Gold Edition Ive film/Not Ceramic

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Julien, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #1
    There is a Jony Ive Edition film about the gold that was not shown at the event. He describes the process and it's not a ceramic alloy. It is a traditional gold copper, palladium and silver alloy. The BIG difference is gold is usually cast into the design. Apple is instead casting ingots, pressing them to remove any pores and then machining the gold case. This would create a stronger finished product but potentially more waist/expense. Of course at $10,000 and up cost is no a factor.
     
  2. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Cabin by a lake
    #2
    Luxury gold watches are usually not cast. They're forged from case shaped blanks, just like the ones that Apple showed in their video.

    Major watchmakers start with a gold alloy made to their desired mixture, and cast into ingots. Then the ingots are pressure rolled into strips. After every half dozen or so compression passes, the gold has to be annealed (heated up to remove the work hardening caused by the rollers), and then the process repeats until the strip is down to the desired thickness.

    Then multiple watch case blanks are punched out from the strip, checked for flaws, and sent to the actual watch case factory. So far, Apple does the same as everyone else.

    casep1.png

    It's after that point, where Apple apparently diverges from the major luxury watch makers.

    With other companies like Rolex, Swatch Group, Patek Philippe, the case blanks are cold forged into the proper shape. This causes a final work hardening, which is desirable both for strength and for better shine after hand polishing. This forging takes multiple passes, changing the die each time. It's labor intensive but produces a superior product.

    casep2.png

    Apple, on the other hand, apparently does NOT forge their gold cases to give them more strength. Instead, in their video, they CNC machine the blank into the desired shape, a method which, while more automated, should make their cases WEAKER than the forged cases used by other watch makers.

    case1.png
    case2.png
    case3.png

    From "Gold in Watchmaking", Lucien F Trueb
     
  3. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #3
    I believe there will be a certain people that don't want to hear this. :)

    Good that you brought it up.
     
  4. chris975d macrumors 68000

    chris975d

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #4

    I'm glad you posted this. I'm not sure where the misconception that companies that make expensive gold watches cast their cases, but it doesn't seem to be done in any of the Swiss luxury watches I'm a fan of. All I ever read about is the cold forging process that your post gives detail on.
     
  5. kingofwale macrumors 6502a

    kingofwale

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    #5
    still hardly change the fact it's a 300 dollar Apple watch internal with 600 dollars gold and selling it for 10K-17K.
     
  6. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #6
    Yep. Fact is fact.

    (Not your $600 gold though, unless you can back that up. :) )
     
  7. kingofwale macrumors 6502a

    kingofwale

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    #7
    many have predicted (before Apple releases) that the amount of gold inside apple watch is well below 1000 dollars. there's no point listing them here.

    Also you can calculate the weight difference between gold version vs non-gold and estimate how much extra weight is added (however, i'm sure ifixit will open that babe up and weight it as soon as it releases)

    how much do you believe the amount of gold is there?
     
  8. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #8
    I've done some calculations based on the weight difference between the gold and stainless models and assuming the density of gold is twice that of stainless steel, which suggest around $1,100 for the 42mm model.

    That doesn't include the cost of the gold used in the different straps.
     
  9. TallManNY macrumors 68040

    TallManNY

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    #9
    This isn't too far off from what the luxury watch companies have been doing for years. The gold version of the watch is $10,000 more the than the $8,000 SS version. But the SS version has internals that aren't much better than any other automatic. And you can get an automatic for as low as $800, maybe cheaper.

    Some items are sold based on the brand and the price. The high price is the product almost as much as the item itself.
     
  10. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #10
    Waste? There is no waste.

    This how most good watches are made. Starts with a solid chunk and then run through a CNC routing program.
     
  11. ditzy macrumors 68000

    ditzy

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #11
    Predictions aren't facts you know. And the predictions that speculated $600 assumed that Apple were using the patented method, which they are not. I personally can not wait until ifixit give us an actually break down and then we will have the facts.
     
  12. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #12
    I see the estimation ranging from $1000-1500. Not surprised people in some circles will put it down to $600 though. But I say "Shouldn't we just wait for someone to tear it down and weight it?". It will be more.. um.. scientific. :)
     
  13. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Cabin by a lake
    #13
    You should've read my response first :)

    Julien is correct that, when comparing the machining of rolled billets to regular casting, CNC results in a stronger item.

    However, the gold watches made by the major luxury brands are forged, not cast. Forged is stronger than machined, as it retains strength on the outside and can be polished to a higher shine.

    --

    Interestingly, Apple makes a big deal about forging their Stainless Steel model, for the very reasons given above.

    Makes me wonder whether, in the marketing attempt to make the Gold model sound different, the video skipped or modified some steps.
     
  14. kingofwale macrumors 6502a

    kingofwale

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    #14
    did you happen to count the internal as gold as well? because they sure aren't.

    I would estimate that internal component is around 50% (if not more) in weight. however, like many have said, ifixit will make the test more estimate.

    keep in mind this is 18K gold. so, the spot price for them are significant less than say... 99.99% gold
     
  15. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #15
    The stainless steel and gold models have exactly the same rear case, internals and display so the difference in weight between the two is down to the different densities of the two materials.

    I used the current cost for 18K gold for my calculation.
     

Share This Page