Apple's gold Edition watch is certainly not cheap! Edition models run from $10,000 all the way up to $17,000. But now there's a way you can get a gold plated Apple Watch for much less money than what Apple is charging for the Apple Watch Edition.
It turns out that some enterprising jewelers have figured out how to add gold plating to stainless steel Apple Watches. The end result of this process for Apple Watch customers is the ability to have a gold plated watch without paying Apple an arm and a leg.
Chance Miller reports for 9to5Mac on how to get a gold plated Apple Watch cheap:
First, Watch Plate offers to gold plate your own Apple Watch for $399. The process is relatively simple. You simply FedEx them your stainless steel Apple Watch and they will gold plate the device and ship it back to you, all within 3 business days. Watch Plate will even email you a FedEx label to make the shipment process as simple as possible. The company says it is using 24 karat rose gold or 24 karat yellow gold during its process.
Golden Dreams takes a different approach to offering gold Apple Watch units. For $4,200, the company will soon offer gold-plated Apple Watch models in 24 karat yellow gold, 18 karat rose gold, and 18 karat white gold models. These watches are all custom-made in Geneva and ship worldwide. The company also touts that their gold-plated Apple Watch ships in a high-end luxury box. Alongside the Watch itself, Golden Dreams will also offer over 160 different colored Alligator leather straps. Hand engraving will also be available, according to the company.
I have to admit that the news about these jewelers offering cheaper gold plated Apple Watches took me by complete surprise. I'm no jewelry aficionado so I never expected anybody to offer this kind of service. But I have no doubt that both companies will probably do quite well for themselves.
Let's face it, an Apple Watch with a gold case conveys a high degree of status in some social circles. And for folks that really care about that kind of thing, but who don't have the financial means to buy an Edition watch from Apple, this kind of service could be just what the doctor ordered.
But will Apple's lawyers tolerate cheaper gold watches?
One question that comes up in my mind is about whether or not Apple will tolerate cheaper gold plated Apple Watches. It can't do much about Watch Plate's service (beyond perhaps invalidating Apple Watch warranties after the watch has been changed by Watch Plate) since once you buy an Apple Watch it's yours to do with as you please.
But Golden Dreams is a bit different since it seems that they will be selling the watches outright, already gold plated. That makes them some sort of reseller of Apple Watches. If you go to their site you'll see that you can actually "preorder" your gold plated Apple Watch.
I can't help but wonder if Apple's lawyers are already plotting to go after Golden Dreams to stop them from reselling Apple Watches that have been changed without Apple's approval. Apple's legal department is not known for being shy when it comes to lawsuits and other legal tools to protect what they see as the integrity of Apple's brand.
I guess we'll just have to wait and see what Apple's legal plans are for Golden Dreams.
Why would a gold Apple Watch matter to people?
Another question that came into my mind when I heard about cheaper gold plated Apple Watches is why people might want them in the first place. Is it just the color of a gold plated Apple Watch? Or is it the perception of status? Or both?
I'm not...er...a fashion plate so the color of gold is somewhat lost on me. I saw some of the Edition watches at the Apple Store, and frankly I didn't much care for them. I wouldn't wear one if you gave it to me for free. But that's probably just my lack of style showing.
But if someone is going to go through the trouble of having their stainless steel Apple Watch plated with gold for a cheap price, then I think they must really be a hard-core fashionista that simply must have a gold colored accessory on their wrist.
If it's not for fashion reasons, then the only other possibility is status. And that's fine if it really matters to you. Some folks do care quite a bit about how others perceive them in terms of financial achievement and that kind of thing. I can understand that though it's not something that I care about in my own life.
Unfortunately, not everybody has this attitude. I've seen some very snarky comments online when owners of the Apple Watch Edition have shared a picture of their watch on their wrist. This is unfortunate to me, and it doesn't speak very well of the folks who are obviously jealous of somebody else's ability to buy such a watch.
Hey, if you've got the money for an Apple Watch Edition or if you choose to use one of these gold plating services, then more power to you. The important thing is that you end up being happy with the final version of your Apple Watch.
But what about other colors for an Apple Watch?
All of this makes me wonder if some other enterprising jeweler or some other professional might eventually provide a slightly different service: painting the Apple Watch different colors. I don't just mean gold. I mean colors like green, blue, purple or perhaps even orange? And it would be great if they also extended that coloring service to the Sport model as well as the Stainless Steel version.
Personally, I wouldn't walk around with a purple Apple Watch. But I bet somebody out there would love one. And if a jeweler wants to provide that service for a reasonable price, and somebody wants to have it done, then good for both parties.
Of course some folks might paint their Apple Watches themselves, but if I were going to do it I'd probably pay somebody since I am absolutely hopeless with that sort of thing. But if you're up for it, you could save a few bucks by customizing the color of your Apple Watch yourself.
I think we might be at the very beginning of a somewhat unexpected slew of Apple Watch customization services by jewelers. It will be very fun to see how it all plays out in the years ahead, one the Apple Watch has gone through a revision or two and becomes much more widely available and worn than it is right now.
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