The Educated Eye

Exovault: Tough Beauty

Dutch Small
December 17, 2012

As a person of high standards, I can’t suffer the boring, cheaply crafted iPhone cases offered by the mass market; I want everything I own to be the best. Which is why I was recently delighted to stumble upon Exovault, this year’s finest stocking stuffer. It is a line of virtually indestructible iPhone cases designed by sculptors and handcrafted by skilled machinists in Brooklyn.

Great design solves problems in an elegant way, and for me to get excited, a product must also be crafted of well-considered materials and require a high degree of skill to produce. After chatting up the design-minded spokesperson at Exovault, I learned each case is created from two solid pieces of metal stock with precision to 1/100th of an inch. With optional exotic wood appointments, this is the kind of distinctive product that sets apart tastemakers from plastic-devouring masses.

For those who eschew the importance of artistry, there is a practical reason for avoiding chrome or brass-plated carbon steel products and opt instead for solid brass, aluminum or titanium: rust, that avoidable scourge across the spectrum of decorative arts and consumer goods.

An educated buyer of fine design considers which materials are best suited to his or her application when determining which object is merely satisfactory and which is excellent. Fortunately for those who obsess about these details, the Exovault is a winner.

Oh, and back to it being virtually indestructible: I’m told a customer once left her phone wrapped in a custom-engraved brass and hardwood case on top of her car while loading groceries and later watched it fall off of the roof onto the highway. “She pulled over and tried to get to it but not before a few cars had run it over,” said company spokesperson Amelia Biewald. “When she finally picked it up, she saw her case was scratched but her iPhone was okay. The next day she e-mailed me the story and ordered the same case again with the same custom engraving.”

It may be overkill for it to be available in an array of metals that do not deteriorate, as your case will still be intact, but obsolete, when a new iPhone is released. But it’s the right kind of design: Yummy, delicious overkill dressed in exotic wood. Exclusively at