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GoodWear Leather - 1939 Werber A-2 (new)

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jonbuilder

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I never said Johns' GW jackets are the best jacket being made on the planet. To me, GW jacket has a quality the big maker will never achieve. The only jacket maker I recognize in league with John is Ross Langlitz. I own a GW A2 that my estate will inherit. I do not understand waiting on a list for 5 years if I thought I would be just as satisfied buying a jacket form an other source and could have the jacket in 6 months. If I understand correctly John has return deposits to all who have requested deposits back.
Why convolute thekiyotes' thread, I am happy for him
 

red devil

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Really nice jacket but I still feel obliged to say how great it feels to have people waiting a full 2 1/2 years less are getting their jacket before me (and the others in the queue longer than me).

I guess its encouraging that he is still alive and making jackets :confused:

Yep, pretty much this.

I think that @Big J has been completely fair in his comments. He just went in from a logical perspective.

@thekiyote it's a very nice jacket and the fit is great. It's good you are happy with the jacket, but no need to try to defend Jon, I don't think you will convince those of us that have been waiting for much longer than you.
 
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@thekiyote , nice jacket. Fits you really good.

To me, GW jacket has a quality the big maker will never achieve.

Could you please elaborate on that a bit more? Genuinely interested, as I've already heard this statement paraphrased and repeated before (once in this thread) and having never handled a GW jacket, it is lost on me. To be perfectly blunt, all I'm seeing here is a well made, well fitting brown flight jacket but nothing stands out to me as truly extraordinary or previously unseen.
 

Sloan1874

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I know what you mean, Monitor, A-2s are so common that it's hard to get a sense of what's a good un. But with John's, the pics never really do them justice. When I got mine, I was expecting something strong but I really taken aback by the quality of hides, stitching and construction. They outstrip ELC, who I see as JC's main competitor, by a long chalk.
 

jonbuilder

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@thekiyote , nice jacket. Fits you really good.



Could you please elaborate on that a bit more? Genuinely interested, as I've already heard this statement paraphrased and repeated before (once in this thread) and having never handled a GW jacket, it is lost on me. To be perfectly blunt, all I'm seeing here is a well made, well fitting brown flight jacket but nothing stands out to me as truly extraordinary or previously unseen.
What I am referring to is the extensive research John has done into the full line of US-made WWII flight jacket contracts. John has produced an electronic file of his research prior to starting GW. I imagine John can site from memory, variations in each individual contract through the time the contract produced jackets for the US military. Johns' jackets start with an authentic fit based on patterns of the original contract modified if requested to the clients' needs. Each and ever jacket is produced by one artist (John) with a passion for translating WWII era jacket into the modern world. The original WWII flights jackets that saw service and remain in pristine condition are rare and owners might be relucent to wear them except special occasions. I do not know if handling one of Johns' jackets, anything is going to be apparently a higher wow factor than other jackets made from top materials and skilled craftsmen. Perhaps the intrinsic feature of a GW jacket is lost on persons without knowledge of the contract and passion to own a reproduction of a specific WWII contract jacket. When I chose a contract for my A2 I went with Bronco because the original pattern fit my body shape. I can wear a jacket cut the same way as if it was during the war not modified to modern fit styles and still be comfortable. I do not feel I am explaining myself well it's the best I can do at this time.
 

Big J

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Oh Lordy, sounds like someone drank the kool aid. Another one of those 'John's jackets are so good they are 'lost on people' who haven't read John's marketing press' posts.

Look, however many jackets of any particular contract John has handled, it's still a TINY proportion of the jackets of any contract produced during the war and it's illogical to claim that he is producing 'the best/most accurate' reproductions on that basis. He may only have handled outliers and is reproducing outliers that are not typical of the contracts.

But yeah, anyone who disagrees with GW is 'without knowledge.' (or not 'a serious flight jacket enthusiast' as I was called before). SMH.
 

thekiyote

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Yep, pretty much this.

I think that @Big J has been completely fair in his comments. He just went in from a logical perspective.

@thekiyote it's a very nice jacket and the fit is great. It's good you are happy with the jacket, but no need to try to defend Jon, I don't think you will convince those of us that have been waiting for much longer than you.

To be honest, I'm not trying to convince anybody of anything. I understood the argument that Big J was trying to make perfectly fine, and think he's completely justified for that opinion.

Normally I'd just let it go since it's clear what he meant, and it doesn't make him wrong, but I just couldn't help but pointing out the irony of him claiming Jon made a logical fallacy when he just made one himself.
 

jacketjunkie

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Completly agree.

I am no specialist on war time contracts or A2s in general and I don't even belong to the faction here who happily pay more for laser precision stitching, more of a "the heavier the hide, the better I like the jacket"- kind of guy. And still, I owned a Eastman A2 which I sold and I still own three A2s; a AL Goatskin, Aero Leather Russet Vicenca and a Goodwear in Russet Shinki and the Goodwear is the nicest jacket out of the bunch by far. Comparing to movies, Eastman A2 is a PT Anderson movie, expertly crafted but somewhat lifeless at times. Goodwear on the other hand is a Wes Anderson movie, not necessarily better but certainly more charming.

edit; I think the reason why John does not and in fact cannot deal with orders in the order they came in is because he doesnt and cannot stock all different hides he offers at once; suppliers only sell in large quantities and I believe it really is a question of too little space and too much expense to have all hides stocked at all times.
I don't believe John randomly favors one order over another. Ofcourse, that doesnt undo the stupidly long waiting times themselves.
I know what you mean, Monitor, A-2s are so common that it's hard to get a sense of what's a good un. But with John's, the pics never really do them justice. When I got mine, I was expecting something strong but I really taken aback by the quality of hides, stitching and construction. They outstrip ELC, who I see as JC's main competitor, by a long chalk.
 
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red devil

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To be honest, I'm not trying to convince anybody of anything. I understood the argument that Big J was trying to make perfectly fine, and think he's completely justified for that opinion.

Normally I'd just let it go since it's clear what he meant, and it doesn't make him wrong, but I just couldn't help but pointing out the irony of him claiming Jon made a logical fallacy when he just made one himself.

Ok, I might be wrong but enlighten me here:

- You said that is is art and John should be treated as an artist. Does that mean that he is given a free pass on the bad points? The people waiting just don't "understand", is that it?
- Does that also mean that none of the other makers are artists?
 

thekiyote

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Ok, I might be wrong but enlighten me here:

- You said that is is art and John should be treated as an artist. Does that mean that he is given a free pass on the bad points? The people waiting just don't "understand", is that it?
- Does that also mean that none of the other makers are artists?

To start off with, I'm describing a subjective opinion. You can agree with my line of thinking, or not. It's cool either way, since there's no way to "prove" someone's opinion.

Both artists and craftsmen sit on a spectrum of making money off of a product and producing a high quality product. There are always trade offs between the two. Whether a person is one or another is a very loose way of describing whatever a maker seems to put the most emphasis on.

John Chapman sits very far on the artist side of the spectrum. He cares very little about the business side of his business. To him, it's just a way to make a living so that he can keep making as perfect jackets as he feels he can create. That's the important bit to him, everything else is just a distraction, so it starts falling by the wayside.

Should a buyer give him a pass for that? Well, maybe, if that level of quality is important to them. It's not that it somehow makes it so that John is running a great business, it's just that getting a jacket is important enough to the buyer that they're willing to put up with it.

It's also important to add that this level of detail might not be important enough to put up with GW. An average Joe won't notice difference between something John makes and say, an Eastman. A person who's into leather jackets might be able to tell, but don't really care that a couple of stitches don't line up 100%, or that the knit doesn't look exactly like it does in old photographs. But as long as there's enough people who do put enough of a credit in those things, Good Wear stays in business.

I will add that it's possible to run a good business AND have a top notch quality product. I think that Himel Bros. is a really good example of that. But there's still always a cost to that, and that's typically price. There's a reason why a Himel Bros. jacket is twice the price of a Good Wear: There is significant overhead to either pay people to do your marketing, or to make your leather jackets for you, to your standards (or both).
 

Mich486

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Maybe I’m approaching this all wrong but if you care about perfect stitching and have a jacket made to super high standards with Shinki, can’t you just get a The Real McCoy’s A2?

How do the A2 made by Goodwear compare to a RMC kind of quality?




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ProteinNerd

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RMC is off the rack sizing while GW is fully custom so you can't really compare them in that sense. Plus RMC is tailored to the slim asian build so that rules out a lot of westerners, so even if the quality is the same (or better) fit is king, if it doesn't fit well its never going to look or feel nice enough to justify the cost regardless of how precise the stitching is.
 

Mich486

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I normally fit into off the rack clothing pretty easily so probably I’m not appreciating the benefit of a custom fit as much as other do. In fact, all of my clothing apart my Aero jackets (I specified the sleeve length/back length as requested) is off the rack. Apart from people largely overweight or extremely tall/short I think very few need in fact custom.

I think also that the japanese/western sizing difference is a bit exaggerated. I’m not saying isn’t there but I find that going up a size does the trick and is not always needed. In fact, there are Japanese brands like Buzz Rickson which i find run on the larger side if anything.

Anyway, I get that some people are in the whole made in the USA thing crafted by a very talented artisan but looking at GW jackets (military especially) I don’t get the fascination that could lead one person to get onto a multi year waiting list. They look good but there are alternatives of comparable quality IMHO.


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Big J

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@thekiyote, I know that my criticism of GW puts me in the 'average Joe' category and not the 'person who is into leather jackets category' but I'm surprised you don't know, being a discerning jacket buyer and all...
GW uses the same knits as AERO.

All this craftsman/artist/artisan is projection (in the psychology sense of the word) to rationalize wait times and lack of communication. Unless, you know, you've been hanging around his workshop and seen how he goes about it.
You just don't know what he does all day.
 

El Marro

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I think also that the japanese/western sizing difference is a bit exaggerated. I’m not saying isn’t there but I find that going up a size does the trick and is not always needed
I wear a size 44 in Aero or 46 in Vanson and I find that the largest available size in most Japanese outerwear is at least one size too small for me. I recently sent back an Iron Heart jacket in size XXXL because it was to trim to wear comfortably.
I agree that Buzz Rickson does make jackets a bit larger and I have found some of them fit me quite well.
 

Mich486

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I wear a size 44 in Aero or 46 in Vanson and I find that the largest available size in most Japanese outerwear is at least one size too small for me. I recently sent back an Iron Heart jacket in size XXXL because it was to trim to wear comfortably.
I agree that Buzz Rickson does make jackets a bit larger and I have found some of them fit me quite well.

If an IH XXXL is too small then you are definitely a big guy so I get it. I think most people are in the 38-42 (western sizing) range so going up a size is feasible.

Also I find that in the US people tend to wear larger fitting clothes on average compared to Europe. If you are used to wear baggy stuff all that is fitted feels too restrictive.


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red devil

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To start off with, I'm describing a subjective opinion. You can agree with my line of thinking, or not. It's cool either way, since there's no way to "prove" someone's opinion.

Yes, we are indeed discussing opinions or if you want views, disagreeing is a natural aspect of this

John Chapman sits very far on the artist side of the spectrum. He cares very little about the business side of his business. To him, it's just a way to make a living so that he can keep making as perfect jackets as he feels he can create. That's the important bit to him, everything else is just a distraction, so it starts falling by the wayside.

So John is a godlike artist, super artist at the extreme side of artistry and he only focuses on making the perfect jacket.

Should a buyer give him a pass for that? Well, maybe, if that level of quality is important to them. It's not that it somehow makes it so that John is running a great business, it's just that getting a jacket is important enough to the buyer that they're willing to put up with it.

So the only way to get that elusive level of quality is pretty much to send a down-payment and pray (or hope for the best)

It's also important to add that this level of detail might not be important enough to put up with GW. An average Joe won't notice difference between something John makes and say, an Eastman. A person who's into leather jackets might be able to tell, but don't really care that a couple of stitches don't line up 100%, or that the knit doesn't look exactly like it does in old photographs. But as long as there's enough people who do put enough of a credit in those things, Good Wear stays in business.

So if someone is in pursuit of excellence, he goes with Goodwear otherwise they can go with the inferior ELC

I will add that it's possible to run a good business AND have a top notch quality product. I think that Himel Bros. is a really good example of that. But there's still always a cost to that, and that's typically price. There's a reason why a Himel Bros. jacket is twice the price of a Good Wear: There is significant overhead to either pay people to do your marketing, or to make your leather jackets for you, to your standards (or both).

In case you don't want to hope and pray, you can go with Himel which is if I understand correctly at about the same level of quality (which seems to point mainly to stitch precision and accuracy of reproduction)

Re-reading this recap, I guess it is clear that you put John on a pedestal that only those in pursuit of excellence can understand. You temper this statement in the end by saying that Himel does something similar at twice the price.

That makes it pretty clear how you could encourage people to go on a waiting list that is more akin to a lottery.
 
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