Dr. Drang brings science and reason (as usual) to an interesting finding: Apple has a patent on a gold formulation that’s still 18k by weight but with significantly less density than most 18k gold, which could let them use significantly less gold in the Apple Watch Edition than previously estimated. One such formulation is likely to be what they’re using, as their claim of Edition’s gold being “twice as hard” as normal gold is a side effect of this process.
I’ve been thinking since my $5,000 Edition guess that I probably guessed too high, and this may be a strong sign that a significantly cheaper Edition is a possibility. Gruber doesn’t think so, but on many levels, it would make a lot more sense: Apple’s brand elitism, mass-market alienation, and the uncomfortable issue of an extremely expensive watch that’s completely obsolete in a few years would all be significantly less problematic if the Edition was priced closer to $2,000–3,000.
We don’t know yet if Apple will do that, but it sure looks like they can. Pricing it reasonably proportionally to its costs with a healthy-but-not-obscene margin to offer luxury quality and materials to the upper-middle class is certainly more the style of the company Apple has been — the question is whether it’s the style of today’s Apple. We’ll find out soon.