Leather Backpack

Last April, I went to the Coach flagship store in Manhattan. I was thrilled to be able to purchase the Metropolitan Briefcase. I was eyeing that briefcase many months before my highly anticipated trip to New York. It was significantly cheaper to buy Coach leather goods from the USA than it is to buy in Singapore. My bag cost 30% less than what it would have cost me, if I were to buy the same exact bag in Singapore. I was glad that I patiently held off on my purchase in Singapore, counting the days until my vacation to New York would officially begin.

I am still in love with this bag.

Fast forward 10 months, and the Metropolitan Briefcase is still my every day bag that I carry to work. I am still in love with this bag. The leather is rich and supple, made even more supple, now that I have been using this bag daily. The bag has been moulded to a particular shape based on how I used it, evolving into a unique look in addition to my daily work outfit. Essentially, the bag has its own personality and I am loving it.

I am very impressed by its overall craftsmanship that goes into making this bag. I have great respect to the Coach brand. Truly, the leather used is top notch, using refined pebble leather with excellent stitching with no discernible flaws. The bag is able to handle just about anything I throw at it, even in inclement weather. After using a leather bag this long, I finally understood the appeal of carrying a full leather bag such as a messenger, briefcase or backpack. If you have a good quality leather bag, it is pretty much guaranteed, that with proper basic care, the bag is going to last you a very long time. And I can see myself using this bag on a near daily basis for many years to come.

Lately though, I have been eyeing another type of leather bag. This time it is a backpack. I decided to get a backpack not because I am getting tired of using the Coach Metropolitan Briefcase, but because I want variety in how I carry my stuff to work everyday. There were moments where I realised how I wished I could carry my stuff around on both my shoulders rather than gripping with one hand (a briefcase) or slinging the strap over one of my shoulder (a messenger). I had several backpacks over the years that I used previously like the Aer backpack. I still have that backpack in my cupboard and it is still useful for outdoor activities. But for a workbag, I needed something more formal but not too formal. Classy, yet not too pretentious. Imperceptible, and not too loud, and yet be able to showcase to a discernible crowd. Knowing that a good leather bag could potentially serve you well for many years to come, I decided that my next backpack for work purposes would be a good quality leather backpack.

So over several months, I casually explored my options, taking my time to look at a variety of leather backpacks from all sorts of brand names.

It was only recently that one backpack suddenly caught my attention: the Dunhill Belgrave Backpack from their Belgrave collection.

Dunhill leather backpack from the Belgrave collection.

It initially caught my attention, that is true, but I wasn’t thrilled with the price at first. For such a simple looking bag, the price was beyond my budget range. But the longer I looked at it, the longer it was calling out for me. Like the Coach briefcase that I currently own, along side the Fujifilm X-Pro 3 that I recently purchased, these are things that I did not regret buying for one simple fact: It resonated strongly within me. These are the things that I come across that upon looking at it, I knew from deep inside my heart, that I just had to get it. And mind you, this is after the fact that I called for a downtime and to deliberately my purchase, for a couple of weeks, just to make sure that my purchasing decisions were simply not impulse buy that I will regret buying later. I made deliberate, slow decisions before taking the plunge. I used delay tactics, distraction tactics, logical tactics to make my case on whether something (especially big ticket items) was worth buying.

The briefcase, I still love using it till this day. I love the feel of the leather when I brush my fingers across the surface of the bag. The Fujifilm camera, I have been going out on photo shoots every now and then and every snapshot I took and every photo I edit thus far, I enjoyed every moment of it. These were right decisions.

The Dunhill Belgrave Backpack is made of supple small-grain leather and the buckle is engraved using Engine Turn engraving. It comes in black and brown, but I prefer the black. This bag is calling out to me. The price is a stickler. S$2600 for a backpack. That is honestly excessive. But then again, this is Dunhill, a brand from London, with the leather goods made in Italy. I have not applied my delay tactic just yet. If I were to get it, I will probably get it in a couple of weeks time. Delay tactic, distraction tactic, I am going to use all manner to tactics and strategies to not think about the bag for a while and revisit it again in a few weeks to see if my purchasing decision was simply just an impulse buy (just because something looks shiny and new) or this is a genuine buy for me. This is a purchasing decision that cannot be made lightly, because of the huge investments needed just to get a backpack. But it’s calling out for me every single day.