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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got that Swaine Adeney Brigg briefcase I waited two months for. (I promised pictures and comparison with Filson Field Satchel; I'll get around to that when I have time.)

It's the most gorgeous piece of leatherwork I have ever seen, and I have to say the outrageous price tag is rather justified--the craftsmanship, even to my untrained eyes, is distinctly superior to the Filson Satchel's, which is an exceptional piece in its own right.

But one fear that haunted me during the long wait, did materialize--the chestnut bridle hide turned out to be rather too scarlet and flamboyant for my taste. I should have gone with the general preference and chosen Dark London Tan.

I know that the red will gradually turn darker brown with regular exposure to outside air and the sun, but who knows how long that'll take? If you know a safe way to hasten patination on bridle leather, share it with me please!
 

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The normal oils from handling will take their toll over time, so one could try touching this case whenever possible. That could darken the finish, but caressing one's document case in public might bring some stares and comments. ;) Some leather conditioners may indeed work, but my experience is that the colour of SAB leather remains rather constant.
 

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I know of a leathermaker who creates incredible western gear. He then deliberately distresses and antiques it to the point it is a display piece only.
If you start condidtioning for patina, unseen overzealous application will overcondition and weaken the leather.
Your possession is individual. Let it grow up and earn it's character with time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I know but

I know it's best not to overdo things... but it's just that the thing makes me so self-conscious when I carry it, and I would rather avoid doing that for the next two or three years.

I'm not saying the chestnut hue is anything less than splendid. The problem is that the bag, by itself, is plenty opulent and attention-grabbing, and the bright color intensifies the effect even more.

While googling "patina" I ran across a forum devoted to women's bags. They were discussing how to age a Louis Vuitton purse quickly, so as to prove to all the other LV-carrying ladies on the street that theirs were genuine articles! Even more incredible, the prescribed procedure involved leaving the new purchase on a coffee table under weak sunlight for months--before even starting to carry the thing around.

I'm not trying to "antique" the bag for vanity' sake; if anything, I'm trying to reduce the attention it gets. I tell you this thing is so pretty right now it's ridiculous. The faster it puts on a more rugged character, the better, because I'm not pretty enough to match it!
 

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My 2 cents

I got the 18 inch Swaine Adeney a few months ago in London Tan and I was worried about it being too loud, people gawking, and just generally leaving the wrong impression. I have to say that those fears were entirely unfounded. I've travelled with the bag to New York, Chicago, Orlando, and Atlanta for work and during all those trips I literally only noticed one person even give it a second look. That was in Midway airport in Chicago and it was a guy who had a Hartmann belting briefcase and belting wheeled carry-on. I work in one of the big 4 tax firms and no one I've worked with in any office has paid any attention to it or even knows what Swaine Adeney is. They all just carry nylon bags and/or backpacks and don't pay any attention to my briefcase.

I guess what I'm saying is that maybe your self-consciousness may be coming from the fact that you know what it is and how much it is worth while those around you could be completely oblivious (and probably wouldn't care even if they did know).

As I said, just my opinion.
 
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