? Which colour do you have it in? I'm leaning towards black, but I can imagine london tan will get a beautiful patina over time, so a bit conflicted there. How long have you had yours? Got any pictures?
     
  6. The Silverfox

    The Silverfox Senior member

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    Never heard about them, but from the looks of it they have great stuff. Some really nice ones there. Have you just heard about them or do you have personal experience with their products?

    By the way I can't find anything on their site, but do you know if they have a shop somewhere? Or do you know of any shops that carry their merchandise? Or is it stricktly internet/phone/whatever based?

    Also (and this is for everyone), they do wallets in both calf and bridle leather. Can anyone tell me about the differences in these, in terms of feel, durability, patina etc?

    The trouble with getting great help from you guys is that the decisions become so much harder :D
     
  7. andreyb2

    andreyb2 Senior member

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    SAB uses bridle hide leather, which is different from what one usually finds in shops. I believe this is their biggest distinction.

    Other good English makers that use bridle hide are Ettinger (they offer a broader color palette) and Whitehouse Cox.

    I own an Ettinger-made wallet, and recommend it.

    As for Fosters, they outsource their leather goods (not a bad thing by itself). I suspect (though can't state as proven fact) that their maker is RBJ Simpson.

    Andrey
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  8. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    I have a version very similar to the yen wallet, doesn't appear to be on their website anymore. It's in chestnut, which i thought would get a better patina than the tan because the darkness would fade in areas whereas tan would only get grubby. Don't go for it in black, it doesn't show the quality of the leather very well then.

    I've had mine for just over two years now.

    When new: [​IMG]


    Now: [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    I have London Tan cc wallet, key pouch, biz card case and a travel document case from SAB. Very good stuff. Ages very well. Recommended. I believe mine used to be made by Daines & Hathaway for SAB. Not sure who makes them now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  10. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    I have various items from them - breast wallet, hip wallet etc. The quality and durability is excellent. I would suggest emailing them for details of outlets althoughh I have found the internet route fine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  11. BlackShoes

    BlackShoes Senior member

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    [ATTACHMENT=393]IMAG0142.jpg (1,063k. jpg file)[/ATTACHMENT][ATTACHMENT=395]IMAG0143.jpg (955k. jpg file)[/ATTACHMENT]

    I've had this one from WS Foster for about 2 years now, it's nice, bridle is definitely the way to go. I wish I took more care of it, but even though a little scratched, the leather is still buttery soft. They told me it was made in the workshop over the shop. I also know that some of their luggage comes from a factory in Gloucestershire.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  12. andreyb2

    andreyb2 Senior member

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  13. The Silverfox

    The Silverfox Senior member

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    That's really nice Andrey, you must be quite proud of that.

    Also Ich Dien, that's just gorgeous...

    I get what you mean about a tone of brown showing off the quality better because it displays the leather in all its glory, but at the same time I think there's something very powerful about perfection... Black about as un-ostentatious as you can get, but there is something wonderful about austere beauty that is quality black leather. It's more subtle and can certainly be missed, but at the same time it's beautiful in its minimalism.

    I don't think I want one in all black though, it'd probably be something like this Ettinger or this Launer . The outside would be black with the inside in tan, so I get the austerity and minimalism of black exterior together with lighter interiors in order to properly see the quality and appreciate the beauty of the leather.

    Seems a fair compromise between the understatedness of black and the joy of brown where the quality is more visible.

    I suppose this is probably too much to hope for, but has anyone had more than one of the respective brands? Someone who's had both Launer and Ettinger perhaps? Trouble is that they're all excellent, so everyone who's had something from one will recommend them, but that doesn't get me closer to figure out which is the best. But... I guess I will have to take a trip around town and try to put my hands on a few. SAB and Foster's I know where are of course, and it seems Fortnum&Mason carry both Ettinger and Launer, so perhaps seeing them all in person will help sway me one way or another.

    Still looking for input so if anyone else have any other manufacturers to suggest, any input on those already mentioned, or any more glorious pictures of your splendid leathergoods, keep it comming.
     
  14. inimitable

    inimitable Senior member

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    Does anyone have insight as to how the calf wallets from Aspinal fare to the offerings discussed from Ettinger and Launer? They are half of the price.

    Is there a superior out of the Launer and Ettinger? They appear to be similarly priced and styled.
     
  15. EFBenson

    EFBenson Well-Known Member

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    I have a four month old Foster and Sons wallet... I looked at Ettinger and Launer wallets in Fortnum & Mason, but vastly preferred the Foster wallet.

    I am no expert in leather and construction quality.

    [ATTACHMENT=404]100_2137.JPG (231k. JPG file)[/ATTACHMENT]

    I remember looking at the SAB wallet, but I can't remember why I didn't choose it. I have had an SAB passport case [in London Tan] for several years, I am content with it.
     

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