The above paraphrases just one of the innumerable quotes I love from the West Wing. It beautifully encapsulates the danger of demonization, and I'm using it here because it's now apparently okay to refer to people who might want to buy a gold or rose gold Apple Watch Edition as — and I quote the TechCrunch headline here — "douchebags".
The article, so entitled, is about why, in the author's opinion, the Apple Watch Edition doesn't appeal to him as either a technologist or a watch collector. That's fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and no one has to buy anything that doesn't suit their needs or tastes.
Some of it, however, merits deeper discussion.
I believe watchmaker Roger Smith best sums it up in saying (in reference to the late watchmaker Dr. George Daniels, creator of the coaxial escapement):
"For it takes a lifetime of experiences to create the pieces that he did. So when a collector buys a Daniels watch, they are not buying the year that it took Daniels to make the piece, they are buying the many years of self-sacrifice that it takes in order for a man to rise to a level where he can create greatness."
It no doubt took Jony Ive and Marc Newson, and Apple's industrial design team, a lifetime of experience to create their work as well. Taken separately or together, how high have they risen and how much greatness have they created?
Mass produced internals created in China, by machines, doesn't create a feeling of craftsmanship or an aura of exclusivity – both key tenants a high-end collectible timepiece must have.
Apple doesn't just create products that are mass produced. They create new, often unprecedented ways to mass produce products. They don't just create objects — they create ways to create objects. Even if we ignore the software component, which is absolutely made by skilled craftspeople, the level of craft applied to creating Apple hardware is undeniable.
It's a different kind of craft for a different age, absolutely, but to deny it rather than define it simply rings false. I still have my original iPhone and original iPad on my shelf. I know others who have their original iMacs or other objects designed by Ive & Co. They represent to me, and to them, one of the greatest eras of modern industrial design. And the Apple Watch in general, and the Apple Watch Edition is one of his and their most passionate projects.
But I digress.
The market for the Apple Watch Edition is precisely this: People who want the Apple Watch and prefer gold watches. That's it. It's no more complicated than that.
If you like gold watches but don't like the Apple Watch, you don't have to buy it. But not liking the people who do like it? Publicly calling those who intend to buy it "douchebags"?
That's why we can't have nice internets.