Stainless Steel Apple Watch to Start at $500, 18K Gold Models at $4,000 [Rumour]

Apple has only stated the Apple Watch will start at $349 USD (most likely the entry Sport model), but has remained mum on stainless steel and 18K gold versions.

However, anonymous but “reliable” sources now tell iGen.fr the stainless steel Apple Watch will start at $500, while the Apple Watch Edition models in 18K in yellow or rose gold will debut between $4,000 to $5000. Loose Google Translation below:

Apple Watch Stainless Steel (polished or black sidereal) would be proposed at $ 500. The Edition model in yellow or pink gold would be sold between $ 4,000 and $ 5,000.

The French site’s sources say a possible launch in time for Valentine’s Day remains a possibility, despite Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts stating a “spring” launch on the weekend. Based on the wording on the Apple Watch website, speculation is the wearable may debut in the USA first, and release worldwide later in 2015.

Previous reports conservatively claimed the Apple Watch Edition would cost upwards of $1,200, based on the cost of 18K gold at $600, then double that for electronics and the retail mark up.

The broad range of Apple Watch price predictions aren’t necessarily new, as Daring Fireball’s John Gruber noted his price points for the Apple Watch back in September, along with his take on how the wearable will play out once prices are revealed:

  • Apple Watch Sport (aluminum/glass): $349 (not a guess)
  • Apple Watch (stainless steel/sapphire): $999
  • Apple Watch Edition (18-karat gold/sapphire): $4,999

When the prices of the steel and (especially) gold Apple Watches are announced, I expect the tech press to have the biggest collective shit-fit in the history of Apple-versus-the-standard-tech-industry shit-fits. The utilitarian mindset that asks “Why would anyone waste money on a gold watch?” isn’t going to be able to come to grips with what Apple is doing here. They’re going to say that Jony Ive and Tim Cook have lost their minds. They’re going to wear out their keyboards typing “This never would have happened if Steve Jobs were alive.” They’re going to predict utter and humiliating failure. In short, they’re going to mistake Apple for Vertu.

And then people will line up around the block at Apple Stores around the world to buy them. I think Apple Watch prices are going to be shockingly high — gasp-inducingly, get-me-to-the-fainting-couch high — from the perspective of the tech industry. But at the same time, there is room for them to be disruptively low from the perspective of the traditional watch and jewelry world. There’s a massive pricing umbrella in the luxury watch world, and Apple is aiming to take advantage of it.

That darn Gruber nails it every time.

Below is the Apple Watch introduction video narrated by Jony Ive for you to watch, yet again:

http://youtu.be/y-waTi8BPdk

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Andrew

    $5k?! The only thing that’s worth anything few years down the road is the material and that might worth a few hundreds.

    Get an Oris or Omega automatic watch and admire the quality while you still have money left in your pocket.

  • einsteinbqat

    Very high price for something that will be out of time a year later when the next version comes out. I do agree with Gruber, though. People will buy them.

  • OliChabot

    Some people will buy them, yes, but if they want to take over the market and revolutionize the way people use watches,crhey need to place their price accordingly. I was hesitant in buying the iWatch at 350-400$, now that I reas the one I wanted stainless steel) would be 500$, I really think I am going to wait for the second gen.

    For god’s sake it’s a watch that is going to be obsolete in two years because of the new versions, yet it’s still goong to be more expensive than a iPad ? I can’t wait to see how the market reacts.

  • Stefan

    People should really stop comparing watches with smart watches. To me regular watches are expensive for no reason. They just tell time and maybe date. Nothing changed in years and prices still remain high. Smart watches do something more then just tell time. To me, it makes sense for them to be more expensive.

    However, I agree that 4K is a lot for a gold watch. I could swallow 2K but not 4-5.

  • Al

    I can see the initial inventory levels now…
    Cheapest – 10,000,000
    Middle – 5,000,000
    Gold – 8 … and only available at the Dubai Apple store

  • Chrome262

    You are assuming its not modular. meaning that you could still keep your 5k watch and just change the internals, at a lower price. I think that was the point of the one piece design. And yes 5k is way too much, for that you could get a motorcycle and be way cooler lol

  • Shameer Mulji

    Not necessarily. See Chrome262’s comments below.

  • Al

    The watch is pretty thick. I imagine they will thin it down between versions. And, more than any other Apple device, they may occasionally change it’s styling, since it’s also a fashion accessory. Then there is the issue of insuring it remains waterproof. All this makes the concept of being modular highly unlikely.

  • Chrome262

    from Apple website “Massive constraints have a way of inspiring interesting, creative solutions. A prime example is the custom-designed chip at the heart of Apple Watch. No traditional computer architecture could fit within such a confined space. So we found a way to integrate many subsystems into one remarkably compact module, which is then completely encapsulated in resin to protect the electronics from the elements, impact and wear. Configuring an entire computer system on a single chip is an industry first and represents a singular feat of engineering and miniaturization.” looks like they already did it.

  • Al

    There is nothing there stating that the internals will be modularly compatible with future iterations. They are simply saying that they created a single module out of a combination of components, which is then fit into the current watch casing. Next year, the configuration of the internals will most likely be different.

    That’s partly why they hired all those experts recently, who haven’t yet had time to apply their vision to the current design. As such. version 2, I suspect, will be immensely different in many ways, including form.

  • Chrome262

    There is nothing that states it, but it is made in a way where it would be easier. In any event I don’t believe the 5k price point anyway, when you buy a 5k watch you have it for life and it still functions as a watch, with a smart watch there will be a time where it is no longer able to keep up with upgrades. Even if it did occur, like for special editions, the difference from base to intermediate model shouldn’t be a near 700 gap.