Comparing Apple's gold finishes on the Series 2 versus Series 4 Apple Watch

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited September 30
For the fourth edition of the Apple Watch, Apple included a gold stainless steel model. To give you the best idea of the finishes, we are comparing the stainless steel gold Apple Watch Series 4, the aluminum gold Apple Watch Series 4, and the aluminum rose gold Series 2 Apple Watch.


Stainless steel gold Series 4 (front), aluminum gold Series 4 (middle), aluminum rose gold Series 2 (back).


As a bit of history, Apple has had gold variants of the Apple Watch for some time -- including the original $10,000 and up gold Apple Watch Edition. More recently, there was the rose gold Series 2, and the aluminum gold Series 3. For the Series 4, a stainless steel joins the aluminum.






Our hands-on video clearly gives you the best look of the trio of finishes. There are a few things of note.

In our time testing them, we found the stainless steel to be the better finish that will appeal to the most users. The matte aluminum has a bit more of a yellow hue, where the more reflective stainless leans a tad towards copper/brass.

Stainless steel gold Apple Watch with gold Milanese loop band
Stainless steel gold Apple Watch with gold Milanese loop band


Recently, we took a look at the gold Milanese loop band that Apple also released, but we wanted to take a look at how that band looks on the aluminum, instead of the stainless as was featured in our review.

gold Milanese loop on aluminum Series 4 gold Apple Watch
Stainless steel gold Milanese loop on aluminum Series 4 gold Apple Watch


As you can see, the Milanese loop features polished stainless steel lugs, which doesn't perfectly match the matte aluminum. Luckily, from the front, it has that matte finish we talked about earlier, and we feel that it blends in better. The band doesn't match as seamlessly as it does on the stainless, but it will only be particularly noticeable on close inspection.

We also compared the aluminum and stainless vs the discontinued rose gold.

Gold and Rose Gold Apple Watch
Gold aluminum Apple Watch Series 4 (left) and rose gold aluminum Series 2 Apple Watch (right)


All three versions of gold have their merits, but we think opting for gold over rose gold was the right move overall, and the stainless is particularly stunning to see.

Still debating on the latest Apple Watch? Check out our review of the new Series 4. Not sure if you want to go with aluminum or gold? AppleInsider's handy guide walks you through the differences and helps you decide.

Where to buy

Apple authorized resellers B&H Photo and Abt.com are currently accepting orders for the Apple Watch Series 4. Abt.com will not collect sales tax outside Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, while B&H will not collect sales tax on orders shipped outside New York and New Jersey*. For a complete list of deals and product availability, please visit our Apple Watch Price Guide.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    "I like... GuuUuUuUuUuuULDdduh!"
    edited September 30
  • Reply 2 of 12
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,283member
    I'm not a fan of gold, but I'd go for the matte finish of the aluminium any day.

    Too bad they couldn't get ahold of Series 0 Gold Edition Apple Watch to compare under the same light.
    baconstangStrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Soli said:
    I'm not a fan of gold, but I'd go for the matte finish of the aluminium any day.

    Too bad they couldn't get ahold of Series 0 Gold Edition Apple Watch to compare under the same light.
    Agreed.  Come on AI readers, mail your gold Apple Watch to AI HQ so they can update the vid.
    Soli
  • Reply 4 of 12
    I've never liked gold watches. I'll get one of the other stainless steel finishes of the Series 4 when it's available here.
    SoundJudgment
  • Reply 5 of 12
    Woah! The SS Gold looks nice but could you name the Brand of the Watch Stand? It looks absolutely great :-)
    seanjSoundJudgment
  • Reply 6 of 12
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,283member
    MaxPower said:
    Woah! The SS Gold looks nice but could you name the Brand of the Watch Stand? It looks absolutely great :-)
    It looks like it's from Studio Proper out of Australia:

  • Reply 7 of 12
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,024member
    I do like gold, but it’s odd that the bracket is still in black and natural, but not gold.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,869member
    Why did they ever name it "Rose Gold"?
    Where they afraid to call it what it was:   PINK?
  • Reply 9 of 12
    I understan that taste cannot be discussed, but for me electronic device like this in gold is cheezy design. It is not jewelery. Make it wood trim like in some cars and it will resmeble furniture. Industrial design is industrial design: brushed aluminum, carbon fiber, chrome, plastic composites finish, blackend aluminum.
  • Reply 10 of 12
    MGMG Posts: 2member
    Hey, wasn’t it the series 3 watch, not the 2, that made the shift to (ugly) rose (pink) gold? I have a series 2 Gold, and decided against a series 3 upgrade because of that pinkish hue. Hoping that the 4 gold looks, waiting to see it in the store behind ordering. 
  • Reply 11 of 12
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,024member
    Why did they ever name it "Rose Gold"?
    Where they afraid to call it what it was:   PINK?
    They did seem to go overboard with that. But it did appear to be very popular. Not for me though.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 12 of 12
    PDPD Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Apple Watch Series 4 Unboxing - Nike Edition
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