Mechanical watches aren't for everyone. Instead of clothes I might compare them to diamonds vs lab made diamonds, vinyl vs digital (although I have my own whole theory on that - so i'm not making a claim one way or the other), tubes vs transistors, etc. Those three things are valued because of their flaws. I guess diamonds are the most controversial, but records and tube amplifiers might be your thing. They're certainly mine. On the other hand, I don't want my car stereo to have tubes in it and i'm not going to play a record in the car. There's a time and a place for everything.
I'm not going to scroll up to see who said it first, but you are all exactly right - fine timepieces are for those who appreciate them. It's not just the technical aspects of the movements, it's also the hostory of the brands, technology, social aspects, etc. For a lot of us, it's a hobby. Setting aside those things, one other appeal of some expensive watches, to me, is the representation of owning something forever. I'm constantly reminded of the refrigerator (that I should have taken - stupid me) that was in the basement of my grandfather's house. It was a GE, obviously from the 1950s. The damn thing worked just fine. Here is this piece of machinery that, assuming the cleanout people didn't throw it in the dump, could possibly be still working now - 60+ years after it was made. By "expensive" I mean a few hundred dollars - I'm certainly not suggesting you need to spend $5000 if you want to pass a watch on to your kids. I'm just so sick of buying shit that I eventually need to throw out!
And since this is general chat, I'll just tell you (in brief - I could go on about this) my theory on vinyl vs digital (or analog vs digital). (Click to show)
1) The first and number one thing everyone needs to know is that analog recording was/is inherently dark sounding. You would probably translate that to "warm." To counteract this, all of the really good condenser microphones have a bump in the high frequencies - right around the nails on the chalkboard range.
2) When digital recording started to become popular in the 1980s, it had two factors working against it. The first being the quality of transistors and the second being that it was inherently more accurate than digital. This meant that all of those super expensive microphones with the bump in the chalkboard range now sounded JUST LIKE that.
3) The microphone issue above was combatted by the use of great microphone preamps - which tamed these microphones back to what they should sound like. These were tube and transistor.
Now all of the above happened behind the scenes. The consumer didn't really get into the debate/struggle until they started re-releasing records onto cd. Here's what that meant:
1) When you're finished mixing something, the practice in professional recording is to "master" it. This means a lot of things, but on the basic level, they are preparing it for the final medium. Equalization, volume/amplitude, compression - these things are all adjusted so it sounds as best as it can on as many stereos as it can.
2) When they were first releasing these CDs in the 1980s, they were putting the masters they made for the vinyl onto CD. Just like analog tape, records were inherently dark/warm and equalization was used to bring out parts that were muffled. What happens when you dump this onto a digital cd? It's pretty much a shrilly mess.
When they finally realized that the should be remastering things they put on CD, the damage was already done. Is one technology better than another? Of course, digital is far superior. Some people, though, prefer analog. Remember all of the CDs that came out in the 90s and 2000s that were "remastered?" They had to be - the original CDs sounded like garbage.
OK - sorry - that was my soapbox and i'm getting off it.
edit: added spoiler