SUITCASES only have a short 120-year history, but in this time, they have evolved and developed to reflect every era of travel.
In the age of steamships, the earliest suitcases were in fact cases specifically for men’s suits and maybe a hat compartment. Now, travelers are accustomed to luggage with secret compartments, nifty locking mechanisms, and even bulletproof materials.
Perhaps the biggest change in suitcases over the years is the addition of wheels in the 1970s, when inventor Bernard Sadow patented the design.
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Today, suitcases are a mix of ingenuity and style, and often those with the highest price tag have the perfect amount of both those elements.
Here are the world’s priciest and most luxurious suitcases:
Globe-Trotter Centenary Trolley Case (US$1,950)
Resembling something you may find in your granny’s attic; this suitcase was designed to commemorate Globe-Trotter’s 100-year anniversary.
The style of the Centenary Trolley Case matches the unmistakable first designs of Globe-Trotter’s suitcases which emerged back in 1897, including wrap-around straps, leather corners, and sturdy handles.
While it features two hide-away wheels for easier maneuverability, this very case retains its heritage as it’s sewn together on original antique sewing machines.
Owning a Globe-Trotter case means joining an enviable clientele which includes Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth II, and Edmund Hilary who took his up Mount Everest.
Available at Harrods.
Louis Vuitton Horizon 70 (US$3,310)
No list of the world’s most luxurious luggage would be complete without a mention of Louis Vuitton.
For over a century, Louis Vuitton has been a staple of luxury on both the catwalk and the airport runway. The brand is constantly developing to suit the needs of the modern luxury traveler and most recently, it came up with the elegant, yet practical Horizon 70 suitcase.
The suitcase comes in an array of colors and can be personalized with the monogram of your initials.
Available at Louis Vuitton.
The Chesterford by Swaine Adeney (US$4,740)
Renowned as one of the best bespoke luggage makers in the world, Swaine Adeney Brigg Windsor has been creating elegant suitcases since 1750 for a respectable client base including Prince Charles.
Each suitcase is made to order and come in a variety of quaint colors such as Chestnut (displayed above), Royal Blue, Havana, Jaguar Green, black and London Tan.
If you fancy yourself as an English gentleman or gentlewoman, this is the bag to be seen with.
They also sell a mini suitcase specifically to carry bottles of spirits.
Available at Swaine Adeney Brigg Windsor.
HENK TravelFriend Suitcase (US$30,000+)
When Dutch businessman Henk became frustrated with the lack of fine quality, durable and luxury briefcases on the market, he set about making the most stylish, high tech briefcase/carry-on bag the world has ever seen.
Oh, and it’s bulletproof.
Each case is made to order which can push the price up depending on which color leather, size, locking system, and secret compartments you choose, among an array of other cool customizable features.
Available at HENK.
Tecknomonster Vitus Trunk Set (US$125,700)
Created with the transatlantic business traveler in mind, the Tecknomonster is the only suitcase of its kind in the world.
The trunk comes with a wheeled cabin trolley, but that’s not what makes it so expensive.
The main trunk is made from glossy carbon fiber material with brass closure mechanisms, crocodile skin handles, and a quilted leather interior. But it’s what’s inside the trunk that qualifies it to be priced on par with a small house.
It’s essentially a small walk-in closet, fitted with three sliding draws, a wardrobe and hangers, and several smaller pouches for watches, belts, jewelry, and cufflinks.
We’re not sure we would trust baggage handlers with this one.
Available at Harrods.
***This article first appeared on our sister publication site Travel Wire Asia