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"polo" branded c&j

Dan G

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Hello gentlemen, I'm trying to find out a bit about a pair of Polo shoes I purchased on Bluefly. From what I understand they were made by C&J and are most likely of the bench made variety. They say "bench made" on the box as well as on the insole. I'm not 100% sure they are benchmade though. They look exactly like the Belgrave handgrade model that can be seen here http://www.crockettandjones.co.uk/Ne.../belgrave.html . Here's the shoes on Bluefly: http://www.bluefly.com/pages....8730089 Could they be the same?
 

jcusey

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I don't think that they're made to Handgrade standards for two reasons: first, when you zoom in on the Bluefly pictures of the shoes, it looks like the soles are stitched aloft (ie, you can see the stitching on the sole), while a Handgrade shoe would have channelled soles; second, the Bluefly shoes don't appear to have the level of antiquing that I would expect to find on Handgrade shoes.

That being said, I suppose that it is possible that they were made on the 337 last with the Belgrave pattern to regular-line C&J standards; but that particular pattern isn't unusual, and C&J certainly would have numerous square-toed lasts. What do the interior markings say? And, more importantly, are you happy with the shoes?
 

Dan G

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The interior says "Polo Ralph Lauren Est 1967 Bench Made in England". The shoes are beautiful and fit rather well, but not perfectly. Although, I've never had a pair that fit perfectly. They're surely a lot nicer than the few pairs of Allen Edmonds that I own.

I am obviously a novice when it comes to high quality shoes, hence I'm not sure exactly you mean by channelled soles. The stitching is clearly visible on the outsole, but is somewhat hidden by horizontal indentations on the welt. Would you happen to have a picture of channelled soles?
Thanks
 

bengal-stripe

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I'm not sure exactly you mean by channelled soles. Would you happen to have a picture of channelled soles?
Channelled construction makes a neater looking shoe and is more expensive to produce. Here the stitching is buried in a channel and cannot be seen from the underside, while in aloft stitching it can be seen inside a ditch. If you look at a shoe from above there is no difference, in both methods you see the sole stitching going through the welt and running round the shoe:
 

jcusey

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The interior says "Polo Ralph Lauren Est 1967 Bench Made in England". The shoes are beautiful and fit rather well, but not perfectly. Although, I've never had a pair that fit perfectly. They're surely a lot nicer than the few pairs of Allen Edmonds that I own.
I'm glad to hear that you're happy with them. The interior markings that I was asking about would be in the interior side wall of the shoe near the heel. They should consist of several numbers (often, though not always, representing the model number, the last number, the size, and sometimes the color number). If the coding system is transparent enough, that might tell us all we need to know about the shoes.
 

Dan G

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A-ha.
The markings are as follows:
1045321/18641 on the right side of the right shoe, and ALM45862 12D on the left side of the right shoe.
 

Dan G

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Does the channelled sole just have another layer glued on or is more complicated than that?
 

jcusey

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A-ha.
The markings are as follows:
1045321/18641 on the right side of the right shoe, and ALM45862 12D on the left side of the right shoe.
Well, shoot. Those aren't particularly enlightening. C&J's lasts have three digits, and I was hoping I could pick the last number out. I can't. Maybe others with more experience with C&J can.
 

bengal-stripe

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Does the channelled sole just have another layer glued on or is more complicated than that?
No, they cut a slit, maybe ½" deep, into the edge of the sole, then fold the section with the cut back, stitch, and then fold it flat again, so the stitching is buried inside the sole.
 

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