When I saw The Architect’s Wallet on the Form Function Form website, I knew it was something that we had to review here, even though we don’t typically delve into the world of wallets. This isnt just a wallet though, its a minimalist wallet that also wraps two of our favorites, the Fisher Space Pen and a Moleskine Volant mini notebook effortlessly into the design. Considering that the Fisher Space Pen and Moleskine Volant mini are two very popular and handy items, this wallet is a no brainer for anyone looking to have a reliable pen and notebook with them at all times. A big thanks goes to Shawn for sending over this free sample for review purposes. It goes without saying but the review here is based on my honest opinion after using the wallet regardless of the generosity of Shawn sending over this review sample.
The first two photos you see in this review are of the Architect’s Wallet without the Moleskine Volant Mini inserted in it. I wanted to give you a good look at the wallet as a whole and also let you see the quality craftsmanship close up. The Architect’s Wallet is completely hand made and is produced using Chromexcel leather, which is specific to the Horween Leather Company and you can read more about here. Essentially though, Chromexcel leather has one great benefit for a wallet, which is that it will mold and flex to the contents inside of it. It’s also highly durable and was even used for the engine seals on tanks in World War II. Since I’ve only had the wallet for a few weeks, I cant speak to it personally, but this type of leather is also known to age well and look great.
So now here is the Architect’s Wallet loaded up with some credit / debit cards, some cash, and of course with the Moleskine Volant Mini and the Fisher Space Pen all together. Its a surprisingly thin and compact set up and definitely makes for a slim addition to either your front or back pocket. I personally prefer using my front pocket for my wallet, but I did also keep it in my back pocket for testing purposes and had no issues. Having this wallet, pen, and notebook in my pocket did not create any unexpected bulk and was in fact quite unnoticeable as far as wallets go. The only occasional hiccup came if and when I got the corner of the notebook snagged on the edge of my pocket if I wasn’t careful slipping it in. This was easily remedied by me actually paying attention to what I was doing, and getting used to how the wallet feels and was positioned in my hand over time without looking at it.
When you slip the back cover of the Moleskine Volant Mini into the Architect’s Wallet, it creates an internal divider so you can have some cards and/or drivers license on the back side with the thumb slot and some additional cards and cash inside covered up by the closed notebook. Notice the nice thick thread used to stitch the two sides of the wallet together. In this picture I actually swapped out the black notebook that came with it and replaced it with a blue one instead. Its nice having a wallet that you can also accessorize with the various colors of notebooks that are available.
Having used the Architect’s Wallet with pen and notebook on and off for a few weeks its definitely getting that comfortable and worn in feeling, which is great. You can see here that the bottom corner by the Form Function Form logo (the F with the tricolon) is starting to round out a bit where the corners of my credit cards are happily living. The thumb slot which remains exposed when the Moleskine Volant Mini is inserted is ideal for your drivers license or whatever card you want to have the quickest and easiest access to. I was able to quickly and easily remove /insert my drivers license on the few occasions where bouncers at a bar seemingly thought I could possibly be about 16 years younger than I really am. Don’t mind the yellow post it scrap thats covering up my address on the driver’s license.
A few days ago I had mentioned how I was sometimes made fun of by friends when I practice Bring Your Own Pen or BYOP, and this wallet really helps to make that a cleaner and neater process. Instead of having my Fisher Trekker Space Pen dangling off a key chain, this provides a nice tucked away place for the pen to live. The cap itself is is held inside the small sleeve by friction and I have not felt it budge one bit after many multiple capping and uncappings of the pen. It goes in and out effortlessly, but seems to be quite firmly in place. You can see I was using this as a place for my running grocery list which is great because having the notebook and pen handy at all times means its always easy to add something to the list as you think of it.
In terms of using the notebook I had to break out of my normal mode of treating every notebook as if it had to remain in pristine condition. I found that going the brute force route and just folding over the Moleskine Volant mini cover to the back of the wallet when I wrote it in gave me a much more steady grip to be able to write on it.
I should also mention that the wallet comes shipped inside of a box and inside of a light weight canvas-like bag with drawstrings. Overall this is really a great wallet that is superbly constructed, looks great, and is probably going to become my every day wallet. I’d highly recommend the Architect’s Wallet for anyone that wants a unique, durable and high quality wallet that gives them the convenience of also having pen and paper on hand at all times.
One last thing besides the amazing quality and super practical nature of this wallet that you should know about is the quality and character of the folks behind it. There was some fakery and deception going on with a Kickstarter project where someone stole images of the Form Function Form button stud watch band, and tried to pass them off as their own to scam people out of their money. Shawn, who is the creator of these great wallets, and equally cool button stud watch bands stepped in and offered to send over some of his very own hand made products to those that could show that they contributed to the fraudulent Kickstarter campaign and were left in the hole. Kudos to a great guy that makes a great quality and highly practical product. Check out the Form Function Form website to grab your own Architect Wallet, and you can check out the 3 other styles of wallets that they have as well.