As expected watch replaters are cashing in

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by ElizabethKing, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. ElizabethKing macrumors newbie

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    Apr 28, 2015
    #1
    There are at least two companies in the US who are advertising the ability to recreate Apple's gold alloy (at least optically if not scientifically). Here's one. The watch looks pretty good to me. This particular company also offers rhodium plating for people who bought SS and want to maintain that look but add a protective scratch resistant layer.

    http://www.cultofmac.com/321072/gold-plated-apple-watch/
     
  2. batman75 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 15, 2010
    #2
    The problem with gold is that it is soft. I don't know how well this will hold up. Apple solved the problem by developing its own high strength gold alloy. Not sure what kind of gold they are using for this plating but if it is pure then finish could get easily nicked.
     
  3. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

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    #3
    Rhodium has a MOHS of 6.0, it's not particularly hard, scratch resistant.

    It is in the platinum family, so highly stable and resistant to corrosion/tarnish/oxidation, so it's often used to plate White Gold, because its a more brilliant white luster, and retains that luster better. It's also much harder than gold.

    I doubt it's notably harder than SS.
     
  4. ElizabethKing, Apr 30, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015

    ElizabethKing thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Don't tell anyone that Apple used a proprietary harder gold. They get very upset and say it's not true. :) http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph...srchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=20140361670.PGNR.

    I agree with you that plating is plating. But the SS is shiny and scratching so not sure if it matters if you want the Edition look and are willing to pay for it you can always get a scratched rose gold to go with your sport band. ;)
     
  5. BeyondtheTech macrumors 68020

    BeyondtheTech

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    #5
  6. ElizabethKing thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 28, 2015
    #6
    In fact, rhodium is one of the best metals to use to coat jewelry and of course it is harder than steel. It's harder than platinum and a more expensive metal in fact. And yes it most certainly does protect against scratching.
     
  7. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

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    #7
    Apple did not use a Gold-Carbon Matrix from that Patent.
    It is a standard Alloy of Gold, Silver, Copper, and Paladium. Jony Ive said so himself in this video
    https://www.apple.com/watch/apple-watch-edition/
     
  8. ElizabethKing thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 28, 2015
    #8
    Thanks. I tried to fix it but it's not working. Doesn't matter. I don't think anyone wants to read the patent anyway.
     
  9. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

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    #9
    Source? Because as of now reality contradicts you.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardnesses_of_the_elements_(data_page)
    http://www.mjewelry.com/Info/Education/Precious-Metals-Guide

    rhodium 6.0
    stainless steel 6.5

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    We've read it. Apple didn't apply this patent for the Apple Watch Edition. Source: Jony Ive, see above.

    But maybe you know more than him... :rolleyes:
     
  10. ElizabethKing thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    That's not entirely correct. He said they made a harder gold and he referenced a hardening process which he did not go into the mechanics of. There has been no statement from Apple disavowing the process outlined in the patent was used to make the harder gold in the Edition and it is worth nothing that the patent states it is to create a harder gold. And again, as I mentioned yesterday, the patent explicitly states that the claims do not limit the composition to a ceramic metal matrix. Do you believe that if someone recreated the harder gold that Apple is touting that Apple would not sue for infringement? Taking it a step further, if there is no patent on it then anyone can create the Apple gold, right? Do you think Apple would agree with that?
     
  11. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    #11
    Granted it's not $10K, but I don't think I would plate my watch this early, as it will most definitely void your warranty ... And for a brand new product clearly rushed out the door behind schedule, that's a good way to lose your initial investment.

    Plating doesn't have to last more than a year or two since anyone who would go to these lengths are likely to upgrade with the next model which will likely be offered in a more affordable 14k gold, or gold cladding. I've read some of these guys are playing even thicker than commercial plating, so it should easily last the practical life of the watch even considering occasionally buffing it up to its original luster. And of course the good news with plating, is that you can always relate it.
     
  12. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

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    #12
    He went into the mechanics, he demonstrated industry standard alloying of gold with copper, palladium, and silver. This process significantly increases the hardness of Gold. Did not involve any composite matrix. This harder gold has existed for ages.

    Maybe English isn't your first language? I can sympathize with your comprehension issues. Apple clearly has a patent, you linked it. Not sure what you are trying to say in this last bit.
     
  13. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    #13
    The patent also references their method 'uses as little gold as possible', something else they didn't go into detail on.
     
  14. technopimp macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 12, 2009
    #14
    Wow...accusing someone of not speaking English because you think they're wrong about something?

    Shame that's what this place has come to.

    OP-I have not seen anything from Apple denying their gold/carbon mix being used in the watch either. If that's what they're using, I think it's hilarious given how little actual gold is in their $10,000 machine.

    Tim just said how unit cost estimates are "way off". Probably "way off" being we're estimating too high. :D
     
  15. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

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    #15
    Incorrect.

    She showed an Apple Patent, then two posts later, makes a statement as if Apple has no such patent. I bolded this section specifically.

    Her self-contradictory statements make no sense, and cause me to question skill with English.
     
  16. ElizabethKing, Apr 30, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2015

    ElizabethKing thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Yes reality contradicts me. That's clearly proven. Here is a moh's chart. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohs_scale_of_mineral_hardness Here's another source. http://jewelry-secrets.com/Blog/the-durability-and-hardness-of-metals/ And my watch will be scratch resistant with that weak rhodium plating on it so I guess I will have to live with that. :) For those who care, stainless steel on the Mohs scale ranges from 5.5 to 6.3 depending on the constituent of the steel.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=rhodium+used+to+coat+stainless+steel&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

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    Yes English is my second language. I come from Planet Vulcan except I was dumb one that got kicked out and sent to Earth. Please bear with me. I am trying (hard) to keep up with someone as smart as you but I just can't seem to get there. The promotional video from Apple's design director does not in anyway go into the weeds of their PROPRIETARY hardening process. As far as we know they have one patent on a process to create harder gold which does NOT, according to the patent, rely solely on the use of ceramic metal matrix. It is my (dim-witted) view that Apple would enforce that patent against anyone who sold a gold alloy constituted with the same structure. But you are correct. The two minute promotional video has the same legal import as patent claims. We should embrace the video as a fulsome step-by-step how-to on making a gold that is twice as hard as standard gold and thank Apple for telling us all how to do it because clearly they believe their process is in the public domain. Thanks Apple! :)

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    Yeah I think you are correct that plating will void the warranty. But I decided to read the Apple Care warranty and it claims not to cover scratches to the metal. So it's a hard decision as to whether to plate or not. If you plate, you should plate right away b/c plating does not cover scratches. So you would want to get that protective coating on before you wear it around.
     
  17. Menel, Apr 30, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2015

    Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

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    #17
    Your jewelry-secrets.com URL says
    Rhodium 6
    Hardened Steel 7-8 (even harder than my prior source) which Apple's Cold Forged steel is.

    So you are agreeing with me that Rhodium plating a Steel Apple watch is making it more scratch prone, less durable?
     
  18. ElizabethKing thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 28, 2015
    #18
    Finally I have someone on my side. Thank you! Yes, the gold is 18 karatage by mass according to their patent claims, which I guess makes it lawful to advertise it as 18K gold, even though the patent says the process "uses as little gold as possible" by volume. It's pretty though. I didn't think the rose gold looked like traditional rose gold but that got people upset too. I loved it but it was more coppery in appearance I thought. If it had been $4K to $5K I probably would have bought it even knowing it will be obsolete technology in a couple of years.

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    Apple steel is 316L stainless. Please stop. Remember, the watchcase on the SS is a high sheen watchcase. It is not brushed stainless or unfinished steel. You are comparing apples and oranges. Didn't you see the videos from some of the tech reviewers after two days of wear?? So, I am like 99% sure I am going to rhodium coat mine (b/c I jam just too dumb to understand) and I will definitely and honestly keep you updated as to whether or not it scratches with the plating. But we agree that if I go a week or two without scratches then I have already beat the tech guys who reviewed it with scratch marks over the weekend after two days of wear, right? :)
     
  19. ElizabethKing thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 28, 2015
    #19
    Please. This is no place for a discussion of facts. ;) Drink the Kool-Aid and keep your head down and your mouth shut if you know what's good for you. The funny thing is, I LOVE Apple. I bought the watch! I am excited about it. You cannot house computer technology in a traditional 18K gold b/c it would be WAY TOO SOFT and it would dent and it would damage the computer. Their invention is great for a watch case. And anyone who copies that gold is gonna get sued. But again, let's keep the focus on ads and off patents.

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  20. H3rman macrumors 6502

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    Apr 16, 2015
    #20
    The watches are sold at 18k gold which by definition means it had 75% gold in it. Any less and it's not 18k...
     
  21. ElizabethKing thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 28, 2015
    #21
    According to their patent claim, they maintain the 18 karatage by mass even though the amount of gold is reduced by volume. The claim makes clear that they believe this is 18K gold by weight even though the volume of gold used is greatly reduced. So if they are correct by metallurgy standards they have not mislabeled the gold. It's a new patent so it could be challenged by someone. All that remains to be seen.
     
  22. Dwalls90 macrumors 601

    Dwalls90

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    Feb 5, 2009
    #22
    Say goodbye to your warranty.

    By the time you buy the watch and pay for this, I doubt it's worth the risk of having no warranty support.

    People that buy the Edition aren't concerned with money.
     
  23. nrubenstein macrumors 6502

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    Washington, DC
    #23
    *sigh* Karatage is defined by mass exclusively, not volume. It's not "their claim." It's a fact.

    And Apple would be far from the first company to tweak the filler materials to their own specs - the extreme end would be Hublot (which has had a very solid patent in place on their process for quite some time).

    That said, beyond the existence of the patent (and Apple files patents ALL the time without actually using them), there is no evidence that they have used a particularly unusual alloy of gold in the current Edition. Likewise, if they were doing something really special with the gold alloy, they would absolutely have trumpeted that in the video. They did not, which makes it fairly unlikely.
     
  24. ElizabethKing thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 28, 2015
    #24
    It's impossible to say because they have not stated the exact composition of the gold in the Edition. They referenced a hardening process but did not get into the weeds on it. A lot of people think the pricing on the watch is off. I mean pricing experts say it is off. I don't know what the thinking was in pricing it the way they did.

    As far as advertising the special gold in the patent, some people would be put off by a process that creates the gold watchcase with a reduced gold volume. As such, it is far from clear that Apple would champion the use of metal matrix in a process that uses "as little gold as possible" if that is the gold in the Edition, which we don't factually know but it certainly looks like it is. At the end of the day, I think the video handled it really well. It says, basically that they have created (invented) a really hard gold and the process is really amazing creating an 18K gold case with super-protective properties. You wouldn't want a typical 18K gold case b/c it would be too soft. I do think the pricing should have been reduced in accordance with the use of less gold by volume and the fact that the technology is the same across all of the watches. But that's just my opinion.

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    Do you really think that's true? I think there are some people who will buy the Edition in order to appear not to be concerned by money but who in fact sit around the dining room table every night wondering how they are going to afford their mortgage, and their two luxury car payments. And I think that the opposite is also true. There are people who will buy the Sport who could buy 50 Editions and give them out as gifts if they wanted to. I guess I am always skeptical of the use of personal property as a reliable indicator of wealth. Some of the wealthiest people I know like to fly beneath the radar. ;)
     
  25. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    Apr 16, 2015
    #25
    The watch is significantly overpriced for the amount of gold by weight contained in the watch, regardless of any slight differences in a traditional 18K implementation, and Apple's patent.

    But that's not what Apple is charging for ... they are charging for the R&D that went into the development of this particular gold patent, as well as the tooling and finishing of this particular proprietary alloy. Then they are charging you for the time it takes to take existing fabrication equipment offline to produce the limited quantities of the gold Edition, as well as the additional expense for any additional equipment to produce it without shutting down the primary base watch making equipment. Then there's the marketing of it. John Scully infamously added $1,000 to the cost of the original Mac in order to pay for the million dollar Superbowl ad. And finally, the added expense of the security involved in shipping and protecting the watch. That's what you're paying for in the end ... NOT the actual gold, which is probably less than $2K on the current market.

    If they were planning to manufacture as many gold Editions as they are the Sport, then they could reduce the price considerably. I'm not saying there isn't a considerable "luxury tax" premium Apple is imposing on their actual cost, but there are real factors that must be considered in pricing the Edition.
     

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