For many centuries Walsall has been the center of horse saddles production that supplied the whole British Empire. In 1941 this place gave birth to the factory producing ultimate-quality leather goods branded Launer. Launer has always been concentrated on the quality of its products and was awarded in 1968 for its continuity with a Royal Warrant for manufacturing handbags for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Her Majesty visited the factory and its owner Gerald Bodmer in 1991 and re-issued a Royal Warrant, so that Launer started to supply the whole Royal Family with a full range of its creations. Since then Princes and Princesses of the United Kingdom are often seen with handbags, wallets and other accessories produced by Launer.
Despite the increase of production volumes, the whole manufacturing process from selection of the skins till careful packaging is carried out here, inside the historical building of the factory, owned by Her Majesty and protected by the State. No Launer product has ever been manufactured and will never be manufactured outside these walls as it is one of the components of exceptional quality.
From earliest times, the monarch and court, like any other household, needed goods and services, from making robes to repairing roofs.
Competition for royal favour was intense. Therefore, the monarch had the pick of the country’s most skilled and talented tradespeople. The first rewards for this loyal service were Royal Charters granted to the trade guilds, later known as livery companies. The earliest recorded Royal Charter was granted by Henry II to the Weavers’ Company in 1155.
But it was Queen Victoria who ensured Royal Warrants gained the prestige they enjoy today. During her 64-year reign, the Queen and her family granted more than 2000 Royal Warrants, eight times as many as the Queen’s uncle, George IV. They included companies such as Fortnum & Mason, Schweppes, and Twinings, which still hold Warrants today.
The warrant enables the supplier to advertise the fact that they supply to the Royal Family, so lending prestige to the supplier. Warrants are currently granted for the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.To qualify for a Royal Warrant, tradesmen must supply and charge the member of the Royal Family concerned, or their Household, with products or services in significant quantity over a period of at least five years.
The Royal Warrant of Appointment has always been a symbol of excellence and quality much treasured by those to whom it is granted.
Launer has been supplying the Royal Household since 1968 and was then granted a Royal Warrant by Her Majesty the Queen.
Making a Launer product takes great skill aquired through experience.
One of our beautiful Traviata handbags take up to eight hours to make. We use the best quality leathers and fittings; our leathers are calf, lizard, ostrich and crocodile. Our fittings are designed by us and made in brass, which are then gold plated.
The leathers are carefully cut and split. All the parts are cut and separately assembled before being turned into an item. Each piece of leather goods is assembled by one expert craftsperson.
All our leather goods have turned edges, which makes them uniquely British.
We pride ourselves on our quality. Each item is carefully inspected at all stages of manufacture. We have skilled machinists who ensure that all the stitching is even and straight.
Our design team is led by Sue and Gerald Bodmer, who travel throughout Europe, looking for design trends.
Our pattern makers turn the designs into reality, creating a classic Launer item with style and elegance.
We are proud to supply Her Majesty The Queen and also have The Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales as customers.
As all our products are handmade, we are able to offer our cutomers the opportunity to order unique versions of our designs be selecting the leathers used. At Launer, we use only the finest quality leather and colours can vary slightly, however we have a wide range to choose from.