The implicit question with this kind of thread is always, “what do you pay for when you buy a very expensive, high end, luxury knife (or luxury cookware in general)?” Also, more specifically, how does this particular knife fit into the kinds of knives you might expect to pay such a steep price to own?
I think most would agree that this is not a great ‘investment.’ That is, there are better things to put your money into if you expect to make a profit, even including (most likely) other knives. In general, I tend to be fairly pessimistic about the investment value of fine knives in general, but it should be noted that I’m fairly certain some people do indeed buy certain custom knives at least partially for their potential to increase in value, and at any rate there are a number of knife collectors who manage to buy and sell a lot of high end knives at least without losing too much money.
Evaluated as a work of art, this knife seems iffy to me. It’s certainly attractive and most likely very well crafted. But I think the fact that it’s, in a sense, a ‘replica’ hurts it here. It’s hard to quantify the artistic value of original authorship, but in artistic terms (if nowhere else), I feel that the ‘authorship’ of the knife is a relevant factor in its value. I suppose, of course, that this is quite subjective. Also, there are other knives in a similar price range (the Devin Thomas gyuto I pictured upthread for example) that seem to match or surpass this blade in artistry without raising the thorny issues of authorship or production methods. Even so, I’d say the Kramer replica in question here probably does still have some legitimate artistic merit.
You can also evaluate a blade on its performance vs other knives, but I think most or all here would agree that this knife couldn’t possibly perform well enough to justify its price tag. There are some excellent performers in the ~$60 and below range. And some truly wonderful chef knives in the $200 range - I don’t know if any significant performance improvement over these blades are even possible. Enough of an improvement to justify a tenfold price increase on that basis alone? I’d say that’s impossible (and from what I know of Kramer’s knives, I doubt they genuinely perform better than some of those fantastic $200 blades at all). With that said, I still suspect there is a narrative that some (perhaps naive) consumers have bought into in which certain knives that have maybe received a lot of publicity or been highly reviewed by publications such as Cook’s Illustrated are genuinely ‘the best’ knives, and that these knives perform so much better than the rest that the difference would be readily apparent to any user who happened to chop a carrot with em. I could see this product being attractive to such a buy, either to own or as a gift.
Finally there is the branding aspect of this knife. The most obvious way to justify this knife’s price tag is based off the tremendous brand Kramer has built for himself in high end kitchen knives, along with the fact that his original blades simply aren’t available right now for those who might like to buy them. I’m not personally big on the Kramer brand, and that tends to make me view this product with a cynical eye - from this perspective, a $2K price tag seems a little bit like price gouging to me. That’s about what he was selling his blades for himself not all that long ago, and that was without the benefit of the production means surely being used for this series of blades. YMMV.