A wallet should last a lifetime. I’ve had my current wallet for over 10 years and it’s served me well in that time. In terms of function, it was perfect. A front pocket wallet with slots for 6 cards (although over the years it stretched to accommodate 10) and a money clip. Simple and functional. No silly pockets with cute buttons to store change. Just the essentials. Cash, credit cards, bank card and my health card.
Finally though, after 10+ years I made the decision to replace it. It was visibly worn out. The threads were frayed and loose, the leather stretched. Although it was clear it was time for a new wallet, it wasn't an easy decision. I wasn’t looking for another wallet, I was looking for an heirloom quality wallet that would tell my story over the year through subtle but unique wear.
After months of searching, I confidently decided on the No. 2 wallet from Bison Made. I choose Bison Made for several reasons including their reputation, product quality and the passion they put into their craft. The No. 2 was a perfect front pocket wallet with just the right amount of room for several cards and some cash.
When I spoke to Sebastian from Bison Made through email, he informed me he also had the No. 2 in in Genuine Shell Cordovan leather, but only had several left from a small, exclusive batch they made. I purchased them without hesitation.
Shell Cordovan is made almost exclusively from the Horween Leather Company in Chicago and is the art of tanning at its finest. More than just a color, shell cordovan is a very specific leather, from a particular part of a horsehide. The oval shaped shells are tanned, stuffed, shaved, and then polished as part of a six month process utilizing a 100 year old recipe and technique.
Shell cordovan is slowly steeped in a family recipe of vegetable liquors then are hot stuffed with oils then slicked onto panes of glass to dry. The shells are then hand shaved by skilled artisans and the dyes are hand rubbed on for a deep finish. Finishing the process, the shells are hand glazed to achieve the rich, glossy look prized by fine craftsmen.
The Horween Leather Company in Chicago has stayed private and in family hands for over 108 years. A remarkable feat considering the number of economic challenges faced by businesses in America over the last 100 years.
You can see the passion and pride they have for this work in these videos:
"You can make products so good that people can't understand them" - Skip, 4th Generation Owner of the Horween Leather Company
I immediately decided to purchase the wallet, as well as the final three they had in stock. Bison Made published that Finch Goods Co. was the last stockist for their Genuine Shell Cordovan No. 2 wallet and I sold two of the three wallets the very same day.
Finch Goods Co. has the last production No. 2 shell cordovan wallet. If you're interested, check out the product page for the Bison Made No. 2 Genuine Shell Cordovan wallet. Finch Goods Co. also carries a variety of other heirloom quality wallets by Bison Made, see the collection here.
Update May 9th 2014:
Well fellas, the Bison Made Genuine Shell Cordovan No. 2 is official sold out. Finch Goods Co. will be curating more special edition pieces soon. In the meantime, check out the other fine wallets by Bison Made.