For the rich and famous, Apple's $10,000 Apple Watch Edition is the ultimate tech status symbol. But for the rest of us, a gold Apple Watch is more of a pipe dream than a reality. However, thanks to some intrepid jewelers across the globe, you can now turn your lower-cost Apple Watch into a gold timepiece for as little as $399.
Gold Plate Your Apple Watch
Upon seeing the demand for gold versions of the Apple Watch, which commands prices from $10,000 to $17,000, jewelers decided to take matters into their own hands. In the case of Los Angeles-based Watch Plate, the company will gold plate your Apple Watch in three business days for just $399. According to Watch Plate, the process is fairly routine and the company claims it can gold plate your watch's face, band, or both. The price includes prepaid FedEx shipping.
However, it will only work with the stainless steel Apple Watch. Watch Plate has found that Apple has coated its Sport edition with a non-conductive layer that renders its electroplating process ineffective. Another caveat is that you may need to replate your watch overtime, which will cost you an additional flat fee of $199.
Perhaps most alarming, however, is that the actual process of gold plating your watch could void your Apple Warranty. Apple hasn't commented on do-it-yourself gold plating, so it's best to proceed with caution.
If you prefer a process that doesn't involve to-and-from shipping, for $3,550, Golden Dreams offers Apple Watch models in 24 karat yellow gold, 18 karat rose gold, or 18 karat white gold. The custom-made watches ship from Geneva, Switzerland, and include a 2-year Golden Dreams warranty. Again, this process may void your Apple warranty, so you'll want to avoid this if you paid for an extended AppleCare+ plan.
When All Else Fails
Finally, if your Apple Watch purchase has left you completely bereft of cash, 9to5Mac reports that with a little spray paint, anyone can turn the cheapest Apple Watch into an Apple Watch Edition look-alike.
What do you think? Will you be using one of these DIY gold Apple Watch alternatives? Or will you skip the Apple Watch entirely? Let us know in the comments below.
Louis Ramirez is a feature writer for DealNews, where this article first appeared.