OK, I will defer from further comments until the day I handle it in person. I do understand the extra cost involved in having to import the items from Japan, not to mentioned the brand itself and the retailer need to make a living as well. Although I do have a few questions I hope you can help me with: * The leather was from the US. Did they ship it to Japan as a natural skirting hide or in the wet form to be processed? How much processing did the workshops in Japan actually do? * What type of vegetable tannage was used? What kind of bark or mix of plant products? How long was it tanned for? Pit or drum tanned? * How thick is the leather? * What kind of feel or quality would you say differentiates it from the other Japanese processed bridle leather from Red Moon, Kawatako, etc... * Would you care to expand on the 'ancient' techniques? I would have thought most of the processing of vegetable tanned leather has been figured out hundreds if not thousands of years ago... Sure, you could call it hand-currying or manual processing, but the term 'ancient techniques' doesn't actually tell me, the consumer, anything at all. I have to tell you my 15 oz, 12 months English oak-tan belt at $70 will easily last more than 5 years, very easily. The leather quality, at it's base, is also much higher than any 2 months mixed bark tan can ever be. Assuming belts below $100 to $200 to have less durability doesn't really make sense - it's especially hard to compare between the price offered by the craftsmen/workshop and the price at retail. Mike, you ask a lot of tough questions here that really only the designer can answer. The tanning process KMW uses I have not been totally schooled on as of yet. A lot of these types of questions are kind of trade secrets, or at least not easy to get a straight forward answer. We will have much more information about the processing by the time we have them in store. I made my decision to stock the belt from seeing it in person and feeling the weight of the belt, seeing the stitch details and gerth of the buckle, and feeling the leather and the edges. It is a great belt and understand the price point and I feel it is priced accurately. I do know the leather is English bridle from USA, Texas I believe. The hide is hand selected as natural hide (still has hair on skins) and then shipped to Japan where it is worked on in the tannery and in the workshop. Not sure about starting thickness of the leather, but after being tanned and oiled the leather is approximately 5mm thick. As for price range in belts, yes of course you can find a great belt in that range and a $150 belt from Sugar Cane or a $265 belt from Samurai or a $75 belt from Tanner will be great belts worth the price and durable. You are right, it is hard to compare craftsmanship. I have not set this KMW belt beside other brands yet to breakdown exact quality differences, but going from my memory and knowledge of other labels I can see that the KMW belt is quality and a belt I personally want to own. I will analyze this much closer when we have them in store in February. This seems like a pretty dishonest conclusion. Most belts at $120 dollars are not going to fall apart on you after a few years. There is a certain point where the "quality" of the item goes beyond what is practical and extends into pure decadence. This is fine, there's definitely a place for those items, but to say this "pays for itself" when compared to three solid $120 belts seems dishonest, especially since it's ignoring the fact that being able to diversify your look with multiple belts has clear advantages over owning a single belt. Sorry if it sounds like I am being dishonest. I am just saying if you are trying to rationalize the purchase for a $300 plus belt, something to think about. It is a good quality belt and I feel it is worth the price. Diversification is obviously a good thing, but if you can afford to add a $300 + belt to your wardrobe or you happen to find one of these belts at a discount it is one that should be considered. hey jay. are you getting the kmw belts in feb still? are the ones you ordered spoken for? if not, what colors will you have left in size 36? thanks. I am only stocking the natural color and have size 36 available. I am still able to pre-order items other colors as well as KMW had additional pieces made. The other colors are dark brown and a lighter brown.