Apple’s patent-pending 18k gold: Harder, more scratch-resistant, and ‘less gold’

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Rogifan, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    I'm sure this has been tried, of course it's been tried :)
    But, simply out of interest I'm wondering if anyone here knows about this process, if it's been used in any major applications.

    What am I thinking of ?

    I am thinking of making gold "set" for want of a better word, in a bubble/honeycomb structure, but of course very very fine, and then have a solid skin over the top to provide the surface finish/smoothness.

    Note: I'm not suggesting this is what Apple have done. I'm simply interested if people have used the process I just described to enable you to have a item of gold, which is "All Gold" and yet, have more volume of gold for the same actual quantity.

    The best analogy I can show in a photo would be this:

    If you imagine this was all gold:


    Has this been used?
  2. 8CoreWhore, Mar 8, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015

    8CoreWhore macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D
    Edition Watch starting at $1499. (just throwing that idea out there for fun as it may be the near the lowest estimate - who knows what Apple is really thinking)

    If Apple wanted this to be an equivalent luxury item in the minds of the rich, they'd use the same amount of gold as the luxury makers. They have to know that this will be considered "inferior" - and as such, the mark up will be far less.

    It has just over $600 worth of gold in it.

    This could become "Goldgate." Why? Not because Apple is doing anything wrong, but because the media knows they can spin this anyway they want to get clicks, and the public will have no idea how gold is "normally made."

    The public not fully understanding something is a necessary ingredient in the media creating any narrative they want - and that narrative relies on confusion and controversy.
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    That would be barely breakeven. The stainless steel with link band might be $1499. There's no way the gold will be that cheap.
  4. vigilant macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2007
    Nashville, TN

    I think the Apple Watch will notably higher but I don't think it will be in the $1499 range.

    I don't think Apple will go that high for the non-Gold. I think the loaded Apple Watch SS at $999 is disruptive for that specific market in the same way the iPad had fairly disruptive pricing.

    The pricing is such a huge question mark on this. It kinda blows my mind.
  5. Cashmonee macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2006
    I guess the thought would be that you are trying to pass this thing off as high end, upper market, fashion/jewelry item, yet you cheap out on the gold. Part of what makes a Rolex, a Rolex, is the amount of gold, in addition to the movement, timelessness, etc. Apple tried something like this before with the HiFi. Remember, Jobs was getting rid of all of his high-end stereo equipment because Apple had figured out a way to do it better in a smaller, cheaper package.

    On a side note, I think the Edition price may be far less than people anticipate because they are using less gold. I also think that is the smart thing to do. However, they should not even mention a high-end watch maker in comparison to the :apple:Watch, because it won't stack up, even if it had twice the gold as those.
  6. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    It'll still be marketed as solid 18K gold so that's all people will see. However, it'll still be expensive at $600 worth of gold because Apple will charge a 3x markup for the gold alone.
  7. vigilant macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2007
    Nashville, TN

    So this is the hard part. The price of gold at the point of sale is dramatically different then gold wholesale from what I've seen in the past.

    I'm not an expert on fine jewelry. This is a product competing in two different markets at the same time. Race to the bottom electronics, and prestige savvy fashion people. Rolex is something that I've seen given for high school graduations with upgrades done for college graduations and weddings on the very high side of this market. People own and cherish a truly well done Rolex as a family heirloom that gets passed down. Part of this is craftsmanship of the watch, continued utility, and price.

    For Apple to go after the ultra high end of this is not practical in volume. An iPhone 3GS can't run the latest iOS. It's hard to believe that 5 years down the line the Apple Watch will be able to run the latest Watch OS, let alone be able to properly work well with an iPhone 9S.

    What I expect is that the Apple Watch Edition will be very loosely varied in price per period based on material costs.

    For most people I think the Apple Watch will probably go as high as $1000. At between $350-1000 there is a steady and logical price spread going from Sport to Standard.

    Edition I expect to be more reasonable then most are expecting. If you have to ask about the price though, it may be best to not worry about it at all.

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