The initial series of the Apple Watch is considered 'outdated.' This implies that there are no official parts available, and repairs are out of the question. Even if you paid over 17,000 dollars for a golden Apple Watch in 2015, the smartwatch is now destined for the scrap heap if it encounters any issues.
Jaws dropped when Apple CEO Tim Cook uttered the phrase "one more thing" in 2015. Not because the iWatch received its official name - Apple Watch - or because the device was actually in existence, but due to the price of the super deluxe version. It was known as the 'Edition' and came in various shades of 18-karat gold. The price? Ranging from an obscene 10,000 to 17,000 dollars, depending on the chosen wristband.
At the time, it was a strategic move for Apple. Designer Sir Jonathan 'Jony' Ive - also the mind behind the iPod and iPhone - didn't want his latest creation to be perceived as a high-tech gadget; instead, he aimed for it to be seen as a fashion accessory. The high price of the gold edition was partly due to the expensive materials used (gold is far from cheap) and to establish the watch's position as a competitor to brands like Rolex, Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre to name a few.
To emphasize this message, Apple purchased a whopping twelve ad pages in Vogue and distributed these gold smartwatches to celebrities such as Beyoncé and Karl Lagerfeld. Both received fully 'custom' versions of the 18-karat watches. Beyoncé was photographed wearing it several times, while Lagerfeld less so. An interesting detail: the watch wasn't even set up or connected to an iPhone, and it didn't display the time on the screen.
The question was, "Who would buy something like this?" Ten thousand dollars represented an even more significant sum eight years ago, despite inflation. Apparently, not many people. Apple never officially disclosed sales figures for these golden smartwatches, but according to Bloomberg sources, the number didn't exceed 10,000. Another indicator: the golden watches were available at the Paris boutique 'Colette,' and just half a year after their launch, they were being sold there at a 50% discount. In September 2016, Apple officially removed them from their product lineup.
The lackluster sales don't come as a surprise, says Gilles Clavareau, a watchmaker specializing in elegant vintage timepieces and owner of l'Artisan du temps. "For that price, you could purchase a beautiful 'Tank' (an iconic model) from Cartier today. Watches in that price category should be considered jewels. A gold Apple Watch doesn't meet that standard. Moreover, they lack collectible value because they become technologically outdated and are designed to be disposable, which is now evident." Since Apple has declared them 'obsolete,' the company no longer offers repairs or spare parts. If you require a new battery or wish to replace the glass, you'll need to rely on a dubious repair shop, print shop, or night store that may still have some spare parts. "Be aware that I have clients with Apple Watches in the Hermes version (the French luxury brand produces wristbands for Apple Watches), but they wear them for activities like tennis, not for formal outings."
"If, by any chance, someone does own one, I would advise them to hold onto it," says Fons van Dyck, who authored a book about Apple. "Very old Apple computers and even the initial iPhone are now fetching substantial sums as collector's items or museum pieces." However, it appears that the Apple gold watch is still too young for such a fate. On Chrono24.com - essentially the eBay for luxury watches - one of these watches is currently listed for 7,500 dollars, with the price being open to negotiation.