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Discuss Swaine Adeney Brigg cases

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by HEPennypacker, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. Joenobody0

    Joenobody0 Senior member

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    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.

    [​IMG]


    That's what the handle on mine looks like as well. Most definitely machine stitched.
     
  2. Bartolo

    Bartolo Senior member

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    Boston Area
    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.
     
  3. HEPennypacker

    HEPennypacker Senior member

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    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:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    But, UPS tells me, I have to pay $195 in customs fees [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    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 [​IMG]. 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.

    [​IMG]

    Inside the smaller box was a dust bag.

    [​IMG]

    Inside the dust bag was...beauty:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    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.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  4. BlackShoes

    BlackShoes Senior member

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  5. wiimii

    wiimii Well-Known Member

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  6. ak622

    ak622 Member

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    Thanks for sharing and congrats on a great bag! Your picture are great and really show the beauty of the bag. Getting hit with the custom fees really sucks but if they didn't ship it UPS, your 13 week wait would be closer to 16 weeks.
     
  7. braised

    braised Senior member

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    I did a similar, but with padding in the center section for a laptop. The newspaper pocket is a must, the smaller pocket is good for a boarding pass or ticket, but doesn't deal with a newspaper. While it looks a little clunky, the full width is far more useful and won't bother you.

    What do you think of the weight? I really like the bag but would love to trim weight. I,d easily give up one of the interior separators, maybe the padding and ask for a skived piece of leather for the out pocket.

    Braised
     
  8. HEPennypacker

    HEPennypacker Senior member

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    I carried the bag to work this morning with the binder and such shown in the pics above (and looking at every reflection along the way [​IMG]). While I suppose it's heavy relative to a nylon or canvas bag, it didn't really bother me on my 5-block walk/10-minute subway ride (and taking the steps out of the subway station because of broken escalators...thanks, Metro!). That said, if I had a longer walk every day, I could see how the weight might get annoying, and I'd probably use the strap, which I currently don't. Huh, I didn't even know they would padding to this case. But I guess there's no reason why they couldn't. Is your case lined? I'm just trying to picture that. And you're right: the full-width newspaper pocket came in handy this morning, so I'm glad I got it.
     
  9. mlongano

    mlongano Senior member

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    Congratulations on one beautiful bag!
     
  10. brax

    brax Senior member

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    Nice work. It looks very good.
     
  11. HEPennypacker

    HEPennypacker Senior member

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    Thanks, brax (and everyone else). Now I have to figure out which of your three cases posted on the first page I want to purchase next [​IMG]
     
  12. Bentley

    Bentley Senior member

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    This is a beautiful case. I was skimming the briefcase porn thread and your case really stood out compared to the others.

    In fact, the post inspired me to go to the Swaine Adeney web site to check out how much they cost...[​IMG]

    I'd love to have one of these cases but I can't see myself paying that much money for one no matter how nice it is.

    That being said, it's still a beautiful case. Have you gotten any compliments on it yet?
     
  13. HEPennypacker

    HEPennypacker Senior member

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    Haha, I also balked at the price at first. But then I kept looking at it and thinking about it, and like so many other things discovered on StyleForum, eventually convinced myself that it was worth the price for the quality. But this is one of those instances where I think the "investment" aspect is actually true, as countless pictures (especially in the briefcase porn thread) attest to the durability of SAB's cases and bridle leather products generally. How many wardrobe staples will have decades of useful life and will only look better with age and use? I can't say the same about most of my other wardrobe "investments." Plus, I just read an article about increases in the price of leather (as evidenced by Alden's impending price increases) and gave myself a pat on the back for getting in early [​IMG] . They're not getting cheaper!

    I have received compliments on the case, though most of the random compliments I received yesterday were directed at the comparatively much less expensive sport coat I was wearing (from Malford of London). But I like to think the case contributed to the effect.
     
  14. Rambler

    Rambler Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful case and congrats on finally receiving it! I think the colors in your pics are true to color, especially the section where the sunlight is hitting. Even though mine is right in front of me, I still love looking at the pics.

    Mine was in fact more beige-like in color when I first received it. But after the 1st application of the provided wax, it looks more llike yours now, which is also more akin to the pics on the SAB website. I don't think you'll be disappointed in your choice of color. At least I am not. Every day that I look at mine, I am so glad I chose London tan. The elements such as rain will show up much more but that's what adds to the character over time.

    Also, like others have said, don't be disappointed about the larger pocket in back. It's definitely more functional than mine. I basically have to fold everything I put in mine but it does fit newspapers and magazines. I also prefer the round lock over the square lock I previously had but both are very handsome.
     
  15. HEPennypacker

    HEPennypacker Senior member

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    Thanks, Ramber. You're right that both locks are very handsome, and PeterEliot in his review indicated that he wish he'd gone with the square lock. I debated this for a while and am happy I chose the round lock (going against the preferences of my wife!). It's different from most other Westminster SS cases, yet is still within the SAB tradition. But I think the thing that really bothered me is that the flap portion of the square lock always looked crooked in every picture I saw. Not a big deal at all, but I thought it was odd. Regardless, one can't go wrong either way.

    Speaking of the wax, mine didn't come with any [​IMG] . So I guess I will wait for the Brooks Brothers sale to get some, unless classicluggage.com has some cheaper. But I probably won't need it for a few months.
     
  16. Rambler

    Rambler Well-Known Member

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    Looking over my bag again, I can really see how the color is beginning to change since there are some areas, mainly the sides and bottom, that still have the beige color. It could be due to exposure to the sun which can darken leather and those areas are less exposed. One other thing I did so I could do a true comparison over time is I took off the luggage tag and stored it since I don't really need it. That still looks very beige and the new finish on it is much smoother and has a brushed look to it. It's also slightly "powdery" from the natural waxes.

    I also noticed that my lock has 4 rivets on top and 6 on the bottom vs. your 3 and 4, respectively. After some time, I will try to post more pics like you suggested doing.
     
  17. HEPennypacker

    HEPennypacker Senior member

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    Ha, you're right! Very observant. Both your case and PeterEliot's have 4 rivets on top and 6 on bottom. I wonder what prompted the change. I can't say that I prefer one over the other aesthetically, but more rivets would seem to make it more secure. If mine ever breaks, I will be sure to ask for more rivets [​IMG]. EDIT: Now that I look at it even more closely, I think it's an entirely different lock. The body of my lock has three layers: the base, a raised ring around the keyhole area, and the keyhole area itself. Yours, I believe, is two layers: the base and then the raised area around the keyhole. Also, the top portion of my lock appears to be a bit slimmer. Again, I can't say that I prefer one, but they do seem to have changed the lock design. The color/textural changes you note are interesting. I've noticed the smooth, "brushed" look of my case as well and wondered how that would change. I'm also curious about the rain effects people keep mentioning, but there's currently no rain in the forecast for DC, so I suppose I will have to wait a bit longer to see.
     
  18. HEPennypacker

    HEPennypacker Senior member

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    On a separate note, I just gave Sterling & Burke (owners of classicluggage.com) a call to ask about the leather feed. They noted that their store in Georgetown (2824 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) is now open, and has been for a few weeks. Previously, they did not have a storefront, so this might be welcome news to those who would like to see SAB's (and others') bags, cases, umbrellas, sticks, etc. in person prior to purchase. Had they been open back in November, perhaps I would have ordered from them.
     
  19. Rambler

    Rambler Well-Known Member

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    That's interesting about the locks. I wonder if they just changed the style or if they were sourced from different manufacturers. Either way, they're both great.

    There's really nothing mysterious about the rain drop marks. It literally just looks like rain has fallen on it by creating spot marks. But eventually, after more rain, hand marks, other elements, further darkening, etc., the marks all start to blend together forming the beginning stages of a nice patina. It's almost like a candied or carmelized look if that makes any sense.
     
  20. HEPennypacker

    HEPennypacker Senior member

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    I paid a visit to Sterling & Burke's new store in Georgetown this past weekend. I was like a kid in a candy store! [​IMG] They have all of the SAB leather goods in the various colors (I'm still happy I went with with London Tan, but Havana looks very nice in person). The only thing they didn't have was the luggage, which they are expecting within the next week or so.

    I also thoroughly enjoyed playing with the umbrellas, seeing the differences between the solid pieces and the two pieces, the classic Brigg and the golf. A whangee umbrella is now on my short list [​IMG], though I also liked the Prince of Wales very much. And the two ladies working there were happy to indulge me and to discuss the intricacies of the various goods. They were very knowledgeable, especially Susan. If they had been open back in November, I most assuredly would have ordered from them instead of dealing with SAB's crappy customer service.

    Sorry I forgot to take pics (perhaps on a subsequent visit), but I'd encourage anyone near or passing through DC who wants to see the goods in person to stop by.
     

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