I’ve been meaning to replace the wallet I’ve been using for the last three years but haven’t decided on what I wanted next. So when Kelvin of onlyBrown, an online store of men’s accessories based in Singapore, offered to let me review one of their small leather goods I took this as an opportunity to replace my current wallet. My current wallet is small so wider bills had to be folded three times and it wasn’t good for holding many bills. The wallet I am looking for should accommodate wider bills while still having a relatively small footprint. I looked around their catalog and found the Ettinger London mini wallet in navy. Based on the dimensions it was the size I was looking for and had more than enough card slots and compartments.
The mini wallet I chose is part of Ettinger London‘s Bridle Hide Collection using navy bridle leather for its exterior. Bridle leather is called such because it is meant to be used for horse bridles and saddles. This kind of leather is expected to be smooth, flexible and comfortable on both the flesh and grain sides as it will be worn by the horse and sat on by the rider. Bridle leather is also expected to be strong and durable because the rider’s life depends on it not failing. Given the high expectations only the best and toughest cowhides are treated to become bridle leather. Once the hides have been selected it undergoes a labor intensive process of being stuffed with greases and finished with waxes to achieve its unique characteristics.
Unlike traditional bridle leather, Ettinger London uses skins from younger animals as they are finer, have less marks and slightly softer. Such qualities are necessary to make small leather goods to the brand’s standards while retaining some of the characteristics of traditional bridle leather. Ettinger London has also developed their own finishing process to achieve a smoother and more refined look. Oils are added and coloured polishes are used to coat the top layers of the skin. As this process is done by hand it can lead to slight variations in shade, however, strict quality controls are still applied to ensure standards for color and feel are maintained.
The result is a wallet that is pleasing to the touch. The bridle leather keeps the wallet in shape unlike much softer, less sturdy leather. The wallet won’t be subjected to the same conditions as being on a horse but it will be handled many times throughout its lifetime and it’s good to know that this type of leather is built to last. When one opens the wallet it reveals the London Tan panels; a bright and rich shade of yellow that says it’s not all work and no play. This combination of colours give the wallet a distinct personality which will be further enhanced as the leather ages gracefully developing a unique patina.
The Ettinger London mini wallet is a solid replacement to my previous wallet. The attention to detail and craftsmanship is evident in the leathers and construction. The size is just right in that I no longer have to fold large bills and having plenty of card slots is always a good thing even though I like to keep things to a minimum. The London Tan panels are a nice way to show off its playful side which reflects my love of adding color to my wardrobe. It’s a wallet that combines both functionality and flair in a compact package.
onlyBrown is an authorised retailer of Ettinger London. They specialise in fine bridle leather goods from the UK and the colour brown. However, the selection is not limited to brown as the shop expands its range of colours. onlyBrown remains committed to craftsmanship, heritage and exclusivity.