Zero Halliburton First Impressions

I was first introduced to Zero Halliburton in the mid-90’s when they developed a hard-shell cigar humidor. Like any fan of the movies or TV, I was actually introduced them to much earlier albeit without necessary knowing who they were. After all, Zero Halliburton cases have been used in countless TV shows and movies, including Ocean’s ElevenMission Impossible, Inception, Men in Black, and, currently featured in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (there’s a 5+ minute video here of some of its cameos). If you prefer science to science fiction, Zero Halliburton provided slightly modified cases to NASA in 1969 to use on Apollo 11 to safely carry moon rocks back to Earth. So there’s that, plus my cigars; a strong résumé indeed.

As for the history of Zero Halliburton, the quick version is best put by them:

The original ‘Halliburton’ aluminum travel cases were hand made for Erle P. Halliburton’s personal use in 1938. A globetrotting oil field engineer by trade, Halliburton was often disappointed with luggage that failed to protect his wardrobe and documents when exposed to the harsh conditions of extreme dirt, heat and dust. Drawing upon the engineering knowledge of his staff, Halliburton guided the development of the world’s first aluminum cases. These unique cases, equipped with smooth sides and an air-tight sealed gasket kept moisture, dirt and dust out. Friends and business associates soon persuaded Halliburton to make additional cases. As a result, a small factory was opened in Southern California.

Seventy-five years later, I purchased a 4″ Premier Attache in silver (it’s made of anodized aluminum but silver in color) for my recent trip to London. My first impressions:

  1. The briefcase sounds legit. Opening and closing the latches on this thing sounds authoritative; folding the flap of a leather messenger bag just doesn’t.
  2. The model I chose is heavy: 7.7lbs to be exact. If I had to do it all over again, I’d probably start with the lighter weight Geo-Aluminum series here. A similar Geo Aluminum 4″ Attache with a laptop sleeve weighs two pounds less (5.7lbs).
  3. There is something powerful-in-an-eerie way about opening your aluminum briefcase across from someone who cannot see what’s in it. I imagine their mind spinning with ideas about what’s inside: money? drugs? weapons? it couldn’t possibly be just a MacBook, Kleenex, Chapstick, and some receipts from meals?
  4. Other people think you’re important. Really. As I was typing this post in a cafe, one of the employees complimented me on the case, and insisted I was either important or James Bond. I told him I was neither, but he insisted I pick one.
  5. It gets scratched. So does leather, of course, but I have learned to love nicks and scratches on leather from use; I’m sure in time I’ll get used to them on my aluminum case. It will help that the scratches make it seem like the case has been used for things fraught with danger.

In other words, so far, I’m loving the piece. I’ll report back at some point to let you know how it performs over time. I’m invested in it because we have some interesting “after-market” modifications in the works.

Check out the Zero Halliburton collection on our site.

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