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June 4, 2007

Hermès Tape Measure


British gallery owner and interior designer Rabih Hage raved about his in an interview with Nicole Swengley that appeared in the June 1, 2007 Financial Times "How To Spend It" supplement; the story follows.

Pleasure Zone

My Hermès leather tape measure gives me immense pleasure. When I was studying architecture at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris I dreamed of owning one because the tutors encouraged us always to carry a tape measure. I could only afford a metal one which made holes in my pockets.

On graduation, my parents gave me a leather Hermès tape measure and I carried it around with me constantly. When I lost it a few years ago I was in mourning because I felt quite naked without it. Happily, my wife Ghada gave me a replacement last Christmas.

As a gallery owner and interior designer, I use my tape measure all the time. It's useful when clients can't visualise the scale of plans and for measuring furniture and room space. It also acts as a calculator because inches are marked along the top and centimetres along the bottom.


What I love is that it's a classic Stanley metal tape measure which springs back into an integral Hermès white-stitched leather container. The tape is very thin — about 6 mm — extending to three metres and slips easily into a jacket or jeans pocket. I've been known to whip it out and measure the distance between seats and tables in restaurants to get ideas for my furniture designs, as well as using it on building sites. The leather develops a patina over time and adds to its beauty. The older it gets the nicer it feels — while showing clients proof of my long experience in the business!

Device dimensions: 6 cm x 6 cm (2.36" x 2.36")

Tape length: 3 meters (119 inches)

Tape width: 6 mm

$377 in natural Barenia leather (pictured above and below).

Also in classic Hermès Orange or Black at Hermès stores worldwide.

Don't bother trying to order from Hermès online store: my crack research team spent over 100 hours cumulatively attempting to do so, without success.

Not a big surprise, really.


No, I don't mean the failure of my daunted crack research team: that's par for the course and as you would hope and expect, they were given their walking papers immediately upon successful completion of their failed search.

Now there's a verbal visitation from the Bizarro World.

But I digress.

No, I'm referring to what I am going to call, for want of a better term, bookofjoe's First Law of Luxury Goods Websites, which states, "The more exquisite and desirable the product, the more dysfunctional the website of the company behind it."

It's been 100% accurate to date and I see no reason for it ever to become obsolete.

Not so long as these idiotstick companies continue to hire web designers who think that the Internet is the same thing as the real world.

But I digress yet again.


Perhaps you don't feel like spending $377 for a pocket tape measure.

I can see how that could be the case.

Well, guess what?

The identical Stanley tape measure without the Hermès packaging (below)


will set you back $4.13.

Just pretend, visualize if you will, like with those whirled peas, an exquisitely soft leather housing enclosing it, and keep the remaining $372.87 in your pocketbook.

No one but me will ever know what you've done.

And you can be certain I won't be telling.

Trust me....

June 4, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink


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What happens to Feng shui where a mere tawdry tape tallies the territory - an immeasurable loss of grace, that's what!

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Jun 6, 2007 8:34:04 AM

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