Originally Posted by dieworkwear I mean, someone could say the same thing about handmade shoes from Saint Crispin's. Or handmade tailored clothing from Savile Row.
High end tailoring, shoemaking, or engineering isn't just about practical functions; you can appreciate these things as crafts. If you particularly don't care, that's fine, but that doesn't mean someone else is being a snob for liking something for its artisanal value. We don't value paintings because they fill up space on a plain white wall. We don't enjoy fine foods because they satiate hunger. And we don't wear handmade clothes or well made watches just because they make us look good, cover us from the elements, or tell us time (or, as you suggest, help us "flaunt our wealth").
This kind of thinking - the pragmatic, commercially-minded approach to goods ("will this make me look good," "will it last long," "is it expensive," "will it perform some function") - is what created the downward spiral in craft that people on this forum so often like to lament.
Not really. Those fit better, look better, and have higher quality construction. Watches? A quartz looks exactly the same from the outside, requires less maintenance, and keeps better time. A mechanical watch gives literally no advantage other than the fascination of knowing, and occasionally, in a skeleton style, seeing little gears tick.
I don't care about craft if it has no benefits. Do I want every part in my car to be handmade? No, I kinda like being able to get an off the shelf part and have it fit. Having computer controlled machines make those parts made cars easier and cheaper to repair, and allowed for more complex designs that made them better. Having computers help drive those cars has made them perform better. I have a Subaru Forester. 2001, 140kish miles. A 1920's Packard may get the mechanical geeks more excited, but the Subaru will kick its ass all across the continent any day of the week. The Packard is gonna break down every 20 miles, and probably won't last to 100k. The Subaru is a decent bet for at least 250k, and will be largely hassle free for most of that. And you know what? I'm perfectly okay with the fact that the craft involved went away.
Saying you should buy an objectively inferior product for vastly more money is snobbery, absent some other preexisting motivation such as romance about a completely redundant technology. And it's a disturbingly common attitude on here- quite a few posters come here asking about getting a decent watch, post a picture or two of $100 watches, and at least three people will tell them that any watch that doesn't run $3k is crap and they should feel bad for even thinking about buying a quartz, because watches only exist to flaunt how much money you have to spend on a watch, though that part's not usually explicitly stated, just hinted at. And that attitude seriously offends me.
Feel free to spend your money on whatever you like. Just don't expect me to be particularly impressed with the mechanical masterpiece you bought when I have something functionally identical, both in operation and appearance, for a fiftieth the price.