Makes sense to me - it's the hardware that develops the sound - not the finish (at least not really). I'd rather 'wear' the guitar myself. But speeding up the bridge, pickups etc makes sense. (at least to me).
My number 1 is 11 years old and doesn’t have a mark. I don’t gig but it’s been used a lot in time I’ve owned it. I’m sure a collision with the desk corner or some other accident will occur but that’s not going to make it a relic.
That "Tuxedo Tele" guitar was commissioned by a Fender sales rep in the Chicago area around the mid-to-late 90's. I don't remember all the specs, (or the gold hardware) but I think there were around 20 or so of those made.
I remember him telling me about it, and I thought it was pretty clever idea..