Apple fans got a high-voltage case of sticker shock earlier this week when the company announced the price of its high-end "Watch Edition" watches, which feature an 18-karat gold casing and cost as much as $17,000 a pop.
Digg Founder Kevin Rose classified the high-tech timepiece as "perfect for douchebags." Network World's Bryan Lunduke called it "an overpriced, out-of-date status symbol." The Guardian even published an article showing how many work days it would take a Foxconn worker to earn enough money to buy one (910 days!).
Of course, the gold versions of the Apple Watch are a rip-off, but don't hate the player. Hate the game. Fine jewelry — anything containing precious metals or stones — has been a waste of money for thousands of years, because it has no inherent value.
Wouldn't it be a better sign of devotion to get down on your knees and propose to your beloved with a 4K TV? Sure, that diamond ring may be "worth" $5,000, but can you watch Game of Thrones on it in full HD? Just what kind of download speeds can you get with that gold tennis bracelet? Which DirectX 11 games can you play on your Rolex? I rest my case.
Shiny baubles may be a waste of money, but enough people want them to make gold and diamonds commodities that hold their value over time. A 100-year-old platinum brooch is worth more today than it was in 1915.
However, by this time next year, Apple's gold watch will lose most of its value because the technology within will be outdated, and old gadgets don't appreciate like vintage jewelry. Take, for example, Apple's G4 Cube, which was the height of desktop fashion when it was released for $1,700 in 1997. Today, it still looks good, but you can find one for $94.99 on eBay.
If you have $17,000 to spend on an Apple Watch, there are so many better purchases to make. For that money, you can buy:
- 13 Different 13-inch MacBook Pro laptops, enough to supply an entire small business.
- Life-size Darth Vader and Boba Fett statues with working lights.
- An 84-inch Microsoft Surface Hub wall-sized tablet and nine Surface Pro 3 12-inch tablets.
- A 65-inch LG 4K OLED TV and three other 65-inch 4K TVs for other rooms of the house.
- A brand-new, four-door car like a Hyundai Accent GLS ($14,995)
- 36 Dell PowerEdge T110 II servers, enough to start a small Web hosting company
- A personal appearance from Solange Knowles, who has almost the same DNA as Beyoncé.
- A fully loaded Alienware Area-51 gaming desktop (3 Nvidia GTX 980 graphics cards, an eight-core Core i7 CPU, 32GB of RAM, 512GB SSD) with five 27-inch, 144-hz monitors (Asus PG278Q).
Of course, you could always buy the $350 entry-level version of the Apple Watch, which has the same exact functionality as the $17,000 version, but doesn't have a gold chassis. Or you could go for the $99 Pebble watch, which lasts seven days on a charge, keeps its screen on 24/7 and already has several thousand apps available.