My oldest is a Black from 2003 which I purchased pre-owned and it looks fine. Very soft of course, but holding up really well. I also have bags from 2004, 2005 right up through 2012. I don't think any of them look too beaten up and nothing is coming apart. But I rotate my bags often. The bag that I have that has gotten the most use is a 2008 Black Day. That year, black bags faded quite a bit, and mine has. It looks like Anthra. But it has held up very well and it has travelled all over Europe many times over 4 years holding tons of stuff. That indicates to me that Bal bags do hold up.