If you had to have one bag for the rest of your life, what would you get? For most of us here, this is a near impossible question because there are so many great, quality leather makers out there, but after spending a month with my OliverGé Metropolitan 505, I can confidently say that this would be a major contender. Its sleek, minimalist design, impeccable quality, and impressive versatility make this bag a dream.
From the very beginning, I could tell that this bag was built to last, but that’s not to say it is over built. The exterior is made with just three pieces of full-grain vegetable tanned leather, the interior is lined with gorgeous calfskin, and everything is saddle stitched together by hand with durable polyester thread.
Everything is masterful done. The stitching is evenly spaced, the burnished and dyed edges are some of the best, and the lines of the bag are crisp and clean, but don’t take my word for it. Check out the master at work in the video below.
The 505 has everything you need and nothing you don’t. I can say that with confidence for several reasons. First, the base design will easily carry most everything that anyone would need on a day-to-day basis. I haven’t had any problems fitting various reference books, files, and magazines into the bag along with my computer. However, when packed with a day’s load, there is little room left.
Secondly, the 505 is customizable. Part of the beauty of buying a bespoke bag is getting it tailored to fit your personal needs. If you need a pocket to carry your pens or charger, you can add them. If you want a compartment that will snuggly hold your computer, Olivier, the owner and craftsman behind OliverGé, will gladly take the dimensions and make a pocket for it.
For me, I typically walk to work so I added a shoulder strap to mine and I got to say, it’s extremely comfortable. The strap is made of a sturdy canvas and has a nice thick shoulder pad that broke in nicely after about a week and a half. On top of that, the bag itself is quite light for what it is (about 3.5 pounds) so even if I have it packed full, it doesn’t feel like a ton of bricks. I also, got a separate slot for my computer, which fits tightly into the slot.
The only issue I have run into is that it has a hard time standing on its own. This is due to the fact that the front, bottom, and back of the bag are all made of the same piece causing the bottom to be round. It hasn’t really been a problem though, since I always can just lean it against my desk or lay on top of the desk to pull things out of it. This is a small issue, but nothing that would cause me to hesitate buying this bag.
This is one good looking bag. There are very few leather bags out there that can transition nicely between casual and business use, but in my opinion the Metropolitan 505 does this with ease. The minimalist style keep it from looking too much like an adventure bag, but also steers it away from the classic boardroom briefcase look. OliverGé has created a daily wearing bag that stands out among the rest with a unique look. It maintains the classical briefcase look while adding a bit of personal flare through the belt strap.
Typically I prefer not to have belts flopping around on my bags, but having one as the central strap really adds charm and makes this bag a winner in my mind. Not only does it function just as well as any lock or sewn on buckle found on traditional briefcases, but it breaks up the monochromatic, formal style without overdoing it. Of course if you want a single color throughout, you can get that too.
Once again, OliverGé bags are bespoke, giving you tons of options to fit your needs; including the way you want the bag to look. Olivier hand selects all of his leather from some of the best tanneries in Europe and then dyes and finishes them himself. You can request different waxing and oiling if you want it to be more rugged or glossy. You can even ask to get it “aged” where the bag will have a nice patina right from the start.
The Metropolitan 505 is truly a versatile and great looking bag. If I were to only have one bag from here on out, this would be it. I can use it when traveling to carry a few books and a computer without adding to much weight or looking like I belong in a law firm and I can take it into a business presentation without looking like I belong on an expedition. It simply fits its surroundings perfectly without losing any functionality or durability.
The big question is whether or not the Metropolitan 505 is worth its price tag. I can tell you with confidence, yes. This is an expensive bag, no doubt, but it is handmade exactly to your specifications by a true master craftsman who uses some of the best leather around. When I requested a shoulder strap, Olivier asked for my dimensions so that the strap would fit me perfectly and it does. Having a bag that has everything that you want in the color and style that you like and that is made to fit you is true luxury. Pair that with the lifetime guarantee and I would almost say that this is a value.
If you are in the market for a briefcase, but want to be able to use it outside of work, I would highly recommend OliverGé. Getting a bespoke bag is a rare experience, but it is a lot of fun and at the end of it all, you receive a bag designed for you and your lifestyle that will last you a lifetime.
Check out this bag and other great gear from OliverGé at oliverge-leather.com!