***Use the code “wellbuiltstyle” without the quotations for 15% off your entire purchase at Anson Calder***
(Note: we are not receiving any incentives from Anson Calder for this code or for this review).
During the past year, I’ve been looking to upgrade the way I carry my cards and cash but just haven’t been able to find something that really caught my eye. We’ve talked about the folly of over-stuffing your wallet and have recommended either a card case wallet or a money clip. I have been using a money clip for the past few years but because of my OCD tendencies and inclination towards a more organized approach, I didn’t like the lack of organization that comes with a money clip.
Luckily, a few months ago, I stumbled upon a kickstarter campaign for the Anson Calder 1/8” wallet. That’s right, its only 1/8 of an inch thick. It’s full dimensions are a compact 2⅝” x 3¼” x 1/8″. However, they claimed that it would match the functionality of a traditional bifold/trifold wallet. It seemed that my desire for a minimalist approach along with order and functionality came together perfectly. And after a few weeks of use, I can safely say that I have found a winner: this is a high quality, beautiful looking and highly functional slim wallet that is reasonably priced.
I purchased the wallet during its kickstarter campaign for $85 but now it retails at $125. However, with the 15% discount code “wellbuiltstyle” the wallet for you guys is $106. Not bad if you ask me.
Quality and Aesthetics
The wallet only uses the finest materials. We’ve talked about the importance of high quality leathers when picking a dress shoe and when picking a wallet, the same rules apply. The Anson Calder wallet is made from the highest quality leather consisting of full-grain French calf skin from a French tannery that’s been working with leathers since the 16th century. A quality leather means that the leather will look and age better, feel softer, and have a longer lifespan.
The fine details speak to the quality of the craftsmanship. Firstly, it’s made in the US and not by a sweatshop overseas. They use a high quality German thread for the stitching to help ensure the durability of the wallet. Another feature is that they burnished the edges of the wallet. I did some research into this process and it’s a time intensive process of polishing the edge of the leather to make it more aesthetically pleasing but more importantly, preventing the leather from fraying.
Upon opening the package, the wallet was a bit stiff and tight but this was to be expected as leathers will typically have a “break-in” period. The most accurate way to determine the quality of a leather how it “matures” over time. One of the things to look for is whether there is a development of a “patina.” A leather patina is a soft sheen that starts developing over a quality leather over time and gives it its character. Over a few weeks of use, the wallet has become soft and supple and has developed a nice looking patina sheen:
Functionality and Utility
So the wallet is beautiful but is it functional and does it make good on its utility promises? Yes it does.
One of the best features of this slim wallet is the cut-out which allows you to slide your cards upwards with your thumb and fan them out. It’s a really simple feature but it allows me to easily slide out my cards in a staggered manner and identify which one I need at the time.
Despite its size, the wallet has 3 compartments allowing for a good amount of storage. I store my most frequently used cards in the front compartment to allow for sliding, the middle compartment I store my infrequently used cards, and the back compartment is similar to the front one, but allows for a “cash slot” option which is what I opted for. If you choose not to go for the “cash slot”, the back side would be like the front and you can just put more cards in it. The rear cash slot can comfortably accommodate 3, maybe 4 folded bills.
They said on the website that the wallet can hold around 9 cards and this seems about right depending on how you use it. If you do carry 9 cards, the wallet will definitely be tight and there won’t be room for cash in the cash slot. In my experience, I can comfortably hold 5-6 cards while holding about 3 folded bills. If you carry a few less cards, you can add a few more bills to the middle slot. Unfortunately, because this is a slim wallet, you won’t be carrying stacks of cash with you.
(Update: a few weeks after this review, the wallet softened up even more and I had no problems carrying 6 cards and 5 American bills in the cash slot at the same time)
As for the security of the wallet, the cards fit snugly and are secured in place. As long as you carry 2 or more cards in the front slot, your cards will not be falling out.
Even after the 15% discount making the wallet $106, it isn’t cheap. But like most things of quality, you pay for what you get. Compared to other luxury card-holders and slim wallets on the market, the Anson Calder wallet is extremely reasonably priced. For example, here is a sample list of card-holders from Nordstrom along with their prices:
For a card-holder made with real calf skin, you’re looking at well over $200. I’d say that most designer brands produce products that are greatly over-priced for their quality and you’re merely paying for the name. All of these luxury brand labels cost at least double the price of the Anson Calder wallet and some of the leather and quality is inferior. In addition, these typical card holders lack the functionality of the features of the Anson Calder.
I’m thoroughly impressed with the Anson Calder 1/8″ wallet. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to upgrade their wallet to something that’s highly functional, beautiful and will only look better with time.