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On Design—The Swanton Billfold, part 3 of 3

Finding your next wallet

Though they carry far less than their predecessors, we'd argue that the timeless style of a billfold wallet remains undiminished. 

‘Ultimately, I think wallets are becoming more and more like wristwatches,’ says Ben. ‘In the same way that smart phones have diminished the utility of wearing a watch everyday to tell the time, a wallet is becoming less and less necessary and increasingly ornamental as an accessory. But I don’t see either disappearing any time soon. There’s something inherently timeless and stylish about a wallet. It’s something you use every day in public, buying coffee, at dinner, when you hand out your business card, that speaks to your own individual style and sense of detail.’

The Swanton Billfold Wallet in Salz's California Saddle LeatherStyle from simplicity, personality from individuality

‘There’s something personal about the wallet,’ says Rogan Kriedt, AK Salz cofounder, ‘for men a wallet carries your most sensitive or valuable information and lives in between this private and public space where you’re constantly revealing and hiding it and its contents.’

‘I can remember my dad giving me my first wallet in elementary school and how important that felt. I was suddenly old enough to carry my own money, I remember what a sense of independence and personhood I got from that. I think your wallet is always deeply tied to your own identity. A clean, good looking wallet exudes confidence.’

The Swanton Billfold Wallet in California Saddle LeatherTimeless style, modern imagination

When accessories are made from the top quality vegetable tanned leather and designed to last, they eventually take on a life of their own. Natural leather that was once living cowskin continues to emanate warmth and beauty. The color or the leather patinas as it ages, the leather becomes worn and burnished, scars appear and disappear though use.

'When you recognize the intended load of a leather accessory it lasts longer,' Ben explains, 'We've encouraged our customers to embrace the concept of modern carry by designing this functional minimalism into our line. You end up adopting habits that make your accessories last and in the process they become more than a commodity. The article becomes distinctly yours as the leather develops its own character. To us there is nothing cooler than unique character and self-assured confidence. We think it's a very Californian interpretation of style, where imperfections and flaws are embraced as individuality and personality.'

Stitching detail of the Swanton Billfold

Regardless of whether or not you could use a new wallet, your pockets will benefit some introspection. 

Next time you’re at home, sit down with whatever you use for everyday carry. Take everything out of it and lay it on a table. What did you use this past month, what did you use this past week? What are you carrying around everyday that you don’t need?

And once you get down to the essentials, put them back in your wallet. Are parts of your wallet unnecessary? Is your wallet worn out from carrying around too much? Does it tell a story?

Whatever answers you take away from this inventory are your own, but we hope it gives you a strong sense of what matters in what you carry every day. 

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