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Dissuade me from this J. Peterman Case

Mentos

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$395. I would never usually look at the J. Peterman catalog, but someone made mention the other day, and now I'm a little worked up over this bag. Does anyone have any experiences, or typical SF advice on cheaper bags with better styling and quality, etc.? I poked around the classicluggage.com website a bit and didn't see anything similar. But that's not an easy website to work with. Someone in another thread mentioned that a lot of the Peterman stuff is made in China. Are there quality issues? Again, I'm not real familiar with the company, beyond the Seinfeld thing. --------------- Here, of course, is the all-important description: Discovered in a back room in London: a thrilling jumble of old diplomatic pouches, even older dispatch cases, very old courier’s packets and porte-monnaies, plus indeterminate bags, satchels, and sacks. Offered here: exacting replica of one of the most useful and interesting, a quintessentially English envoy’s case from the 1940s. A bit bigger than most briefcases today, to hold all the communiquÃ
s of Empire, plans for the divvying of Europe, etc. Isn’t that young Harold Macmillan headed for a meeting at the Foreign Office? 1940s Envoy’s Case (No. 1615). Distinguished-looking. Trim brass fittings and narrow straps contrast nicely with the generous size. Rigid, reinforced top squares off the shape. Two large compartments inside. Made of thick, vegetable-tanned cowhide that will age better than any of us. Dimension: 12-1/2" high x 18-1/2" wide x 3" deep at top; gusseted body expands to 6" at bottom (could double as an overnight). Color: Brown. Price: $395. -------------- So silly. Thanks in advance.
 

Manton

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I believe I have that very case. Bought in around 1992, or so, when the catalogue was still paper. It cost a lot less then, and quite a lot less than the Brigg case I really wanted at the time. It has held up marvelously well. I still use it every day. Some chide me because it so beat up and say I should get a new one, or something a little more "elegant." But honestly I am not interested.
 

JBZ

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I think it's probably a fine briefcase (it certainly looks nice), although I'd be a little worried about the price to quality ratio, given the source. I have no idea if it is made in China (or whether its quality would suffer because of it), but Peterman just strikes me as a company that overcharges a good bit for its products when you can get equal quality somewhere else for less (this is only based on word of mouth - I've never bought from them). You're not just buying a product with Peterman, you're buying a concept (although the same can be said for a lot of retailers).

Just for example, LL Bean has a nice looking briefcase for under $200 (although the styling is somewhat different from the Peterman). I'm sure it's a long way from SAB, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's just as nice as the Peterman case for about half the price. Also, Colonel Littleton does a "vintage style" case for just a little more money, and they get generally good marks for quality. Finally, for just a bit more money, you might want to look at Mullholland Brothers (although I don't think they have a case with that same sort of vintage look).

Bottom line - if you like the case, you should get it. I imagine it will last for years and years. At that point, who cares if the price is just a little too high for the quality.
 

RJman

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Also check out Atlas.
 

Thomas

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If you're eager to be dissuaded, one could play the man-purse angle... But frankly that bears little resemblance to a purse and could be carried without fear of insult. The only consideration at this point is the price tag, but if it's something you'll use - really use regularly, not just leave in a corner to store papers - then I doubt I would quibble if you are that smitten with it.
 

AlanC

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The Atlas case is a good alternative, but is produced offshore (Dominican Republic), and is a bit bulky, although it will hold a ton of stuff. It's belting leather, and I'm impressed with the quality. I was disappointed that mine was made in the DR, but I don't know that I would have gotten better quality with USA made.

I ran across this vintage bag on ebay in the Atlas style.

There's also the Trafalgar briefcase on sale at Levenger.

I do like the look of the Peterman. Could you contact them to discover country of manufacture?
 

zjpj83

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"It's a hot night. The mind races. You think about your knife; the only friend who hasn't betrayed you, the only friend who won't be dead by sun up. Sleep tight, mates, in your quilted Chambray nightshirts."
 

RJman

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Originally Posted by zjpj83
"It's a hot night. The mind races. You think about your knife; the only friend who hasn't betrayed you, the only friend who won't be dead by sun up. Sleep tight, mates, in your quilted Chambray nightshirts."
"His name was George. He killed my mother."
 

Connemara

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Originally Posted by zjpj83
"It's a hot night. The mind races. You think about your knife; the only friend who hasn't betrayed you, the only friend who won't be dead by sun up. Sleep tight, mates, in your quilted Chambray nightshirts."

"One day a couple of GIs found a crate, inside were six hundred pounds of prime Texas steer, at least it once was prime. The Use date was three weeks past, but I was arrogant, I was brash, I thought if I used just the right spices, cooked it long enough..."

"What happened?"

"I went too far. I over seasoned it. Men were keeling over all around me. I can still hear the retching, the screaming...
I sent sixteen of my own men to the latrines that night. They were just boys."
 

Teacher

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What the hell are you guys talking about?
 

Duveen

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I can't remember the site right now, but there is a company out there that specializes in these sort of vintage envoy cases that seems to get great marks for quality. I am swamped and can't search for it right now, but you can rest assured that a case in that exact style is available for the same or less from a well-reputed maker...

EDIT - It is customhide. The board strikes again!!
 

Mentos

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Originally Posted by Teacher
What the hell are you guys talking about?

The J. Peterman episodes on Seinfeld. I haven't seen them in years, but they're roll on the floor hilarious. Basically poking fun (with Peterman's able assitance) at the florid prose of the catalog.

Thank you all, as always, for the assistance. Below, for those interested, is the $370 Atlas dispatch bag. That it's belting leather is awesome, but I personally don't love the horizontal holder thingys on it--I think it breaks up the gracefulness of the bag.




The Levenger bag and the customhide bag really give me a lot to think about, esp. b/c the Levenger bag is only $200, and I'm a huge fan of the company. Not sure where I'll end up, but the advice is all really helpful. I'm not worried about Peterman's quality, no matter the country of manufacture, in light of Manton's endorsement.

I do know that I'll never again buy leather goods in the Zagreb duty free shop, which decision has required this search for a decent quality bag.
 

grimslade

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Peterman has an excellent returns policy. If you like it, there's no harm in picking one up; your downside is limited to the two-way shipping. I buy things from them here and there (they do still have a paper catalog, though I tend to wait until they put things on sale). I have the "Right Stuff Wallet," and so far I've been pretty pleased with it. That's the only leather good I've bought from them. I love their shaving soap. But their customer service is outstanding. The "Officer & Gentleman" pants are terrific khakis, btw, if perhaps a bit too full-cut for most of the skinny guys here.
 

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