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A few comments:

1) These things are nearly indestructible. The filson catalog says they take 10 years to break in and when I first read that I thought it was absolutely absurd. After carrying it almost daily for nearly a year and a half and having people comment that it still looked almost new, I am now a believer. As you can see, the case does not look that much different from when it was brand new even after near daily use for a year and a half (including 2 Minnesota winters!).

2) These pictures were taken so I could sell it on ebay and as such highlight the nicks and dings I put on the bag - though for the amount of time I used it there arent too many as you can see. I thought I needed a bigger bag so I got the larger of the 2 Swaine Adeney full strap dispatch bags (larger version of the case Peter Eliot mentioned in his posts - I've seen some here though I don't know if he posted as many pics here as he did on Style Forum in the "briefcase porn" thread). After carrying that around half empty every day, spending 3 times as much, and frankly finding the Swaine Adeney quality not that much greater than the Filson quality, I regret my decision to sell the Filson and replace it with the Swaine Adeney. The comments made about the more "rough" nature of the Filson as compared the more polished, finished nature of the Swaine Adeney are true, but are not, in my opinion as great as they may be made out to be. For example, in the first couple pictures you'll be able to see that I've remedied the "unfinished" look of the Filson gussets from the side view. When you buy this case new the gussets are not uniform in the way they flex. I simply wetted the leather in that area and molded it to look the way I wanted it to look. I laid it flat, put a couple books on top overnight to keep the folds in place, and in the morning the shape I wanted was fixed permanently into place.

3) The big bonus, for me, of the Swaine Adeney was the tan color.

Hope these pics help. I'm happy to respond to other questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks very much Joal, that's much appreciated. I've been using mine for a while now and it still looks pretty much new too.

It's interesting that yours also appears to be a little "off" to the right (where the flap covers the front of the case). Mine and PeterEliot's are the same. Perhaps Filson needs to put a spirit level on their benches?:icon_smile_big:

Thanks again for the pics.

TB
 

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filson flap level

The flap not lining up perfectly is something I discussed with Filson and, in fact, I did return one case because of it. Their explanation was that since the cases are made primarily by hand, some imperfections are to be expected. They were willing to send me a new case, which they did, but as you can see the new case had the same issue.

I'm not sure of the cause of the "mis-leveling" on your case or Peter Eliot's, but I can tell you that I was able to figure out what I believe to be the primary cause on mine. If you look at the picture (I believe it is number 13 from the top) with my hand holding the flap up to expose the 3-position lock and look at it in conjunction with the picture directly below it, my explanation might make more sense. The brass piece that attaches to the leather flap forms a sort of "U" shape when viewed from the side. The leather flap is inserted into the open part of the "U" and then, in theory, snugged in as much as possible before fastening with the rivets. If this piece were to be fastened into place off-kilter, so to speak, or with one side lower than the other, then when the flap was fastened it would necessarily appear off-level. This is what happened with my case.

When looking at the case from the front (you can look at the last two pictures in my post and see that when latched the flap appears to slant from left to right. This is due primarily, in my opinion, to the way the brass piece was fastened to the leather flap. In picture 13 you can see that in the side closest to my thumb the brass piece protrudes from the edge of the leather whereas on the other side it is fairly snug to the leather. The picture directly below illustrates this as well. If you were to run your finger along the edge of the leather flap starting first on the top of the case and ending in the middle of the brass piece you would find that when you did it on the front-right side, the transition from leather to brass would be smooth whereas on the left side the brass piece protrudes from the leather to such an extent that the transition from leather to brass would be a bumpy on indeed.

Apologies for the length of this explanation but I wanted to try to come at it a couple different ways. Written explanations of things like this can seem patently obvious to the writer and complete mumbo-jumbo to a reader.

I'm not sure if my explanation is what is happening in yours and Peter's case but it may well be. I understand Filson's explanation as well but frankly, it would be such an easy thing to make sure that this brass piece was fully snugged into position before riveting that to not do so seems, in my estimation, rather shoddy or sloppy. Having said that, it is a fairly minor annoyance as it does not detract at all from the quality of the materials, the likely longevity of the case, and is only visually very pronounced when the case is entirely empty. When full it is hardly noticeable. As I said, I now own the larger of the 2 Swaine Adeney full-strap dispatch cases and found the Filson to be every bit its equal in nearly every respect and at 25 to 30% of the price, an overwhelmingly superior value. Honestly seeing the pictures in yours and Peter's posts makes me long for my Filson again and this is despite the fact that as I type this I am looking at the Swaine Adeney sitting next to my desk!

Happy to answer any other questions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Joal, I appreciate the time you put into the response. The level doesn't really bother me and I agree that it's part of the hand-making process (although I also agree that it would be easy to avoid).

If anyone else has any pics, please post them here.

Cheers,

TB
 

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Filson has new "dark brown" color in many of their twill luggage and briefcase items

I tried to start a new thread but I must not have permission to do so. The stuff looks pretty cool and the catalog said the new color was intended to show less wear and dirt.
 
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