NOTE: At post time, Gustin is running a pre-funding campaign for these Horween #8 Deluxe Briefcases. Estimated delivery is December/January. These will sometimes go dark/quiet for a bit, as Gustin doesn’t constantly run campaigns for the same products. So if you’re in the market and have the funds… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
This briefcase, and its quality-to-price ratio, are worthy of hyperbole.
Made in the USA from Horween’s deep, rich, Chromexcel leather.
Dimensions are 17″ x 12.5″ x 5″
Made from thick, smooth slabs of Horween’s famous burgundy #8 chromexcel leather, substantial solid brass hardware and a brass YKK #10 zipper, burnished Horween latigo leather handles, and stitching that looks like it was done on a cast iron 19th century sewing machine (that’s a good thing btw…) the asking price of $369 is so relatively reasonable it’s borderline absurd.
A considerable step up from mass-market briefcases in this price tier.
You just have to wait for it, as Gustin is one of the original pre-order/crowdfunding companies. At post time you’ll have to wait 2-3 months for delivery after forking over your money.
Therein lies the rub, and once again proof that time is the only commodity that matters.
Because while the direct-to-consumer and pre-order marketplace for consumer goods is littered with companies and brands that overstate the value they deliver, Gustin is one of the OGs. They mean what they say, they make incredible goods, and if this leather briefcase is any indication, they’re all cattle, and very little “hat.”
Got it? They’re the opposite of an all-hat-no-cattle brand because they… right. Yeah.
They’re good. Real good. Mooooving on.
Substantial solid brass hardware and a brass YKK #10 zipper
Styling wise, it’s perfect for our current 21st century roaring-20s workplace. Or workplaces… as those who carry a briefcase are probably doing some sort of hybrid WFH, back to office/jobsite, on-the-road business these days. It’s substantial (17″ x 12.5″ x 5″) but not cumbersome. It’s handsome (and then some) but not stuffy. And it’s well organized.
Plenty of room.
It’s got one big exterior pocket for quick access (magazines, old-school paper boarding pass, documents, etc.) and the brown canvas interior is well laid-out. The laptop sleeve is large enough to fit an Apple MacBook Pro 16″. It’s unpadded, but the leather exterior of the case is thick enough that it shouldn’t be too big of an issue. And y’know what? Get a cheap case for your computer.
The main center compartment has good space without bloating up the bag. The right side of the interior has an additional zipper pocket, and an organizer sewn into the canvas with spaces for pens, keys, other small stuff, and even a leather (more CXL #8!) holder for your phone.
Lined in canvas. Above = 0pposite side from the Laptop pocket.
Organizer with slots for pens, keys, phone, and an additional interior zippered pocket.
But it’s really the exterior that will catch eyes. Horween’s chromexcel leather in their #8 color is famous for good reason. Its a deep burgundy “pull-up” leather that looks both refined and natural. It’s super smooth to the touch but also has great visual depth thanks to the oils in the leather slowly moving around (getting “pulled up”) with time.
The end result is a bag that will look good anywhere, worn with anything, for the rest of freakin’ time.
Leather is super smooth and has incredible, natural looking, visual depth.
Not bad for the asking price, which yes is an investment for a lot of us (especially when you include the wait), but well well below what a big name designer would charge for something remotely similar (not that a fancy brand name would make their stuff here in the States). And it’s even at what a cheaper-company would charge for something nowhere near the quality.
Bottom line: The Gustin USA Made Deluxe Briefcase is well worth the dollars.
And well worth the wait.