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Gear wallets

Wallets: The other man accessory that matters

During this past weekend’s Worn & Wound Wind Up Watch Fair, held at Chelsea Market in Manhattan, I had a chance to catch up with Worn & Wound c0-founder Blake Malin as he refueled with some espresso. Of course, we talked about what was on his wrist (a Damasko DC56 chronograph), the state of his current collection, and, of course, his wallet, which he pulled out at the cash register.

I immediately noticed his well-worn wallet and asked, “Is that one of yours?”

Blake’s wallet was indeed the Monk Made x Worn & Wound Wallet, a full-sized bi-fold with eight slots. We joked about needing a big Constanza-sized wallet to carry various credit cards and blood donor ID cards (which aren’t even needed at the blood donation center). What struck me was how personal Blake’s wallet choice was and how many of the watch collectors I speak with also value a solid wallet. One that lasts, looks good and expresses one’s personality and personal style.

Photo by Worn & Wound

This wallet uses natural vegetable-tanned lining from Wickett & Craig and Italian Shell Cordovan as its main ingredient. Wallets made with this level of care and material quality will last longer and shell cordovan is especially known to take on wear marks unique to the owner’s personal handling tendencies.

I have been using a Jack Spade wallet I got on sale about a year ago that was feeling quite inferior as I looked down at its fraying edges. I’m in the market for something better and was inspired by being surrounded by so many dudes with cool watches and wallets this weekend.

The luxury wallet

There are some men who really enjoy a true luxury wallet. Everest and Monta founder has waxed poetic on the virtues of Goyard, the Parisian luxury house with exclusivity and signature prints.

Photo by Grailed.com

Another favorite is the classic by Louis Vuitton, which holds similar attributes to wearing a Rolex—offering a certain level of brand recognition and quality.

Even if you would rather put your money towards the next watch on your wish list, there are more affordable options that offer high quality and distinct style.

The next tier

Comme Des Garcons luxury group wallet

This Japanese brand’s more affordable “luxury group” line is an excellent way to tap into the playful designs CDG lovers gravitate towards.

Photo by Dover Street

The makers of our favorite premium sneakers, Common Projects, also makes wallets and they are as low-key as their shoe designs. These are perfect for the guy who isn’t showy but knows and appreciates quality.

The rugged wallet

If you are looking for a wallet that is more like the version by Worn & Wound and your personal style is more Red Wing boots, selvedge denim and flannels, check out the leather goods by Billykirk. It’s handmade from high-quality leather and it’s meant to last a long time.

Gear Outerwear

Chore jackets? Functionality and fashion

We have been covering more style issues here because after all watches are accessories. Oras many watch guys think of it as the other way around: clothing are the accessories for watches. How many of decide on what watch we’re wearing first?

The chore coat is one of our favorite pieces. It has its roots in work wear, which as a fashion off shoot created legions of men who try to look rugged but probably have never put in an honest day of manual labor in their entire life. These flannel shirt and Red Wing boot-wearing urbanites have embraced the chore coat, which is a great item alone on the fact that they have many useful pockets.

According the style blog The Idle Man, a chore jacket originated in the late 1800s, and “used to be a French worker jacket. Worn as a workman jacket as the French labourer attire, this workwear canvas jacket usually came in blue and symbolised everyone, which has carried on to be the icon of the French workforce today.” Sounds good to us. But really the chore coat is just incredibly practical and can be worn over a T-shirt or underneath a heavier coat as temperatures drop.

Wear it with your favorite leather strap equipped tool watch and you’re ready to tackle your day.

You can’t bring up workwear and not bring up Carhartt, a pioneer in work apparel. Their Michigan Chore Coat is water-repellent and handsome. We dig the navy version in “Dearborn” canvas.

Everlane makes great basics and simple versions of staples. Their take on the chore jacket is affordable and elegant. Grab a few T-shirts while on their site and you’ve got your casual weekend looked nailed down.

Best Made Co. is an excellent destination for manly items like axes and toolboxes. So naturally a Panama Cloth Chore Jacket is right up their alley. Theirs is made with Japanese cotton and has plenty of useful pockets.

Boots Danner Gear Red Wing Wolverine

Fall Boots: The watch guy’s faithful companion

For tool watch aficionados, the concept that the watch on their wrist is rooted in functionality may or may not be true rationale behind their love of watches meant to do something. Form following function oftentimes creates beautiful objects. And let’s face it, most tool watch guys are not deep diving or going space. OK, so maybe they will go on a hike. Nevertheless those highly functional watches look good and give them an aura of being adventurous.

The same can be said for rugged boots. Most dudes will seek a boot that will keep their feet warm and dry through a Nor’easter, but, again, rarely are these urban adventurers really needing something to keep them safe on a construction site or a trek up Everest. To coin a term from ’80s skateboarding culture, a lot of us are “poseurs.” But that’s more than OK. We can have our own adventures heading into our temperature controlled offices and homes.

So if you rock an Explorer II, you can track time with your team in Asia and look good in fall boots. Pair everything with some selvedge denim and you’ve completed the urban adventurer look. These of three classics to make this a reality this fall and winter. And like our esteemed watches, these boots can be “serviced,” meaning resoled and reconditioned. And, yes, they do take on a patina that’s uniquely based on where your life takes you.

Red Wing Heritage 6-inch Moc Toe: If you’re not sure where to start, this is the standard Red Wing work boot that will get you through the cold weather months. Pair them with some proper boot socks, such as Wigwams, and make sure you break them in gradually. Once they’ve conformed to your foot shape, these boots will become your go-to winter shoe choice. $289.99 at RedWingHeritage.com

Wolverine 1,000 Mile Cap Toe: Another classic, the cap toe version of Wolverine’s 1,000 Mile boot is just slightly dressier, so it’s a good choice for guys who may need to be booted and suited. The Horweeen leather (from the tannery in Chicago) and Vibram rubber sole is a tried-and-true combination for withstanding years of hard use. $400 at Wolverine.com

Danner Mountain Light: If the hiking boot style suits you, Danner has created the perfect one-piece leather, waterproof hiking boot. It’s an example of where a design meant entirely for practical purposes has yielded an object of beauty. According to Danner, “Every single pair is built by hand in Portland, Oregon, with full-grain leather, Vibram Kletterlift outsoles, and waterproof GORE-TEX liners.” $300 at Danner.com