Patagonian Inspiration

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Some fantastic customer photos just in from Patagonia taken on arrival at a remote cabin in the stunning fjordlands of Southern Chile. The isolated property, only accessible by sea-plane was where Doug and Kristine Tompkins the force behind some of the biggest outdoor brands including The North Face, Esprit and Patagonia found inspiration, and from where they planned their ground-breaking conservation projects in the region.

Wynnchester customer Trey, a close friend of Doug & Kristine who now owns the ranch, sent these fantastic photos of their arrival at “Tic-Toc” with their reconditioned 1950’s Swiss Army roll-top rucksacks, used for hiking and exploring the stunning wilderness all around in the National Park – the Park which Doug & Kristine were instrumental in establishing, by investing profits from the global outdoor brands, and which the Tompkins Conservation Foundation continues to help develop and preserve.

A truly magical place and one with special significance in the outdoor products industry, as well as in South American conservation. Perhaps a suitable place for these very rare and historic vintage rucksacks to be put to use.

You can read more about the Tompkins’ efforts to preserve the pristine habitats of the region here (BBC) and of Trey’s own stewardship of the region here http://trahanarchitects.com/work/fundo-tic-toc/

 

Patrol Pack: Belt Rig

EXTENDED FUNCTIONALITY: Some new photos showing how our new canvas & leather Patrol Pack is designed to work with a combat belt or bushcraft belt rig – with pouches, knife sheath, fire kit etc, on the belt.

The combat belt attachment function was part of the original Norwegian Army vintage patrol pack design and it works really well either to support the pack’s weight as a conventional “hip belt” but also to give extra stability for more active uses, running, shooting, climbing, skiing, mountain biking etc. Shown here with an original vintage Swiss Army leather officers belt.

For bushcraft and general hiking the belt rig gives the ability to carry extra tools and supplies on the belt in an easily accessible way whilst also being able to remove the pack & belt and tools etc. in one piece to keep everything together if required, or to remove the pack and just carry the tool belt, or vice versa.

Shore Patrol

A few photos from a short walk around shores of the local fly fishing lake in bright autumn weather with our new canvas & leather “PATROL” day pack. Perfect for carrying the essentials for getting out and about: a flask of coffee, permits, field guides and binoculars for birdwatching and a jacket. Full details on the new Patrol backpack available here.

Wynnchester Canvas & Leather Patrol backpack available here.

New: Wynnchester Patrol Pack

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We are very pleased to have recently launched our new canvas and leather rucksack, the Wynnchester Patrol Pack. The design is based on the very rare vintage military classic the Norwegian Army Patrol Pack.

After many years of restoring and repairing these amazing old packs in our workshops, it was a natural choice to begin our long-planned line of new-made canvas and leather packs. Through this initiative, we are aiming to bring back to life in updated forms the very best and rarest vintage military backpacks, many of which are now next to impossible to source.

The knowledge and experience of handling and repairing these packs over the years enabled us to recreate a new-made canvas rucksack which whilst updated for modern use remains true to the original classic in functionality, design, and materials.

A perfect daypack size, whether out in nature or in the urban environment, the new pack features military-grade waterproof canvas, folding 3-panel back system, side attachment straps, leather base, brass buckles and rivets, and thick full-grain leather.

The project has taken over a year to get to this stage but we are extremely pleased with the end result – we feel it really does justice to the original classic and after the first packs have gone out to advance order customers we’ve already had some great feedback:

“This is an absolutely great little pack. I love it . Thanks again.

“The colours of the pack are straight from the woods. I’m really liking it so far.

“I am really impressed! You’ve made a great job of reproducing the pack and I love the attention to detail and craftsmanship. I spent many years in the Royal Marines and the Norge pack was used by so many people. After 30 years, I finally have the day sack I wanted.”

“This is the mother of all daypacks”

Some photos below, and full details and more reviews available on wynnchester.com.

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Swiss Army vintage flask & cup set

Vintage Swiss Army oval canteen set with cork stopper

Vintage SIGG Swiss Army oval canteen

Some photos of our new design for the leather skeleton harness for this set (available here) which is based on an original Swiss Army classic oval canteen set made by SIGG from 1890 onwards (photo above). The cast aluminium flask became the basis of SIGG’s successful water bottle ranges that are still popular today.

This compact oval design was later replicated for the one hundred year anniversary with a modern cup set in the 1990’s  as the “SIGG Classic” (shown below), but not many were made and it is now impossible to find, we’ve been lucky enough to have had a few through over the years which have been passed on to our customers.

Modern replica by SIGG for the 100 year anniversary

We were determined to make this superb form available again, and after trying a lot of different options and being forced to look right across the globe for suitable components we finally landed on this brand new oval flask from legendary Swedish quality brand Primus, paired with a newly made aluminium oval cup, and our specially designed leather harness. Our latest version is made of saddle-tan Spanish equestrian leather which is very close in colour to the Swiss Army leatherwork of the period, with brass rivets, it fits the cup’s butterfly handles better, adds a retaining loop and clip for the flask lid when unscrewed, and a solid brass stud for easier removal from the harness. In response to feedback it’s also designed to be easier to attach side-on to a belt or pack than our previous design. The set is available here.

Props for Boudica Production at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London

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We recently provided some props for a production re-telling the epic iron age saga of BOUDICA at Shakespeare’s globe theatre in London. The production starred Gina McKee who wore our Vintage Swiss Army leather gaiters as part of her costume – shown below. whilst other cast member wore our vintage Italian army canvas & leather gaiters. For further review of the production see Gina McKee Reigns Supreme or view the video and interviews here.

 

 

 

 

 

Vintage Props for WWII Film “ALLIED”

Starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard “ALLIED” is a stunningly-produced WWII spy thriller by highly acclaimed director Robert Zemeckis, based on an original story by British screenwriter Steven Knight. Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard play two agents working together behind enemy lines in North Africa. We were approached by Paramount Pictures early in the project to provide authentic props for the movie including our original vintage Swiss Army rucksacks from the 1940’s.

The film opens with Brad Pitt as Canadian Royal Air Force agent Wing Commander Max Vatan parachuting into the French Moroccan desert before making his way to Casablanca where he will meet up with Marion Cotillard as French resistance agent Marianne Beausejour. The Casablanca setting by Production Designer Gary Freeman and carefully researched authentic period costumes by Joanna Johnstone has deliberate echoes of Casablanca the hollywood classic which itself was released in 1942, the same year in which the ALLIED story is set.

Below are some stills from the movie as Wing Commander Vatan starts his mission and heads off to Casablanca with his customised vintage Swiss Army canvas & leather pack with added side straps and a single bandolier-style shoulder strap, together with other scenes from the movie and from the location filming.




 

 

Some of the vintage props we provided being prepared for shipping:


On location photos (via Twitter):

 

Vintage Props for JUMANJI movie

We were approached by Sony Pictures to provide some suitable vintage props for the remake of the 1990’s classic JUMANJI movie which originally starred the late Robin Williams. Filmed earlier this year on location in Hawaii and starring Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan and Kevin Hart, it’s set to be a rip-roaring super-natural jungle adventure based on the original board-game-becomes-reality story, but this time where the characters are stuck inside a retro computer game found in a basement.

The movie houses are always tight-lipped about exactly what or who the props will be for, but we think they could be for Jack Black’s character as a pith-helmeted Victorian jungle explorer:

UPS delivered the goods again for us taking a large box from our workshop to the temporary production HQ location set up in Hawaii ahead of filming in under 48 hours, door to door. Quite amazing really when you think of how far that is and all the stops a package has to make for a journey like that. Picked up from our workshops in rural Somerset, to the local depot, to the U.K. sorting hub in Gosport, then to Gatwick airport, across the Atlantic, through customs at Chicago airport, from Chicago out to the middle of the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, from the airport to local depot, and safely without damage, delay or incident to the film production HQ. That’s over 7,000 miles, in less than 48 hours.

The official trailer is just out (here) and the movie is set for release at the end of 2017. Meanwhile here’s a few photos released from the set, or via Dwayne Johnson’s Instagram feed:

New Vintage Swiss Patrol Pack Photos

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Some new photos of our Vintage Swiss Army Patrol Pack with new hand made leather shoulder straps made in our workshop. These amazing Swiss Army rucksacks all have the name place and date of manufacture, this one shows made in 1954 by Ernst M’anzi in St. Peterzell, Switzerland.

The original maker’s leather stamp showing this one was made in 1954 by Ernst M’anzi in Wald St. Peterzell, Switzerland.