I like the locks found on old english briefcases. They are solid brass and most of them are able to be locked (assuming that the key did not get lost along the way). The option of locking it is not something I have ever used but maybe someone has a reason to lock his bag. Although I don't see a reason for this I do think that it would look funny if there were no keyhole. Much like a chest without nipples or a stomach without a belly button:
|What a freak!|
Unfortunately only one place sells a lock similar to the old design. The liston briefcase lock from www.abbeyengland.com. It comes in a round design and a "3-position" design.
I have only tried the round design and I am pretty happy with it except a few things. They decided to put a lacquer on it. This means that the brass will not oxidize and therefore also not develop a patina. Luckily it is possible to remove the lacquer - something I will be doing on any future briefcase I make. The other thing I dont like is the fact that everybody used this lock. You see it everywhere! I have searched online for old briefcases with similar design lock and although they all are rather similar they all have different small details that sets them apart.
I have a dream that I might be able to make my own lock at some point. A more manageable option could be to modify the liston lock. I like when the hasp is completely flat so I might try to make my own. A friend of mine has a home made CNC machine so if I ask nicely he might be willing to cut it out.
Places to find awesome old briefcases are
nick1974selling on ebay
Here are some pictures to show you what I'm talking about: