Some weeks ago word began spreading that Apple would be releasing a gold edition of their much anticipated wearable wrist computer, the Apple Watch. A few very ambitious article speculated that Apple on its own would purchase 1/3 rd of the world’s gold supply for production of the luxury version of the new timepiece. It sounded too good to be true at the time, and turns out, it is.
Apple held a press conference today and we got the latest on the watch.
First of all, the new Apple Watch is expensive. The normal version of the Apple Watch is called the “Sport” and it will sell for $349 (USD). The 18 karat gold ‘Edition’ watch will cost $10,000 (USD). The luxury watch will have the same features as the “Sport” edition except it will be made out of gold. The most expensive version of the gold watch will set you back $17,000 (USD) or approximately 14.5 ounces of gold using today’s closing price.
18 karat gold will be used in the ‘Edition’ watch, which is approximately 75% gold mixed with other metals. 24 karat gold (which is said to be greater than 99% gold content) is not used in jewellery (watches) as it is too soft. Apple engineers have designed a new alloy that is harder and less susceptible to nicks or scratches specifically for the watch.
All of the new Apple watches will allow you to communicate with people easily (text, call, email) and come with built in health features including a heart rate monitor as well as a built in fitness tracker.
The watch is the first major product launched from Apple since the Ipad. The high end watches are expected to be in strong demand in ‘gold hungry’ China where sales of Apple products are currently booming.
Pre-orders start April 10th and you’ll be able to see them in the Apple store then. They start to ship (here in Canada) as of April 24th, so I’m sure I’ll be seeing them on all the wrists of my Apple junkie friends shortly thereafter.
Sadly for gold buffs, I doubt the price of the precious metal will appreciate dramatically with the launch of the new watch. With each Apple watch containing less than 1 ounce of gold, even if Apple managed to sell 1 million gold watches it would only add 28.3 tonnes in demand which is a tiny fraction of the annual gold supply.
However, gold investors will be able to track their elevated heart rates with their new Apple Watches as the always volatile gold price fluctuates daily depending on economic events.
Discuss in CEO live.