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Apple fans can't get over Jony Ive's ridiculous "every day" design tools

He's one of the most famous product designers around – and perhaps the most frequently 'memed'. Think of an Apple product video, and you'll probably imagine Jony Ive, sitting against a white background, saying words like "innovation" and "aluminium". Ive left Apple back in 2019, but is still managing to raise eyebrows.

The designer this week revealed 12 tools of his trade "for making, for marking, for measuring, and carrying with you every day," and let's just say these are no bargain bucket items. The list makes our best pencils roundup look criminally cheap.

Photo showing some of Jony Ive's "every day" tools

(Image credit: Financial Times)

In a special edition of Financial Times (opens in new tab) titled How to Spend It (perhaps that should have been a clue that we were in for a luxury list), Ive explores his love of making, explaining that "there's a beauty and a joy in the machines and tools. They are no longer solely a means to an end. I think there's an inherent elegance in an effective tool that normally results in a curious beauty." 

But the one thing fans can't get over is the price of some of these "every day" items. There's a $530 measuring tape from Hermès, a £264 protractor, a £100 eraser and, erm, a $5,645 tonearm – because who doesn't keep a replacement part for their record player with them at all times? The full list of items is:

Torque Wrench and tonearm

Never leave the house without your tonearm  (Image credit: Financial Times)
  • Torque wrench — Snap-On adjustable torque wrench, £455
  • Tonearm — Linn titanium Ekos SE tonearm, $5,645, basilaudio.com
  • Hex Keys — Wiha colour-coded hex L-Key set, from $3.69
  • Paper folder — Paper folder, hwebber.co.uk
  • Measuring Tape — Hermès leather In The Pocket measuring tape, $530
  • Loupe — Vintage brass folding magnifier by Leitz Wetzlar, from Ive’s personal collection
  • Fountain pen — Vintage pen by Montegrappa, from Ive's personal collection
  • Eraser — Graf Von Faber-Castell platinum-plated eraser, £100, jacksonsart.com
  • Pencil case — Vintage leather pouch by Visvim, from Ive's personal collection
  • Protractor — Mitutoyo 6in universal bevel protractor, £264
  • Depth gauge — Starrett 440Z-3RL depth micrometer, $355
    Weather station — Wempe Navigator II ship’s clock and weather station, $1,960

Jony Ive

Jony Ive and Marc Newson at their workshop in the Cotswolds (Image credit: Financial Times)

Needless to say, Apple fans are finding the whole thing a little bemusing. "Below the $500 mark, measuring tapes don't take good measurements," one MacRumors user comments, while another adds, "there's not a single chance that people who actually buy a leather measuring tape are actually measuring anything other than the depth of their wallet."

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Of course, there's no doubting that many of these are excellent tools – the Mitutoyo protractor, for instance, is extremely precise. And are we really surprised to learn that one of the world's most famous (and presumably) wealthy designers doesn't buy his office supplies from Staples? 

One thing's for sure, those ludicrously expensive Mac Pro wheels don't look quite so outrageous next to this list. But if you're looking for some slightly more accessible gear, check out today's best iPhone 13 deals below, and be sure to take a look at our roundup of the best Apple deals

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Daniel Piper
Daniel Piper

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).