My Wallet Just Got Raptured

Ed Note: Boingboing's current guest blogger Gareth Branwyn writes on technology, pop and fringe culture. He is currently a Contributing Editor at Maker Media. Recent projects have included co-creating The Maker's Notebook and editing The Best of MAKE and The Best of Instructables collections.

Music critic Daniel Stephen Johnson called Braithwaite Wallets "deliciously pretentious," and that pretty much sums them up. I mean, my new, now beloved, Braithwaite is called "Raptured," for Christ's sake! But if you're at all like me, you'll enthusiastically fork over your cash while cringing at their "Wallet Registry," some of the breathless prose on the site, and just generally getting this worked up over wallets. I've had my... er... heavenly Raptured for a few weeks now and I'm over the moon about it. It's actually a coat wallet, almost 7" long. I would rather have had a back pocket-style billfold, but I fell in love with the Raptured's steampunky design, with its laser-etched Art Deco-y flourishes and gold oriental brocade lining. I frequently carried my billfold wallet in my front pants pocket anyway, so I'm doing that exclusively now with this wallet. The Raptured is reasonably flat, so it doesn't create an unsightly bulge in your pants. There are seven, staggered, slots for your credit and ID cards, a place for bills, and one for receipts, etc. The full-grain, vegetable-tanned leather has a really nice old-world look and feel. It's really a beautiful, well-made piece that I'm sure I'll have for a long time. At first, the price of $127 seemed rather steep, but when you think about it, a wallet is one the few accessories a man carries, and you carry it all times. My last wallet was a Pierre Cardin I paid $40 over a decade ago. So $127 for something this handsome, this well designed, and well made -- that I'll likely carry for another ten years -- doesn't seem like that much. And that's the most expensive wallet Braithwaite makes. The other wallets run from $97 - $113. The other model I almost got was the Orpheus (below). It's an actual billfold style and made for guitar players, with a 3-slot guitar pick holder on the outside. They also make a wallet/Moleskine zipper case for $133. I've got my eye on that baby, too. "Deliciously pretentious" and a danger to your existing wallet in more ways than one.


  1. So, what ya gonna do when it suddenly vanishes? Are ya confident that you’ll go with it? Or perhaps you just figger that’ll be the least of yer worries…

  2. Well, I’m glad to know that J. Peterman is still doing well in his new incarnation…

    Seriously, hanging from a cliff admiring the sky?

  3. Woah. I dig the Mighty Wallet. When my current wallet gets raptured, I think I’m going to trade down to a Mighty Wallet. Pretty cool. I love the faux tooled leather. Tres summer camp.

  4. My reaction:

    Man, that’s ridiculous. Let me look at these — holy shit, does that wallet have a guitar pick carrier?.

    I hate you BoingBoing. You make me spend money on retarded things ALL THE TIME. At the same time, however, I love you for it.

  5. You can pull a credit card out of this wallet, hand it over to a teller at Ed Hardy, and be completely douchebagged out in minutes.

  6. I completely understand why this wallet captures your attention. We are suffering from cases of modern lifeless crap. I have several old English made wallets from the fifties, the quality and workmanship is amazing. While it is still possible to buy items made for gentlemen, they are quite expensive. But as often as possible, I tend to buy things only once every ten or twenty years.

    I used to wear expensive shoes, that were resoled every few years for a few bucks. Now I wear disposable sneakers that cost 30 or 40 bucks and install Birkenstock footbeds. They fit well, but it costs 40 bucks to reshoe my footbeds.

  7. I was afraid this wallet would be a little douchebaggy, but in person, it really isn’t. It feels more right and less pretentious than it appears in the photos. The leather is already softening and aging really well.

  8. It’s strange, I’m simply not feeling this even though it’s a lovely, quality product. I found myself reading the marketing on the site and getting turned off, I mean, I say that while sitting at my HP computer, reading from pdf files displayed in Adobe Reader and writing notes in my Moleskine notebook with my Parker fountain pen but even then – this is too much for me. It was very strange but I think it was mainly the “I’m boutique and I know it” vibe that I got from it.

    I can totally understand the logic in spending money on a good wallet – jeans are similar, how much should you pay for jeans if you buy dresses / suits that you wear less often for hundreds or thousands of your local currency so reasonably you should be ok paying that much more for something you’ll wear near enough every day.

    But when you see this: “His mind was distant, his body on auto-pilot. He approached the counter and ordered without glancing at the barista. After the steaming drink was set down, he reached into his coat, pulled out his wallet, removed a bill, and told the cashier to keep the change.” on the product page I think it’s hard to look past the painfully chic marketing angle.

    The weirdest thing is that, even with all that said – it IS a lovely wallet and it sounds really well made and built to last which just makes the tortured/confuzzled music lover short story on the page stand out even more.

  9. I have been looking for a wallet I like for years and in the meantime have been stuck with the same old yucky leather one forever…. Just ordered the Orpheus… not really into the long ones like the author ordered, but to each his own….

    Limited quantities, quality and a great price…. I would have expected these to cost twice what they are charging… I know that sounds like I’m astroturfing here, but that’s just what I’m thinking….. Ping me at tracedef at gmail in a few weeks if you want my impressions.

  10. @18
    If I based my purchasing decision on marketspeak and bad advertising copy, I wouldn’t be buying a lot of merch. But I know what you mean about some of the content. That’s what I meant by cringing at the same time I found myself STILL wanting the wallet.

    Re: Jeans
    I just finally got that about jeans. I tried on a pair of REALLY well-made jeans — they weren’t even exorbitantly expensive — just really well-tailored. I feel like a freaking rock star in those jeans! A HUGE difference over my normal $20 Targe’ specials.

  11. imagine that

    “In the mid-1980s, however, it no longer became available. In his book “Songlines”, Bruce Chatwin tells us the whole story of his favourite notebook, which he nicknamed “Moleskine”. In 1986, the original manufacturer – a family operating in Tours – closed down forever: “Le vrai moleskine n’est plus” are the lapidary words he puts into the mouth of the owner of the stationery shop in Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie – also a legendary spot – where Chatwin stocked up on the notebooks. The English writer-traveller bought up all the “Moleskines” that he could fi nd, but they were not enough.

    In 1998, a small Milanese publisher brought the legendary notebook back to life under the name “Moleskine”, thus restoring a solid tradition, renewing notebookism, and sensing that mobile technologies needed to be accompanied by essential self-standing analog tools.”

  12. I would criticise such pointless, status-laden materialism, but I can’t.

    My girlfriend gave me a wallet for my last birthday made by Wolfram Lohr (a Brighton-based designer who works in, usually recycled, leather):

    And I loves it.

  13. I made my own wallet, and tooled pictures of sabrejets on it. I have yet to covet another billfold. Yeah.. feelin pretty smug. F-86 smug!

  14. I hope we see the word ‘Rapture’ used more often on products like this one, rapture mayonnaise, crapture toilet seats and the like as it will take some steam out of fundies who use it all so scarily. Before they kill us all or the Singularity, of course…

  15. After using the same wallet for the past 13 years, I finally found myself a new one!

    Not this one, but this one. Looked up the instructions, and made it myself for the cost of the gas to get to the post office and a bit of super glue.

  16. Meh. I have a Fossil wallet that’s exactly the same size and shape, but not as “flowery”, that came with one of their crappy watches. The watch is long gone, but the wallet has been going strong for about 13 yrs now.

  17. Let’s see, how much is wrong with this item?

    (1) Animals were killed in its production.

    (2) Conspicuous consumption in a time of economic hardship.

    (3) Sexist (men only).

    (4) Blasphemous to Christians.

    (5) Made for a jacket pocket, not jeans.

    I could go on, but I think that’s sufficient.

  18. @32: I’m pretty sure one of those models was marketed to women.

    Anyway, the breathless prose is a hoot, but the deal-breakers for me are:

    – No tri-fold model. Bi-folds just don’t easily fit most jackets I wear.

    – I travel a lot. These ones only seem to hold Canadian currency. They should make wallets that hold US currency or Euros.

    Yeah, that was a joke.

  19. Let’s see, what’s wrong with AIRSHIP’s assessment of this article / product?

    (1) Fair enough, but not everyone has a problem with animals being killed for such purposes. God knows, we’re not short of cows.

    (2) I don’t see this as flippant consumption in times of economic hardship. First of all, this is a well-made, hard-wearing product produced by a small, (presumably) independent company. Surely funding small, quality craftsmen and designers during such hard economic times is pretty admirable?

    (3) It’s not sexist. There’s nothing about this product that restricts women from buying it. I know plenty of women who would love these wallets. Your comment is kind of sexist, though.

    (4) Oh come on. Rapture is a word in the dictionary. It means (n.) “A state, condition, or fit of intense delight or enthusiasm”, or (v.) “to enrapture”.

    (5) The author himself says it fits his “pants” pocket, and doesn’t create a bulge. Better than a regular wallet, then?

    My main problem with this particular product would be that it’s got no change pocket. I hate wallets with no change pocket. I am not fancy enough to carry only paper or plastic.

  20. (3) Sexist (men only).

    I demand that the production of brassieres cease, as they are made for women alone!

  21. @33: The odd thing is that this wallet is probably *more* suited for women, because they are more likely to carry a purse or handbag that would easily accommodate a larger wallet.

  22. Yes, Gloria. Armor and concealment, protection and anonymity…

    I would not spend more than a few dollars on a wallet, personally, but then again I’m cheap.

  23. Take the “deliciously” out of “pretentious”, although their ad copy might be fun to snark on during a slow day:

    Our clients are men who are creators, who are learners, who serve other people. Our clients are commonly in such roles as surgeons, film makers, architects, programmers, composers, writers, and paramedics. In short, they are probably people like you.


    Me, I get by with a Magic Wallet just fine.

  24. Is it really the wisest thing to make your wallet more desirable to others?

    “So beautiful! I must have it!”

    “Wow, a guy with a wallet like that is going to have money to put in it! Screw stealing purses!”

  25. “Our Guarantee

    What good is a satisfaction guarantee if you have to take the time to go to the post-office, pay for return shipping, and wait to get your refund?

    How about we arrange to pick it up from you? Click Our Guarantee to see how you are protected.”

    I’m not sure about the wallet but I love that guarantee! It is damned difficult to get to the post office sometimes.

  26. oooh! Thanks for that link, those wallets are fantastic and I can’t wait to completely steal the design and idea and make it for less than 130 bucks.

  27. @47 Ito Kagehisa

    I have a camouflage wallet with a removable bottle opener. I’m underage and the camo is the girly kind I disdain. It was a gift.

    Beautiful wallets though. With that and the John Fleuvog shoes, I know what I will be spending ridiculous amounts of money on this year… Course, after I buy the Angel Gabriels and the moleskine wallet, I won’t have clothes to wear or money for the wallet to contain.

  28. #18 Anonymous: Wow, I didn’t read the “barista” ad copy but the barista test is exactly what I run prospective wallets through in my head. Will the barista think I’m casual and unpretentious enough!?

    I had a pretty good wallet with a change purse from Kipling, but I overloaded it, jammed the zipper and had to do a cesarian in a tight situation. Now Kipling doesn’t make the same simple design. The lesson is, when you see something done right for once, BUY IT, BUY A COUPLE because sometimes they sink fast.

  29. My wallet is from thinkgeek dot com, and blocks RFID. It looks perfectly serviceable, which is what I want out of a wallet.

    I keep my change in a pocket. Each day I take it out and put it in a bucket at home. Someday that bucket will crash through the floor into the apartment below and kill someone.

  30. Dargaud @28, you might like these.

    Airship @32:

    Let’s see, how much is wrong with this item?

    (1) Animals were killed in its production.

    If you’re going to eat them, it’s wasteful to just throw away their skins.

    (2) Conspicuous consumption in a time of economic hardship.

    It depends on why you want it and how you use it. If you buy it because its looks please you, that’s not conspicuous consumption. The same holds true if you use it for a long time instead of discarding for another fashionable wallet.

    (3) Sexist (men only).

    Oh, malarkey. You’re just trying to find things to object to. That wallet has no gender.

    (4) Blasphemous to Christians.

    Nope. It’s not even blasphemous for sects that believe in The Rapture, and it’s an extra-Biblical accretion so they’re all heretics anyway.

    (5) Made for a jacket pocket, not jeans.

    If you keep working on that lifestyle where you only own stuff small enough to keep in the pocket of your jeans, you’ll eventually be the subject of an entry on Boing Boing.

    I could go on, but I think that’s sufficient.

    Compared to what?

    Ito Kagehisa @47: You’re right! I’d always thought camouflage wallets were dumb, but until you pointed that out, I had’t realized quite how dumb they are.

  31. ” (4) Blasphemous to Christians.

    Nope. It’s not even blasphemous for sects that believe in The Rapture, and it’s an extra-Biblical accretion so they’re all heretics anyway.”

    Right, Rapture doesn’t even appear in the Bible. That’s just some dumb shit stupid white guys made up.

  32. Wow. My post up there was meant to be a parody of all of the silly protest posts that seem to follow just about anything put up on boingboing. Guess I can mark that one: EPIC FAIL!

  33. Why are wallets made of leather anyways? I mean, does that really help anything? Isn’t nylon just as good?

    And am I the only one who likes those plastic flippy things to put credit cards in so they don’t demagnetize each other?

  34. If you keep working on that lifestyle where you only own stuff small enough to keep in the pocket of your jeans, you’ll eventually be the subject of an entry on Boing Boing.

    A wallet is meant to be carried. Not everyone wears a jacket all the time and switching between wallets is a pain in the neck. Yes, owning only stuff you can fit in your pockets would be a bit odd, but is it too much to ask that the stuff that normally goes in pockets actually *fits* in pockets?

  35. @Airship: I totally got you! I’m not sure how the sarcasm could be missed…. but if you’re like me and the silliness that occurs on this type of blog, it makes sense that others would want to rebuke the post if they weren’t following that it wasn’t serious…..

  36. Teresa Nielsen Hayden @ 58:

    …and it’s an extra-Biblical accretion so they’re all heretics anyway.

    A fact that never ceases to tickle my fancy.

  37. …and it’s an extra-Biblical accretion so they’re all heretics anyway.

    Not to thread-jack, but oh, Teresa, Gareth, can you clarify? I thought that it was a Biblical prophesy in Revelations or something. I would love to cause more problems between my hellfire and damnation relatives and I by telling them they are wrong.

    So how is it extra-Biblical?

  38. I weight about 180 lbs, the Mighty Wallet weights .4 oz that’s two quarters

    I’m going to cut a couple holes in my Mighty Wallet and see if I can hang from the ceiling

    I’ll post the video link when I’m done.

    Why? Cause it’d be fun.

  39. Ms. Tenn, “the rapture” is a modern name for one particular interpretation of the vision recounted in the Revelation of St. John the Divine (not to be confused with the author of the bibical book of John, or John the Baptist, or John the Apostle, though most Christians don’t know these are different people.)

    The revelation of St. John is clearly not literal – in the text it explains some of the metaphors, and leaves others to the reader. So it’s always arguable what it means, and this is a great trial to the “biblical inerrancy” crowd. The revelation is a dream/vision sent by God, according to mainstream Christianity.

    It’s a short book; I recommend reading it, I like the King James Version best myself. Try if you don’t have a dead tree handy. The main message is pretty clearly that God is going to send big hairy nasty celestial punishment to those who work against his will.

    The details are tough, though – is the damnation and destruction going to be literal? Will the salvation of the few be also literal? Do God and his angels take sadistic delight in the smell of the endless torture of the unrighteous? Did God rig the game from the beginning so that most people (including all the non-Christian Jews) have always been destined for eternal torture? Are the numbers exact – that is, are only a few thousand of us going to pass the final test? Etc. etc. etc…..

    In my own opinion, to say that “the rapture is not in the Bible” is to make a statement of the will and intention of St. John the Divine. It’s saying, at the least, “St. John’s meaning does not include a day of judgement, that stuff is all metaphorical”. I personally don’t think anyone alive is capable of judging what this psychadelic fever-dream of a book means.

    “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

    7Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come”

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