At its March 10 media event, Apple showed off two videos that revealed the unique processes used to create the aluminium Apple Watch Sport and steel Apple Watch. But, for some reason, Apple didn’t have such a video for its Apple Watch Edition, made of 18-karat solid gold.
If you visit Apple’s website now, though, you’ll see a new video Apple quietly posted that explains how it makes its gold Apple Watch, which starts at $US10,000 and ranges up to $US17,000.
Apple’s senior VP of design Jony Ive breaks down each step of the process:
We wanted to appeal to a wide range of personal styles, so with Apple Watch edition, we’re working with a uniquely luxurious metal: 18-karat solid gold.
We’re using both yellow and rose gold. Each is a custom alloy designed to be not only beautiful, but up to twice as hard as standard gold.
It begins at the molecular level, where precise adjustments to the amount of silver, copper, and palladium in the alloy result in specific hues of yellow and rose gold.
Next, we use a new hardening process developed by our metallurgists to strengthen a metal that is naturally very soft.
The molten gold is cast, not into the shape of the watch, but into solid ingots. These ingots are then precisely milled to remove any imperfections.
They’re then compressed to a fraction of their original size to create dense, pore-free billets.
Ultra-sonic scanners are used to detect even the most minute defects in the metal.
From these solid billets, we machine the watch housing, as well as individual components like the digital crown and the clasp for our straps.
Finally, each case is hand-polished to an immaculate sheen by high-skilled jewellery artisans.
The result is gold that is elegant, yet uncompromisingly durable.
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