If the $349 Apple Watch isn’t upscale enough for your tastes, the tech giant has a pricier version of their smartwatch that might be more your style. There are reports that the tech-savvy timepiece will be available in an 18-karat gold model for over $1,200.
When the Apple Watch was introduced a few days ago, the prices officially started at a fairly reasonable (for Apple, anyway) $349. Of course, that number is for the low-end model and from there, the sky’s the limit. According to a report from Tech Crunch, there will be an exclusive Apple Edition gold watch selling for an eye-popping $1,200—or more.
The high price can be attributed to the cost of materials, especially the gold alloy for the watch cases. According to watch expert Chad Rickicki, just the case’s 18-karat gold components could come to $600. Add in the actual electronics of the watch, the clasp hardware and the markup to get a price that easily tops $1,200.
The Apple Watch will make its debut in 2015 and give buyers a choice of three collections. The Standard and Sport collections will have cases in yellow or rose gold and bands in “sport” plastic or leather. Interchangeable bands will be available, giving owners several fashion options to choose from.
The more expensive Edition Collection will offer six elegant styles, all with cases of 18-karat alloy and sapphire crystal displays. These are obviously aimed at the well-heeled and fashion-conscious buyer who wants the trendiest items at the highest prices. If last year’s status item from Apple was the gold iPhone 5s, this Apple Watch should be even more desirable.
The golden Edition Collection shows that Apple is ready to stake a claim in the luxury watch market, selling wearable tech to a larger (and richer) segment of the population than the usual devoted fans who line up to buy their newest gadget the day it goes on sale. The association with the luxe Edition Collection lends a certain air of status to the rest of the Apple Watch line, since the cheapest Rolex is still a Rolex.
Selling watches at a variety of price points also sets Apple apart from the other makers of wearable devices like Samsung and LG, which have so far concentrated on appealing to the tech geeks rather than the stylish elite.
Should the Swiss makers of fine luxury timepieces be worried about competition from the Apple Watch? It doesn’t seem to be happening so far, as many of those who make or sell Swiss watches have played down the threat from wearable devices and TAG Heuer has already announced plans to make a smartwatch of its own.
Once the Apple Edition gold watch hits stores next year, we can be sure that the usual status-seeking celebs will be sporting one and some will up the game with blinged-out versions covered in diamonds. So much for Apple’s obsession with simplicity.