Apple Watch – a game changer in the world of the luxury timepieces?

Apple Watch

Rolex. Patek Phillipe. A Lange & Söhne. Vacheron Constantin. Apple..?

The Apple Watch was announced back in September to much fanfare, as is typical for Apple products. Whilst few would say that their products are ‘cheap,’ they’re certainly affordable to anyone with disposable income. Many commentators have noted that Apple has steadfastly stuck to the following mantra, outlined by Andy Warhol in 1975; “A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking.” This is an ethos that has undoubtedly served them well so far.

Reports of a high-end version of the product made of solid gold, however, set Apple up for a huge U-turn on their typical policy. The Apple Watch is set to start at around £300, but a rumoured luxury model, the face of which would be made from solid gold, retails at the princelier sum of £3,000. Suggestions are that the 18 karat gold used in these timepieces alone, if removed from the device and melted down, would be worth £1,250 by itself.

It seems like a pretty smart move; the ubiquity and popularity of Apple’s products has won the company fans across all income brackets, yet whether the buyer is a Premier League footballer, or is on the minimum wage, the price remains the same. With this, they’ll be making an even more desirable product that is a truly luxurious piece.

The Patek Phillipe Supercomplication watch that we discussed in last week’s blog post ( ended up selling for £15.6m; in years to come could such records end up getting broken by Apple’s products? Can these pieces become truly timeless? Unfortunately for Apple our early estimate would be no. Vintage timepieces are masterfully crafted to last decades and can be more easily fixed. Technology items, by contrast, have a shorter lifespan, and let’s not forget this item is essentially a computer mounted onto a bracelet. So will there be a big market for vintage Apple watches in 50 years’ time? For the gold, yes. To use as a watch, probably not.

However, that won’t stop the ‘luxury’ models of the Apple Watch becoming highly desired style items. A solid gold Rolex will set you back at least £8,000, but really you should expect to pay much, much more. Suddenly, the price of the solid gold Apple watch makes a lot more sense. It is not an investment for the future, but rather a style piece to be used now. Future vintage? No. Stylish and desirable? Absolutely.

New Bond Street Pawnbrokers are a high-end pawn shop in Mayfair, London. They deal mainly in vintage watches, fine wines, art, and to a lesser extent cars and other luxury items. Find out more here: