Has Apple gone mad pricing the Apple Watch at S$23,000?

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    Apple Watch

    Apple finally revealed their pricing for the Apple Watch. It comes in 3 editions with prices ranging from US$350 (S$480) to a shocking amount of US$17,000 (S$23,000). While we are no experts in horology, we are alarmed by the seemingly insane prices. These ‘haute’ digital watches that are part of Apple’s ‘Edition’ series are definitely not for the random man on the street. For the same amount, you can easily buy a couple of Panerai or Rolex watches, both great to collect for appreciation value.

    So, why the exorbitant prices for a first-generation product that will almost certainly become obsolete in 12-24 months time? The secret lies in the gold. Apple uses a new patented alloy for the production of these Edition watches. The material is classified as 18K, though it contains less gold per volume. The 18K ‘gold’ case of the Apple Watch is harder, more scratch-resistant and less dense. Here’s Dr. Drang on Leancrew’s  explanation:

    It’s because Apple’s gold is a metal matrix composite, not a standard alloy. Instead of mixing the gold with silver, copper, or other metals to make it harder, Apple is mixing it with low-density ceramic particles. The ceramic makes Apple’s gold harder and more scratch-resistant—which Tim Cook touted during the September announcement—and it also makes it less dense overall.

    Our theory is that those who buy the US$17,000 Apple Watch are not actually after its functionality, but rather as a symbol of status. Kudos on those who have the cash to spare and are not afraid to flaunt it. For us, we’d rather spend the money on various other Apple products and still have some spare change.

    Still, there’s no harm in admiring the new range of watches. Here’s how they look like:

    Apple Watch Edition series
    38mm 18-Karat Yellow Gold case with bright red modern buckle, US$17,000


    Apple Watch Edition series
    38mm 18-Karat Rose Gold case with Rose Gray modern buckle, US$17,000

    For the rest of us, you would be glad to know that you can still be the cool kid on the block by getting the two other less pricey models; the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport. They range from US$349 (S$480) to US$1,099 (S$1,500). The number of models available is pretty mind-boggling so here’s a breakdown of the various lineup and their prices:

    Apple Watch Sport – 38mm: US$349
    Apple Watch Sport – 42mm: US$399
    Apple Watch – 38mm: US$549 – US$1,049 (depending on watch band)
    Apple Watch – 42mm: US$599 – US$1,099 (depending on watch band)
    Apple Watch Edition: US$10,000 – US$17,000

    In our opinion, the Apple Watch is an overpriced piece of gadget that will not fly off the shelves. Not for this first generation anyway. But for Apple fanboys, the watch is available for pre-order from 10 April and the first phase roll-out will be on 24 April in the US, UK, Australia, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany and France.

    So, are you getting an Apple Watch?