I'll be receiving a shipment of Cardiff Gull saddles late next week in both brown and black. Those who prefer traditional leather saddles have little choice outside of Brooks, and Brooks prices continue to rise (they just went up again) so it's nice to see another manufacturer of leather saddles. The company producing the Cardiff saddles has been in the furniture business for some time and the saddles are a new venture. My concern with leather saddles is how much and often they'll sag, which directly corresponds to how long they'll last. My inside info on the Cardiffs in that after and initial break-in the saddle needs to be tensioned a little, after which they're fine. Tensioning on the Cardiff is done with a common tool, so no need to buy a special spanner.
The Gull model is roughly the same width and shape as the Brooks Swallow (153mm wide) so it isn't right for a bike with the handlebars and saddle even . But for bikes with a fair amount of drop the saddles will work well. There are plans to make a B17-ish saddle in the future, which would be wise. I'm thinking that the Gull will end up on a lot of fixed wheel bikes, whose younger riders often pine after a Swallow but can't afford the price tag.
These saddles have been tested and the reports I have sound promising. At $100 vs. $265 for a Swallow the appeal of the Gull is basic. Here's a picture.
I made a relatively small order and am holding off on placing a large order until I can test the saddles myself. I've been told by the distributor that Grant Petersen at Rivendell has been testing one for some time, so I'll try to get his input as soon as I can. I expect the stock of these to go fast. If all goes well and I'm confident in the quality I'll order as many as I can afford. I'll try to find out some more information about the company making the saddles and post an update when they arrive.
As mentioned, Cardiff Gull saddles will be $100.