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Drive By :: Seventy Eight Percent Dimitri

by , December 19, 2014


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We’re no stranger to Hong Kong-based Seventy Eight Percent. We interviewed its founder Shai Levi some time ago and our own John Canfield reviewed the Gustav. This time, we got to check out the Dimitri, quoted as “The Minimalist’s Satchel”. That nickname serves it well.

Dimitri caught our eye in a guest post we did for The Versatile Gent.

“Its simple lines, high-quality materials, attention to detail and interior organizing all make for a big WANT and a great office bag.”

Mr. Zing explored it in office trips for about three months, all the while having it “borrowed” by his girlfriend every now and then.

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The bag is mostly made out of Japanese cotton canvas and vegetable-tanned Italian leather. It has a main compartment with several pockets, a laptop section and a zippered pocket on the back. There’s a canvas and leather shoulder strap that can be adjusted in length and taken off. The bag has a two-step opening/closure system. Metal buckles on the front go through two holes in the top flap; the bag and the top flap both have magnets, so the flap kinda clicks in place. Two leather straps go through the buckles to secure it. Another leather strap serves as a handle. The leather from the straps and the top flap is really thick and stiff at first; after a week or two it gets softer. And the bag comes in no less than 16 color combinations.

Dimitri’s size is 25.5 cm x 37 cm x 8.5 cm | 10.04 in x 14.57 in x 3.35 in and it weighs 0.95 kg, 2.02 lb.

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Who it suits

The Dimitri is a stylish bag and it’s just right for people who don’t have a lot to carry. Once broken in, the leather gets more supple and the bag becomes easier to handle. Even on a bike the bag can be carried comfortably.

“Once broken in, the leather gets more supple and the bag becomes easier to handle.”

Who it doesn’t suit

My 13″ MacBook Pro Retina fitted nicely, my older 13″ MacBook Pro barely fitted and anything larger will cause minor to major fumbling. If you need to carry a lot of stuff or own a big ass laptop, go for something else.

The good

With the Dimitri, Seventy Eight Percent has paid a lot of attention to details. The buckles for the shoulder strap and the stitching are custom, the company name is nicely embossed in the leather and it’s got a great interior.

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There’s a score of pockets inside (while rather small), but they don’t get in the way if you don’t want to use them.

Despite its stylish look, the shoulder strap is still comfortable; the attachment is unusual but the strap holds its ground under some twisting and turning, for example on a bike.

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The leather of the top flap and handles is really thick and has a nice patina; Seventy Eight Percent sells it as a feature.

“Even after a few days of usage, because of opening and closing the top flap, lots of marks began to appear.”

The not so good

There Will Be Patina. Even after a few days of usage, because of opening and closing the top flap, lots of marks began to appear (see photo). For some this will be a feature, for others a flaw.dimitri_patina2

When you take the top flap off, the bag will fall over. We see this as a (minor) design flaw. The concept of the top flap being attached with two straps is nice, but it will fall over.

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Finally, because of its small size, the bag can look rather feminine. In fact, my girlfriend “borrowed” it after a few days. The shoulder strap is just long enough for me (1.85 meters, 80 kg) and might be too short for anyone taller or bulkier.

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Others to consider

Seventy Eight Percent offers the Schults as Dimitri’s bigger brother, if size is an issue. ($625)

From Danish Mismo, the M/S Brief has the same feel to it. ($436 – $545 depending on EU/Non EU)

Jack Spade offers the Waxwear Davis Brief ($378)

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“For short commutes and modest paperwork, the Seventy Eight Percent Dimitri is perfect.”

Conclusion

For short commutes and modest paperwork, the Seventy Eight Percent Dimitri is perfect. It’s a stylish bag made with high-quality materials. It’s got great details, great patina and a decent array of pockets. As it says on Seventy Eight Percent’s website: “a guaranteed compliment generator”. And if you don’t like blue, don’t be afraid: maybe one of the other fifteen color combinations might fancy you!

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Photos courtesy of Marian Herenius Photography

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