When the Apple Watch launched with lots of fanfare back in April, one of the most talked about points was the Edition collection of the watch – which features an 18k gold case. Ranging in price from $10,000-17,000, these desirable watches were out of reach for many Apple fans. But, a few clever jewelers have managed to capitalize on the Apple Watch’s popularity by offering to gold-plate the watches at a much lower price than what the Edition usually costs.
If you’re a jeweler looking to increase business, gold-plating Apple Watches can be a great opportunity – and chances are, you already have the materials and know-how to do it. However, it’s important to make sure your customers understand that the Edition watch and the gold-plating modification you offer aren’t equivalent.
The 18k gold that Apple uses for the Edition is a proprietary metal matrix composite, which uses both gold and ceramic. Using die-striking, liquid gold is used to fill the microscopic cavities of a porous ceramic matrix, and the two become one solid piece after sintering under pressure to create the watch’s case. This means that the Edition’s case is solid 18k gold and extremely scratch resistant. While gold-plating can capture the same look as the Edition, it won’t wear as well over time.
But unlike Apple, a fully-equipped jeweler can offer many more customization options for these watches. The Edition comes in either 18k rose gold or yellow gold. Depending on your materials and capabilities, you could offer plating in many more color and karat combinations. Customized bands and clasps can be another great selling point.
Have you customized any Apple Watches with precious metals? We’d love to feature your work! Contact us with pictures and details, or reach out to us on social media. Need materials to create the ultimate luxury watch? Don’t forget, we sell casting grains.