A few months ago, Uncrate featured a chair that was immediately recognizable to a news junkie like me: the Gunlocke Washington Chair. Five of the last seven U.S. Presidents –and eight consecutively from FDR to Carter– parked one of these in the Oval Office. It is iconic, historic, expensive, and now that we have one on loan, I can say it feels like it’s worth every penny.
Pedigree aside –and ignoring the history of a chair like this is to miss the point– the chair is a beast. Made of solid hardwood and what must be yards and yards of leather, the chair is almost too heavy to pick up. Luckily, it has wheels encased in 2" bronze ball casters. But in a chair like this, you don’t move to people; people come to you. Just sitting in a chair like this makes you feel like you could depose a Middle Eastern dictator just for bad fashion sense (I’m looking at you, Muammar). It is firm yet comfortable; substantial yet agile. Kind of like a good President, I suppose.
Having bought a used Herman Miller Aeron Chair –Silicon Valley’s official start-up chair– from the defunct Webvan.com back in 2002, I feel like it is a weak alternative, literally and figuratively, compared to the Washington.
While I don’t yet own one personally, the above photo is of a Washington chair on loan from the fine folks at Gunlocke in our new custom shop on the Street Level in 1 Embarcadero Center. Eventually we’ll buy our own for the store, and then we’ll get to buy a set of them for the future conference room at Wingtip. Because if it’s good enough for the leader of the free world, it’s almost good enough for our best customers!