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Eastman Leather Clothing A-1 Jacket .50 Cal. Collection - NEW Capeskin

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by HPA Rep, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

    I've been itching to post about the great new hides and TimeWear ELC has been employing since the sample jacket arrived at our office back in April, but I've been holding back until we had received some of our first shipments from the fall order.

    Today, we have commenced uncreating many jackets and we have in stock the beginnings of these A-1's we ordered, with more leaving ELC for us by week's end - just about all sizes will be on hand very, very soon.

    The hand-applied TimeWear has been perfected to such a natural-looking process at this point that even a purist such as I must heartily endorse this on these .50 Cal. A-1 jackets. But it takes a special capeskin to really make the TimeWear pop, and it's the new capeskin ELC has been bringing in this year that truly makes these A-1's so special.

    This is now the same capeskin ELC uses on their A-1 jackets in the Original-Maker Collection, but the TimeWear of the .50 Cal. just enhances the many nuances found in this leather to great benefit. Nothing else has changed, so you can rely on the fit matching that of the ELC A-1 jackets in recent years.

    One other salient point to note for anyone interested in an A-1 of maximum authenticity is that, owing to the supreme rarity of a vintage USAC A-1, Eastman is the only ongoing manufacturer to my knowledge that actually owns a true, vintage A-1 from which their patterns have been meticulously copied. I am aware that Buzz Rickson's, and possibly Real McCoy's, have had access to a vintage A-1 that formed the basis of various permutations of this style in their changing A-1 offerings over the years, but deviations were made and these are not ongoing offerings, while other makers offer A-1's that are copied from photos, which is clearly not the same thing as having hands-on research material.

    Having had the privilege to handle and opportunity to buy three vintage A-1's in my lifetime, one of which was what I deem the 1st pattern, and also the supreme stupidity to pass on each due to the poor condition, I can honestly say the Eastman A-1 is the definitive A-1 in production today.

    Please see photos below and have a look at our web page that utilizes all-new photos for this style:


    _DSC0023adj2sm.jpg _DSC0044adjsm2.jpg A-1-50-Cal-slv-wo.jpg A-1 50 Cal fr.jpg _DSC0011adjsm.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    aswatland, El Marro, Dav and 6 others like this.
  2. I guess...if you like the crepe paper finish and stacked wrinkled sleeve look. Just not for me. Worf had one of the most beautiful, and heavily grained cape A1s. I believe it was made by John Chapman with the wonderful natural hides that he was able to source a few years ago.
    Worf likes this.
  3. CBI

    CBI Practically Family

    It seems that many jacket co's have had challenges with sourcing really awesome cape over the years. I know the GW cape you are talking about. John couldn't get that much of it.
  4. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

    Well, HD, I wouldn't have characterized the grain structure as being like crepe paper (we have Kabe crepe rayon shirts and that stuff really does look like crepe paper), but whatever identifier you may wish to assign, I do love this new look so, as I do the "stacked wrinkled" creases in the sleeves. I've seen some capeskin from some other makers that looks as if it suffered from hypertrophic scaring and that stuff actually gives me a squeamish stomach to look at. To each their own ...
    willyto likes this.
  5. willyto

    willyto Practically Family

    This jacket is just insane. The patina on the leather is beautiful to look at and it doesn't look fake, it looks like it trully belongs to the jacket after normal wear and use although the knits are new.

    It just looks like those abused A-1 from the pictures we see of pilots.

    Charles I suppose that the regular capeskin for these jackets and the Hartmann should age like this .50Cal. Do you have any inside information regarding Hartmann jackets using the same capeskin? I would love to have a .50Cal one like that or at least the same leather that will age like it when worn.

    I just dislike the capeskin used in the current Hartmann jacket, I've only seen one on Ebay that I had to pass on which had only noticeable creases in the sleeves.
    bn1966 and HPA Rep like this.
  6. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    That's amazing! An A1 is still at the very top my wish list, and that one looks outstanding.
    HPA Rep and bn1966 like this.
  7. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

    Thank you, Willyto! This is indeed the same capeskin used for the Hartmann, except if you order a black Hartmann, which will have a darker dye base and thus not age in the same way. The TimeWear process does really bring out the grain, but we have Hartmann and Original-Maker A-1 jackets on hand that still have some beautiful grain present that surely will "pop" over time and with steady wear. The bottom line for all of these is that the hides start out new, so any of the jackets made from these hides should have the same potential to look this good, though the TimeWear process Eastman uses is a trade secret; absent this process, I cannot say if a jacket worn naturally will look quite like this or not.

    If you want this look, you should order the Hartmann with the TW process, which I believe is still an option. Good luck, and please let us know if you do this; I've yet to see a TW Hartmann and would love to!
    willyto likes this.
  8. Charles that looks very good. I don't like the 50 cal range usually but this one looks good. The pockets look burnished rather than abraded similar to the effect achieved by Levis on their Menlo Cossack jacket which had the best worn look I have ever seen.
    Can we persuade Gary to make a capeskin shawl collar jacket ?
    HPA Rep likes this.
  9. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

    I've got both the ELC A-1 (not 50 cal) & a Hartmann in Cape (A-1 tuned me into the Hartmann).

    Charles must shoulder some of the blame for encouraging me with Cape in the first place.

    I just love the Cape & am 'paying my dues' in both jackets, A-1 is the summer 'go to' and the Hartmann the other 3 seasons (unless it's unseasonally cold). I was initially sceptical about Cape...but no longer & don't 'baby' the jackets.
    willyto and HPA Rep like this.
  10. CBI

    CBI Practically Family

    I would love to see a picture of one of these new Time Worn A-1'a being worn.
    HPA Rep likes this.
  11. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

    Thank you, Scotrace. Anytime you have questions, please just let me know.
  12. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

    Thank you, John, I'm delighted you like this new version and its related TimeWear. When the sample arrived, I was totally blown away, and when the first jackets in our order showed up, it was again fabulous to see that this now seems to be the norm for what we can expect to see from these.

    I'm sure we can endeavor to try to get Gary to make the jacket you describe (Gary is not immune to listen to customer feedback of this type) and I'll be happy to start the ball rolling if you can post or send pics of the basic design you have in mind. I really love the hides and this TW process, and can envision any number of jackets made from such hides looking really cool; I suspect these would be ELMC styles if they get produced.

    There are still those who fail to believe in the durability of Eastman's vegetable-tanned capeskin and its inherent ability to readily stretch. While of course it's not cowhide or horsehide, it is in no way the delicate lamb/sheep many individuals are familiar with.
    willyto likes this.
  13. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

    I'll readily accept my devilish horns, pointed tail, and fork on this. I have been likened to a "pusher" in the past for such things and it brings a grin to my face knowing others can be weakened in the same way as I. ;-)

    Yes, my friend, that's exactly what I just referred to in this thread's reply to John Lever: There are still those who fail to believe in the durability of Eastman's vegetable-tanned capeskin and its inherent ability to readily stretch. While of course it's not cowhide or horsehide, it is in no way the delicate lamb/sheep many individuals are familiar with.

    As you have found, this hide is really, really great stuff, and simply a delight to wear. I find that the light weight and comfort feels much like wearing nothing much more than a chamois shirt or cardigan and can be readily substituted for a blazer and worn indoors as part of a daily ensemble.
    bn1966 likes this.
  14. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

    Duly noted, CBI. I hope time will allow after Christmas to get some fit pics together for this style and a few others I'd like to have posted, though as I mentioned earlier in this post, the fit is identical to the Original-Maker version. Please stay tuned ...

    TREEMAN Practically Family

    HPA Rep likes this.
  16. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

    Thank you, TREEMAN! You obviously have exceptional taste! ;-)
  17. So, help me out here with this "maximum authenticity" has a pre-baked finish, long and extra-long options, and DD/GW get threads of shite over adding 3" length to the Nylon jackets?

    Help me out here. I want to say that most here are fairly consistent, but over the last month or so, I've noticed a lot of BS posted and targets being made of by a few guys here.
    Years ago here it was the accusations of the "Aero cult", now it appears it's DD/GW with the target.

    Now this super-accurate A-1 with spurious claims of "authenticity". The GW A-1 that @Worf has was mine, and a VLJ'er before me.
    JC makes his A-1's based off of real jackets as well, and are amazing - no faux finish needed.

    This looks like a nice jacket - but it also looks like one of the fashion label's take on an A-1. Just my 2¢
    I'd wear one, but it looks less authentic in these pics than the A-1's I've owned, seen etc. due to the finish applied.

    Maybe the 3" length on the B-15c isn't such a big deal after all?
    Worf likes this.
  18. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

    This is part of the .50 Cal. Collection, and all items in the collection come with a hand-applied process that has evolved many times over the years to get to this level of "naturalness" in appearance. The same basic items in this collection (caps, jackets, etc.) are available w/ out the process by the same manufacturer, so this isn't the standard and not offered as such, but it is the standard for items w/ in this collection.

    I believe the critique you reference over adding of length to the DD/GW jacket was due to it being the standard, whereas the true, vintage fit and form was the option that had to be requested. That is a significant difference from what is being offered here, where a finish is applied to add a look of vintage authenticity and the same item is also available w/ out the finish for those who prefer allowing the jacket to age on its own: two separate items each available differently. All fitting options that deviate from the vintage fit are indeed OPTIONS you must request, not what comes standard. Please note that deviations that are the standard and not divulged as such are fully dissimilar from deviations that are only optional on request.

    Please show where the GW A-1 is based off of a vintage issue-type A-1. There are no side-by-side comparisons on their website and there is no such mention. As I said at the thread outset but you seemingly neglected in your endeavor to bash, ELC makes an Original-Maker A-1 with no vintage wear and it is photo documented side-by-side with an issue A-1 from the 1920's.

    True issue A-1's from the original production are rare in the extreme. How many have you handled? How many has GW? I can attest for handling three between 1972 - today, one being what I call a 1st model, and I have not handled the example ELC has based this from. I am pretty well connected with the highest end of the collecting community and I know no one who has seen/handled more than I (the overwhelming majority of high-end collectors have yet to handle even one), so is the A-1's extreme rarity.

    If you don't care for the finish, that's your option and a given entitlement. But of the many issue-type, 1920's-vintage A-1's you've handled, please explain how this jacket and its attendant finish don't favorably compare.

    It may be a big deal to some in the way it is marketed: deviation in fit is standard and vintage fit is optional on request, no shoulder decals available, no explanation of the extreme pains engaged in to reproduce on custom order the needed fabrics on vintage machinery and the methods employed to this end, if such efforts and related funds were even expended.

    Please note that the above are factual reasons for the basis of would-be opinions and not based on opinions derived from handling copies of items based on photos. False comparisons of the type made here fall like an RAF Grand Slam at 25, 000 feet.

    Over my years on this forum, I have endeavored to maintain a decorum of politeness, courtesy, objectivity, fairness, and the ability to substantiate what I say, all while disseminating what I believe is valuable information on a breadth of topics; and I pay a monthly fee to help keep this place going, too. My products and I have been the subject of deliberate efforts at undermining since nearly the first day, with some of the kings of snark being at the helm seemingly with the sole purpose to bash with only unknown prejudice and malice as the apparent reasons. Today, you have resurrected this tradition, which had its roots in an earlier post on this thread last week.

    But I do thank you, however, for what seems to be your unintended consequence of keeping this post on the first page.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
    willyto and Thuggee like this.
  19. ProteinNerd

    ProteinNerd Call Me a Cab

    Damn nice looking jacket. I second the request to see one being worn. Any chance you could slip one on Charles and take some pics?
    HPA Rep likes this.
  20. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

    This will be sorted out, as already noted, PN, once we get past the madness of Christmas shoppers! :) Thank you for your kind interest.
    ProteinNerd likes this.

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