Review: Chester Mox Saddle-Stitched Bifold Wallet
“Courtesy Of” is a series on This Fits in which I write about products that have been gifted to me for review. While I strive to be objective, I think it’s fairer to you, the readers, if I disclose when I’ve received merchandise for free.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Chester Mox: I’m a repeat customer twice over, and recommend them to anyone looking for a quality wallet. You can see my review of a wallet I had made for my wife here.
A lot’s happened with the brand over the past year: they opened a physical store in Los Angeles, and co-owner Bellanie completed an apprenticeship with a well-regarded leather goods master. All of Chester Mox’s leather goods are now hand saddle-stitched, a labor-intensive but more durable technique typically reserved for high-end leather goods (here’s a video by Hermes on saddle-stitching).
None of this is new to you if run in the same online menswear circles as I do. However, since I already own a Chester Mox wallet and the company sent me a new one for review, I have the opportunity to do something I haven’t seen elsewhere: a side-by-side comparison of Chester Mox’s old and new work.
In order to get a better sense of the breadth of Chester Mox’s offerings, I requested a #88 bifold wallet in dark brown Ilcea museum calf (as always, you can request any model in any available leather). While the slim profile of my current Chester Mox dual-side wallet is great for pant pockets, that compact shape is sometimes annoying when trying to fish it out of the deeper interior breast pocket on tailored jackets. I figure the larger bifold wallet is better suited to, well, suits.
Up close the newer wallet showcases impressively superior craftsmanship. Notice how much finer the stitching is, how close it is to the edge, and the much higher stitch-per-inch count. Also note the slight angle to the stitches, a bit of artistry that underscores the handmade production technique. Finally–somewhat less obvious from pictures but quite evident with both wallets in hand–the finishing has improved considerably, resulting in a slim, smooth, and seamless join between leather edges.
Make no mistake, I’m very happy with my current wallet. Bellanie noted to me that prior to hand saddle-stitching, the company used hand-stitching with pre-cut holes. After three years of daily use, my wallet’s held up just fine, with no signs of wear at the edges or along the seams.
But its clear the new saddle-stitched wallets are at another level of craftsmanship.
To see all Chester Mox wallets and leather goods, visit www.chestermox.com.