Remembering the durable ceramic Apple Watch Edition, now dropped from Apple's lineup

Posted:
in Apple Watch
The beloved and tough ceramic Apple Watch is no more. AppleInsider laments the quiet passing of what will surely be remembered as a classic.

Mickey Mouse display on a ceramic Apple Watch Edition


Apple can be so cold sometimes. In unveiling this year's new Apple Watch Series 4, the company quietly abandoned the Apple Watch Edition -- again. Last time they just seemed to forget this model exists, it was when they dropped the version that was made out of 18-Karat gold.

Presumably if you had $10,000 burning a hole in your pocket back in 2016 then you might be unhappy that version has gone. Yet this time, it's different. Much different.

What we've lost this time around is the Apple Watch Edition that replaced the gold one and came in ceramic instead. This time the Edition's material wasn't only more expensive than the regular Watch but it was also demonstrably stronger.

True, gold can be pretty tough but it's more about being pretty and for its price point, the ceramic Apple Watch Edition was a little more affordable. Starting at $1,249 when it was introduced, that's a tenth of the cost of the gold one.

Mind you, it's also more than three times the cost of the entry-level aluminium Watch.

Keep in mind that in any one year, the new models of Apple Watch have the same innards and it is solely the case that's different. So you lose no functionality going for the cheapest version -- and you gain none by going to the most expensive.

Your choice, then, is based on budget, style -- and then experience. Ceramic Apple Watches are substantially tougher than the aluminium ones.

That's not to say that entry-level Apple Watches are a bad deal: we've seen three-year-old original aluminium Apple Watches that are still pristine. Yet we've seen many others that if not actually cracked, still had a certain worn or scuffed appearance.






Not so with the ceramic Apple Watch Edition. That model was reminiscent of the famous Timex advert: it takes a licking and it keeps on ticking.

So we're sad to see it go and just a little sadder still that Apple dropped it without even a briefest of nods to its greatness.

There is one small, surviving legacy to how great ceramic is for Apple Watches, though. Every version of the Apple Watch Series 4 comes with a ceramic back plate.

That's less to do with the durability of ceramic though, and clearly nothing to do with how good it looks -- since you'll never admire the backplate. It's to do with how ceramic is a better material than aluminium for letting cellular signals pass and now also aiding the advanced cardiac monitoring that Series 4 brings.

So maybe ceramic will be close to our skin now, but the old Apple Watch Edition is going to remain close to our hearts.




Keep up with AppleInsider by downloading the AppleInsider app for iOS, and follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider and Facebook for live, late-breaking coverage. You can also check out our official Instagram account for exclusive photos.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    I doubt it was a big seller. But Jony got to play with new materials for a while...
    peterhartracerhomie3
  • Reply 2 of 21
    The Series 4 Hermes versions certainly fill the void left by the Edition ("Edition" was always a terrible, terrible name). I think there's still room for other luxe brands to team up with Apple. For example, Coach, Swarovski, Bell & Ross, Bulgari, Cartier, etc. Whether that would be case designs, bands only or something else, they could really broaden the high-end offerings.
    edited September 12
  • Reply 3 of 21
    Gonna hang on to my rose gold series 0 and my white ceramic series 2, which are both in daily (alternating) use. Series 0 could use a new battery though.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 21
    A Ceramic watch should not have commanded such a premium. At least not based upon materials cost.

    These will eventually be a collector's item.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 21
    Looked cheaper than the cheaper models
    peterhart
  • Reply 6 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,167member
    I doubt it was a big seller. But Jony got to play with new materials for a while…
    And that research surely resulted in more than just "playing." The back of the Series 4 now has more ceramic, and we may eventually see an entirely ceramic Watch without the steep price jump and even it being used on the iPhone eventually.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 7 of 21
    D_CMillsD_CMills Posts: 15unconfirmed, member
    Gonna hang on to my rose gold series 0 and my white ceramic series 2, which are both in daily (alternating) use. Series 0 could use a new battery though.
    Why?
    yojimbo007minicoffee
  • Reply 8 of 21
    claire1claire1 Posts: 327unconfirmed, member
    Dropping Edition was one of the worst Apple decisions from the last decade.

    It didn't have to sell 50M at that price point, get real. All it had to do is take marketshare from the premium watch industry(even 1% was massive profit), now people don't have a Rolex alternative.

    The cheap Watches are for the rest of us.

    The Series 4 Hermes versions certainly fill the void left by the Edition ("Edition" was always a terrible, terrible name). I think there's still room for other luxe brands to team up with Apple. For example, Coach, Swarovski, Bell & Ross, Bulgari, Cartier, etc. Whether that would be case designs, bands only or something else, they could really broaden the high-end offerings.

    Hermes is a brand. Apple needs it's own premium brand, Edition was fine and rich people don't care if they have to rebuy a new version every 2 years, it's not like they cant re-sell or pass down their old one.  Some people buy a new car every few years and they don't complain.
    edited September 12 lolliver
  • Reply 9 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,167member
    claire1 said:
    Dropping Edition was one of the worst Apple decisions from the last decade.

    It didn't have to sell 50M at that price point, get real. All it had to do is take marketshare from the premium watch industry(even 1% was massive profit), now people don't have a Rolex alternative.

    The cheap Watches are for the rest of us.
    You're assuming that people were only deciding between a Rolex and the Edition version of the Apple Watch. I know people that would never consider any Apple Watch and I know expensive traditional watch wearers that jumped onto the SS models since the original.

    Do you really think that Apple beat Rolex and all other makers of higher-end Watches solely because of the Edition line up? I don't. My guess is that they accounted for very little in sales, so much so that Apple doesn't think it warrants keeping the line going.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    My wife has a Series 3 Edition. It's really beautiful.
    racerhomie3StrangeDays
  • Reply 11 of 21
    focher said:
    My wife has a Series 3 Edition. It's really beautiful.
    I'm sure those will remain hot collectors items.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    It does not appear that the ceramic watch are eligible for the Give Back refund program...  Has anyone tried?
  • Reply 13 of 21
    dwebb66 said:
    It does not appear that the ceramic watch are eligible for the Give Back refund program...  Has anyone tried?
    If you're getting rid of one, try selling it through Amazon or eBay first. Or take it in to the Apple Store? I'm sure you'd get less if Apple took it.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    claire1claire1 Posts: 327unconfirmed, member
    Soli said:
    claire1 said:
    Dropping Edition was one of the worst Apple decisions from the last decade.

    It didn't have to sell 50M at that price point, get real. All it had to do is take marketshare from the premium watch industry(even 1% was massive profit), now people don't have a Rolex alternative.

    The cheap Watches are for the rest of us.
    You're assuming that people were only deciding between a Rolex and the Edition version of the Apple Watch. I know people that would never consider any Apple Watch and I know expensive traditional watch wearers that jumped onto the SS models since the original.

    Do you really think that Apple beat Rolex and all other makers of higher-end Watches solely because of the Edition line up? I don't. My guess is that they accounted for very little in sales, so much so that Apple doesn't think it warrants keeping the line going.
    I'm assuming people who like to splurge, like to splurge. Celebs, rappers etc. still buy Rolex over Watch based on price alone. Is it a stupid choice? Maybe, but Apple could have at least given them that choice and taken the money. 

    There's tons of people who buy expensive products only because they're expensive. Apple Watch maxing out at $700 leaves those buyers out. Remember these aren't headphones or c chargers but watches, a piece of jewelry to most people.

    "Do you really think that Apple beat Rolex and all other makers of higher-end Watches solely because of the Edition line up? I don't. "

    I didn't. That's why I said even a 1% share in this market creates massive profit and it's something only Apple can do as no one will run to buy a $300 Fitbit or android smartwatch.
    edited September 12 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 21
    dwebb66 said:
    It does not appear that the ceramic watch are eligible for the Give Back refund program...  Has anyone tried?
    If you're getting rid of one, try selling it through Amazon or eBay first. Or take it in to the Apple Store? I'm sure you'd get less if Apple took it.
    I'm going to sell sport AW S3 to Apple rather than dick around with eBay. It's $225, no fees or hassles. Easy peasy.
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 21
    Aw. Guess my Gray is a classic. Pity I can't get another.
  • Reply 17 of 21
    dwebb66 said:
    It does not appear that the ceramic watch are eligible for the Give Back refund program...  Has anyone tried?
    If you're getting rid of one, try selling it through Amazon or eBay first. Or take it in to the Apple Store? I'm sure you'd get less if Apple took it.
    I'm going to sell sport AW S3 to Apple rather than dick around with eBay. It's $225, no fees or hassles. Easy peasy.
    Hmm... that's more money than I would've guessed!
  • Reply 18 of 21
    claire1 said:
    Dropping Edition was one of the worst Apple decisions from the last decade.

    It didn't have to sell 50M at that price point, get real. All it had to do is take marketshare from the premium watch industry(even 1% was massive profit), now people don't have a Rolex alternative.

    The cheap Watches are for the rest of us.

    The Series 4 Hermes versions certainly fill the void left by the Edition ("Edition" was always a terrible, terrible name). I think there's still room for other luxe brands to team up with Apple. For example, Coach, Swarovski, Bell & Ross, Bulgari, Cartier, etc. Whether that would be case designs, bands only or something else, they could really broaden the high-end offerings.

    Hermes is a brand. Apple needs it's own premium brand, Edition was fine and rich people don't care if they have to rebuy a new version every 2 years, it's not like they cant re-sell or pass down their old one.  Some people buy a new car every few years and they don't complain.
    I expect the bean counters at Apple have a better idea about whether that product line is worth continuing.  I’ve never known Apple to being averse to booking revenue. 
    SoliSpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 21
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,572member
    I hate this. I have a Series 1 White Edition and love the look. Was sad to see I couldn't go back with a Series 4 Edition. 

    For those that say Hermes is a replacement, not for me. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 21
    Well this is lame. I have a series 2 white ceramic and I was going to get another this year. Last years didn’t tempt me because I don’t care about LTE or a red dot. The stainless scratch so easy. 
    watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.