From Aluminum to Today: Our Design Process - The Ridge Wallet

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From Aluminum to Today: Our Design Process

July 18, 2017

From Aluminum to Today: Our Design Process

What do rubies, The Ridge, and a Boeing-747 all have in common?

That's right… Aluminum.

Making up about 8% of the Earth’s crust in sheer weight, this metal is like the industrial fuel for… well, nearly everything. It’s lightweight, strong, flexible, corrosive resistant – and there’s just something unspoken about the crisp allure found in the way light reflects off an aluminum surface.

So, when we first began the design process that led to the slick Ridges you see today, it made sense to use the metal as a foundation for our aluminum wallet.

But, like every innovative product, we didn’t end up where we are today without running into some serious design hurdles.

The First (Non-Prototype) Ridge

The entire drive for Ridge was to create a wallet with minimal bulk, maximal durability, and a design that bridged the gap between functionality and appeal- so was born the credit-card sized exoskeleton of the first aluminum wallet.

Aluminum Wallets, all the way; we didn’t offer any other version.

The aluminum shell served as a sturdy barrier between the outside world and your important plastics. No RFID theft could threaten your cards, and no amount of playing wallball with the Ridge could rip a hole in its shell.

However…

We didn’t use open-faced, accessible screws to secure the entire system together. As the Ridge was used and stretched by the initial plethora of card-wielding backers, we found that a practical solution was needed when the first signs of stretched elastic began rolling in. There were also some mild difficulties inserting/removing cards from the wallet – the square edges on the interior plates made for a lot of head on collisions.

So, we did what every great company does when they first launch.

We listened.

The Ridge 2.0

We started with a re-machining of the interior plates; by rounding the edges of the card entrance and giving it an additional polish we fixed the jamming issues entirely. Then, we replaced the rivets with hex screws – this allowed for an interchanging of faceplates and money clips. Next came the elastic. We improved the elastic’s quality, and allowed specs for an at-home replacement, should it ever wear down. The aesthetics were a hit already, so we offered additional anodized colorings, and then tacked on the new tactical carbon fiber material.

The initial issues were all fixed… We created a minimalist wallet that superseded all expectations.

In fact, the success of the 2.0 design demanded even more materials and colors.

And so, we arrive to today, where we now offer money clips and cash straps on polycarbonate, carbon fiber, titanium, and aluminum wallets in a variety of hues chosen to fit every kind of taste.

We won’t ever stop, though. Those first hurdles did nothing but improve our wallets, and we always welcome the feedback.

We’re committed to excellence.

You simply can’t lead any other way.