A Tale of Two (Grovemade) Wallets
Grovemade is well known for their wood iPhone cases and their iconic desk collection. Over the past couple years they have ventured more and more into the everyday carry space offering their minimalist perspective on wallets, keychains, watches, and knives.
Today I want to talk about two wallet products that Grovemade provided for my review. While both wallets have points of stark contrast, they both take a focused and reductive approach to an item that we carry with us at all times.
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The minimalist wallet is Grovemade's first foray into wallets. It is bulkier than the ultra-slim fabric wallet that I've used for the past several years as the aluminum housing creates a nice sturdy heft to it. This isn't a bad thing.
I've had numerous leather wallets over the years and they all began to fray and fail at some point. The sturdiness of the aluminum makes the minimalist wallet feel like it will withstand decades of abuse. And the sturdy, rich black leather that it is wrapped in feels wonderful to hold in your hand.
Grovemade takes a unique approach to the treatment of their leathers, particularly black leather. It is dyed in such a way that even when it scratches it doesn't reveal the light grey undertones that most black leathers do. It scratches to reveal black.
This means the patina develops a personality with each piece as it wears over time but the black on black scuffing makes it still feel like a depth of the same color—something that I appreciate about both of these signature wallets.
Somethings that stands out about the Minimalist Wallet is chamfered edges that were constructed to work with the opening on the back side of the wallet, designed to allow you to slide cards out of the wallet with a press of the finger with relative ease.
This intentionality is forged to the aesthetic and design of the product to make it both functional and beautiful.
The only recommendation I would make regarding this feature is to make sure that you place your most used cards in front so you can easily pop them out without needing to remove all cards from the wallet.
The second wallet that I reviewed is the recently launched Compact Bi-Fold wallet (also in black). This wallet feels more like a traditional bi-fold leather wallet, but with Grovemade's signature flair.
First, the leather is dyed through and through to develop the character of the piece over time as it gets used, scuffed, nicked, and worn. That being said the leather feels absolutely smooth, sturdy, and sublime. I've used lots of leather products from calfskin to goatskin and lambskin, and I'm not sure what kind of leather Grovemade is using but it strikes this perfect balance of the sturdiness you want in a wallet that is at the same time smooth and honed to the touch. The scoring of the inside seam as well as the outer stitching are impeccable and top-quality.
Beaverton, OR based Yonezawa Leather was employed to do the fine precision stitching needed to help this piece come together masterfully.
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Either of these wallets feels like it was built with beautiful but rigid durability to last for years and years. Both have their own unique character and charm and either is suited for the minimalist who wants to carry minimal amounts of cards and cash in durable, functional style.
Here are links (for your convenience) to each item: