The Apple Watch is set to release in April, and many users are already discussing which model and what color they’re going to buy, except for watch enthusiasts.
The new smartwatch will arrive with three models to choose from: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. Prices will start at $350. The Apple Watch Edition, however, will be the high-end model coming with a solid 18-karat gold shell that will cost considerably more.
A price point for the Apple Watch Edition has yet to be disclosed though, but we’ll most likely find out that information on March 9. However, you can bet that the Apple Watch Edition will cost quite a bit, with some experts estimating at least a $5,000 price tag. Heck, the gold itself will cost around $1,000 for each Apple Watch Edition made, and that’s without a markup.
With that said, you can probably assume that the Apple Watch Edition will really only cater towards watch enthusiasts who have the money to spend on extravagant timepieces as a fashion accessory, but even that seems like a stretch.
It turns out that many watch lovers and watch enthusiasts are turned off by the gold Apple Watch, and their money is better spent on something from Rolex or Cartier. Watch enthusiasts over on the /r/Watches subreddit had some interesting points to make about the Apple Watch Edition.
PostGradWarrior argues that your thousands of dollars are better well spent on a real watch if you’re in the market for one:
I would never wear that over a Rolex, and at $5,000 [Apple is] competing with all the luxury brands. I admire the technology to an extent, but no way would I pay that much for one. At least with a Cartier, Rolex or any mechanical luxury brand you know the watch can outlast you. I don’t see anyone passing an iWatch to their heirs.”
Another Reddit user says that wearable tech shouldn’t even be compared to the watch industry in the first place:
…You’d have to be stupid to spend so much on tech that’s not only new but will be obsolete very shortly…Wearable tech is not the same as the watch industry, they’re completely different industries. As said, the watch industry is not threatened by wearable tech, Apple’s gold watch is an attempt to bridge that gap.”
He continues by saying that Apple will have a hard time getting watch enthusiasts to buy a gold Apple Watch:
…with watches they’re buying Rolex, Omega, JLC, Nomos, Patek, etc etc. Not Apple. Also, the demographic for Apple products is pretty different. It’s still comparing apples and oranges (har har), smart watches aren’t part of the luxury watch industry. As a struggling niche they are going to struggle even harder to penetrate a very exclusive industry, especially when the only thing that makes the gold iWatch exclusive is the fact that it’s gold and more expensive.”
One user was just straight-up blunt about the gold Apple Watch:
I predict nobody who frequents [/r/Watches] will buy a gold edition apple watch.”
Another user argues that no one will wear a gold Apple Watch over a traditional luxury timepiece:
What man is going to say “hm I have a formal dinner tonight, do I wear the ______ or the Apple Watch with my tux?”
At least someone was fairly optimistic about the Apple Watch Edition:
5k is a very low price for a brand new gold watch and if apple can reach that price point it will be good news…In the end I think it will be a good addition to the world of smartwatches and watches in general.”
So it seems that the general consensus is that if you have thousands of dollars to spend on a watch, you’re not going to buy the gold Apple Watch Edition, but rather a traditional mechanical watch from a luxury brand that will last multiple lifetimes, whereas the technology in the Apple Watch will be lucky to last a few years.
However, with the entry-level Apple Watch, that seems more like a product that many users would buy, including watch enthusiasts, thanks to the much lower price tag compared to what the gold Apple Watch Edition could cost.
I have a good feeling that the mainstream consumer wants a product like this and is going to adopt it relatively quickly. Not only are there many, many people with empty wrists who love new tech, but there are people with basic timepieces who would be happy to replace them with an Apple Watch.”
They also argue that the gold Apple Watch Edition could, in fact, threaten luxury watch makers to lower their prices:
What Apple will also do is force the watch industry to stop playing as much hanky-panky with pricing. While the Apple Watch in gold won’t be cheap, it will put luxury watch brands on notice that attempt to charge so very much more for simple gold watches.”
Of course, no one truly knows yet how the Apple Watch Edition will affect the luxury watch industry, so it’s certainly something that we’ll have to keep our eye on and wait and see what happens, but either way, many watch enthusiasts agree that their money isn’t going toward a gold Apple Watch, but rather a true luxury timepiece that will last longer.