Yes, you read that correctly, Apple’s recently announced Watch could potentially cost $5,000 for the 18-karat gold Watch Edition.
At its event earlier this month, Apple revealed that its upcoming smartwatch will be available with three build materials — aluminum in the Watch Sport, stainless steel for the normal Watch, and 18-karat gold for the Watch Edition. What it didn’t mention was price, instead stating that it’ll start at $350 and launch in 2015 but remaining tight-lipped on any further details. Well, according to Apple insider John Gruber, those prices could be $999 for the stainless steel Watch and $4,999 for the gold Watch Edition. “Most people think I’m joking when I say the gold ones are going to start at $5,000,” Gruber wrote on his site DaringFireball. “I couldn’t be more serious.”
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The reason for Gruber’s high estimate? The Watch Edition won’t just be gold-plated, but hewn from the precious metal. By comparison, it’s not unheard of for premium watchmakers to charge tens of thousands of dollars for gold watches. Gruber gives the example of Rolex’s 18-karat Submariner Date watch, which retailed in 2012 for $34,250. “The lowest conceivable price I could see for the Edition models is $1,999,” Gruber writes. “But the gold alone, just as scrap metal, might in fact be worth more than that.”
If Apple’s gold Watch does indeed cost $5,000, it’d set a new precedent in the smartwatch sector, where current models typically retail between $200-$300. With the Watch given a release date of early 2015, we’ll have to wait to see what final pricing will be, but be prepared for more than a little sticker shock should Gruber be right in his estimates.
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