Future Apple Watches could include platinum models - report

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited March 2015
Apple has been evaluating platinum for future versions of the Apple Watch, and may be using ceramic blending to achieve the extra-durable gold in first-generation Edition units, according to a new report.




Sources told the Wall Street Journal that Apple has been studying platinum casings, but that even if the company intends to build them, they are not expected to be announced during today's press event in San Francisco. Platinum watches can often sell for triple the price of gold ones.

The gold in the Edition Apple Watches is already anticipated to make them some of the most expensive products Apple has ever sold. Rumors have put prices anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000; for that reason, Apple is also allegedly installing special safes in its stores. The cheapest Watch will be $349, and midrange models could start around $500 or $600.

Apple may not be using standard 18-karat gold. Company exectutives have repeatedly claimed that their material is "twice as hard" as regular gold -- which is fairly malleable -- but haven't explained how this possible. Leancrew points to an Apple patent application describing an infusion of low-density ceramic particles.

By weight, 18-karat gold is actually just 75 percent gold, with the remaining quarter normally being silver, copper, or a combination of metals. The Apple alloy could use less than a third of the gold traditionally required while still meeting 18-karat standards.

AppleInsider will be providing live coverage of today's press event, which begins at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern, and can be viewed at live.appleinsider.com. The Apple Watch is expected to occupy the most stage time.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    The problem with this is, platinum is used with a .9 to .95 purity in jewelry. In fact, I think that, by law, you have to have .9 purity to be allowed to use a platinum hallmark and advertise a piece of jewelry as platinum.

    I wonder if Apple can make the low density ceramic with that little room to work with.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    If they have made some kind of Gold alloy, I'm sure there'll be a Jony Ive video about it in a few hours.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    I'd like to see a titanium variant.
  • Reply 4 of 36
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    sog35 wrote: »
    I think Platinum is hard enough that a ceramic isn't really needed.

    Certainly, but Apple's big trick with the gold is using a lot less of it (on a mass basis) due to the low density of their alloy. The result I think will be that later today, we will learn that Apple is going to sell their gold watch for significantly less than other gold watches on the market. I don't think they will be able to do the same thing with platinum.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    mobiusmobius Posts: 376member
    Future Apple Watches could include platinum models

    What future Apple watches?
  • Reply 6 of 36
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member

    I applaud Apple for incorporating precious metals in their new watch products. The real test will be my subjective impressions once I see, heft, and wear them on my wrist. Quite exciting.

     

    More power to them if they can pull off a platinum version.

     

    One obstacle to high-end traditional watch ownership, beyond the obstacle of price, for me, is the fact that an expensive watch is still just a watch, no matter how beautiful or "complicated" it may be. The promise of the ?Watch, though, is its far greater potential functionality beyond mere time keeping.

     

    Though I can certainly get that functionality within an aluminum body, if I can somehow afford it, I think I would seriously consider dropping the extra coin for the added luxury aspect of a gold or platinum body.

  • Reply 7 of 36
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,688member
    sog35 wrote: »
    me to.  Or at least a silver version.  Not really into Gold that much.  Too flashy for my taste.

    But i might buy a gold watch just for investment purposes.

    If you're looking for a gold investment, look into Canadian maple leaf gold coins.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,972member
    I'm still left wondering if Apple can break the mind set that occurs with fashion whereby exclusivity is part of the allure. Whatever the cost, if every other person wore a Rolex, made from various metals to spread cost options wider, would they still seem as attractive to those that can afford the high end versions? I want this to be the case for Apple obviously as a share holder. Time will tell ... no pun intended.
  • Reply 9 of 36
    +1 for Titanium...
  • Reply 10 of 36
    siretmansiretman Posts: 85member
    If you're looking for a gold investment, look into Canadian maple leaf gold coins.
    You are silly!!! Can you wear your coins on your wrist and enjoy the Apple watch experience?
  • Reply 11 of 36
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,688member
    siretman wrote: »
    You are silly!!! Can you wear your coins on your wrist and enjoy the Apple watch experience?

    Buy the watch to own and use something cool. Gold as an investment is a different matter and purity is paramount.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,186member
    No word on Liquidmetal?
  • Reply 13 of 36
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,688member
    cornchip wrote: »
    No word on Liquidmetal?

    The alloy must still be prohibitively expensive.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,186member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    The alloy must still be prohibitively expensive.

     

    That does appear to be the case.

  • Reply 15 of 36
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,376member
    I'm still left wondering if Apple can break the mind set that occurs with fashion whereby exclusivity is part of the allure.
    Exactly. My ?Watch looks just like your ?Watch, and does exactly the same thing, except mine is GOLD, and costs at least 10x yours, so it's far more exclusive. But that only works among people who know what the ?Watch is, doesn't it? How is someone to know your flat, featureless, black and gold metal block on a strap isn't just brass, gold plated, or gold tone, like every other watch out there? And is there a gold option that is less than 18k? In which case, there's very little chance even ?Watch afficiandos will know you have the Edition edition. A platinum Edition would only confuse things even more.

    The one thing the 18k gold watch has going for it is that by the time technology makes it obsolete in a couple of years, the price of gold will have risen such that the watch is actually worth more than what you paid for it originally -- so the gold recycling program melts down the watch, and credits the money back toward a new one (the rest in Apple Store credits haha). It's the gift that keeps on giving. Probably the best investment in an Apple product ever made.

    700700
  • Reply 16 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cornchip View Post



    No word on Liquidmetal?

     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    The alloy must still be prohibitively expensive.



    I was hoping that LM was what they were using to alloy the gold, but that doesn't seem to be the case, unfortunately.

  • Reply 17 of 36

    Platinum is thought to be a better metal for jewelry/watches.  When in reality, Platinum is a very dense mental but is also more malleable than 14k gold.  Platinum will scratch easier than other metals and is much heavier.  Platinum jewelry is 95% pure platinum and 14k gold has 58.5%, other alloys in 14k will make in stronger.  Now white gold will be stronger than yellow gold because of the nickle added to give it a white look. Than white gold is Rhodium (a form of Platinum) finished to bring out that bright white look.  As a former jeweler, I always advised my customers to stick with white gold over platinum and put the extra money in the diamonds/gemstones. 

     

    With the way Apple is using Liquidmetal to strengthen their alloys, I can't wait to see LQMT shoot up!! 

  • Reply 18 of 36
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    mobius wrote: »
    What future Apple watches?
    Gen 2 or 3. What's confusing you?
  • Reply 19 of 36
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,237member

    It make sense that Apple will offer a wide range of "personal" choices, including other metals. Most jewelers offer 10kt, 14kt, 18kt... I can see Apple offering Pt and perhaps other precious metals too.

     

    Gruber's write up about the price and cost of the metal bands in interesting too (daringfireball). Not sure if Apple has a patent on their band attachment technology to prohibit third parties from making their own bands.

  • Reply 20 of 36
    ronmgronmg Posts: 163member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post





    Gen 2 or 3. What's confusing you?

     

    Mobius is implying that Apple Watch will fail and they won't make anymore. Just ignore him/her and let them crawl back under their rock...

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