They are obviously trying to capture an upmarket shopping experience from the past.
Nostalgia for a (sometimes imaginary) golden age is a popular selling technique. Though Brooks can at least lay claim to a long history in its own right.
The obverse of the sleeve shares the writings of the Brooks originator. The image was taken in bright sunshine which may have obscured the fine print unduly. I shall try again, in bright overcast, to bring out the text.
Presentation really is first class. The saddle being held firmly to a stiff printed card with three tie-wraps/zipties. Allowing removal for examination and return to the packaging without damage. While adding a very large card to avoid shoplifting?
The 'B17 Champion Special' warrants a free tension C-spanner and waterproof cover but no Proofide. (The more expensive 'Select' models have both a spanner and cover and also a tin of Proofide enclosed)
Proofide goes a long way so my stocks from previous models will probably suffice.
I have no plans to cheat this time. As I had to with the NOS 'Professional'. Which had been sitting in a warm storeroom for years. Allowing it to bake dry to an unflinching rock hardness.
The 'Select' received only a first coat of Proofide underneath and then nothing more. (Except repeated retensioning)
The side view of the gorgeous tan leather, copper chassis rails, perfectly chamfered skirts and hand hammered rivets. The rivets are set just below flush to avoid sharp edges catching the rider's clothing. Nor protruding to make the smooth leather curves uncomfortable.
I have now applied a good coat of Proofide to the undersides with my fingers. Only a thin smear went on the topside as suggested by Brooks themselves. I will leave it overnight and then polish the top only with a soft cloth before riding it.
Comparison of the undersides of the B17 'Special' and B17 'Select'. Copper plating and powder coating respectively.
Brooks advice is to apply only Proofide at shorter intervals during the break-in period. Then at less frequent intervals after that. Proofide does not actually waterproof the saddle. It feeds the leather to maintain flexibility and to avoid it drying out and cracking. Proofide also has the important advantage of reducing the initial slipperiness. The leather should not be allowed to get wet. If it should be exposed to heavy rain then it should be allowed to dry naturally without added heat.
Riding it while wet may cause it to stretch and deform. A supermarket carrier bag is often the easiest ploy if you need to protect the saddle in a sudden downpour. Sitting on the saddle while it is raining should protect it unless you ride without a rear mudguard on a bike. Fortunately a delta trike doesn't spray the saddle. It only sprays the rider as he hangs off on corners.Which may inadvertently transfer wetness to the saddle when resuming a normal riding position. Mudguards will avoid any of these problems.
Brooks has sometimes been criticised for the shortness of the parallel sections of their rails. This limits the potential for-and-aft movement. Perhaps their ancient wire bending machines cannot produce any other shape? Those who want to add a clamp-on saddlebag carrier find they cannot fit the clamp for lack of free rail space.
Older cycles often have very relaxed frame angles. Making saddle adjustment a vital necessity in riding comfort and body/knee/pedal geometry. There are set-back and set-forward seat posts available to help overcome this problem. Though often the saddle post is very carefully chosen for historical reasons. To remain absolutely true to the period when the cycle was new. There is considerable interest in restoring machines to original condition down to the very last detail. An older machine, which would have automatically used a Brooks saddle, may not provide an efficient riding position. At least, not by modern standards.
I remember as a teenager always having my saddle pushed forwards to the very limit of its adjustment. The 1954 Higgins has me so stretched out that I now need a very short stem for comfort. This is despite having the saddle at its forward limit. Yet the Higgins has a small frame and I'm 5'10" with arms long enough for my fingertips to almost reach the top of my kneecaps when standing upright. Perhaps this lack of reach is an "age thing" as my back stiffens up with wear and tear.