Well-Known Member
Hi All,

Wanted to share my good fortune with the Forum members. I've just received my first made to order Good Wear jacket! In this case, I decided upon the Monarch W535-AC-23348 Conract A-2 as my jacket of choice. Although there are so many A-2 makes to choose from it was not to difficult for me to decide on the Monarch.

What piqued my interest in the Monarch was it’s unique details of design. Those details I admire include the shape of it’s collar, the lack of a collar stand, it’s inset sleeves, unique Talon zipper and the look of a size 40 A-2 Monarch found on John’s Flight Jacket CD. John was able to satisfy all of my needs with this now completed jacket.

This project started some time ago. It began by my sourcing that same style original zipper that was used exclusively on this same particular Monarch A-2 contract. That zipper assembly is a blackened brass triple marked Talon. Soon thereafter, I was lucky enough to make a Coast to Coast trip which included a visit with Mr.Chapman. During the course of our visit we discussed this pending project and at that time got his project rolling.

John really helped me along with this project. It had been my intension to have this proposed jacket’s hide look as close as possible to a particular original Monarch jacket & as seen here http://www.goodwearleather.com/original ... rch_a2_03/ from JC’s flight jacket CD. At J.C.’s suggestion, to best duplicate the color I was looking for he used his light Russet Shinki horse hide. From there John applied an over dye and a clear coat to the leather to bring out some shine. In addition, to give my jacket even more character and a bit of contrast I decided to utilize dark colored knits and OD thread.

The images I have of this jacket were taken outside and on both different days & light conditions. The true color of this jacket is somewhere between the lighter brown and or the darker reddish brown images. Here are those results:

In my mind, this is one classy A-2 which really exceeded my expectations. I wanted to commend John for doing such an outstanding job! In this case, all I see is quality. John's workmanship is beyond compare. He paid very close attention to detail throughout and I see no flaws. Besides this jacket’s inherent good looks, it is a very comfortable wearer and through his guidance makes for a good fit. Unlike many other A-2 I have worn, both reproduction and original, this jacket’s collar wants to naturally stay open, lay flat to the body and above all does not interfere with head movement.

I hope that you all enjoy seeing this jacket as much as I. Thank you so much!

Cheers, Dave


Well-Known Member
Another amazing jacket from John. Can't wait to see how it wears and breaks in over time. Congrats Dave!


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Yep sure looks nice,I have a Monarch and agree it is a comfortable wear,inset sleeves and relaxed collar goes a long way towards that,nice and trim in the stomach area also
Enjoy wearing it in


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John sure did you right. What a beauty! Eny it brother! I sure enjoy my Monarch. Just a great design.



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TOMG1401 said:
Stunning. how long did you wait?


I appreciate that. This jacket pleases me to no end.

John does not advertise next day service! After all, his jackets are all custom made to order. There was indeed a waiting period & I knew that going into the transaction. However, my wait is now over. In the end, I believe that the results were well worth it :)

Cheers, Dave


Hi Dave,

After reading your post on your new Monarch, I slipped mine on this morning to judge mine by your comments. I agree with you 100%. John's attention to detail is incredible, although mine does not have the blackened Talon zip. Even though this one was not made for me, it fits better than almost any other A-2 that has passed through my hands. The inset sleeves give added mobility while wearing, the lack of a collar stand keeps the collar open at your throat and is more comfortable and the torso is trimmer without being confining. Mine is a size 48, and the extra 3/4" to 1" in body length is great in wearing this jacket with modern trousers with their lower waistline than my size 46 jackets. This makes it perfect for me as an everyday wearer. The fact that Chuck Yaeger's original A-2 was a Monarch makes it have just that extra cache. Mine is in seal HH with OD thread and it is stunning!

Enjoy yours in good health as I certainly enjoy mine!



It's such an elegant pattern. Lovely shape to it. I believe this will definitely me my Goodwear choice. Live the colour, and thanks for a link to the original jackets as well, been perusing it intently.


Well-Known Member
Hi All,

Since my Good Wear Monarch A-2 is now going on it's 6th season of wear I though it might be appropriate to bring this thread back up. As it turns out this jacket I had John create has brought nothing but joy into my life every time I put it on. Moreover, I always look forward to every jacket season because of the anticipation of being able to wear it.

Back in the day and when I contracted with John to build my jacket I flew coast to coast to meet him in Seattle. He was gracious enough to have me over for a visit and talk jackets. The image I have commemorating that day is seen below with John and I in his back yard.
J.C. &  I.JPG

Since that time my only regret is that when I had him build my A-2 is that I did not have him build me two! This fine jacket has done nothing but improve with age. Everything about this jacket is outstanding.

I took the following pictures of my Monarch A-2 earlier today. Please notice how much grain has developed since originally received.

Better yet & besides the hide's now fantastic grain, check out how well the lining and knits have held up.


With every year's wear this jacket's hide continues to break in and get softer and even more grainy.

Notice that the knits have zero pilling

Since receiving I have not used any conditioner on the hide. The OD colored thread has lost much of it's original greenish hue and is just showing signs of having lightened up.

I'm already looking forward to next year so I can break it out again.

Cheers, Dave
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Well-Known Member
Dave, it certainly has been a rewarding experience for you, and it is not difficult to see why. This Monarch is the epitome of class. Thank you for sharing. About a year ago I purchased a Good Wear Monarch from a fellow VLJ member, and I feel the same way about it as you do. Everything on my jacket is the same as yours
except yours has darker knits. Kudos man. One of my all time favorite A-2s.


Well-Known Member
That is one fine jacket, Dave! It is so nice to see how these jackets only get better with wear and age. Thanks for the update and wear it in good health.