Friday, April 3, 2015

Apple Watch is Rubbish

Last week, as we sat at the shop lamenting the terrible auto-correct feature and dismal battery life on our aging Apple iPhones, my client and I came to a realization: Not many consumer products are built to last anymore. In fact, most have planned obsolescence built in. This practice ensures that the customer's insatiable appetite for new products remains perpetually unquenched. But this wasteful behavior not only hurts our pocketbooks, but our planet and its future inhabitants (our grandchildren) as well.

Americans used to build things to last. Just look back at our previous generations-- arguably our greatest. You'll find hard-working people building innovative, life-changing products-- items that were also built to stand the test of time. Unfortunately, not many products are made that way anymore. In our conversation, some of the few exceptions that came to mind were mechanical watches, tools, aircraft, and of course, firearms.

Our culture (if you can still call it that) is very wasteful. Everything is disposable. The old adage "they don't make 'em like they used to," has more truth to it than ever before. And yet we celebrate Steve Jobs' legacy as if he were a Henry Ford or one of the Wright Brothers. Shame.

Look at your phone. Samsung Galaxy or Apple iPhone? It matters not. It was probably $600-1000 when you bought it and in only a few years, it will sit worthless at the bottom of a junk drawer in your house. A relic-- and not a particularly charming one. Perhaps, you'll reminisce about how thick and heavy it was compared to the newer, sleeker models. And how the battery life was pathetic. And how the auto-correct feature was rubbish. Aren't they always? But the point is: you spent a relatively large sum of money on it, and after a relatively short period of time, you have nothing to show for it.

I know I'm being unfair by picking on Apple, because the car companies do it also. Virtually all industries have planned obsolescence strategies employed. My mechanic and I often talk about how modern cars are disposable. That's how they're designed these days-- to predictably fail at around 60-80k miles. My last Volkswagen had a cooling system made of plastic-- which eventually hardened and cracked. The entire network of plastics had to be replaced to the tune of a nearly $2500. And that was for a car worth barely $5000 at the time! That signaled the death of my beloved GTI and it had to be sold-- to the first person that fell of the next passing turnip truck, if I recall correctly. Now, I drive a VW with an inferiority complex: an Audi. Not unlike other German cars, it's programmed to explode at around the same time you pay it off. Several cars ago, I wised up and started leasing them. After all, they're disposable. A new one every three years keeps me out of the mechanic's shop-- much to the chagrin of my, er, mechanic. He has a bulletproof old 1980s Diesel Merc by the way-- something the devil would drive in a Stephen King novel. Black on black on black. All black. But he can work on it and keep it running forever.

Thankfully, some things are still built to last. You know what hasn't changed in my life since I started driving at the age of 16? My beautiful wife and my Smith & Wesson model 622 (shown above with my classic Omega Seamaster). And my mom's S&W model 60, for that matter. Both guns have been in the family for decades. Both vintage Smiths have been well cared for and are still in service. My son will probably learn how to shoot a pistol on the model 622. He'll probably inherit his Grandma's 60-- along with her Oyster Perpetual.

I suppose I just miss the good old days and needed to wax nostalgic. Perhaps that's why I gravitated towards firearms at an early age. I always appreciated the mechanical aspect-- but also the historical significance and longevity of the collections I was exposed to. Things were better back then and if we want to get back to those good times, we better start building stuff again. I'm proud that we are dinosaurs and cavemen in our industry. We are not loved by progressives. We are mocked by elites, liberals, and the media. To them, we are knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing relics that just need to go away. But to make room for what? More iPhones in the junk bin? No thank you. Let's keep building and buying stuff that lasts. Made of steel by real Americans. For more than one reason, firearms continue to be very important in America. I'm proud to be part of that movement. And you should be too!

Oh, and for God's sake, don't waste your money on the new Apple Watch. Buy a used Rolex or Omega. Something mechanical. Something that you can give your son one day-- along with a nice S&W, Colt, Sig, or HK.

I hope you've enjoyed part 1 of a 300 part series of what's wrong with the world. Next week: people that don't use their turn signals or don't know how to negotiate a four way stop.

Have a Good Friday and a Happy Easter. God bless you and yours.

Evan Kostreva, Owner
On Point Firearms
"Planning an obsolete business model in an obsolete industry since 2001."

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