I have long admired the Ghurka brand for its authenticity and the beauty and construction of its products. I remember when the company first started in the mid-70's and having worked in San Francisco the past 32 years, I would often walk past the San Francisco store (when it was open) and gaze at the window displays. Although I didn't own any Ghurka products at the time, in my mind they stood for a unique and rugged individualism yet were constructed of the finest materials available and handmade to last for more than one lifetime. They were simply exquisite pieces. Little did I know then that I would come to know the brand very well later in life.
Over those ensuing years I was busy with my career and raising four children with my wife, and thus simply lost track of the company among the many other demands for my time and resources. A couple of years ago, though, and with only one child still at home (but about to leave the nest), I wanted to purchase a nice overnight bag that I could use for trips with my wife as we moved into the "empty nester" phase of our lives. As is my habit with any meaningful purchase, I researched over many weeks every single leather weekender/overnight bag on the market (both here and abroad). After countless hours, I concluded, just like I had all those years before, that there was only one choice: Ghurka. The only question was which Ghurka bag to choose! I eventually chose the Express No. 2 in Vintage Chestnut because of its versatility and its place in Ghurka's history.
After making that purchase, I have read everything I can find on Ghurka and have now become a Ghurka collector of sorts. Through incredible good fortune I have since acquired two vintage pieces in remarkable condition: a 1996 Barrister No. 85 and a 1997 Cavalier II, both in Special Leather 38. When I first received them they were naturally scuffed up and worn from normal wear and tear after 20 years of use. But after spending a couple of hours with each cleaning them up and lovingly applying Ghurka Leather Care No. 1, I am absolutely blown away by the beautiful condition of the leather and patina! The leather is so supple and strong, it looks like it could easily last decades more. The pieces are absolutely stunning (see picture with the new Express No. 2) and look like new bags. Every stitch is still in place and the solid brass components (including zippers) are also beautiful to behold and work perfectly.
The quality of these vintage pieces confirmed everything that I had thought about Ghurka and validated my decision to purchase the current Express No. 2. I am a confirmed Ghurka fan for life, and just recently gave the Classic Wallet No. 101 as college graduation gifts to my two sons and as an engagement gift to my daughter's fiancé. I hope they will come to admire the brand as much as I have, and my gift will at least ensure that they have the opportunity to experience and enjoy the products at a much earlier age than I did!