Is the Apple Watch Edition, the one starting at $10,000 and capping at $17,000 with a battery life of 18 hours and boasting just enough storage for 200 songs, less about Apple storming into a new product area and more a midlife crisis cry for attention?
Does the Watch Edition reflect Apple's desire to be a Kanye West in the world of smartwatches just as Kanye West is striving to be a trendsetting powerhouse?
Is the Watch Edition Apple's latest boast of "look at what we can do - we can make our loyal fans shell out nearly $17,000 for a watch that can't run longer than a day." Is it more a statement of Apple being its usual obnoxious self, proving it's the king of the high-end margin realm, proving it can, once again, spur people to spend more than they should or need on a computing and mobile communication device?
Or is the Watch Edition Apple's pathetic call for attention given the empty nest syndrome it's facing with product lines nearing full maturity and innovation validation coming almost too easy with smartphones?
Is the Watch Edition a sad, sad attempt for Apple to regain those glory days of delivering the unexpected, and delivering in unchartered waters?
After all, once you strip away all the marketing hype, the basic fact is this: the Watch Edition is nothing more, or less for that matter, than the Watch Sport in terms of features and functions. The extra cost, about $16,600, is for the gold touch (and it's a pretty light touch as one media report claims the 'gold' represents about $500 in gold costs).
So that begs the big question: why a 'gold' edition to begin with? Is the 'gold touch' symbolic of Apple's once-golden touch in the PC world? Or is it simply that Apple created a Watch to wear when you don't need a Watch but want everyone to know you can afford the highest-priced Watch?
Let's face it - the Watch Edition owner isn't wearing the Apple device to the gym, or keeping track of heart rate in a hot yoga class, or pulling it on for the Saturday morning hike, or snapping it on for the grocery store trip or even the kid's elementary school play (being viewed as flashy at PTA events never goes over well, even in Silicon Valley).
The Watch Edition will, however, attend the new Broadway play, the latest winery opening, the benefit cocktail party, the godchild's baptism, the new museum wing dedication, the avant-garde art studio opening, the Paris fashion shows, and yes, a Kanye West concert most likely.
It'll be seen as clear as day at the opera and in the executive lunchroom as it was reportedly designed not to fit under a man's dress shirt cuff. The valet will get a clear look, so will the bartender and the boss' wife and the college engineering nemesis you swore you'd prove wrong one day.
It'll be found nestled under $500 Christmas trees, stuffed in mink stockings on the mantle, wrapped in gold dusted gift wrap for anniversary celebrations, doled out at corporate anniversary celebrations, gifted at retirement parties, presented to important business partners (mostly abroad, mostly in China, I suspect).
Meanwhile, Apple will be laughing and laughing hard all the way to the bank. Maybe that's why it's curtailing the number of Watch Editions. It doesn't want to die from laughter.
Here's the bottom line: The Apple Watch Sport, at $350 for 18 hours of battery life and storage for 200 photos, is potentially a viable health device that may just drive something innovative down the road if app makers jump on the wearable like they jumped on the iPhone.
The Watch Edition, well, not so much. It's just nothing more than a status symbol for those who sadly need status symbols like others need air and who, just by buying it, don't even realize it illustrates a status they're trying to avoid: the status of no common sense or good taste.