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 Ltd. 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, then became obsessed with car racing and started making high-quality accessories for the age of the automobile. Not much has changed, although now it’s $1,090 Cadogan briefcases, $1,650 Boston backpacks, and $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 SA, which also owns Cartier, Montblanc, Piaget, and Van Cleef & Arpels. In January, Dunhill introduced former Burberry Group Plc executive Andrew Maag as its new chief executive officer. His fellow ex-Burberry alum Mark Weston is the new creative director and previewed the fall 2017 collection in June. “One hundred percent of everything is new,” Maag said of the collection. But you can still get handmade classics also at the Walthamstow workshop—including the company’s beloved Wolseley briefcase, made in the shape of a classic doctor’s bag.