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Monday, September 25, 2023

Apple Watch Edition’s gold case undergoes unique hardening process, hand polishing during manufacturing

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Following Monday’s “Spring forward” event, Apple updated its website with a few expository videos relating to Apple Watch, including a clip detailing the production process each gold Apple Watch Edition unit goes through prior to sale.

Narrated by Apple SVP of Design Jony Ive, the video offers insight into an involved production process that results in one of the most expensive products Apple has ever brought to market.

Work begins at the molecular level, Ive says, with raw materials, including gold, silver, copper and palladium mixed using a specific recipe to create a custom alloy with unique 18 karat yellow and rose gold hues.

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After exiting the crucible, a new hardening process thought up by Apple’s metallurgists. Molten gold is cast into solid ingots, milled down to remove imperfections and compressed, which creates dense pore-free billets. Ultrasonic scanners are weed out units that show defects.

Apple machines the hardened ingots into housings and other parts, like the Digital Crown and solid gold clasps for strap accessories. Finally, artisans hand polish each piece of metal to a lustrous sheen.

The Apple Watch Edition starts at $10,000 and tops out at $17,000 as configured through Apple’s website. Preorders and in-store previews begin on April 10, with shipments to start two weeks later on April 24.

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