If that's all it takes, then I suppose so. Simply using a ruler seems like it would be awkard, but perhaps not.
My guess is that is to press the stitching flat against the surface of the ridges to seal and conceal the thread. Sort of like leatherworker hammer threads into leather to create a flat surface after they sew.
I don't want to side-track this thread but thought that you might be interested in this. I seem to recall DWFII talking a while ago about leather soles and how they had been used on boots that had climbed Mt Everest. I was in Marylebone a couple of months ago and happened to pass James Taylor when, lo and behold, I saw the boot in the photograph below. Apologies both for the quality of the image (on my way somewhere else, absolutely my fault) and for the state of Taylor's window (not my fault at all). Chi
This is one that was mislaid along the way and returned to James Taylor unused. The boots that were actually used were identical in every way. Can't help you on the style question I'm afraid, though I guess that form follows function. Chi