“Age Is A Beautiful Thing”

ColonelsSaddlebag 1 Dec2017 Growing old gracefully is a beautiful thing . . . in people and in well-tanned, well-made leather goods. The No. 1 Saddlebag Briefcase was the first all-leather bag in the Col. Littleton line, making its debut in our 2002 catalog.

Close up of the engraved plate of Col.'s Saddlebag briefcase dated 6/25/01
Brass Plate on Col’s Saddlebag Briefcase, dated 6/25/01

My personal No. 1 Saddlebag Briefcase (pictured above) is dated 6/25/01; and I’ve carried it, for the most part, every day since then. Would I trade it for a new one . . . no way. I love its patina and the way it looks and feels. You would have to see and touch it to know what I mean.

They say most people don’t become really interesting until they have some age on them, and I draw a parallel with this bag. A new Saddlebag Briefcase is going to be beautiful because of what it is and what it’s made of; but, to me, it becomes more interesting as the years go by. It develops character and a quiet beauty. It has a story to tell – the places it’s been – the things it’s seen in its well-traveled life. Its spots and scrapes and scratches tell you it has weathered a lot of storms and has come out virtually unscathed. There’s wisdom there and depth of character. There’s resilience and strength and spirit; and yet there’s a comfortable feel . . . like being with an old friend. People will spot it when you’re walking through the airport. You can’t hide it – its well-aged persona stands out in a crowd.

Close up shot of the plate on Col.'s No. 1 Saddlebag Briefcase. serial number 004
Plate on Col.’s No. 1 Saddlebag Briefcase. serial number 004

To be beautiful in its old age, it had to start out being made in the right way of the right stuff. It’s all about the process. When you buy Col. Littleton leather goods, like the Saddlebag Briefcase, you’re buying full-grain American vegetable-tanned steer hide that has received a minimum of alteration. The beauty is in the naturalness of the leather. We don’t apply a finish to hide character markings – any natural texturing or leather markings are part of the plan. Leather in its natural state is not static – it breathes and has life and is pliable if you don’t process the life out of it. It changes and evolves over the years, developing that wonderful patina that gives you the rich, lived-in look of antique leather goods.

Back view of Col.'s original No. 1 Saddlebag Briefcase
Back view of Col.’s original No. 1 Saddlebag Briefcase

How do I get one like it? I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to start with a new Saddlebag Briefcase and haul it around for a while like I did. I can tell you, it’s worth the wait.

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