Oberwerth William Camera and Messenger Bag review – a timeless classic

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REVIEW My grandpa was a photographer and leather camera bags will always remind me of him so when Oberwerth offered their William Camera and Messenger Bag for review I had to get it because it looks like a bag he always carried. Let’s see what the Oberwerth William Camera and Messenger Bag has to offer.

What is it?

The Oberwerth William messenger and camera bag is handmade in Germany from velvety soft German leather. It contains a padded insert that can fit a few lenses and camera body for daily photography needs. Remove the insert and it transforms into a daily messenger bag for work or play. It is available in black, dark blue, or dark brown.

What’s in the box?

  • Oberwerth William Camera and Messenger Bag
  • Storage bag
  • Care card with snap buckle tool

Hardware specs

  • Model: William in dark brown
  • Weight: 1430g or 3.15 lbs
  • Inner Dimensions: 34.5 x 23.5 x 11.5 cm / 13.6 x 9.25 x 4.5 inch (WxHxD)
  • Outer Dimensions:  37 x 26 x 15 cm / 14.5 x 10 x 6 inch (WxHxD)
  • Laptop Pocket: 14.2in x 10.2in, fits up to 13in laptop or 11in tablet in padded exterior pocket
  • Interior of the bag can accommodate up to a 13” laptop or 15″ MacBook
  • Materials: Cotton and soft German cowhide

Design and features

The Oberwerth William bag is from their Casual Line of photography focused bags. It is elegant and casual with classic good looks that will stand the test of time. There really is no substitute for well made leather and the Oberwerth William is made from tumbled, full-grain cow-hide leather. It has a soft feel and a sporty, elegant look.

As a camera bag, the Oberwerth William has enough space for a DSLR camera body, lenses, and other photography equipment such as flashes or batteries that you’ll need for the day. 

Even with the camera insert you can fit up to an 11” tablet or 13” laptop in the laptop pocket. The padded insert is removable and is covered with hard-wearing, water-resistant Cordura and lined with soft padding. There are two padded Velcro dividers to customize storage. 

If you don’t need your camera equipment that day or want to move it to a bigger bag, the insert can be easily removed as it is secured with Velcro. The Oberwerth William doubles as a classy and lightweight business bag. There is enough interior space with the insert removed for up to a 13” laptop or 15″ Apple MacBook. Internal pockets can accommodate documents, notebooks, and other items. 

The cotton shoulder strap with leather shoulder pad is adjustable and very comfortable.  There’s a Velcro strap on the back to attach to a rolling suitcase. Right above the strap is a zippered external pocket for documents. On the inside, there is a strap with a clip to attach your keys.

There is a side pocket on the left side for pens or small items. Unfortunately, it is not big enough for a water bottle or coffee mug. There is also a small internal pocket on the left side as well. The snap buckles work well and feel like quality components. Oberwerth includes a little tool to remove them or to tighten if needed.

What I like

  • Handmade in Germany
  • Quality materials and classic design

What I’d change

  • Little larger end pocket to fit a water bottle or small tripod

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Final thoughts

I love it! At $949 it isn’t cheap but you can instantly tell the Oberwerth William Camera and Messenger Bag is a high-quality, well-made item that will last a lifetime or two so in that regard it is well worth the price. It has a classic style that will never go out of fashion and is a perfect size for daily work or weekend photography outings. If you want a bag you can use every day for the rest of your life the Oberwerth William is the bag for you.

Price: $949.00
Where to buy: Oberwerth website
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Oberwerth.

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