[dropcap size=small]P[/dropcap]remium luggage brand Tumi made the news when its $2.5 billion buyout by Samsonite was announced earlier in 2016. Many wondered if this meant the quality and make of the New Jersey-based firm’s products would deviate in the name of progress.

Which is why the release of their first-ever aluminium-bodied product, the 19 Degree, had The Peak raising an eyebrow. While the eye-catching contours and sturdy nature have our approval, aluminium is more the domain of rivals Rimowa and Halliburton. To branch out abruptly from their modus operandi hints at the plans Samsung has for its new subsidiary.

Yet Tumi’s creative head, Victor Sanz, refutes that notion. “The introduction of the 19 Degree Aluminum collection was conceptualized prior to Samsonite acquiring the brand,” he says. “The timing simply happened to coincide.”

With that theory laid to rest, Sanz reassures us: “We will continue to keep the brand’s DNA in every single product we made while updating the silhouettes, the styling and paying particular attention to every little detail and touch point.

“The brand continues to evolve every season, and we are always looking at ways to elevate our product through material innovation—from various leathers, textiles, trims and hardware details.”

That attention to detail seems to hold true in the designing of the 19 Degree. The luggage has die-cast corner caps for additional protection, and comes with TSA locks. The handles are wrought out of aircraft grade aluminium. The four dual-spinning recessed wheels are engineered for maneuverability. The shown styles, offered in silver and matte black, will retail for $995 -$1,395 (S$1385 – 1940) at TUMI retail stores worldwide and on their website, and sales begin November.