The majority of tech is priced to appeal to the mass market. It has to be affordable for the average Joe without requiring a second mortgage. Apple has always positioned itself as a premium brand at the top end of the price categories, but the Apple Watch reaches new heights. Pricing starts at an affordable $350, but Apple has clearly taken inspiration from the luxury watch market, because the Apple Watch Edition can cost as much as $17,000.
The exclusive Watch Edition starts at $10,000 and features 18-Karat rose and yellow gold cases. The most expensive of the bunch are the 38mm versions with matching solid gold buckles on the straps and they cost $17,000. Far be it from us to point out how risky it may prove to drop that kind of cash on a first-generation piece of electronics that could be obsolete in a couple of years, but we would like to point out some of the other tech wonders you might snap up for around the same amount of cash.
If you want to stick with Apple then $17,000 would buy you 26 iPhone 6s, 34 iPad Air 2s, or 13 of the new MacBooks.
LG E65EC9700 4k Ultra HD TV ($10,000)
If we had $17,000 burning a hole in our pocket, then a big screen TV would be near the top of the list. How about LG’s world-beating, curved OLED, with a 3,840 x 2,160 pixel resolution, and “infinite contrast?” It’s also super slim and sexy, and it’s packed with every feature you can think of, as well as a few more you can’t. Our review summed it up nicely with the line, “If you’ve got the cash and you want the best TV money can buy today, this is it.”
Vertu for Bentley ($17,100)
If you’ve got a Bentley, then you can afford the $17,100 price tag for this luxury, Android smartphone. You won’t find the value in the unremarkable specs with a Snapdragon 801 under the hood, driven by 2GB of RAM, a 4.7-inch, 1080p display, a 13-megapixel camera, and last year’s Android 4.4 KitKat. This is more about the use of Newmarket Tan quilted calf leather and titanium materials in its construction. It does also have a Bentley app offering remote features for your car. Of course, there’s the prominent Bentley badge, as well. You’ll even have enough change left over to snap up an Apple Watch Sport.
Sony VPL-VW600ES 4K projector ($10,495)
If you want to set up a real home cinema, this projector can output 4K content and upscale from normal HD onto a screen that’s between 60 and 200 inches in size. It has a brightness of 1,700 ANSI lumens, boasts 200,000:1 contrast ratio, and it’s HDMI 2.0 compatible, so you can get 60 frames per second at 4,096 x 2,160 pixel resolution. Shop around and you’ll find it cheaper, which will leave you some money to buy a cinema sound system that can back it up, maybe something like the Pioneer Elite Dolby Atmos-enabled speaker system.
Local Motors 3D-printed Strati (~$17,000)
You could buy a new car for less than $17,000 or a nice second-hand model, but how about something even more techie? Local Motors used a 3D printer to make a full-size, drivable, two-seater car from less than 50 parts. It has a top speed of 50 mph, an electric engine with a 62-mile range, and it only took 44 hours to print off. The total cost to print a car is around the same as that gold Apple Watch, but they’re working on reducing the cost right now.
BeamPro Robot ($16,000)
You could have your very own “telepresence” robot for $16,000. That sounds way cooler than a watch right? Well, you might change your mind when you see it, because it’s one of those iPad’s on a stick with a set of wheels. The BeamPro is designed to give you a physical presence in the office even when you can’t be there, and it allows you to huffily storm out of a meeting, or arrive late in a more dramatic fashion than your disembodied head on a meeting room screen could ever hope to achieve.
Bionic Bopper Cars ($17,000)
A motorized boxing robot that you can sit in could be hard to pass up, we’re not scraping the bottom of the barrel here at all. It’s powered by a Honda gas engine, the cockpit is a steel cage, and it can carry up to 300 pounds in weight. The top speed is a disappointing three miles-per-hour. It’s like a bumper car that can punch, and you’re supposed to square up to the other robot and try to knock his block off. They’re like life-sized “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots” and they’re … well, actually, they’re seriously lame, maybe we’ll take that watch after all.
If you had $17,000 spare and you had to spend it on tech what would you buy?