You're just being obtuse at this point. Whatever, I'll bite. First off, yes, in terms of semiotics, dime-store jewelry and a Patek Philippe are both, very, very broadly speaking, fashion statements. They both speak "the language of fashion", as Roland Barthes might say. That's a very banal and generic thing to say though; both items send such different messages about their owners and have such different intrinsic value that the comparison makes no sense. Hence my distinction between fine jewelry and fashion items. The iWatch, by the way, would be neither. It would be a functional gadget that might, in time, provided it is successful, become a fashionable object. Anyway, this is nitpicky as hell and ill gladly concede the point: fine watches are fashion too, just like Fossil watches. That's like saying that the Tata Nano and the Porsche 911 are both cars, but whatever.
Anyway, as to your second point, that was said or at least implied by every poster who gleefully stated that Hayek would, in a few years' time, find himself in a similar position to the makers of smartphones who didn't take the iPhone seriously. That assumes that the iWatch will compete with his company's products and emerge as the victor. I've pointed out why that assumption is spurious; I'm not going to do it again.
My last paragraph concerned the hypocrisy of your labeling me an elitist because I have the temerity to distinguish between mass-produced fashion watches and marvelous pieces of jewelry while you would most probably make the very same distinction between, say, a Dell PC for 400 bucks and a Mac Mini for 1000. You'd be right in making that distinction, mind you, but so am I in distinguishing between a Fossil and an Omega.
As for your very last point, well, that's just a truism. Of course no company is immune to competition. I've already pointed out Swatch's main competitors - none of them is Apple, and Apple will never be amongst them. That was my point all along.
EDIT: by the way, I take issue with your claim that price is my sole differentiator when I call certain watches superior to others. That's not the case at all. The differentiator lies in the level of fit and finish, the quality of the movements used, the quality of the craftsmanship and the design, and ultimately, to some degree, in the intangible quality of the brand's history and pedigree. Price is not as significant a factor as you might think. A watch aficionado will gush at a hideously expensive Jaeger le Coultre Tourbillon, yes, but they will also gush at a - frankly - very commonplace watch like, say, a Rolex Submariner. Why? They're both beautiful, well-designed objects with incredible craftsmanship (moreso in the JLC's case) and history. There are overpriced brands (Rolex is certainly one of them), but generally there's a certain amount of parity, i. e. there's a point at which you will get great quality for your money regardless of which brand you pick - and at that point it's a matter of taste, personality, temperament which one you go for. In other words: once you're willing to pay the price for a good watch, it's not the money that's going to drive your choice, but your own appreciation for different kinds of craftsmanship. Maybe you want a particular complication, maybe the history of a particular brand strikes a chord with you, maybe the engineering and craftsmanship of a certain movement has got you all hot and bothered... And so on. Price is a secondary concern.
Edited by Parkettpolitur - 3/6/13 at 2:30pm