I've been on a hunt for a new wallet for some time now, maybe since the beginning of the year. To be honest, I never really imagined I'd put in this much time and effort to look for a wallet. My previous ones were either gifts or cheap alternatives bought online. So how did I end up purchasing a Bellroy wallet you might be thinking, or maybe you would like to know more about the shipping fees and customs clearance here in Mauritius. If that's the case, then stick around.
New wallet, why?
The first step in determining what type of wallet I should buy, was to ask myself: What do I need a wallet for? In my case, this was a simple and obvious answer: to store bills, coins, and some cards. Nothing more. My previous wallet was a tri-fold, with plenty of space for it to be overstuffed with loads of cards and coins, as a result, most of the time I found myself with a busted wallet that doesn't even fit into my pocket. This is something I wanted to change, keeping things down to a minimum, the strict essentials were what I desired.
Having figured out what I need a wallet for, now I needed to see what kind of wallet would fit my needs and personal style. The first stops were local shops. At Bagatelle Mall there is this boutique called "Time Palace". For my fellow Mauritians, this shop is located at the beginning of the hall from the main entrance. There, however, I could mostly find aluminum cardholders from a Netherland brand called Secrid. No bi-fold nor any traditional style wallet. I was disappointed. Other options were either the too luxurious brands such as Boss etc... (Big Name, Big Price yuck!!) or the cheap-ranged, stalled, genuine/faux leather wallets which are a complete no-go simply because I was looking for something stylish, durable, and top-grade.
The online hunt
Now that I knew what are my requirements, it was finally time to go through wallet reviews on YouTube. This hunt led to the discovery of some very interesting names, here are a few:
All of these brands were using top-quality leather (either full-grain or top-grain) and have amazing reviews. To tell you the truth, deciding which one I would give my money to was tough! Starting with Maruse, one would argue that their bi-fold wallet is a beauty. Especially the 'cognac' color version. I can easily picture some beautiful patina showing off on this amazing Italian leather. BUT, man this wallet has too many card pockets for my liking. At first, I will start with good intentions (everybody does) but then, I see myself overstuffing it in the future. Ekster wallets are... cool. Their modular, magnetic-attached bi-fold wallet is one of a kind but a tad too futuristic for me. Bellroy however, offers a selection of wallet types to choose from. From cardholders to bi-fold, and zip wallets, you will surely find a style that suits you there. That is when I fell in love with the Bellroy Hide & Seek.
My choice was made, my money ready, all that remained to be done was to hit that buy button and, that I did the very next morning after my payday. It did not take that long to reach Mauritius, 12 days to be exact. It went from Eastern Creek in AU to Guangzhou, CN to Cologne, DE to Paris, FR, and, finally to Port Louis, MU.
Here's a breakdown of the shipping and custom clearance fees: -
- Bellroy, express shipping fee: MUR 637
- FedEx, documentation fee: MUR 900
- MACCS fee: MUR 50
- MRA import taxes: MUR 650
Please note that all prices are approximations.
To be frank, when I felt the wallet with my fingers for the first time, I wasn't really blown away. I guess maybe because I'm used to the feeling of puffed faux leather crafts. It's only when I took the time to appreciate, feel and smell it that I could really perceive its beauty and admire the build quality. Here are some pictures to convince you as well.
For those wondering, this is the 'Hi' version, which like its name suggests, is slightly taller than the other 'Lo' variant. But if you don't plan to hold foreign currencies, you could definitely get the 'Lo' version instead. Mauritian bills are not that big.
I believe this wallet and I have amazing adventures laying ahead of us. I will definitely come back years later to this post, only to reminisce about its first days, remembering maybe; some travel journeys, the foreign currencies it held, and its first patinas.