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Essential Journal

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One Thing Done Well: Globe-Trotter

Our series of brands doing one item especially well continues this month with Globe-Trotter Luxury Luggage.

Rare are the occasions when time-honoured tradition meets stylistic innovation to produce such a symphony of form and function. Globe-Trotter is one such rarity. In the world of handcrafted, luxury travel luggage, Globe-Trotter has come to encompass an enduring beacon of proud heritage, timeless fashion and uncompromising functionality over its 120 years of travelling tenure.

Established in 1897, all Globe-Trotter suitcases and travel accessories are handcrafted in Hertfordshire by highly-skilled artisans adhering to original manufacturing methods and using traditional machinery. For over a century, the brand’s philosophy has remained as steadfast as its production methods: Theirs is a legacy of uncompromising integrity of craftsmanship.

The core constituent in the making of a Globe-Trotter case is the proprietary Vulcanised Fibreboard, which is cut down to size using Victorian-age guillotines. After the Fibreboard has been heat-forged into shape, the famously rugged elegance of the case is achieved with the application of natural leather belts and trademark corners. There is no shortcut to this level of artistry: The leather corners alone must be soaked, pressed, dried out and then re-pressed (using World War II-era iron presses, no less) over the course of five days.

The use of traditional machinery is no mere romantic ploy or marketing fiction. These time-honoured production methods are instrumental to the case’s identity: ‘This is how we’ve done things for over a century’, explains designer Charlotte Seddon. ‘We still use the same materials and machinery to manufacture [our trunks] from the time when the company started.’

The result is an incredibly sturdy but lightweight suitcase that can withstand the pressures of modern travel whilst maintaining an exemplary sense of style. To say that their cases are as light as a feather and as strong as an elephant might sound like hyperbole if it hadn’t already been proven: In 1912, Globe-Trotter had a one tonne elephant stand atop one of their travel trunks in a testament to their strength and endurance.

But there’s more to the brand than an elephantine anecdote, some vintage machinery and a tried-and-tested, eight-tonne breaking weight. The Globe-Trotter brand is nothing less than an ode to the timeless thrill of travel and the insatiable spirit of adventure. A Globe-trotter case is more than a masterclass in heritage and luxury, it is a promise in the making. A promise that, after many years of loyal service, a Globe-trotter trunk will carry more than your personal treasures; it will carry the memories of your far-off travels etched into its fiberboard flanks forever. It will tell your tale: A story as vivid as the day you were there, told by a companion that was with you every step of the way.

Words By Will Halbert