If you keep up with the latest in tech – or fashion – you definitely did not miss the Apple Watch event, which recently took place at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. While, the Apple Watch line up was first unveiled back in September, many crucial details were purposely omitted – including the highly speculated upon price tag.
Before getting into the cost of the devices, let’s take a closer look at the Apple Watch line up. The well-crafted collection of smart watches includes – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and the absolutely breathtaking Apple Watch Edition; each of which can be paired with a number of high quality bands or straps.
Apple is not usually the one to offer their customers so many choices, especially with new devices, but the Watch is definitely an exception to this unspoken rule. The Apple Watch is the most personal, and customizable device from Apple, yet.
To quote Apple, “everyone’s style is different, as is everyone’s wrist”. The design team at Apple tackled this problem by offering each watch in both, 38mm and 42mm case sizes. Even though there are two different sizes, presumably men’s and ladies, Apple does not market the watches with such a bias – everyone is free to choose what fits best. In fact, Apple employees across the country have been trained to help potential customers decide on what watch and band combination will best suit their needs.
Even though the three models look unique on the outside, the guts are identical across the line up. That being said, the watches are so well crafted, that each one deserves their moment under the spotlight.
First on stage is the Apple Watch Sport. This beautiful piece of engineering is the “cheapest” Apple Watch in the lineup. The starting price of which is $349 for the 38mm model, and $399 for the 42mm. While this starting price might seem steep compared to other wearables on the market, Apple justifies the hefty price tag by talking about the high quality materials used in production.
If you watched the Keynote, you definitely remember the “how it’s made” type of video, narrated by the company’s design guru – Jony Ive. The short film covered the materials used in building of the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch Sport is crafted out of an aluminum alloy the company has created themselves. The aluminum used in production is just as light as the regular alloy, but it is about 60 percent stronger. Jony Ive then goes on, and on about how beautiful, and magical the device is. While he is obviously a bit biased, it’s quite hard to disagree – the watches truly are beautiful. Besides the watch cases, the bands have also been carefully considered and designed. In the case of the Sport model, the watch comes with a vibrant elastomer band available in 5 colors – very iPhone 5c like.
Next in the new product line up is the Apple Watch.
This model is built in a stainless steel casing and is available in 20 different combinations – quite impressive for Apple. Since the bands are interchangeable, you can use the Sport’s elastomer bands with your Apple Watch, on top of the many beautiful metal and leather options that Apple Offers specifically for the steel model (more on these later). Just like the Sport model, this watch is crafted out of re-engineered metals. Apple took a popular alloy that is known for being durable and resistant to corrosion, and made it even stronger. The steel undergoes a specialized cold-forging process and becomes up to 80% harder. This helps the watch become less prone to dents and scratches.
While Apple paints a pretty picture with their description of the Apple Watch, it’s hard not to wonder about the price. In the case of Apple Watch, the price range is very broad; there are models ranging from $549 to $1099. That’s right, some of the watches in this lineup will cost you more than your iPhone 6. The factor that influences the price of the watch is the type of band you want to go with. The cheapest Apple Watch – 38mm Stainless Steel Case with a colorful Sport Band will cost you $549, and the most expensive model – 42mm Space Black Case with a Space Black Stainless Steel Link Bracelet – will have you forking over $1099.
Outside of the two combinations mentioned above, Apple offers a number of other bands as well, and allow customers the option of purchasing individual bands separately. That being said, it might not be as affordable as you think. For example, the Modern Buckle will cost you an additional $250, and if you decide that you want the Steel Link Bracelet, prepare your wallet for a serious hit as this band sells for $449 – 100 bucks more than the whole Sport model, complete with the elastomer band. The price would suggest that these bands are made from rare unicorn leather, or that the steel bands must’ve been crafted from metals used in the Titanic.
If the Apple Watch and the Apple Watch sport still seem a bit too cheap for you, then the Apple Watch Edition is likely to be right up your alley. Apple really went all out with this model and crafted the case out of solid 18 karat gold. Since gold is generally a soft metal that is susceptible to nicks and scratches, Apple engineered a brand new alloy that is nearly twice as hard.
The beautiful gold Apple Watch comes in 8 different models, starting with a modest $10,000 price tag. Both, yellow and rose gold models are available, in the 38mm and 42mm case sizes. The lower tier of Apple Watch Edition is either the Yellow or Rose Gold 38mm model with the Sport band. The Sport band that comes with the Apple Watch Edition is not the same band that comes with the Sport watch. All of the metal components are swapped for gold parts – matching the finish of the casing. If you’re interested in a more fancy band to go with your Apple Watch Edition, then you can pick from either the Classic or Modern leather buckles. Opting for a more formal band will raise the price tag and set you back up to $15,000.
If the $15,000 price point seems ridiculous to you, then you’re clearly not Apple’s target demographic for this new product; and chances are – they aren’t worried. No one is going to be saving up for the Apple Watch Edition. People will simply buy it. Maybe not you or I, but there is always a market for luxury accessories, and if anyone can sell a product, it’s Apple.
As mentioned above, all of the Apple Watch line up comes with identical specs, and the same exact software. The only differentiating factors are your case and band choices. Apple is really trying to push this device as more than just a notification center for your iPhone – marketing heavily in the fashion and fitness industries alike. That being said, much of the Apple Watch lineup will run you more than the total cost of your latest iPhone, in a way making your phone an accessory to the watch.
If reading about the upcoming Apple Watch has you excited, then you might be a bit disappointed to find out that the devices do not begin to ship until the 24th of April. A little bit of good news, though, if you’re already set on a certain model, the preorders will begin on April 10th.
Mark this date in your calendar, as this is also the date the Apple Watches begin to make their appearance in Apple Stores nationwide. Customers will be able to take a closer look at the watches, and even try them on. If you’re interested in picking up a watch for yourself when the time comes, keep in mind that the Apple Watch requires an iPhone 5 or later to function.