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Lee 101 european "premium" series, opinions?

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I wasn't able to find a thread about these jeans so I start one. My first pair of Lee jeans was a late 60s deadstock 200 bought in 1975 (that I still keep in my closet as a relic) and even though in recent years I bought mainly Levis LVC, I still have a nostalgic love for Lee. Ten years ago I bought two pairs of 101z 1952 japan archives, a dry and a "worn" version, and I love them. Now I decided to try a pair of the 101 premium european series. As I already own two pairs of 101z 52 I choose the 101 Rider in dry denim, they have a slim cut, the website says based on a vintage block from the 60s. The denim is a sanforized 13 3/4 left hand japanese twill (lot #49) that is dyed with 13 dips of indigo, and has a bleu line selvage. It's manufactured in Italy, definitely an added plus. The denim is very rigid and stiff and it seems it will require a good work to break-in, it's stiffer than current dry 501 LVCs, it's like the denim I remember in my vintage Lee 200 when they were new. Summing up my first impression is very positive, quality wise I don't find it inferior to the old japanese archives I own, I like the slim cut, the only thing that I don't like is the leather back patch, why don't use the classic Lee patch that they still use in the non-premium line?  Mistery of marketing... What is your opinion?

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Sorry I somehow missed this thread when I started my EU Lee 101 thread a few weeks ago. I scrolled back many pages, and did a title search for the word "Lee" before starting it, but this didn't turn up. Maybe the mods could condense the two threads.

I have MANY pairs of EU Lee 101 jeans, in both the Rider cut and the 101Z cut, plus another oddball one-off cut or two (e.g. Cinch Tapers).

IME, the back patch on these requires restitching by hand, especially at the ends. Every single one has come undone within a week of first donning the jeans. They don't tie off the threads, and they don't stitch enough past the end of the patch. On a few pairs, I've redone the entirety of the patch stitching by hand. On others, I just repair the ends as needed. 

They are not reproductions in the slightest. They are modern cuts, through and through. They came up with their own patch design, which is a fine patch IMO.

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