Apple has perfected disposable technology. The brand keeps selling in such huge quantities because people like me need to have the latest device. The iPhone 5s, with the camera and processor that was groundbreaking months ago, is junk next to the iPhone 6 Plus I have. Trade-in, upgrade, repeat.
With that in mind, the Apple Watch Edition sounds preposterous. With its 18-karat gold components (no gold-plating here), it has all the tracings of a proper, investment-worthy watch that is handed down though generations. Nevermind that those conspicuously expensive parts wrap them around a block of hardware and a display that is no different from the cheapest rig in the lineup: the 38mm $349 Apple Watch Sport. Maybe I just imagined the reluctance with which CEO Tim Cook stated the Edition's $10,000 price tag.
Classic luxury mechanical watches cost so much not because they're practical. They aren't, as a matter of fact. Unless you have a calendar complication in your watch, you need to wake up on the first of each month and reset the date. And even the most expensive models lose time so you need to reset them regularly.
But that's not the point. These are machines, however impractical, that last. Remember in Pulp Fiction, where Christopher Walken explains the watch he brought back from Vietnam? Watches evoke emotion.
That kind of reverence for a machine doesn't apply to the $10,000 Apple Watch Edition. The battery will eventually die (). The hardware won't be able to handle the new software. Yes, it has absurdly precise timekeeping, as Cook proclaimed during Monday's announcement, but that tech is housed in a device that won't last as long as an automobile that costs the same price.
The Apple Watch Edition isn't meant for those of us who think this way. This is meant for China, a . It's not a coincidence that the presentation today started with a video of an Apple Store opening in China. Apple is pushing into that country, and in that context, the Edition makes sense: it's modern, it's functional, and it's conspicuously expensive. These are all qualities that made the such a hit. Add limited production numbers, and you have the rare case of something completely useful but also rare and excessively expensive.
Chances are, if you have $10,000 to spend on a watch, then the Apple Watch Edition's sticker is probably a bargain. Consider, too, that if smartwatches take off, a dancing Mickey Mouse face or scrolling weather report on the watch display could make an Omega's second and hour hands look as outdated as a stovepipe hat.
Want something that'll last? Look elsewhere. But for the Apple devotee who needs something ostentatious that works with their iPhone, it's the perfect machine.