Expensive timepieces are nothing new, but some think Apple’s upcoming watches could be priced into the thousands, rather than just the hundreds.
We’d all expected Apple to make a play into the wearables market sooner or later and last week’s event finally gave us the Apple Watch, or rather three collections of Apple Watch, each with a different user type in mind.
The classic Apple Watch comes with a stainless steel body and a sapphire crystal screen, the Apple Watch Sport swaps out steel for aluminium with toughened glass in place of that fancy sapphire and the Apple Watch Edition will satiate those after a touch of luxury (beyond what we’re used to from Apple) with 18-carat yellow or rose gold bodywork.
|Apple Watch||Apple Watch Sport||Apple Watch Edition|
316L Stainless Steel
316L Space Grey Stainless Steel
7000 Series silver aluminium
7000 Series Space Grey aluminium
18-Carat Yellow Gold
18-Carat Rose Gold
|Display Material||Sapphire Crystal||Ion-X Glass||Sapphire Crystal|
Apple promised that these new wearables would arrive ‘early 2015’ with prices starting at from $349 (expect that to translate into around £250 in the UK), but the term ‘starting’ leaves the complete pricing story pretty open-ended. This price actually refers explicitly to the Apple Watch Sport, which uses the most inexpensive materials for its screen, casing and default strap by comparison to the other two lines.
The sapphire crystal Apple’s using relies on some pretty specialist manufacturing techniques and the 18-carat gold isn’t just a top coat on the Apple Watch Edition bodies, these technological timepieces will actually be made from 18-carat yellow or rose gold alloy right through and that won’t come cheap.
John Gruber of Daring Fireball anticipates pricing anywhere between $1999 (£1230) and $4999 (£3075) for the top-tier Edition models, based on trends in the current watch market, costs of materials and additional research. The thing to consider is that Apple hasn’t made a smartwatch in the way other manufacturers have created hardware to support platforms like Android Wear. In truth the company never actually officially calls the Apple Watch a smartwatch at all.
Just as Apple aims to be considered as more than just a technology company, what you’re in fact buying is not a smartwatch, but a premium experience unlike any other. There’s watchmaking craftsmanship, innovative manufacturing techniques and material research, not to mention a heavy dose of Apple’s design genius in there too.
The Apple Watch family is straddling the premium watch market and the wearable market, but it’s hoping to transcend the competition of both avenues by offering something legitimately unique. Individuality comes at a price though, especially when you’re dressed in 18-carat rose gold.
How much would you be willing to pay for Apple’s debut wearable? Let us know in the comments below.