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The Apple Watch is already a pretty expensive device considering its actual cost to create. A recent teardown of the entry-level model, the Apple Watch Sport, claims that its cost of production is about $84—and it retails for $349, a considerable markup, to be sure. The Apple Watch Edition, meanwhile, starts at a whopping $10,000—and merely offers the same device with an 18 karat gold case.

gold-apple-watch-red-bandSo if you want to rock a gold Apple Watch, but want to pay a bit (a lot) less, a post on 9to5Mac points the way to a few budget-and-fashion-conscious options. One jeweler called WatchPlate will take your Apple Watch Sport or Apple Watch via FedEx and will coat the thing in 24 karat rose or yellow gold. The whole process will cost a measly $399. So if you buy a mid-tier Apple Watch for $549, you can get it gilded for a total cost of $949.

Meanwhile, another jeweler called Golden Dreams will simply sell you an Apple Watch they’ve already plated in 24 karat yellow gold, 18 karat rose gold, or 18 karat white gold for $4,200. That’s considerably more than WatchPlate’s deal, but they sell you the whole device from the get-go—and it’s still less than half the price of the least expensive Apple Watch Edition.

There are a few semi-important differences. The Apple Watch Edition’s case is made of gold, rather than simply coated in it. Moreover, Apple claims that its “metallurgists have developed [it] to be up to twice as hard as standard gold,” so if durability is important to you, then the gold plating offered by these jewelers may not be up to snuff. Moreover, it’s entirely possible that having someone dip your electronics in a vat of liquid gold or whatever could have some kind of impact on the device’s functionality and performance.

But at the same time, if you’re the kind of person who wants a gold plated Apple Watch anyway, function and performance probably isn’t at the top of your list of priorities anyway.

In the end, I’m pretty excited that these two places have found ways to undercut Apple’s ridiculous pricing for the Apple Watch Edition, and I look forward to hearing about even more such jewelers. Take that, Apple!

[Source: 9to5Mac]


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