If you’re looking for a quality slim wallet take a look at Fort Belvedere’s new cardholder!
It was an incredibly fun weekend filled with interesting conversations, engaging workshops, and fine dining.
As a parting gift, Gentleman’s Gazette gave me one of their super-realistic boutonnières, along with one of their yet-to-be-released slim wallets.
Given the option of several different colorways, I choose the Fort Belvedere Black Slim Cardholder Wallet with Cash Pocket in Full-Grain Americana Leather.
After almost two months of use, I finally can confidently say that this is the best wallet I’ve ever owned.
About Fort Belvedere
Gentleman’s Gazette’s Raphael Shneider started Fort Belvedere after he realized that many of the vintage menswear pieces that he shared with his YouTube audience didn’t have quality modern variants.
After creating his own line of products, now instead of simply saying, “I bought these cufflinks in a flea market in Munich,” (implying “Good luck trying to find these”), he could say, “Here’s where you can buy something similar.”
Fort Belvedere products aren’t simply copies of items from the golden age of menswear. They are updated with modern sensibilities in mind.
The Slim Wallet is a great example.
Cardholder wallets didn’t exist back in the day for the obvious reason that credit cards weren’t invented yet.
However, Fort Belvedere’s wallet looks like the kind of thing that Fred Astaire or Cary Grant might of carried.
Today, Raphael Shneider, his partner-in-crime, Teresa (his wife), and their team run Fort Belvedere from their home city of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Fort Belvedere Black Slim Cardholder Wallet is, in my opinion, one of the best slim wallets in the market.
If you can stomach the $125 price tag I highly recommend purchasing one.
- Ethically-sourced materials
- Very thin and compact
- English bull leather
- Fold-down edge construction
- Space for 8 cards and cash
- Develops a beautiful patina
- Cut-out thumb slots for easy card access
- High price (for a wallet)
Specs For the Fort Belvedere Slim Wallet
Fort Belvedere’s Slim Wallet is just ⅕” thick.
It has four card slots and each can hold two cards (that makes eight the wallet’s max card capacity). The outer card slot on each side has a notch cut out to easily slide out the cards you use the most.
There is also a central slot for cash (or whatever you’d like).
The wallet provides RFID protection. (Raphael Scheider suggests that keeping your most important cards in your inner slots will probably give more protection than keeping them in the outermost slots).
This wallet has folded edges. This is what it sounds like. The leather at the edges of card slots is folded over rather than simply burnished or even left rough. Around the outside of the wallet, there are double-folded edges (an unusual feature indicative of the high quality of the product).
Folded edges are difficult to do, but make for a longer-lasting wallet and a better user experience.
The wallet is crafted from full-grain English bull leather. Why bull leather specifically? Because bulls won’t have any postpartum stretching (stretching can cause imperfections in the leather).
This wallet uses more than twice as much leather than typical slim wallets (or so Gentleman’s Gazette founder, Raphael Schneider, claims). The inside of the card slots is all leather.
However, the central money pocket does have a viscose lining. This specially-made material is actually better than leather for money pockets as it allows for better ease of use.
A small Italian tannery aniline-dyed the leather. This process actually brings out any natural imperfections, if any, in the leather. It also allows for a beautiful patina to build over time.
My Review of the Fort Belvedere Slim Cardholder Wallet
I must admit, I was initially skeptical that I’d enjoy using a high-end luxury wallet any more than the slim wallet I already owned.
I really like that wallet. When I received it, I thought it was the end all be all of slim wallets.
However, I was wrong.
The Fort Belvedere Slim Cardholder Wallet is even better.
Its hard to explain, it just feels better in my hands and when sitting in a pocket. It feels substantial. It’s quite a bit heavier than my Auroch — that’s probably because of all the added leather. While heavier, it’s still a cardholder wallet (meaning the weight increase is negligible).
This wallet more comfortably holds cards than my Auroch — I’ve yet to have cards fall out.
I chose a black wallet since I’ve been attending more formal events now than in the past. I really like the matte black color. Over time, I feel like it is getting a bit more shiny, but that’s to be expected.
The card slots are arranged horizontally on one side and vertically on the other. This is a thoughtful feature that allows you to be able to immediately identify your most-used cards without even looking.
The cut-out push slots are super handy. They make whipping out my favorite cards easy.
The horizontal slot side features the Fort Belvedere logo. The logo is somewhat large but still subtle. Depending on the lighting, it’s hard to spot unless you’re looking for it.
I’ve used this wallet daily for a month and a half now. It’s weathered long hikes, spills, temporary misplacement, extreme temperatures, a cross-country journey, and much more. In other words, my Cardholder Wallet has taken beatings like a champ.
It is starting to develop a patina (but it’s difficult to notice since I chose black). I can see small scratches and impressions in the leather, as well as slight creasing around the corners. This is all normal and signs of quality leather.
Here are answers to some common questions about Fort Belvedere Slim Wallets:
Are Fort Belvedere wallets worth it?
If you are looking for the best-made leather slim wallet on the market, I think this might be it. The Fort Belvedere Slim Cardholder Wallet is incredibly well-crafted from the best materials.
Where are Fort Belvedere Slim Wallets made?
In response to a YouTube comment, Gentleman’s Gazette wrote that Fort Belvedere slim wallets are made in the “European Union [at] a factory that has decades of experience in making high-end luxury small leather goods.”
Does Gentleman’s Gazette own Fort Belvedere?
Yes, Fort Belvedere is a luxury menswear shop connected with Gentleman’s Gazette.
Is a slim wallet better than a regular one?
Whether a slim wallet or a regular-old bilford is better depends on your needs. If you prefer to always pay in cash, for instance, a slim wallet may not be right for you.
Personally, I really like slim wallets.
Would I recommend Fort Belvedere’s Black Slim Cardholder Wallet to guys looking for the best slim wallet on the market?
Yes! A thousand times yes!
This wallet is absolutely incredible. At the Belvedere Bash, Raphael spoke at length about the long thought-out process of creating Fort Belvedere products. He and his team really know their stuff and are almost obsessive about attention-to-detail craftsmanship.
Not only do they know about leather, design, and ethical manufacturing, being menswear enthusiasts they rigorously and intensively test each product before bringing them to market.
Now for a more difficult question, would I recommend this wallet to the average guy who’s interested in men’s style but on a budget?
The price point of $125 is totally justified considering the quality of the product. However, not all men can justify spending that much on a wallet — even if it is quite possibly the best on the market.
Personally, as someone who recently graduated from college and is on a budget, I’m not sure that I’d buy a Fort Belvedere wallet for myself at this point of my life. However, I’d love (and did love) receiving one as a gift.
Unlike some other menswear accessories, like ties and shoes, the style of which is highly dependent on personal taste, a nice wallet is probably a safe gift for the sartorial-minded man in your life.
Quite honestly, it’s impressive that the only “con” about this wallet I could think of is the price. If you’ve read my other reviews you’d know that that’s unusual. It really is a very well-thought-out and well-made accessory.
All things considered, if you have the money and are in the market for a new wallet the Fort Belvedere Black Slim Cardholder Wallet is the one to get!
What is your favorite wallet style? Are you a billfold man or a slim wallet guy? Let me know in the comments!