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Product Review: Machine Era Wallet

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The Machine Era wallet is a "minimal wallet" made of aluminum and big enough to accommodate six cards in its tray. There is a very sturdy elastic band that keeps even a single card securely in place. It's not quite snug enough to hold one business card, but anything with the thickness of an ID or credit card should hold.

While one can certainly stretch the band to fit more than six cards, the band is very taught and the cards in the middle will be hard to remove without pulling all of the cards out. I have dropped it once already from constant handling and the cards did not budge. So you kind of have a trade off here in the simple design and super easy card access.

And that is the one big drawback to the design, retrieval of any but the top card. If you have an array of cards you seem to cycle through in a day, this is not going to work for you. I think the addition of a thumb slot to push the bottom cards out from the "bottom" of the wallet would have made a nice compensation.

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Fit and finish is impeccable. The black version seems to easily pick up scuffs but nothing permanent, they wipe away just by rubbing my thumb over the streaks. It is also very rigid, which makes it feel as though the cards are well protected despite being exposed.

Because it is made of aluminum the Machine Era Wallet is able to block RF proximity cards. However, because it is open on one side, you can still wave the wallet with the exposed face towards the sensor. For a certain amount of added security, place the wallet with the exposed portion against the body. It is not a feature, just a fact of the design.

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Cash can be stored on the back side under the strap. I've read and seen reviews that complain that bills folded in half won't fit, and this is true, but unless one is carrying a pretty serious roll of bills this is an adequate solution. I also fold denominations separately for slightly easier retrieval.

The wallet's primary tray. The scuffs are from cards but they easily wipe off just by rubbing them with your thumb.

The wallet's primary tray. The scuffs are from cards but they easily wipe off just by rubbing them with your thumb.

For a well made wallet that appears to be built for a long life of use, the Machine Era Wallet is an elegant accessory. It keeps a fairly small number of cards and cash at hand, protects your cards and can easily be tossed in your front pocket to avoid added strain on one's lower back. The cost for such simplicity may put some people off, but it has a great minimal, durable design that I found compelling enough to keep using.

Update:

It's now been almost a full month with the wallet and wanted to update with a picture of wear and tear after being kept in a pocket with change and keys on a daily basis.

As can be seen in the photo the edge is no longer black. The other white scuffs do wipe away but with more effort and there are a few other nicks in the finish. This image is not meant to critique the design of the wallet. It still holds cards as well as ever and I don't have any complaint about it but wanted to provide an image of how the wallet ages with use.