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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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While the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition is a gorgeous wristwatch, its starting price of $10,000 in the United States is simply out of reach for many customers. But if you have a stainless steel Apple Watch, it is possible to gold plate your device without breaking the bank. Take a look at the comparatively inexpensive services and methods for turning your Apple Watch gold below.

WatchPlate

Goldplated-Apple-Watch-800x418.jpg
MacRumors forum member RianFlynn has shared photos of a stainless steel Apple Watch with Milanese Loop with what he says is a thin coating of 24-karat gold that costs just $6. The finished product looks quite impressive, and the user has since launched a website called WatchPlate where he plans to accept Apple Watch gold plating orders for $399 with an estimated three-day turnaround. Most of the price is based on the time and labor involved. While we have not confirmed the authenticity of this service, gold plating the stainless steel Apple Watch is technically feasible.

The Time Preserve

Apple-Watch-Time-Preserve.jpg
Watch restoration specialist The Time Preserve recently announced that it is accepting gold plating orders for the stainless steel Apple Watch. The company, which has been restoring watches since 1995, uses custom-formulated gold electroplating for durability, and ensures that the 5 to 6 microns thick plating will not peel from daily wear. Prices range from $550 to $650, with cheaper prices for bands only, and the service has an estimated one-week turnaround.

Gold Spray Paint

YouTube creator Casey Neistat shared a video last week where he applied gold spray paint to his space gray aluminum Apple Watch Sport. Beyond the obvious fact that spray painting your Apple Watch probably isn't the wisest idea, given that the paint could easily chip or get stuck in the Digital Crown or other parts of the watch, the end result actually looks much like the Apple Watch Edition.

Of course, the thin gold plating is not the same as the 18-karat solid gold used on the Apple Watch Edition, but the difference is hard to tell visually and these services are available at a fraction of the price. Before placing an order, keep in mind that modifying your Apple Watch with gold plating may void your standard warranty or AppleCare protection plan for the device.

Article Link: Gold Plating Your Apple Watch is Possible Without Spending a Fortune
 

auero

macrumors 65816
Sep 15, 2006
1,386
114
For those of you who want to look rich... but aren't.

Yes, because not spending thousands of dollars on a gold watch that will eventually become obsolete signifies ones wealth. I think people seriously undermine the intelligence of wealthy individuals.

A gold watch isn't a prime example of demonstrating wealth.
 

snebes

macrumors 6502a
Apr 20, 2008
810
712
$6 of 24k gold seems questionable. That is marginally more than 0.0051 ounces of gold at todays prices. Doesn't seem like enough to me. But then again, I don't even own a single piece of jewelry. Who am I to know?
 

JaySoul

macrumors 68030
Jan 30, 2008
2,629
2,865
This will open up a whole world of aftermarket services for those with some entrepreneurial spirit.

Bravo!
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,531
6,000
So he says a 24-karat gold plating costs $6.

If Apple were to offer this service it would probably charge $600 :D

If you finished reading the article you would see that the person who did it himself for $6 is planning on offering the service for ~$400.

The material is obviously inexpensive compared to the labor involved.

If I wanted to do this, I'd go with the second option in the article. It looks and sounds like the most professional way of doing this.

Also, how can this article be all about literal gilding and completely fail to use the word a single time? Most of the time if you use the word you'd be making a metaphor instead of talking about literal gilding.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,516
2,807
Manhattan
I think this is a great -- and I like the idea of the plating option undermining the allure of the authentic but insanely overpriced Apple Watch Edition. I have a feeling all of the braggarts will be upset that everyone will just assume their 10K watch is a knockoff. :D

I wonder if Apple's lawyers are looking for an angle to sue and stop the plating businesses?
 

testcard

macrumors 68040
Apr 13, 2009
3,712
2,755
Northumbria, UK
I'm seriously considering offering a service where Edition owners can have their Watches space grey anodised. They're still rich, just not flaunting it.
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,549
1,211
Cascadia
98% profit margin. He makes Apple look like chumps.

Even the creator admits most of the cost is labor, not materials.

$6 of 24k gold seems questionable. That is marginally more than 0.0051 ounces of gold at todays prices. Doesn't seem like enough to me. But then again, I don't even own a single piece of jewelry. Who am I to know?

Two words: gold leaf

Gold is an amazing material. It stays identifiable as gold, even when you hammer it to ridiculous levels of thinness.
One ounce of gold may be hammered thin enough to cover more than 9 square meters (96.9 square feet) of a surface. The gold leaf may be only 0.18 microns (seven millionths of an inch) thick; a stack of 7,055 sheets would be no thicker than a dime.
 

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
3,572
3,624
Not interested in the gold but a third party link band in a space gray would be nice to have made. The only options I've seen so far are black or silver.
 

bigpics

macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2002
287
48
Rockland County, New York
I'm seriously considering offering a service where Edition owners can have their Watches space grey anodised. They're still rich, just not flaunting it.

"Reverse humble bragging" (or something like that) ;)

Even the creator admits most of the cost is labor, not materials.

Two words: gold leaf

Gold is an amazing material. It stays identifiable as gold, even when you hammer it to ridiculous levels of thinness.

One ounce of gold may be hammered thin enough to cover more than 9 square meters (96.9 square feet) of a surface. The gold leaf may be only 0.18 microns (seven millionths of an inch) thick; a stack of 7,055 sheets would be no thicker than a dime.

That ounce of gold can also be pulled - using only simple tools - in a wire a mile long. And that's what you call malleability...

...so yeah, gold plating - one form of gilding (which can also be done mechanically, etc.) - can use very little gold, but there are different levels, types and quality of plating, e.g., "HGE" for "heavy gold electroplaing." And electroplaing is not typically done on aluminum or stainless steel, rather generally on silver (jewelery) or copper (in electronic applications).

So I'm wondering how well it will take and hold up on non-gold Apple Watches. E.g., consider this:

Gold plating of silver is used in the manufacture of jewelry. Like copper, silver atoms diffuse into the gold layer, causing slow gradual fading of its colour and eventually causing tarnishing of the surface. This process may take months and even years, depending on the thickness of the gold layer. A barrier metal layer is used to counter this effect.

Copper, which also migrates into gold, does so more slowly than silver. The copper is usually further plated with nickel. A gold-plated silver article is usually a silver substrate with layers of copper, nickel, and gold deposited on top of it.

It is also done on gold - e.g., an 18K "gold wash" is often applied to Italian (and sometimes Israeli) 14K gold jewelery for the USA market to give it the color of 18K European gold.
 
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