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Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by HEPennypacker, Oct 26, 2010.
Which shop? You have certain rights as a consumer depending where you're from...
Yeah I smell a troll. The poster has only three posts, and they all say the same thing. If it's legit, then I would suggest he take it up with his credit card company or the local consumer advocate. He might even be able to offload the bags here, depending on what they are.
This may have been discussed previously in this thread, I'm sorry. But when did the price go up on SAB cases? I've noticed you can't find the machine closed ones any more. It makes me sad, I've been saving for three years for one to buy when I graduate this year, and I'm just noticing now
has anyone tried to get a westminster wrap ss with only 2 gussets ie like the westminster 2? i dont need that much space and would never fill up the 3 gussets that expand to 6", just seems like overkill
im hesitant to even ask SAB direct since apparently they dont answer emails -_-
I don't know if it's possible to have them remove a gusset. But I doubt you'll save much dimensionally with 2 gussets instead of 3. Thanks to the straps, the case can actually be quite thin if it's not full. I say better to have the space in case you need it; otherwise, tighten the straps to have a thinner profile.
thanks HEpenny. any new pics? would love to see how your bag is looking now! i was inspired to purchase this bag because of you btw
hmmm i was hoping to reduce weight and to make it thinner. i believe you mentioned that your an attorney ... do you use all 3 gussets? the westminster 2 expands only to 4" while the ss/westminster 3 goes to 6"
either way, i emailed SAB yesterday and they responded right away this morning. it was unclear if they were willing to remove the gusset but htey gave me a price breakdown as follows.
We can make the bespoke case for you and the charges are as below:
Westminster Wrap SS £1325.00 inc vat
Lock change £ 100.00 inc vat
Newspaper pocket £ 175.00 inc vat
Business card organiser and 3 pen holder £ 175.00 inc vat
Embossing £ 60.00 inc vat
Total £1835.00 inc vat
Total ex vat £ 1529.00 ex vat
Shipping £ 70.00 UPS
£ 1599.00 ex vat
so havent decided between 2 vs 3 gussets but i may need to just go direct through SAB since they seem to be willing to do whatever i ask and are being responsive at least ATM
Maybe I'll post some pics this weekend, but it mostly looks the same. Still one of my favorite purchases. That price looks about right, and if they're actually responding to your inquiries, I'd take advantage of that because they are notoriously slow.
I generally use two gussets, but I do use all three on occasion. I like the flexibility.
I had a bad experience buying a Swaine Adeney Brigg (SAB) Westminister 3 briefcase. After ordering the case, I noticed that SAB had inaccurate descriptions for the case on their website. I notified Susan at SAB that they had the wrong measurement for the Westminister 3 on their website--they actually had two measurements for the case on the same webpage. She corrected the wrong one without even thanking me for bringing this to their attention. When I got my case I noticed that there were no pockets in it and it had a large stain on the inside flap by the lock hardware. The description on the site clearly says that the case has pockets. I brought this to Susan's attention and I just noticed that she removed this information from the Westminister 3 site. Again, she never thanked me. I sent her a picture of the stain that is on the case, but I never received a reply to my e-mail. I would have been satisfied with a thank you and we apologize, but I received neither. This is a very expensive case and I expected at least the courtesy of a reply. Also, rather minor, but I requested a tracking number for the shipment. They never sent me a tracking number until I asked them again for a tracking number and they sent it to me hours before it arrived. On the positive side, the outside of the case looks good--see below. I'll never order from SAB again. Thank you.
Not sure how recent it is but they now have a store in one of the arcades off Jermyn Street.
That's very poor, but I have to say I am not surprised. I used to visit SAB quite a lot years ago when they had their original shop on Piccadilly and in those days they were a very genuine firm, making all their own saddlery and bridlery and with a good stock of country-type clothing, shoes etc.
Since that shop closed, the firm is a mere shadow of its former self and the staff have no particular product knowledge or interest in their market. Everything seems to be bought in and resold at greatly inflated prices. I went in one day asking for some riding breeches and it was clear they barely had a clue - wouldn't know one end of a horse from the other.
If I were looking for a good quality briefcase, I would probably want something bespoke, and I know I could get something a lot better without SAB's involvement and without paying their prices. Just try googling.
Stop Trolling. You went to 3 different threads and posted this $hit. Grow up.
They used to have a shop in Piccadilly, a long time ago, which was very good - lovely saddlery, bridlery, clothes etc.
Very different now - I got the impression the staff were completely uninterested and somehow the shop has lost its integrity.
I didn't even bother going in... It all looked very sterile and unwelcoming.
[COLOR=FF00AA]Swaine Adeney Brigg Winston Vs. Whaler No.8 Hand Stitched Briefcase[/COLOR]
My Swaine Adeney Brigg is a very early piece, circa 1980s, when the company was still going by their old name, Swaine Adeney. What a piece of work!! A design remained virtually unchanged through the past decades, instantly recognizable, from any distance.
When I got it, it was kept inside its original package. Fresh out of the box, the SAB gives a distinctive, overwhelming smell of leather, which is rather pleasant. The smell lingers for months; I have rather gotten used to it. For the past year or so, it has been the only one I carried, till now.
The Whaler is a surprise. I first saw a friend carrying one around work, produced by a little-known outfit in San Francisco I have never even heard of. Because their shop is rather nearby, I dropped by for a visit. Three weeks later, I become a two bag kind of guy.
Winston is a Larger Bag. Whaler No.8 is a Medium Size Satchel.
SAB Winston Is Not As Thick As the Whaler. Both are Well-Proportioned.
SAB uses 6-7 oz bridle leather tanned by Sedgwick. This type of leather, as I understand, is getting hard to come by because almost all of it is going to Japan and China nowadays. Just like any other type of commodity, leather has developed into a futures market. SAB is able to still use Sedgwick mainly because of their long-term contract with the tannery. Sedgwick leather is legendary for its waxy finish and a muted sheen. In lighter color, it tends to tarnish if exposed to moisture or grime. I have taken extra care not to stain the leather.
One thing really interesting about Whaler is the way their leather is created. In their shop it is stacked full of paper-white vachetta leather, the kind of naked leather normally seen on Louis Vuitton. I was told their leather stock comes from the same tannery traditionally producing for Vuitton. And the foreman would dye each sheet like a painting. Quite a sight. Intrigued by their production process, I asked why they eschew tannery leather. "Not the right color, not the right feel," I was told. The foreman showed me about a dozen leather strips of various shade of brown that are either too deep or too red. Their house leather can be characterized to have a wax paper like matte finish.
The "Whaler No. 8" comes in three sizes. I ordered the medium to complement the larger SAB. It is constructed with a thicker leather than the SAB, which gives the whole thing a rather stiff look. It is actually not too hard to open and shut, but clearly not intended as a piece of clothing. The foreman showed me how they would start with a stiff leather, rolling it by hand in the preparation to be shaped on a wooden form. So the finished satchel would come with a sculptural quality. Quite different from a soft satchel offered by Ghurka and some other quality makers.
Comparing the two, I would say the Whaler is about 20% stiffer than the SAB, given the fact the leather comes from a heavier stock.
The SAB stands out in its classic retro look. With my laptop and other essentials thrown in, it actually stays rather slim. The Whaler comes with wider gussets; I have ordered mine with a two-gusset setup. Instead of adding a third gusset, I find it to be much more user-friendly to the gadgets I am usually lugging about. I've heard SAB can be ordered in a two-gusset configuration as well, although I have yet to see one in real life.
Both cases are hand stitched. That's the one thing I knew I must have. A very impressive feature for an American maker to offer hand stitching. From a production point of view, it is rather like going back to the 15th century. I personally have seen only the best leather craftsmen manage to stitch by hand. Among a handful of brands in the world that still offer hand stitching, Hermes and SAB are the only two I know of who would stitch the entire piece by hand. Other than that, I have seen a few hand stitched Purple Label portfolios carrying astronomical price tags (Italian Job). Louis Vuitton had gotten into trouble for advertising "hand stitching" when, in fact, the only hand stitched parts are the handles on their large suitcases.
Seen side by side, SAB applies a traditional English stitching pattern throughout; Whaler uses a staggered high-contrast pattern. Both are skillfully accomplished with minimal distortion. I have to say that hand stitching, no matter how perfect, will not be as even as a pair of jeans stitched on a Singer. Of course it is purely a personal preference. To me, when holding something made by hand by another human being, it feels special.
The Swaine Adeney Brigg handle is a traditional bone-folded handle with ridges on both sides, which has become synonymous with the brand. It comes with just the most excellent flex and grip. Needless to say, this design has been perfected through 200 years of trials and error. It is entirely made by hand with the best attention to detail. On the other hand—no pun intended—the Whaler guys have put an elegant, massive handle on the No. 8. From an engineering point of view, it is well thought of. It does not have the flex like the SAB handle, but provides a more ergonomic grip. It is made with a ridge to go between the fingers. Because I have bigger hands, I prefer the Whaler handle for carrying a heavy load. But the SAB handle looks absolutely flawless. For everyday carrying, both are terrific.
SAB has the reputation of folding their gussets beautifully, no exception here. While the Whaler has good folding techniques, it is not quite as neat, which I guess in part has to do with using a heavier leather.
SAB seals their lock plate with a circular stitching. Whaler chooses to seal it with glue. The explanation I got is for the ease of future lock repair. Very curious, since I don't think it will need any kind of oil change. Besides, both manufactures have the same type of locks.
One thing that stands out with the Whaler is the white edges. Looking closely, it appears to be coated in wax. This look is quite different from the SAB, which comes with painted edges, like every other briefcase I have ever seen.
Whaler wins the battle hands down. As much as I love my SAB, the strap is almost like an afterthought.
Case in point: the Whaler strap carries no less than three hand stitched snap anchors. The SAB has one, and not done in matching quality to the rest of the bag.
The SAB shoulder pad is pretty much decorative—basically a small piece of leather lined with pigskin, so few would find relief on their shoulders.
Both satchels are quite heavy. The carrying strap makes the Whaler feel like a lighter load thanks to the large contact surface and the extra soft padding.
Both satchels are examples of an everyday accessory made right: unobtrusively designed, perfectly proportioned, made to last. Both have taken an anachronistic approach in their production process with unbridled attention to detail.
If I have to pick one? Sure, I’d carry either one to work any day. If the SAB is a tailored Bond Street pinstripe, the Whaler would be a quality piece of Scottish tweed.
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