GoodWear Leather - 1939 Werber A-2 (new)

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by thekiyote, Jul 5, 2019.

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  1. El Marro

    El Marro One Too Many

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    While I do not agree with everything Carlos says about John I firmly believe that he is entitled to his opinion because he was on that wait list for years. During that time he experienced the excuses, poor communication, and finally the no communication that led him to request a refund. Indeed he did receive his refund in a timely fashion but that does little to erase the bad memories of an unpleasant experience like this one.
    I am a big fan of John Chapman and Good Wear leather and I hope he finds a way to move past this unfortunate problem with the wait list.
     
  2. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    6,293
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    What's astonishing about this is there are clear answers to the problem described I've seen other artisans respond to similar issues.

    Send out an email update explaining the situation, taking responsibility for the blow out. Immediately stop taking new orders till the list is down to manageable numbers. Issue monthly updates on the site.

    And maybe limit the scope of customization.

    I feel for John. He may well be struggling greatly with the burden of all the work before him but we would never know.
     
  3. Imuricecreamman

    Imuricecreamman A-List Customer

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    308
    I wonder how many people are currently waiting for their jackets? If we say it's a couple of hundred at this point. How many e-mails and calls does he receive in total from people already on the list and people wanting to get on the list for a new jacket?

    I work in watch retail and we have a serviceshop who services and repairs for 4 major brands here in Norway and ours is one of approximately 200 retailers around the country. That makes up for A LOT of repair and service work. His entire shop is just him, one single person. He dedicates sunday evenings answering emails and he never answers the phone during working hours. When every stitch counts and every screw needs to be put in it's right place, those distractions take up an enormous amount of time as you are taken out of your zone and need to re-focus when you get back to your bench. I know this as watchmaker myself.

    I've found that having a dedicated schedule for different things inside your operation is critical when you don't have people there to lighten your load.
     
    El Marro and red devil like this.
  4. red devil

    red devil One Too Many

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    So what are you implying? That we are dishonest with ourselves for signing up with GW thinking the wait would be 2 years max?

    Just to remind you, a lot of us signed up with GW either before we signed up here - yes it's that long, seems this is not repeated enough - or during the early days of discovering the forum.

    His official website states 18 to 24 months, is that honest?
     
    willyto likes this.
  5. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    “I've found that having a dedicated schedule for different things inside your operation is critical when you don't have people there to lighten your load.”

    This is so true! As a freelancer, I work most effectively when I stick to a schedule/ routine when in the home-office.
     
    thekiyote and Imuricecreamman like this.
  6. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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    I feel guilty I was able to catch John and get a RW 23380 he had. In a new batch of Shinki, so I think the mention he was waiting for the leather to arrive may hold true. For some reason it seems like an unpopular contract compared with say the 27752 or 1401. I think it's my favorite A-2 contract. And also the MacArthur effect...I'll think of MacArthur for his return to liberate the Philippines rather than his later proposition to turn Manchuria into a radioactive demilitarized zone...

    Sadly the stupidest sell of my life. Instant seller's remorse, but I'm undaunted. I'll tell you what, looking at the collar compared to an Eastman, John nailed it. That must be an awkward thing to construct and get done right.

    One note about the pigment finished Shinki is to not expect to be blown away by color variations we all revere here. The grain was juicy, but the pigment finish rendered it relatively flat in the color department. Perfect for a WWII repro, where I believe most jackets held relatively uniform colors/being chrome tanned...though I think some would find an aniline finish to be more to their liking.

    Here's the russet pigment shinki vs an early vicenza Aero. Note the differences. Neither is superior and both are fine choices IMO. Eastman included.
    CF9F6880-9805-41C1-A41A-52B93E2D4B0A.jpeg

    6FFEE00B-82B8-4B5A-B641-621458AF90BE.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
    sweetfights, thekiyote, thor and 4 others like this.
  7. Skanstull

    Skanstull New in Town

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    Location:
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    Sorry, not obvious to me which picture is what leather.. can you please clarify?:)
     
    nick123 likes this.
  8. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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    Top: Russet pigment Shinki
    Bottom: Seal-russet Vicenza (older batch I believe).

    Both jackets now reside with @Lebowski
     
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  9. jonbuilder

    jonbuilder One Too Many

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    than my observation does not apply to you, sir. My point regardless of what Johns' website says about the length of the waitlist for a GW jacket I personally would expect the wait to be 5 years may more.
     
  10. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    sweetfights likes this.
  11. jonbuilder

    jonbuilder One Too Many

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    The stitching and knits give it away:):cool:
     
  12. red devil

    red devil One Too Many

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    Very well said!

    - If I knew I was getting my jacket for sure I would be less bothered

    - If the waiting list was being managed chronologically as opposed to some people getting preferential treatment, then I would not be bothered at all and would not be posting anything here. And the "he did not have shinki" is not an excuse as most people would change their order to another leather instead of having to wait several years more.

    You are still dodging the question though, is it honest for his website to still mention 18 to 24 months waiting time?

    Edit: as @Seb Lucas said, the way to resolve this issue is pretty clear
     
  13. eptggkod

    eptggkod New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    All original A2s were made with natural leather that aged incredibly and beautifully to what we appreciate now. Even new- shiny and smooth looking- that character was lurking beneath. The leather Eastman was using 10 years ago will age for 100 years and still look as bland and smooth as a Formica table. They did that ON PURPOSE! Everything about a 2009 Eastman standard Rough Wear 1401p (I know they made some pony hide stuff that showed a bit of character but it was the wrong color- baby vomit beige) was smoothed, straightened and fiddled with until it looked frankly bizarre! The Japanese started making SOME jackets with a bit of character around that time but I'm 100% sure John was the first to consistently try to source leather which looked WW2ish.

    I've handled may original A-2s and pored over thousands of WW2 photos and the only jacket which kinda looks smooth all over is the Security Togs jacket on pg. 148 of Art of the Flight Jacket. The leather used in the 30s and WW2 was never smooth all over- the grainy look of today is everybody trying to make more realistic looking A-2s- to their credit. No one should have to live through the horror of Avirex or club chair leather Eastmans again!

    My point is that John was the first to try to emulate that original jacket look which now everyone has- Aero, Eastman, Kelso etc. He changed the conversation... from "bespoke" and "better than originals" to "Authentic! Just like an original" which everybody claims now. I'm not embarrassed speaking John's praises- I'm old- I've been around this ol' Jacket World and I KNOW John makes by far the best forgeries.
     
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  14. Lebowski

    Lebowski Practically Family

    Messages:
    805
    I very like John's works and highly respect him, his inspiration, his talent, his knowledge and his feeling of perfection!
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  15. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    The funny thing is, no matter how scunnered you are about the wait for a Good Wear, by the time you've got off the phone from talking to John about what he's going to do with your order, his enthusiasm is so infectious that you can't avoid feeling completely excited again.
     
    thekiyote likes this.
  16. red devil

    red devil One Too Many

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    I heard that Saint John went back in time and he is actually the fabled creator of the Original A2!

    I wonder how I would feel if my turn came up.... I would definitely bring up the subject of people getting jumped in the queue for no apparent reason.
    Then again I have no idea how many people in the waiting list will ever get their jacket
     
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  17. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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    Years ago, maybe 3-4, when the waiting list was manageable, John messaged me out of the blue, expressing a mutual interest in UFOs. One of the highlights of my life. He certainly is the type of person one could talk to for hours. Jacketing's a strange hobby. We end up finding people from all over the world with similar niche interests. If anyone asks, no, I am not storming Area 51. But I do want a tinfoil jacket to shield myself from sonic attacks!
     
  18. thekiyote

    thekiyote Familiar Face

    Messages:
    60
    This question is impossible to answer.

    It's a false statement, for sure, but calling it an "honest" statement is trying to reframe the argument in a way that shows John is trying to lie to people. It's like asking someone if they felt bad about murdering their wife. If they're insisting that they weren't the ones who murdered her, they can feel bad about it, but there is no way to answer it without incriminating themselves.

    I know exactly what you mean. John is an insanely likable guy. It's really hard to describe, but five minutes with him on the phone and you can't help but really liking the dude.

    If he were a bit more of a jerk that just stuck to making jackets (like Bill Kelso Mfg or Lost Worlds), he'd probably have more happy customers but a ton less people who are willing to jump on landminds for him on online bulletin boards.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
    nick123 likes this.
  19. willyto

    willyto Practically Family

    Messages:
    965
    Location:
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    This has turned into a whitewashing GW thread.

    It's amazing how easy is to lead people, here comes a supposedly friend of the maker and instead of dragging the maker to this forum by the ears to explain himself or making him write a statement about the current situation that would be sent by email to the customers it's all about basically making him appear like the only person in the universe to be able to reproduce A-2. The japanese makers are trash, the british makers are trash, everyone is trash but the one and only John.

    The japanese who reproduce the american denim to the stitches, to the metal rivets, fit, using the original american weaving machines are shit at reproducing leather jackets because obviously they don't have experts nor originals.

    This message is so disrespectful towards Eastman and Aero and keeps lying about the waiting time. Also treats Carlos as if he was stupid or something, he has already been years in the waiting list and until another thread exploded months ago he didn't even get a reply, he requested then a refund and magically he got a super fast response. I guess the maker just wanted to move him out of the way and one customer less to take care about.

    I'm not on the list nor do I care to own a GW leather jacket to be honest but I've seen and handled one many years ago from a friend and yes it was nice but overrated as so many things that are hyped for years without really any proof.

    Who are these people that claim that JC is the "best". Best compared to what? Are you saying that out of all the makers out there he's the only one that can be considered the best? What about the machinists/designers/patternmakers etc. in japan that make hundreds of jackets a year? Are those lesser than JC, really people?
     
  20. red devil

    red devil One Too Many

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    1,649
    Location:
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    It is true that a lot interesting people post in this forum, thanks to that the meet up we had in London was really fun :)

    I am struggling to see your point here. What does being honest to people have anything to do with feeling bad and good? Are you comparing a way to interact with people to feelings?!
    The website contains a false statement, so leaving it intentionally is dishonest, how is there any attempt to frame anything?

    If anything, I see a lot of attempts from people defending John trying to reframe the conversation by either singing his praises or trying to reject the fault on the customers voicing their discontent.

    And now you are insulting other makers... very classy.
    I have never dealt with Bill Kelso Mfg so I will not comment here, but I have had Stuart from Lost Worlds many times on the phone and he really is a wealth of knowledge regarding our hobby. He has always been very friendly and generous with his knowledge.
    On the other hand his emails are short and to the point while remaining polite and professional.

    Speaking of re-framing the conversation, we just have an example here with you insulting other makers.
     
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