Dunhill, the men’s luxury brand founded in 1887, operates a factory in Walthamstow, London where its wallets and bags are still made by hand

Bourdon House, a gentleman’s hideaway just north of Berkeley Square in London, is often described as the spiritual home of the British leather goods company, Alfred Dunhill. But you can make a case for the brand’s Walthamstow workshop at 32 St Andrews St, a 30-minute drive north, where custom- built briefcases, handbags and wallets have been assembled since 1936.

Alfred Dunhill began his career in 1887 as an apprentice in his family’s London business. He then became obsessed with car racing and started making highquality accessories for the age of the automobile. Not much has changed, although now it is US$1,090 ($1,487) Cadogan briefcases, US$1,650 Boston backpacks and US$5,400 Duke holdalls. It takes, on average, 30 hours to complete one piece.

Today, the luxury goods maker is a subsidiary of Cie Financiere Richemont, which also owns Cartier, Montblanc, Piaget, and Van Cleef & Arpels. In January, Dunhill introduced former Burberry Group executive Andrew Maag as its new CEO. His fellow ex-Burberry alum Mark Weston is the new creative director and previewed the fall 2017 collection in June. “One hundred per cent of everything is new,” Maag said of the collection. But you can still get handmade classics at the Walthamstow workshop — including the company’s beloved Wolseley briefcase, made in the shape of a classic doctor’s bag. — Bloomberg LP

This article appeared in Issue 793 (Aug 21) of The Edge Singapore.