- Buyer's Guide
Drive By :: Octovo Purist Wallet
As readers of my reviews will know, I am a bit obsessed with minimalist wallets. My go-to up to this point was DODOcase’s very capable leather wallet. To me it was everything I wanted or thought I wanted, until the Octovo Purist Wallet came along. A bifold that’s slim, sleek and well built, it’s everything I want a bifold to be. Perhaps that’s why it’s become almost a second skin to me. Read on to see how I fell in love with this wallet.
Who It Suits
The individual who wants to make an impression without carrying the bulk.
Who It Doesn’t
If you’re a keep-every-receipt or a ton-in-my-wallet kind of person, look elsewhere.
It’s fair to say that I’m in love with this wallet and for good reason. Just slightly bigger than my palm folded, the wallet perfectly balances size with function. It’s big enough to carry your essentials but small enough not to add any unwanted bulk or bulge in your pocket. As with all great minimalist wallets, you forget it’s even there.
“…I fell in love with this wallet.“
What struck me most was the simplicity and elegance by which the folks at Octovo created the Purist. It looks and feels (thanks to that fine Italian leather) like something a bigwig would whip out as they throw down their American Express Black card. And yet with a price tag of $105, it’s more than accessible for the masses. It exudes luxury and class without being over the top. The simple logo branded in the corner reinforces that aesthetic and ethos.
“It’s big enough to carry your essentials but small enough not to add any unwanted bulk or bulge in your pocket.“
When you open it up, you’re greeted with a simple array of options. Card or cash, all accessible instantly without any fuss or hassle. The reason boils down to great design. Each side of the wallet comes up just short of the fold to help reduce bulk when folded but also to provide a “seam”, if you will, to see what cash you have. When you go to grab for the bills, that side opens up like a flap to make access a breeze. This isn’t one of those wallets where you have to go through the cash like you’re opening up a pistachio nut.
“It exudes luxury and class without being over the top.”
“When you go to grab for the bills, that side opens up like a flap to make access a breeze.“
As you’ll find in the Weekender Bag as well, each Octovo product is loaded with small details. For the Purist, it’s binding on the sides and top so there’s no directly exposed edge. The color blends so well you don’t even notice it. Speaking of color, a fun detail I enjoyed was how the stitching color blended into the cognac leather but contrasted with the lighter tan money section, as if shining a light on that particular area.
One more fun fact about the details: they developed an unboxing experience about the wallet that I haven’t had before. You open the box and there she is, the Purist in all her glory. Underneath is a card (quite unexpected I might add) followed by, drum roll, a dust cover. When was the last time your wallet came with a dust cover? Exactly.
Last but not least, it’s the construction, durability and patina. This wallet has not had one single thread fray or shown any signs of wear. It’s like your grandfather’s leather jacket that is passed down through the ages. It’s that well built. And the patina will ensure it’s truly one of a kind.
“This wallet has not had one single thread fray or shown any signs of wear.“
The Not So Good
I’m going to be honest, I struggled to really figure out what to put in this section. The experience as a user for this wallet was so good that nothing popped up. But there were a few small quirks that I did find.
To me, the most egregious was the over-branding that took place. Coming from a company obsessed with the details, I found it a bit odd that they branded the internal fold with both the logo and name. I found it both unnecessary and distracting from everything else that the wallet set out to accomplish with its class and style.
“I found it a bit odd that they branded the internal fold with both the logo and name.“
The other one is no direct fault of the wallet but something to bring up in today’s modern age of NFC and RFID credit and building access cards. They don’t all play nice together. Especially when put into such tight proximity to each other. A few times the bus or building reader would be, shall we say, fussy about granting me access. This isn’t a fault of the wallet but it did take a little bit of time to figure out what card to put where to reduce this friction.
Others to Consider
If you’re not fully convinced or want to do some comp shopping, be sure to check out Bellroy’s Low Down Wallet. It’s from Bellroy. Enough said there. To stay on the classy train, I would recommend Tanner Goods’ Utility Bifold. The quality, leather and color is distinctly TG. Last but not least is Saddleback Leather’s Small Bifold, a great option for a leather bifold that carries just the essentials.
As much as it pains me to say it, I’m putting the DODOcase away for my new go-to wallet, the Purist. For only $105, it’s an unbelievable bargain. For our European friends, we don’t want you to feel left out. The fine folks at Octovo have a European version of the Purist which is well worth checking out. Last but not least, for a small company locally based here in SF, I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.