The best card holder? An Hermès Calvi card case review

I’ve had my “main” wallet for well over a decade now.

Meanwhile, my card holder has been slipping in and out of bags for, probably, 7+ years.

They’re both total work horses.

… but, on account of their daily use, they need to return to the stable.

It’s just that the edges of these two wallets are extremely used.

… and, I just want something sleeker that will last at least a decade (or until I want to switch it up again).

In came the fresh young buck, that I think will solve the issues I’ve had with other wallets:

The Hermès Calvi.

Hermès Calvi Sizing

It’s a compact “wallet” wallet with a length of 2.5”/7cm and a height of 4.1”/10.5 cm.

With it’s simple design, that mimics a shrunken envelope, it still holds (most) you could need…

How Many Cards Fit in The Calvi?

At least 7 cards can fit in the Calvi.

Showing $36 in cash and 7 credit cards/ID cards in the Hermès Calvi card case

… plus, you can use one of the openings for folded up cash.

It’s rare that I use cash, but it’s always nice to have on hand for those odd occasions.

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With each new “thing” in my possession, I learn a lot of lessons.

The biggest thing that I’ve taken away from these wallets is that weight and painted edges matter.

Maybe you’re kind of like me, where you’re like, “how is my bag so bloody heavy?”

You take an inventory and, sometimes, maybe, it’s because you’re carrying 24 other things that don’t even belong to you.

… but sometimes, most times, it’s because your wallet that’s weighing you down.

Especially with its change compartment.

Hermès Calvi Card case open

… but in a post-2020 world, the majority of stores, coffee shops, and restaurants take card exclusively now.

Painted edges

You know that strip of (what looks like plastic) that runs along the edge of most cardholders and wallets?

Yeah, that.

Showing damage over 13 years on a wallet

That is where my two wallets have fallen prey to their demise.

If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have been on the market for a new cardholder.

Showing damage to a card case

It’s not even the corners of these wallets (ok for the Saint Laurent card holder the edges were part of the problem), it’s just the plastic stripping over time.

Unlike most other wallets, Hermès’ Calvi has a very light painted edge that interacts with your bag, but not to the same degree since it’s mostly on the inside.

Full size wallet, card holder, and another card holder

Pros & Cons


No visible branding: My Saint Laurent card holder was a thing in my life, that I honestly would have re-bought it because of the simple “Y” on it (my first name initial) but alas that’s no longer a thing they’re doing. So, if you’re not into flashy monogrammed wallets, this one’s for you.

Durable: It’s been 6 months of using my Hermès Calvi case and it still looks brand new.

Pops of colour: Almost any Hermès colour (and leather) is used for the Calvi (and Bastia, the coin holder), which means that you can decide which colour brings you the most joy to look for in your bag and which leather you think is hardiest.

Pops up online: Like the Bride-A-Brac, they go fast, but does get the Calvi under their “Small Leather Goods” section.

Price: Compared to a similar snap card holder from Smythson ($245), there is an Hermès premium for the Calvi. BUT, when we look at the price against Saint Laurent’s $495 Cassandre “business card case” or Chanel’s $700 Classic card holder, the Hermès Calvi’s price is relatively reasonable starting at $395 USD… and both of the latter card holders have a lot of stitches on them that can easily pop or get snapped through every day use.

Having to shuffle through your cards for the exact one you’re looking for: It can feel like you’re just learning how to play Go Fish.

… but, tbh, it isn’t that annoying given the utility of this card case.

… and, like the Bride-A-Brac, it also doesn’t come with a dust bag for storage (at least mine purchased from the Hermès boutique in Panamá didn’t).

Photo showing the Hermès Calvi in orange epsom leather

Like 99.9% of things on this website, you don’t need a luxury card holder.

A simple card holder from a company that no one’s really heard of, but you love, could easily fit your needs.

Like 99.9% of things on this website, it’s a luxury for you.

It’s the thing that adds a little spark of joy to your day when you’re about to pay for things you actually need — like new toilet bowl cleaner or something else equally boring.

It’s a bright light at the end of your bag after a long day when you just want a little relief that “it’ll all be ok, because ‘hey, at least I haven’t had to buy a new wallet in a decade.’”

Hermès Calvi card holder case is available from $395+ at or your closest boutique.

… but, if you’re like “I don’t want to wait for one to pop up on their online store” here are some other options:

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