Apple enters luxury market with $17,000 Apple Watch Edition

“The basics of the Apple Watch have been known since September, but now, a few weeks before the watch’s arrival in stores, Apple has finally revealed how much it will cost,” Brian X. Chen reports for The New York Times.

“Unlike past Apple products, the Apple Watch has a complex pricing structure. Because a smart watch is both gadget and fashion accessory, Apple designed its device to be highly customizable to suit the tastes of various consumers, from fitness buffs to collectors of luxury watches,” Chen reports. “Apple will offer three models of Apple Watch, each with a casing made of a different material: Watch Sport, a version with an aluminum case; Watch, which has a stainless steel case; and Watch Edition, which has a case made of 18-karat gold.”

Chen reports, “The Apple Watch Edition, which has a case made of 18-karat gold, is a sure sign that Apple has entered the luxury market. Pricing for the high-end version starts at $10,000.”

Apple Watch Edition in 38mm 18-Karat Rose Gold Case with Rose Gray Modern Buckle
Apple Watch Edition in 38mm 18-Karat Rose Gold Case with Rose Gray Modern Buckle – $17,000.00

 
Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That is a beautiful watch and, just as a timepiece alone (discounting everything else it offers), its actually quite a bargain in the luxury watch segment. Bravo, Apple!

Related articles:
In smartphones, it’s Apple’s luxury or Android’s rock bottom – February 2, 2015
Apple takes top luxury gifting spot in China – January 29, 2015
It’s time to think of Apple as a global luxury brand – November 29, 2013

28 Comments

  1. It is strange that there is now an Apple product whose price is 97.9% about fashion given the tech only costs $350.

    This will drive some people crazy.

    1. fashion and materials. The gold alone is worth over $1000 at current prices and buying large amounts of a resource that can have wild fluctuations is part of the reason why luxury brands price gold higher.

      The gold watch, in this case, is partially subsidizing the less expensive steel and aluminum ones.

    1. Nah, all long time AApl investors can easily afford the gold
      and give back to the goose that lays the golden egg, by buying the gold, if they like gold…

  2. It is a beautiful something, but not having an artisan movement inside means just as nevermark says- this is lipstick, not lip. IMHO there really is nothing worth paying 10K for here.

      1. Yes, without question there is a difference in engines installed in cars built in a few thousand units versus many tens of thousands of units.

        Functionally and durability and performance wise, Apple doesn’t offer anything special in the Edition watch. It offers a different material and a high price tag. That’s just wierd in the world of electronics.

        How much would a gold electroplated version cost? Does solid gold make it a more desirable item? I think it will just mark people as targets for muggings.

  3. It will be a privilege for me and my family members to own the various Apple Watch Edition models that I’ll be purchasing the second they are available.

  4. First 2014… no offence intended but you must be joking…

    If I was buying an Edition watch, I’d expect it to be a watch for life. So every time they upgrade the tech, they’d give me a new watch and recycle the old one offsetting the price of the gold.

    They are going to sell tones of sport versions. the allure of the edition will ensure it.

    Software and mechanical engineering aside… the edition will be the product differential.

    1. Prices mean different things to different people. AWE is very well-priced for all that it offers. I plan on replacing them as Apple releases new models. I assume there will be a vibrant resale market, too, for people who’d like to own an AWE, but find the retail prices to be out of their range.

  5. Well, like someone else pointed out, they only have to sell a “few” of the Edition versions to make it worth their time and investment.
    For example, if Apple sells 1 million units of the Apple Watch and “only” 10% are the “Edition” versions, then they’ve just collected $1 BILLION in revenue which would have otherwise gone missing.

    And I’m guessing those Edition watches have a profit margin somewhat higher than 40%. ;-}

    The sport version will sell like gangbusters, but man, Apple is going to make another mountain of money on the Edition version, no matter how you slice it.

    And the sub $1000 watch makers might want to look into new venues of employment.

  6. Well, I suppose if $17,000 per annum is chicken feed to you then you might just buy a new watch every year. It will be interesting to see what the trade in value is, and how much a superseded gold watch brings on eBay etc.

    I stopped wearing my slim Swiss watch because I was always taking it off. I don’t know if I would wear a watch as bulky as this. As watches go it’s not very stylish either…

    I will go and have a look next month, however, and decide then if I feel it’s a viable option…

  7. I think Apple will sell the $10,000 – $17,000 versions. But I honestly think they’ve made a mistake. Not a financial one, but a BRANDING mistake. All the media is going to talk about, at least in the short term, is the $17,000 watch — as if Rolex didn’t exist.

    But then, Rolex is not an “aspirational” brand, it’s a luxury brand. That’s a huge difference. Stretching the meaning of the Apple brand to include uber-luxury damages the meaning of what Apple is. Frankly, they’d have been better off coming up with a new brand, just for the gold watch. Infinity Loop, perhaps, or Jobbian, or whatever.

    I fear that whatever they make in profit will be offset by the loss in brand focus.

    1. It’s not a branding problem at all. You can buy an Apple watch for $17,000, or you can buy exactly the same watch in a different casing for $350. Those who want to splash the cash can buy the gold version, while those who solely want the functionality can spend $350 and know that they’re getting the same thing in every respect except for the casing and strap but paid $16,650 less than the other customer. Both types of purchasers get to feel good about their decision.

      If you wanted a Rolex, you always had to buy the full price version, they never offered the same Rolex mechanism in an affordable housing. With mechanical movements, they never could have done.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.