Rimowa celebrated its 110th anniversary in 2008 as one of the world’s most famous luggage manufacturers. Rimowa was founded in 1898 by Paul Morszeck, in Cologne, Germany, making suitcases in wood, but already the emphasis was on strong, lightweight materials. In the late 1930s, his son, Richard Morszeck, was fascinated by aircraft aluminium. In 1937 Rimowa marketed the first overseas trunk made of lightweight metal. In 1950 the company made design history, building the first suitcase made of structural aluminium. The sturdy luggage thus became extremely popular with flight crews and airline passengers. The groove design made the brand world famous and is still used today in all Rimowa ranges.
In the 1970s, the third generation and current Managing Director Dieter Morszeck developed a new series of waterproof cases for camera and photographic equipment – perfect for film and television crews (and all spies, mafia men and drug/technology deliveries in the movies) protecting against water, humidity, tropical heat and arctic cold.
In 2000 Rimowa was the first company to produce polycarbonate luggage. As well as being exceptionally light, they are extremely robust.
The polycarbonate material is almost unbreakable as it has an elastic reaction under pressure. As soon as the pressure is removed the case automatically returns to its original shape. This has been a groundbreaking development in the luggage industry – all the other leading manufacturers have scrambled to catch up, but our customers have caught on very quickly.
- The Multiwheel roller system makes the case incredibly easy to manoeuvre, through crowds, or queues. The upright wheeling position also allows you to put your heavy carryon bag on top, leaving you with no heavy load on your arms or wrists.
- The extraordinary weight advantage is terrific when you’re squeezing in just one more purchase, and when you have to lug the case up steps or onto a train, or into a car boot.
- Avoid hefty and increasingly punitive excess baggage fees when you get to the check-in counter and sail under the weight limit yet again.
- Rimowa gives a 5-year guarantee on locks, fittings and castors - Transport (ie airline) damage is not covered under the guarantee and must be dealt with by the carrier.
- All cases come with a TSA combination lock, which can be opened by the United States Transport Security Authority.
Hunt Leather and Rimowa
Hunt Leather introduced Rimowa Salsa to Australia in 2002. Since then we have become dedicated Rimowa fans – the multiwheel Salsas are just brilliant to use.
The service backup from Rimowa is excellent – if needed, parts arrive by international courier within a couple of days. Wheels can be replaced very quickly if they are broken off, normally on the spot in head office.
We handle Rimowa repairs from all over the world – no matter where they were bought – and the same applies to Rimowa that we sell. Our customers can expect service all across the world (depending on time constraints). Note: Polycarbonate is used to make airplane windows and the Popemobile cabin, as well as police protective shields!
Zippers are amazingly strong – we rarely see any problems here – and no wonder, the YKK zippers are made to withstand a tensile load of 110kg per inch, and remain water-repellent even in 10 minutes of a tropical downpour.
Yes, the Rimowa will mark and get dirty, but no more than any other case. In fact, especially on the traditional aluminium cases, the more marks and stickers, the better, it seems to us.
Packing a Rimowa
One of the features we love is how the case “splits” into two when unzipped. This makes unpacking (and finding things) very easy, as you don’t have to dig through the depth of the entire suitcase looking for one thing. You can then divide the case into different categories – eg warm clothes v cold clothes, or clothes already worn, or put all paperwork and catalogues on one side etc.
Pull-up handles are designed for all heights, and “lock” at different heights – great for shorter people, or when you are wheeling the case upright beside you, but the full extra-tall height is crucial if you want to put your wheeled carryon bag on top. The best example of this is the wonderful Rimowa “business trolley”, which sits neatly on top of any size Rimowa suitcase.
Salsa – our best-selling collection, normally in stock in champagne. There are four sizes of multiwheel case, and two wheeled carryons.
We highly recommend the small business trolley, which has dividers and a computer sleeve that are removable, with tie-down straps supplied inside as an alternative, converting this into a super-lightweight, convenient, small carryon case with wheels. It slips easily on top of the suitcase handles, leaving you with one easily manoeuvrable package.
On the original Salsa, there is only one divider panel so, when you’ve packed either side of the suitcase, simply strap the suitcase divider TO THE LID, and flip the LID side over. That way nothing goes flying when you “do the flip”.
Salsa Deluxe – This is the high-end version of Salsa, in a very glossy finish polycarbonate, with more luxurious linings, fully removable, on both sides. These strap down to hold the contents fast even if the case is only half full. The Salsa Deluxe was introduced late 2007 and has been a terrific success here and internationally, so supplies are limited! There is also the added feature of an “add a bag” strap, a very neat retractable clip on the front of the case. We sell brown and red, and a little black.
Topas – the classic aluminium cases, which we carry in the multiwheel 63, 70 and 77, were introduced in the 1950s and have been developed continuously since then. The aluminium is MUCH lighter than the well-known competitor from the USA. It protects against high humidity and temperature extremes, and is still selling well. The aluminium does scratch and show “battle scars”, ie dings and dents, but these are a badge of honour with aficionados.